Apprenticeships - The solution to the escalating technology arms race?

There was a point a few years back when outsourcing seemed to be the answer to resourcing issues. Today, it seems that many CIOs are looking for different answers when it comes to finding talent that can help disrupt their organisations.

When it comes to ensuring you've got the right capability it all comes down to being able to answer the most important questions of what do we have now, what talent are we going to need in the future, then to work out what the difference is between them. This gives a starting point to understand not only exactly what you need to recruit but also a basis to consider where to find the best sources to fill the gaps.

One solution that seems to be appealing to many organisations is to introduce apprenticeships alongside other traditional recruitment options such as graduate schemes.

Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity of introducing new talent and potentially across all levels of the organisation. The advantage of an apprentice is that you can help them develop the skills you need at the same time as introducing them to your culture. This makes them complicit with the organisation's success, instils a sense of loyalty and helps organisations develop their talent through organic growth. Apprentices learn in a less linear way than say at university, they become part of your culture and your future landscape of skills and employees.

Today, apprentices aren't or shouldn't be limited to one level. As more talented people look for routes into their chosen careers, they are appealing to a wide range and spread of individuals including those straight out of university, even career changers. This means there is a real opportunity to be innovative and introduce apprenticeship schemes that potentially meet your needs across all levels of the business.

Of course, you need to have a multiple pronged approach to sourcing the capability you need. Apprentices are one element that offer a real opportunity to ensure that you grow your own talent with the right skills that you need to disrupt your business. They sit easily alongside a graduate scheme, as well as training and development for your existing professionals. However, there's also the opportunity to look at your wider employee base and see if there is anyone who is interested in either collaborative working or retraining and moving into the IT department.

With this approach, you're again taking advantage of the knowledge and insight they have already of your organisation and therefore the potential they have to understand how you could disrupt the business.

We're moving into a period of portfolio careers so therefore there are many people, especially women, are interested in upskilling or retraining. This is an enormous advantage for organisations; you get to keep your best people who are willing to go the extra mile for the organisation they are loyal to.

The power of networks also serves as an alternative to straight recruitment for that elusive talent and to help us develop the capability we need. Sometimes it really can be "not what you know, but who you know" that is important.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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