Don’t Look Abroad for Skilled Employees; Upskill Existing Staff – Digital Skills Academy
The solution to Ireland’s digital skills shortage is not to employ more IT staff either from Ireland or overseas, but to invest in building the digital skills of existing staff. That’s according to Digital Skills Academy, which today (07.03.17) is launching its new Professional Diploma.
Commenting today, Paul Dunne, CEO of Digital Skills Academy, said ‘Last year, it was reported by Roberto Viola, Director General of European Commission body, DG Connect, that the number of people with digital skills in Ireland has not increased in three years. Nearly three-quarters of Irish employers are forced to look abroad to fill the skills gaps in their companies in order to reach their business objectives. Instead of looking abroad and hiring new staff, however, they should be investing in building the skills of their current employees.”
According to the World Economic Forum, profoundly disruptive changes to the employment landscape means that, worldwide, there will be a loss of 7.1 million jobs between now and 2020, particularly in office and administrative roles. At the same time, there will be an increase of almost 2 million jobs requiring specialised skills, such as data analytics and technical sales.
“The digital landscape is the future of business”, continued Paul Dunne. “However, hiring new, digitally-skilled employees has huge cost implications for companies. Also, replacing proven, experienced staff represents a huge loss of company knowledge and impacts on company culture. Rather than buying in new talent, company leaders should focus on building a sustainable solution using their greatest asset – their existing employees.”
The new Professional Diploma being launched by Digital Skills Academy today will help companies to enhance the digital skills capabilities within their workforces. The 15-week, online and part-time diploma is designed for business professionals including modules focused on customer-centred design and agile project management methods. Participants are given practical, hands-on experience by working in cross-functional teams on projects assigned by the Academy’s respected Industry Partners, or a business challenge set by their own employer.
By submitting digital business challenges to-be-addressed by participants, employers can simultaneously develop their skills base and gain measurable additional return on training investment through these projects. Both these skills and the project deliverables are then exploited within the organisation to improve productivity and competitiveness.
Feedback from Industry on Upskilling Employees
Barclays are one of the international companies from which Digital Skills Academy’s programme participants are drawn. According to Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, “Whether you like it or not, the digital revolution is coming. This is going to be bigger than the Industrial Revolution or the Agricultural Revolution and every time there has been a revolution of such as scale a lot people have been affected.”
Anna Lonergan, Product Owner at Aviva Ireland, completed a Digital Skills Academy International BSc Honours Degree in Digital Skills in October of last year. Commenting on the Degree, Anna Lonergan said “My role at Aviva involves a deep understanding of our customers’ needs and working closely with our software developers to ensure that the customers’ digital experience is continually enhanced through our incremental improvements and feedback loop. I was searching for a course that would help me to further develop my skills in this area and the Honours Degree ticked all of the boxes – it’s modules and teaching methods were aligned with exactly the type of skills my employer and I wanted to develop further, especially in relation to Agile product development. Since I’ve completed the degree, I have a much more rounded view of my role in end-to-end digital technology projects and how to increase early benefit realisation for both my employer and our customers.”
For further information on Digital Skills Academy’s new Professional Diploma, visit: https://digitalskillsacademy.com/professional-diploma.