Future Proofing

UK Technology and Digital Skills

Technology /Digital Workers

Why does the skills gap matter to you?

The UK Technology and Digital Skills gap poses a risk all organisations in the UK.

Whether the organisation looks to hire talent directly or outsources recruitment, unless they have a widely recognised employer brand, it’s likely they will find this challenging. Even then, finding quality talent that fits into their unique culture and price range is still a challenge.

Although you could argue that this is the responsibility of business leaders, this can impact the entire business – right down to the individuals in that team. If you currently work alongside a highly talented team of people, who come from diverse backgrounds, are highly productive, happy and everyone feels they have just the right amount of workload, then you are one of the lucky ones!

Unfortunately, because the demand of technology and digital professionals far outweighs the supply, organisations are struggling to find people that fit both technical requirements and their culture. This puts teams at risk of hiring under-skilled people, or skilled people that are not aligned with the culture and values of the business.

For organisations that won’t compromise on either, this can lead to having an under resourced team, which adds to the workload and leaves less time for learning or a strong work-life balance. We see it as a collective challenge that will not be solved if we rely solely on business leaders. To understand how we can help, we’ve looked to gain insights from business leaders, Technical and Non-Technical workers, alongside future generations.

We hope that with this information, we’ll be able to highlight some of the areas in which technology professionals can support their businesses and the wider industry, to help attract and develop a diverse pool of talent.

What's in the data?

The below data is a combination of the responses, relevant to technology and digital workers, from each of the survey audiences we asked when researching the technology and digital skills gap.

How can you take action towards closing the skills gap?

This isn’t the first, nor the last piece of research to highlight the UK Technology and Digital Skills Gap. It is on the agenda both at local, regional and national level and will be an on-going challenge for decades to come. However at Mortimer Spinks, we want to do more than just discuss the challenge. We want to help support technology Professionals who want to help make a difference, both to their own careers, teams, organisations and the UK Economy as a whole. At the end of this page there are a number of ways we think you can make a start.

Survey Highlights

Technology, Digital And Disruption

What Does the Future Hold?

Business Leaders - In the next 12 months, what areas of technology/digital will your business be investing in?

A total of 66 per cent of business leaders chose cloud technology as the top area for investment in the next 12 months, closely followed by security (63 per cent), which was selected as a high priority by organisations of all sizes across all industries.

Business Leaders - What is your business looking to achieve from investing in technology?

Close at the top for reasons to invest in technology were the need to improve business processes (67 per cent) and enhancing the customer experience (65 per cent).

Other data shows that organisations are likely to be improving business processes through automation technology in order to improve workforce productivity and reduce costs.

Enhancing customer experience is also key – people are realising that even if they don’t have a commodity, product or service the end-to-end experience of dealing with an organisation now matters as much, if not more at times, than the product or service itself.

Business Leaders - What are your reasons for outsourcing?

54 per cent of these organisations are outsourcing these areas of technology due to the lack of access to talent or skills, either in the UK or internally within their business.

With increasing demand from customers organisations are being pressed to improve their customer experience, innovative products and services, and security more than ever before. Businesses cannot always afford to wait for these skills to be developed in-house; therefore accessing them from third-party suppliers is sometimes the only option.

What does this mean for the UK workforce? If we are unable to find quality talent locally, will this put technology professionals at risk of having their projects or job roles moved to a third-party supplier?

Automation and our jobs

Business Leaders - What effect, if any, do you think automated technology will have on employment in the next five years?

36 per cent of business leaders felt that jobs will be replaced by machines or computers.

However, 47 per cent of business leaders said that they felt more jobs will be created as a direct result of automation.

A large proportion of those respondents (76 per cent) said that it will mean that people will need to learn new technology and digital skills and 69 per cent of business leaders said that automation technology will help make employees even more productive.

Business Leaders - What is driving the need for technology/digital skills within your organisation?

Hiring technology and digital skills is high on the agenda for many UK and global organisations, and the key drivers are the need to innovate (54 per cent), meeting customer needs (51 per cent), remaining competitive (51 per cent) and improving the customer experience (47 per cent).

Technology has created much opportunity, but if the UK doesn’t catch up on technology and digital skills compared with some areas in the rest of the world, businesses will be less likely to remain competitive, innovative and deliver the high-end customer experiences that globalisation has brought us to expect.

The UK Workforce: Your Culture, Happiness, Progression and Diversity

What are you earning?

