TALENT

TALENT

Closing the digital talent gap – how to develop tech skills


One of the biggest challenges faced by businesses today is a shortage of employees with tech skills. In the UK alone, research shows that 11.3 million people don’t have a complete range of basic digital skills while 4.3 million people have none.

As the technology ecosystem rapidly expands and businesses invest in new innovations to increase competitive advantage, it’s crucial that efforts are made to close this gap and train the workforce of the future. But how can that be done?

Tech skills are paramount

The recent coronavirus pandemic has definitely highlighted the importance of digital skills. With millions of people working remotely during lockdown, cloud computing, video conferencing, online collaboration tools and many other technologies have been crucial.

But as we come out of lockdown and offices reopen, that’s not to say digital skills will no longer be in demand. In fact, with nearly half of employees demanding more flexible working when they return to the workplace, digital skills will continue to be important.

With the rise of remote working and introduction of new technologies in the workplace, I believe there are three clear areas of skill development needed.

The ability to learn how to use new technology, such as new systems, and adapt our ways of working to them. This could be a new bit of software that replaces an Excel spreadsheet, or an RFID scanner that replaces manual checks. Technology is forging its way into our daily working lives, and we shouldn’t underestimate the cultural implications of this in organisations.

The ability to innovate and consider where technology could improve or replace existing products, services and processes. We’ve seen multiple products and industries be disrupted in recent years – for example, online streaming such as Netflix destroying the video rental sector once dominated by Blockbuster. Digital skills aren’t just about coding and building products; they’re fundamentally about thinking digitally, and considering how technology can improve the world we live in.

The development of new products and technology. This is where we get into the area of deep digital skills where engineers and developers sit – actually building solutions on the back of new ideas.

Not everyone in society will need to be able to code, but everyone will need a deeper understanding of how technology is built, and what it’s capable of, so they can help to ensure the evolved products, services and businesses are satisfying, and in some cases, creating consumer demand.

In order to close the digital skills gap and ensure staff are equipped for the future, businesses must help people to develop these skills. But where do you start?
Firstly, be honest and transparent. Digitisation is no longer an optional thing; it’s happening. So, helping to raise awareness and get people to embrace the digital journey has to come first.

Thereafter, it comes down to education. Employers need to start investing both time and money into digital education and skill development, not only as a means to improve their workforce’s skills but as a means to survive.

And I don’t mean that to be taken lightly. It’s been proven multiple times already that those businesses that fail to innovate and to digitise are the ones that, ultimately, fail. So, digital skills development at all levels should be an absolute priority.

Ultimately, while we accelerate further and faster into a fully digital world, I think it’s important that we don’t underestimate the cultural challenges at play here. The very world we’ve been accustomed to is changing, and changing fast.

It’s important that people and businesses get their heads around that, and then start to consider how they, themselves, are going to navigate that transition. And we’re always better when we navigate things together, rather than try to plot a course alone.

Written by Dan Lewis, founder of www.WeStryve.com

Research Links:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/essential-digital-skills-framework/essential-digital-skills-framework

A flexible future: Brits expected to call time on office life after lockdown

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ADDITIONAL TALENT ANNOUNCED FOR COV-AID™ 10-HOUR STREAMING CHARITY EVENT ON GIVING TUESDAY


Event To Feature Lil Jon, Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, Waka Flocka Flame, SiLLY, SoaR Gaming, Donovan Carter, Slim Jxmmi, Michele Morrow, Dj Babey Drew, Harrison Bader, DJ Infamous, Lea Salonga, Sam Seum, Ghost Gaming and More

All Proceeds to Support Americares and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Initiatives Related to Covid-19 Relief

Partners Include United in Gaming, Skillshot Media, Uspech Marketing, Film Quality Services, Subnation, Visual Weaponry, Softgiving, KontrolFreek, Mojichat and Lunchbox.gg

ATLANTA –– Additional talent has been announced for the upcoming COV-AID™ event, a massive, multi-platform, one-day online charity event on Giving Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at 1pm EDT / 10am PDT. The event will feature more than 10 hours of content showcasing popular gamers, athletes, artists and other personalities streamed across top social game-streaming platforms including Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Twitter and Facebook. All proceeds will be donated to Americares and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help the fight against COVID-19, and to support front-line medical professionals, first responders, and families most directly affected by COVID-19.

