Reskilling Britain’s workforce for the economy of the future has become even more urgent, says a leading British Edutech entrepreneur.
- Britain could take advantage of furlough to rapidly and, at an affordable cost, train up to 500,000 digital experts for the jobs of the future
- Private sector led initiative using latest online technology could offer low cost hi-tech solution to Britain’s endemic digital skills shortage.
Reskilling Britain’s workforce for the economy of the future has acquired a new urgency post lockdown.
COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated long term trends towards digitalisation and distance working.
There is a fear that jobs in hard hit sectors such as travel and hospitality may disappear, never to return. Meanwhile, demand for skills such as digital marketing, IT project management, cyber-resilience and even languages are already in short supply,
And the need for those skills is set to increase as we accelerate towards a more digitally enabled work environment. The quicker we adapt to that new reality the better he believes.
So says Byron Nicolaides, founder and CEO of PeopleCert, a UK leading provider of qualifications which has worked with the UK government to deliver successful programmes to raise professional standards in core areas such as project management, IT development, cybersecurity and language skills.
Edutech pioneer Nicolaides won last year’s European Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his success in turning UK’s PeopleCert into a leading digitally enabled professional and language skills assessment and certifications provider.
He believes that, with the right approach, Britain could rapidly and, at an affordable cost, train up to 500,000 programmers to fill jobs that would otherwise go begging because of the lack of people with suitable skills.
Innovative training formats such as IT boot camps can enable even those with no grounding in computer science or mathematics to acquire viable programming skills in a matter of months and walk away with a qualification that can open the door to a more secure job or better pay.
New techniques such as online learning mean the relevant courses leading to meaningful qualifications can be accessed for a limited outlay, and can be fitted around other responsibilities. Exams can also be sat at home.
This would be ideal for people furloughed, or between jobs, or in employment but looking to acquire highly marketable new skills, as well as carers and those with children.
Mr Nicolaides said: “The world of work is changing rapidly and the COVID-19 crisis has supercharged the pace of that change. Trends such as greater distance working, automation and digitalisation which we thought would take years to take effect, have happened overnight.
“However, rather than focusing on preserving jobs and skills which are inevitably going to disappear, we should be focusing on how to future proof our economy by training and educating people so that they are able to fill the gaping skills gap in the IT sector and find a solution to growing unemployment.
“This means equipping people with employable skills that don’t take years to acquire, that do not require a huge financial investment and that can be done by those lucky enough to be in work, at hours that suit.
“The digital and IT skills that employers will be crying out for are in short supply in the UK and are easier to acquire than many people realise. Better skills mean improved productivity, higher levels of employment and faster growth which benefits us all”, said Mr Nicolaides.
- PeopleCert is a global leader in the assessment and certiﬁcation of professional and language skills. PeopleCert delivers exams in more than 200 countries, in 25 languages, through its state-of-the-art assessment technology, enabling professionals to reach their full potential and realise their life ambitions through certifications and learning.
- To date, PeopleCert has worked with 2,000 training organisations and delivered 5.5 million examinations to individuals, 50,000 companies and 800 government departments. It has worked to develop training and certification programmes which have helped individuals gain employment with NASA and the CIA in the United States, the UK Ministry of Education and Home Office, ECB and European Parliament, Deutsche Bank, IBM, Moody’s, Lloyds Bank, Hewlett-Packard, JPMorgan, Citigroup (Citibank), Credit Suisse, Barclays, VISA, NOKIA, BP, HSBC, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Danone, DHL, and Ford. PeopleCert holds 50% of the US market in IT certification Management (ITSM) certification.
- In the UK, PeopleCert is a partner since 2017 in AXELOS, a joint venture established by the Cabinet Office on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) in the United Kingdom and Capita plc, to promote best practice and improved standards across IT and cyber. PeopleCert manages certification for Axelos in a range of globally recognised qualifications including ITIL®, PRINCE2®, MSP® and RESILIA®.
- PeopleCert also delivers Home Office approved, Secure English Language Tests (SELT) in the UK and globally on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
- Founded in 2000, PeopleCert has grown to a €75 million annual turnover company, and has seen its revenue increase by an average 40% per year, in the last 5 years.