Technology / Digital Worker average salary
Non-Technology / Digital Worker average salary

The average annual salary for non-technical survey respondents was £39,818 compared with an average of £56,121 for someone working in a technical/digital role – that’s £16,303 more!

Non-technical professionals aged between 18 and 24 are earning on average £22,499 pa whereas those in the same age bracket in a technical/digital role are earning on average £28,999 pa.

How happy is everyone?

Technology / Digital Worker - How happy are you in working in the technology/digital industry as a whole?

Non-Technology / Digital Worker & Technology / Digital Worker - How active are you in looking for another role?

A large 92 per cent of technology/ digital responses cited as being extremely or moderately happy working in the technology/digital industry as a whole. Despite this 43 per cent are looking for a job right now.

However, if organisations are experiencing and going through the process of digital disruption, this might mean operating in an entirely new way – changes of process, culture, the way they operate, and even products and services to meet the expectations of customers.

If business leaders haven’t implemented a progressive digital infrastructure to support this change and growth, as well as a company culture that promotes stronger learning, communication and collaboration for their technology and digital professionals, this could be having an impact on their happiness.

On the flip side, because organisations are having to compete heavily with each other to attract and retain their top technology talent, it might be a simple case that expectations of technology/digital professionals are continually on the rise!

Whichever the reason, this is a major challenge that business leaders in the UK are facing right now. Is it a problem they can solve themselves, or will technology professionals always be on the lookout for the next challenge, career move or salary progression?

Business Leader - What do you believe are the three main reasons employees leave your company?

When we asked business leaders what they thought were the main reasons employees leave their company, seeking a higher salary came up as the number one reason (61 per cent) followed closely by personal progression (58 per cent) and unclear progression paths in their current role (40 per cent).

Technology / Digital Worker - What makes an organisation an attractive employer or would drive your decision to accept one job over another?

The number one reason was salary, benefits and other financial incentives by quite a high margin (72 per cent).

This was followed by work/life balance and thirdly by interesting and challenging projects. In previous surveys, when asked ‘What keeps you happy and productive at work?’, excellent pay and rewards never scored higher than fourth place.

This could suggest that when employees who are happy in their roles are asked ‘What keeps you happy and productive at work?’ they don’t necessarily prioritise salary.

However, when looking for a new role and deciding between options, salary and the remuneration package do come first. This could be because there are so many job options for technology and digital workers right now due to the supply of roles vs the number of people to fill them, so the easiest and main way to differentiate between them is the money on offer.

Career Progression

Non-Technology / Digital Worker & Technology / Digital worker - Are you aware of opportunities for progression in your organisation?

When looking at opportunities for progression, only 26 per cent of people working in technology roles were aware of opportunities for progression in their current organisation, compared with 35 per cent of non-technology workers.

Considering the number of opportunities and roles needed in the technology/digital industry right now, we consider this as pretty low.

Is it a case that organisations haven’t yet fully defined career progression paths for their technology teams? Is technology changing so fast that internal requirements for roles and skills are also evolving and therefore businesses cannot keep up with the changes in career paths?

Culture & Diversity

Non-Technology / Digital Worker & Technology / Digital Worker - Please rate your current company culture out of 5

Technology / Digital Worker
Non-Technology / Digital Worker

Overall, non-technology workers rated their culture an average of 3.7 out of 5.

This compared with people working in technology/digital roles, who rated theirs at an average of 3.5, although for 18 to 29 year-olds in the technology/digital industry this increased to an average of 3.7.

People in non-technology roles generally rate their culture more highly than people in technology roles.

If we’re going to close the skills gap and attract more people into the technology/digital industry, then business leaders need to start with our current technology/digital workforce and improve their happiness and culture.

Technology / Digital Worker - What for you personally would help to improve your company culture?

Better communication between teams, departments and leadership
More collaboration between teams and departments
Stronger leadership, less management
More opportunity for development and training
Increased inclusivity and diversity
Improved processes and structure

There were a number of reasons listed by almost half of all respondents as to what could improve their company culture, we have summarised them above. None of the above is specific to the technology/digital industry.

*(This section was left open for comments.)

These are challenges faced by most businesses in all sectors. However, they are important issues for business leaders to address. As technology changes, evolves and upgrades, your team may be expected not only to carry out business-as-usual work, but also to learn about new methods, systems, platforms, hardware, software and the rest!

