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Why CIOs should operate an apprenticeship scheme

Chloe Dobinson | Sept. 19, 2016
We look at why CIOs should operate an apprenticeship scheme and how it can get the organisation ahead of its competitors

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A skills shortage in technology remains a top priority for CIOs in expanding their IT teams.

According to research, 44% of organisations are expecting to increase their IT team size in 2017, according to Harvey Nash. CIOs can develop a training programme or operate an apprenticeship scheme to increase IT headcount. CIO UK looks at why businesses should expand their IT team through an apprenticeship scheme to get ahead of their competitors.

Why CIOs should operate an apprenticeship scheme: Skills shortage

The UK Government plans to fund apprenticeship schemes in England, by 2017. An apprenticeship scheme for businesses can bring important digital skills in-house to the organisation.

Almost two thirds of CIOs are increasing their IT headcount, according to the members of the 2016 CIO 100.

CIOs are finding difficulty in retaining the IT talent they need to support their business digital strategy. The skill shortage will lead to organisations falling behind in keeping up with the pace of technology.

The competition for IT talent has increased with 74% of the 2016 CIO 100 running an apprenticeship scheme or planning to develop a trainning programme for 2016/2017.

Organisations which are planning to start up an apprenticeship scheme include CIO 100 companies -Arthur J. Gallagher & COWilliam Tracey and Raymond Brown Construction.

Technology is evolving with specialist roles needed in IT. The use of apprenticeship schemes can expose future employees to gain experience and further knowledge of the role.

CIO Geoff Connell was previously the CIO of Newham and Havering Council, until August this year, before moving to Norfolk County Council as the Head of IT.

Speaking to CIO UK last year Connell discussed the range of schemes he had implemented during his time as as a CIO at N&H council.

He said: "We get kids who are on a gap year, from schools and universities for work experience and place them across different areas of the council. It's a win-win situation getting the kids in who don't have work experience, but are inquisitive bringing fresh ideas and energy."

Newham Borough Council is hoping to save around £91 million by 2019 with the recruiting of younger talent.

He continued: "The bottom line is that we have to recruit younger talent because we can't bring in top-skilled people from various different areas who do not have the necessary skills. I think it is an exciting place for people to come and learn their trade."

Why CIOs should operate an apprenticeship scheme: Competition

The demand for talent is evolving with businesses being in competition against large corporations for digital skills.

The demand for experience in emerging trends such as Big Data, cloud and cybersecurity is increasing. CIOs need to research what the business can offer to future employees and how they can get ahead of its competitors.


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