The tech sector is constantly evolving and the industry-wide skills gap is making the recruitment of talented tech professionals more difficult than ever. So what is the solution to keeping up with the growing demand for new skills?
Well that's simple: invest in the employees you have.
In this blog, we look at the benefits of placing staff training at the heart of your company culture and the role apprenticeships play in professional development.
Increase productivity in your team
People work for people, not businesses. Understanding the needs of your workforce and offering them opportunities for development and growth can lead to more efficient workflows and increased productivity.
Continuous learning and development can unlock potential in even the most demotivated employees, allowing them to reignite the passion they once had in their role. Larger companies now employ Learning & Development Managers to implement training within the fabric of their organisation as the return on investment in terms of productivity is so significant.
Apprenticeships have become a key contributor to staff development as they are designed to equip individuals with the skills they need to excel in their field. In 2019/20, 47% of apprenticeship starts were by people aged 25 and over, highlighting how apprenticeships have become a useful means of professional development for those in existing employment.
Create a loyal and driven workforce
Historically, it was desirable to spend your whole working life with one organisation. However, times are changing, especially in high demand sectors.
Building a tenured workforce is a struggle for many organisations in the tech sector, which has the highest labour turnover than any other industry. An article by Business Insider found that the top tech origination with the longest tenure was Facebook with an average service of only 2.02 years followed by Google with 1.9 years, Apple with 1.85 years, and Amazon with 1.84 years.
The trend isn’t limited to the tech giants. A recent study by Protech found that 53% of workers plan to make changes to their career in the next 12 months, and the prevalence of networking platforms such as LinkedIn means people are faced with more career opportunities than ever before.
So how do you create loyalty in your team? Offering development opportunities to your people will increase their commitment to your organisation as they will feel recognised and valued in their role.
Workforce Development Apprenticeships are a great method of staff training, at all levels. These programmes are tailored to specific job roles, and lead to a recognised qualification. Government funding is available to cover all or most of the costs of training – or, if you are a larger organisation, your training costs may be pre-paid through your apprenticeship levy contributions.
Upskill and Promote from Within
At Baltic, we have incorporated a ‘Grow Your Own’ ethos into our company culture. Last year, 78% of our promotable opportunities were filled internally, and we encourage all organisations to do the same.
Instead of hiring for senior positions, why not create a long-term development plan for members of your team? A great place to start is by conducting annual, quarterly or, monthly appraisals to gain an insight into your employee’s long-term career goals and map out how they are going to achieve these through personal development.
Apprenticeships are much more than a training course, they provide a professional development plan with a built in qualification to help individuals reach their full potential. As well as offering industry training, they also equip people with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need to thrive in their sector and advance to senior positions.
Combat the Skills Gap in the Tech Sector
Currently, the demand for tech professionals outweighs the supply which makes recruiting in the tech sector a costly and lengthy process. When you pair this with the constant evolution of the tech and digital industry, diversifying the skills of your current team through continuous professional development seems a viable option.
The Software Development industry in particular is feeling the effect of the skills gap. The 2021 Tech Nation Report identified the 10 most in-demand job roles in the UK, and 7 of these were Software Developers. Our Software Development Technician programme goes beyond the knowledge requirements of the apprenticeship standard and can be customised to suit the languages your company uses, making it a useful and affordable means of training your team.