All the while, this will add to their workload because people are moving jobs more often, and organisations are finding it ever more difficult to replace these people. As salaries are driven higher due to demand, organisations either need to raise their budget, or review their expectations on the skill set they expect.

Some organisations could be left with frustrated, extremely busy and overworked employees, who don’t quite know what their career paths look like. Add to this a lack of communication or strong leadership, then this could lead to a drop in satisfaction for technology employees.

Business and technology leaders, while trying to find and attract the best talent, need to ensure they have strong retention strategies in place that focus on communication, leadership, collaboration, career progression and development, and culture. If business leaders are not prioritising culture, technology workers can help support their business leaders by making the above suggestions to their leadership teams.

Technology / Digital Worker - How important is it to you that you work as part of a diverse and inclusive team?

Some 67 per cent of the technology and digital respondents also think it’s either important or very important to be working as part of a diverse team.

However, only 38 per cent were aware of their business working formally towards increasing diversity and inclusion (D&I) in their teams. D&I is becoming a very hot topic globally and a number of global and UK-based organisations are implementing change in order to increase diversity within the business.

Although some organisations are yet to take action, what is clear is that if organisations want to continue to attract, hire and retain the best talent, then D&I needs to be on the business’s strategic agenda.

Technology / Digital Worker - How is your business formally working towards developing, building, recruiting a more diverse and inclusive team?

The main methods used when working towards having a more diverse team are ensuring that recruitment providing training on unconscious bias and teams approach diverse pools of potential talent. How the recruitment teams find and approach diverse pools of talent is a different question.

In order to have a completely diverse technology team, you must have in place both a short-term and a long-term resourcing strategy.

The process of fully exploring and attracting diverse pools of talent can at times be a lengthy one, as candidates may not be readily available or even aware of how they could be a good fit for the role and company. Some organisations, however, may have technology and digital roles that need filling urgently.

In some circumstances, they might face the challenge of not having enough time to wait for a diverse selection of applications to choose from, before continuing to interview and hire someone for the role.

Training for New Skills

Non-Technology / Digital Worker & Technology / Digital Worker - What type of training is available to you?

There was a notable difference in the type of training received. More non- technology / digital workers said they received compulsory internal, external and web-based training, compared to technology / digital workers.

However, when it came to ad hoc, optional or case-by-case training if requested, more technology / digital workers said they had this option than non- technology / digital workers.

This could suggest that because technology is constantly changing, there isn’t always time to update structured, compulsory training programmes.

Technology /Digital Worker - How useful was this training for you?

What is noteworthy is that more than half of technology workers (57 per cent) said this training was either very or extremely useful. Some 32 per cent were neutral and only 11 per cent said it was either not that useful, or not useful at all.

If business leaders were able to provide more training, could this be one factor that could increase the overall satisfaction of our technology workforce?

Getting Productive in the Workplace

Non-Technology / Digital Worker & Technology / Digital Worker - In terms of productivity, which are the top three important for you?

Having a working environment that supports different types of tasks came out on top for what is important to technology employees in terms of their productivity.

Second was the option for flexible working hours, which may be an indicator that having the option to come in early (when most people are more productive) and leave early is something for employers to consider?

The third most important factor overall was having strong internal communication between departments and teams.

Non-Technology / Digital Worker, Technology / Digital Worker & Business Leader - What are the top three things your company could implement/improve to increase staff productivity?

A total of 44 per cent of business leaders felt that they could increase staff productivity if they improved internal communication between departments.

As you’ll see below, this was also number one for technology professionals and number two for non-technology workers, so all very well aligned.

For technology workers, even though having a working environment that supports different types of tasks was the number one priority for their productivity, in terms of what their current company could do to improve productivity right now, improving internal communication between departments came up as number one (37 per cent), followed by access to training and additional/new skills to carry out their job (34 per cent) and thirdly, having a clear organisation structure and reporting line in place (27 per cent).

Communication is multi-faceted, however. It’s not just about the words you choose or how you say them, but we now have to decide on a daily basis ‘what’s the best platform’ to share them on.

Email? Face to face? WhatsApp group? With soft skills already being tough to recruit for, plus earlier results in the survey suggesting that there is a high demand for collaborative and creative working in the technology space, are our technology and digital professionals and departments properly equipped for world-class communication?

The data suggest this is something most business leaders need to take a look at: whether from a process perspective – streamlining methods of communication; or from a soft skills training perspective – how best to interact and communicate with different teams, personality styles and levels of the organisation.

What Skills Do We Need?

