IT trade association CompTIA's new UK channel community director Estelle Johannes wants to close the IT skills gap.
She told PCR: "The initiative that’s big at the moment is the skills gap in the industry.
"You have people studying certain things and then coming to the real world looking at their career and job aspects of tech. But the education that they get and what they’re actually supposed to do on the job – there’s a gap. So a lot of companies, especially small companies, find it difficult that they have to up-skill people.
"You also have to think about how you can retain those people and continue to train them and create a really good environment. So that’s the whole theme of our upcoming event in Birmingham on June 23rd and 24th.
"At the other end of the spectrum you’re going to have people that are retiring and leaving the IT industry, so there is a big gap.
"So you have to educate not just the kids and the parents on the career path, but the teachers as well. It’s very important to let the teachers know these options (careers in IT) are there as they advise the children and young adults of today. And moving into the tech industry doesn’t mean you have to be a technician – there are so many other jobs and different career paths within that."
Johannes also revealed CompTIA's plans to bring its US 'Dream IT' initiative - which is part of its Advancing Women in IT push - to the UK.
"It’s an education piece where we try to empower people to go out to universities and schools, and talk about how they can access tools to promote women in technology – and it’s empowering people with those tools. It makes them realise a career in technology is viable, it’s feasible and it’s not just someone ticking away on a computer in a dungeon somewhere!" she added.
"So we’re going to be launching Dream IT in the UK. We have another workshop on Advancing Women in IT at our Birmingham event, and from that we want to launch it around October time."
Read the full interview with Estelle in an upcoming issue of PCR
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