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Cisco Seeks to Resolve Digital Skills Gap in Partnership with RuTC

Thursday 21 July 2016

The digital skills gap is on the rise and with the need for technologically savvy workers not set to diminish, there has never been a better time to use untapped creative minds. Specifically those individuals classified as NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training).

Globally, almost 300m 15-24 year olds are not working, and in the UK nearly three quarters of a million young people currently sit in this category. However, there is a lack of awareness among the unemployed youth of the traineeships available to them, according to a report published by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP).

As it stands, graduates and apprentices tend to be the ones that are looked upon to shine a light and step up to fill this current shortage in digitally skilled workers. The opportunities for apprentices are only set to rise, with the UK Apprenticeship levy coming into effect as of April 2017 and the government's ambition is to have 3 million apprenticeships secured by 2020.

The AELP report suggests training programmes for NEETs need to be better promoted to encourage the UKs pool of talented out of work individuals to gain the skills they need to apply for the growing number of apprenticeship level roles that are set to be created over the coming years.

As such organisations need to embrace the challenge of providing pre-apprenticeship programmes that target this pool of diverse talent. The benefit of doing so won't just be realised by the organisations that help nurture NEETs. In the process, it will also be possible to support the wider UK economy in narrowing the current digital skills gap.

The reality is there are already a range of traineeships available to NEETs, some already run by employers large and small, across sectors from financial services to digital marketing and retail. One example being the work Cisco is doing in partnership with Living Networks, Job Centre Plus and Richmond College. Together they have deployed a 12 week pilot programme called Pathway to Your Future, which is aimed at 18-24 year old NEETs.

The scheme is focused on building confidence, driving a new talent pipeline and creating a sustainable skills training platform with the aim being that 100% of NEETs will find employment once the scheme is completed. By starting at the grass roots and supplying the tools that are needed to succeed in roles both within Cisco's own apprenticeship programme, as well as opportunities outside of the organisation, it gives young people the chance to succeed, often in areas they may have nothave initially considered they had the skills to explore.

This article was written by Jane Lewis and published first by Computer Business Review. Please click here to read the original

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