As this is the first Be-IT blog of 2015, I’d like to start as tradition requires, by wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year!
For us at Be-IT it’s been an interesting, at times challenging, yet ultimately amazingly successful first year in business. That said, as we enter 2015 we are well aware that to continue to grow we must carry on getting the basics of our business right. For me, this means providing candidates and clients alike with first-class customer service, underpinned by a proven, demonstrable commitment to matching the right people to the right jobs - and for the right reasons, namely that by so doing we add value to the client company and, in a mutually enriching way, to the candidate’s CV and career/earning prospects. To help us, we have some exciting plans, starting in January with a major marketing initiative and I am sure that this time next year I’ll be reporting another year of success.
All commentators are confident the economy will continue to grow and the majority are similarly confident about job prospects in general, however, the CBI have warned that there will still be problems in areas of skills shortage. Don’t we know! Just to illustrate the point, I came across a recent article, where Phil Worms, Director of Marketing and Communications for digital cloud company Iomart Group, was quoted as saying the sector has 9,600 new vacancies every year, while universities are only producing 1,800 graduates. “We’re not attracting young people into the industry,” he says, “and we need to sort that out.” I could not agree more, and this is a theme we’ll return to in later blog posts in 2015.
The basic facts are that the overall IT sector, employs c. 73,000 people in Scotland and it is expected that this will grow substantially over the next five years. With universities, as noted, not producing sufficient numbers of IT graduates and schools way behind where they need to be in our field due to falling numbers of teachers of computing, this is not going to get better any time soon. That is a major concern, not just for recruiters, but for the overall health of the economy.
On top of these issues, there are other, potentially dark, clouds on the international horizon, but there is a UK election coming up, with Scotland set to be a key influencer, and this will concentrate minds, probably, in my opinion, for the better. Whichever party wins – and currently it seems likely that not one will have an outright majority – they are all aware of the importance of digital industries to the future success of the country. However, ‘being aware’ and ‘taking the appropriate actions’ are not necessarily the same things. The industry must continue to push all our politicians, not just to celebrate success, but to ensure that there is a pipeline of talent coming through our education system to maintain that success. In the meantime, recruiters will continue to have challenges, and the best will rise to meet them. It’s going to be an exciting year!
Gareth Biggerstaff, MD, Be-IT Resourcing