Keep learning, keep improving

A lot of organisations invest in learning and development of their people, but exactly where does that start and stop? Everyone, from the chairman and CEO downwards needs to review their work, learn, improve and grow as individuals to be able work better as a team.

A lot of organisations invest in learning and development of their people, but exactly where does that start and stop? Everyone, from the chairman and CEO downwards needs to review their work, learn, improve and grow as individuals to be able work better as a team.

Autumn means budget reviews and plans for the new year: 2018. The Institute of Directors is way ahead of the game and as already published its own professional development calendar. You can download the whole portfolio of training here. Designed for directors and senior leaders, its courses and qualifications are an opportunity to refresh the knowledge, skills and the mindset required to improve your impact and plan your development.

That’s fine for the leaders of your organisation, but what about your team? For example, are they equipped with the right skills.

Construction, like many other economic sectors, is increasingly becoming a digital environment. From BIM to asset management to the tracking of products, materials and kit, the need to be digitally literate is ramping up daily. What’s more, the UK is undoubtedly a tech hub. But despite having the necessary funding, we still face a great challenge in ensuring our sector workforce represents its diverse and thriving customer base.

The UK Commission for Employment & Skills found 43% of STEM vacancies are hard to fill due to a lack of qualified candidates and it is estimated that the lack of digital skills is costing the UK economy an estimated £63 billion a year.

According to a report by job marketplace Hired, since the BREXIT result, the number of foreign tech candidates attending interviews with UK firms has fallen by more than 50%. This, coupled with a rise in demand for tech roles as data becomes increasingly valuable to businesses, means that the skills gap is getting wider.

Clearly, a lack of focus on technology in education is acting as a catalyst to the nation’s chronic digital skills shortage. In 2016, only 5,600 students studied computer science at A level (only 600 of which were female) versus 31,000 studying sociology.

If we are to keep up with the development pace of digital innovation in the UK, then something radical needs to change. That applies to engineering sciences and maths just as much as it does to computer science – all of which will benefit construction and help bridge the skills gap we are facing.