There’s no denying the fact that the technology industry is defined by rapid change. Every day, new innovations are emerging and impacting our lives. Whether it’s mobile devices or artificial intelligence systems, technology is transforming the way we live and work.
But despite the importance of technology in today’s interconnected and constantly evolving world, a serious skills gap has manifested. As we race towards an era where everything around us is connected to the internet, companies are crying out for a new breed of talent to create and maintain the innovations of the future.
According to the Tech Nation report, 50 per cent of UK-based technology companies believe that there’s a shortage of highly skilled professionals. Meanwhile, a study from Barclays found that 43 per cent of adults lack the digital skills needed for the modern workplace.
Fundamentally, closing the digital skills gap comes down to education, but the curriculum hasn’t always been quick to respond to the needs of employers. However, the DevOpsGroup Academy is on a mission to eradicate the skills gap and train the technology workplace of the future.
Launched in October 2017, the academy is developing technology talent in South Wales and accelerating Cardiff’s tech ecosystem. Working with a range of local universities and the British Computing Society, it provides a mixture of technical and non-technical courses, internship schemes and summer placements.
Years of experience
James Harvey, who heads up the academy, explains that the courses are designed to be flexible and are delivered by industry experts. “We essentially apply the experience we’ve built up over the last few years to a structured training setup,” he says.
“The academy’s key USP is sharing expert, practical knowledge rather than lecturing on textbook-based content. By harnessing this, we can then run public training courses that are focused and specific. They aren’t just off the shelf and have been selected because they align with our core company goals.”
What sets these courses apart from others is that they’re suitable for people with varying degrees of experience. “Our flagship schemes are centered on Agile and DevOps practices, from foundation upwards. These are technology-agonistic, role-agnostic and framework-agnostic. Our technical partners include the likes of Microsoft, AWS and Github, which ensures all our training is update and relevant,” continues James.
With the skills gap only getting bigger, James is trying to enforce a culture of change. “The Academy was established for multiple reasons – with the first being that there’s a major digital skills shortage not only in Wales but further afield. But the other reason is that technology is always changing, so STEM learning can quickly become outdated. We’re on a mission to change that,” he says.
Essentially, the Academy invests time and experience in people so that they can develop the right skills to succeed in the technology industry. “We want to act as a finishing school, really. It’s great that so many people are taking an academy path to further educate themselves in technology areas, although there’s disparity between what’s taught in the classroom and what the commercial world is looking for. We’re trying to bridge this gap by running these commercial, industry-recognised courses for people at any level,” concludes James.
Clearly, the technology skills shortage is a prevailing issue for organisations around the world, but change is beginning to happen. Through the Academy, DevOpsGroup is proving that by taking proactive and collaborative steps, it’s possible to find and nurture the best talent to ensure the tech ecosystem keeps going from strength to strength.