The event will feature a mix of interactive, live-streamed competitions and performances, plus pre-recorded content from entertainers, athletes, and other personalities. Talent will include Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Jon; Super Bowl champion Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski; Rapper Waka Flocka Flame; Call of Duty champion SiLLY; esports organization SoaR Gaming; actor Donavan Carter (HBO “Ballers”); Rapper Slim Jxmmi; television presenter, actress, writer, video game journalist and producer Michele Morrow; Grammy Award-winning producer DJ Babey Drew; MLB players including former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader; Grammy Award-winning record producer DJ Infamous; Tony Award-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga; streamer Sam Seum; and esports organization Ghost Gaming. Additional talent will be announced.

“This is such an extraordinarily challenging time for people all over the world — I am grateful to my partners for coming together so we can help make a difference for these beneficiaries,” said United in Gaming Co-Founder Andrew Smoltz. “This is meant to be a fun event for everyone to enjoy. I know that I, personally, can’t wait to see some of the talent-driven gaming challenges come to life for this great cause.”

Skillshot CEO Todd Harris added: “Everyone is at home. Everyone. Some people are feeling isolated and we figured this was a great moment for digital-native talent to step up and take the lead in bringing people together, albeit remotely, to enjoy each other’s company while also addressing the urgent challenges we all face.”

“We’re especially thankful for our amazing talent, all of whom are all donating their time to participate in this event,” added Uspech Marketing Consultants Founder Jennifer Erdman. “No one involved in COV-AID is taking any fee or percentage, which allows us to ensure every penny raised goes directly to these two essential organizations at this critical time.”

“Americares is heartened to see such an outpouring of support to help health workers on the front lines of the pandemic,” said Americares President and CEO Christine Squires. “With support from COV-AID, we can provide even more masks, gloves, gowns and essential training to protect our health care heroes.”

“For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs have navigated times of tragedy and crisis to provide safe places for kids and teens. Today, we are committed more than ever, to ensure Club staff, members, families and communities have the resources and support they need to navigate these uncertain times,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of America President and CEO Jim Clark. “Thank you to COV-AID and its partners for helping support our work during this critical time.

For more information, or to make a donation, please visit cov-aid.org.

HOW TO WATCH
COV-AID will be live-streamed on May 5 at 1pm EDT on platforms including: Twitch | YouTube | Mixer | Twitter | Facebook

ABOUT COV-AID

COV-AID is an egoless alliance of talent, distribution and nonprofit partners coming together to fight COVID-19. Event organizers and logistical partners will earn no revenue from COV-AID. All proceeds
will support the event’s nonprofit beneficiaries and their work.

ABOUT AMERICARES
Americares is providing desperately-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), training and emotional support to ensure health workers on the front lines of the pandemic can continue their lifesaving and life-changing work.

ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA
Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to remaining open to support the children and families of front-line medical professionals and essential workers while also providing meals and virtual learning at thousands of Clubs around the country.

COV-AID was created, and is being produced by, a consortium of media and technology firms with close ties to the gaming and esports community, including: United in Gaming, Skillshot Media, Uspech Marketing, Film Quality Services, Subnation, Visual Weaponry, Softgiving, KontrolFreek, Mojichat and Lunchbox.gg

COV-AID media contact:
Melissa Sanders, Tadpole Communications
404.909.6726 | melissa@tadpolecomm.net

Americares media contact:
Donna Porstner
516.607.1180 | DPorstner@americares.org
Boys & Girls Clubs of America contact:

Ashley Keyes
404.285.2326 | akeyes@BGCA.org



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