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Guest column: Are we equipping youngsters with the skills they need?

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Mansfield entrepreneur and boss at on-line agency Dijitul Dave Hartshorne asks if youngsters are being given the skills they need to fill the hi-tech jobs of the future...

I recently made a pledge, to create 100 local jobs for young people and am keen to encourage more young people to consider a career in the eCommerce and Digital Marketing industry.

I run a digital agency in Mansfield, called Dijitul which a friend and I started back in 2006.

Since starting the business and becoming local employers I have always felt that there is a lack of digital related training in the area and after numerous attempts to engage with local outfits I have been unsuccessful in getting my feelings heard.

I am extremely keen to see more young people get involved with the digital industry.

The internet is growing at a rapid rate with more and more businesses needing help when it comes to eCommerce, website design, content marketing, app development, search engine optimisation and social media.

Our local schools and colleges do a great job educating the next generation but are they equipping them with the skills they will need in the future job market?”

Back in July 2013 I went to meet Wil I Am, showing my support for The Princes Trust STEM programme and am now working closely with a number of apprenticeship providers in order to help “create the future digital workforce”.

We have managed to create a sustainable business model, which is growing from strength to strength and will continue to create jobs and career opportunities for young people.

Who knows where we could be in five years. If things continue we could see ourselves become one of the biggest employers in the area and put Mansfield on the map.

Places like London are always getting funding and are focusing on the digital industries, people are being educated locally and then leaving the area, it’s about time we realised just how big an industry this is and do something about it, Mansfield needs a booming industry and I believe this is it.

The House of Lords recently made a statement regarding the state of the UK’s digital competitiveness;

“The level of technological change in the UK and the rest of the world is staggering, and having a workforce that possesses the right skills is going to prove vital to our economy,” said Baroness Morgan of Huyton, chair of the Committee.

“Our Committee will therefore be analysing in-depth the state of the UK’s digital knowledge, and examining whether our labour market is skilled enough to compete on the international stage”

The future of the UK I believe relies heavily on digital technologies and we are in constant need of skilled people and this area seems to have very little focus on that.

Over the next five years I anticipate that a large number of businesses will require a person to work in-house to take care of the online aspect of their business, something we as a town should be a big part of.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do youngsters get the right training for the modern working world? To email your views on this column CLICK HERE

 

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