Tackling the IT skills shortage

Software business Bede Gaming is tackling the discrepancy between the needs of local employers and the abilities of current jobseekers with the launch of its own training academy, which will introduce 20 new apprentices into the digital industry every year.

Its launch comes amid a widening skills gap in the IT sector, which is becoming a significant barrier to the growth of some businesses. A recent report released by O2 estimates that three quarters of a million digitally skilled workers are needed to power the UK economy by 2017. At the same time, research by City & Guilds last year found that 75% of employers in the Information, Communication, and Technology Sector believe their industry faces a skills crisis.

The Bede Academy is based at the company’s Newcastle headquarters and will nurture new IT and software development talent to help to facilitate the growth of skilled employees in the sector. The academy has accepted its first intake of apprentices in Ashley Wressell, Daniel Sweet, Oliver Bolger, Andrew Cartwright and Connor Hurst and expects to create a further 10 paid apprentices this year, and at least 20 per year going forward as the company continues to expand. Bede’s apprentices will learn quality assurance engineering skills, including how to program test scripts. They will work directly with senior quality assurance staff, and will be embedded directly into product teams over a 12-month period. The apprentices will also develop teamwork and basic programming skills, providing a springboard to their IT careers and giving them the chance to be involved in Bede’s diverse mix of global products.

The Bede Academy has received significant investment and secured the very latest technology available to software developers. Bede’s CTO Alex Butcher said the development would play an important role in enabling the company to meet its talent demands.

“The North East has a serious shortage of workers equipped with the right IT skills. As a company that has created over 100 skilled jobs since our launch in 2012, we have felt this shortage more than most. Keeping pace with our skills demand has not been easy, and we are increasingly looking further and further afield to unearth the individuals we need. Nurturing our own talent through apprenticeships is also vitally important in ensuring our long-term future and we are delighted to be able to provide exciting opportunities to rising stars in the industry”, Bede’s CTO Alex Butcher.

NRG isworking closely with Bede to support their apprenticeship scheme in an attempt to train and equip the next generation of talent in the sector. Therese Liddle, MD, NRG comments-

“We are pleased to partner with Bede Gaming on this new and exciting phase of their development. We’re confident that this venture will help to prepare and retain talent for the region’s digital future”.

Bede Gaming and NRG are delighted to be supporting apprentices in the North East. Both are extremely excited about the boost it will bring to the workforces and digital businesses of the future. NRG looks forward to working with Bede Gaming and forging a close relationship with the undoubtedly exceptional talent that The Bede Academy produces.