Technical ‘Hard Skills’

Business Leader - Which key technical/digital skills will leaders be hiring for in the next six-month and three years?

Programming, project management, application development, web development and big data/analytics were top of the list, with our surveyed business leaders looking for these skills in the next six months.

In the near future, this changes slightly with big data, cyber security and AI/automation rising to the top. As already highlighted above in the data about trends in the industry, big data and artificial intelligence will look to aid businesses to provide better experiences, products and services for their customers and clients.

However, with growing concerns for cyber security, businesses are going to need to ensure that these services and products, alongside their own internal business data and systems and those of their clients, are fully secure and protected.

Business Leader - Why do leaders struggle to find technical skills?

The main reason business leaders struggle to find these skills is that they are competing with other businesses also looking for the same skills. With flexible working on offer and rising salaries, sometimes the competition isn’t even local to your company’s HQ.

The pool of talented candidates in your company’s area may not just be targeted by local businesses, but by UK-wide businesses that are able to offer remote working.

The ‘soft skills’

Non-Technology / Digital Worker & Technology / Digital Worker - What are the top 5 skills needed to carry out your job?

For us, this section identifies what is probably the biggest opportunity for the non-technical UK workforce with an interest in a career in technology or digital.

We asked both non-technology/digital workers and technology/digital workers to select the top five soft skills needed to carry out their job.

Business Leader - Which soft skills do you think are most important for people working in your technology/digital teams to have right now?

Business Leader - Which top three, if any, soft skills your find difficult to source?

Problem solving and communication (in terms of having the ability to communicate complex or technical scenarios) were in the top three skills that hiring managers were looking for. Both also appeared in the top five skills that business leaders found it most difficult to recruit for.

Communication and problem solving were also in the top five skills needed for non-technology workers to carry out their job right now.

Technology is continually changing, so much so that it would be difficult to have a successful career in technology/digital if you were not constantly keeping up to date, learning new versions of the latest technology, methods, platforms, systems and solutions.

So what is the constant theme?

Well, our technology knowledge might need continually updating and refreshing, but soft skills remain the same. In the technology and digital industry, being able to solve problems, communicate complex scenarios and ideas, creatively think about new ideas and solutions, while planning and prioritising, are essential skills.

These are also skills that are available in alternative talent pools, not just among technology professionals.

In three years’ time, business leaders felt that communication and problem-solving skills will still be high on the list to recruit for. However, creative thinking and leadership will increase in importance. Planning and prioritising, which is currently a top five skill for non-technology workers, also makes the list.

Going back to when we asked business leaders about automation, the overall consensus was that automation is not likely to take over all of our jobs in the next five years. Rather, it will create opportunity. If automated technology is able to replace process work and make our workforce more productive, then we will have more time to innovate and create new solutions to solve even more problems.

Creative thinking will then be at the very top of the list. We may no longer need to hire ‘hands’. It may be the case that, in the far future, computers will be able to do some or most of the thinking for us, which means hiring ‘heads’ may not be as difficult or necessary.

However, in the world of ‘experience’, having a team of people who are able to engage and truly understand the mindset and buying emotions of their customers and people in their teams will be crucial. We could be moving to the era of hiring ‘hearts’.

Business Leader - Why do you find these skills difficult to source?

"The education system doesn’t prepare people for the soft skills we need to succeed in teams, business and the world of collaboration."
"Bias exists that someone with strong technical skills usually isn’t that strong on soft skills."
"The recruitment process makes it difficult to identify soft skills."

We left this section optional for business leaders to respond to. From the qualitative analysis, it was clear that business leaders struggle to find strong technology and digital professionals with both the hard/technical skills required for the job and the right level of soft skills.

Other than creative thinking, organisations find it particularly challenging to find strong leadership skills in the world of technology.

If we take a look at the role of technology and how it has evolved in businesses over the past few decades, it has largely gone from being viewed as just a cost to the business, to now being considered as a key strategic enabler.

Technology never used to have a seat at the board. Now, there is the CTO, CIO and CDO. Technology and digital has progressed from just supporting and doing, to innovation: highly complex and creative work to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

If we take a look at the role of technology and how it has evolved in businesses over the past few decades, it has largely gone from being viewed as just a cost to the business, to now being considered as a key strategic enabler.

Technology never used to have a seat at the board. Now, there is the CTO, CIO and CDO. Technology and digital has progressed from just supporting and doing, to innovation: highly complex and creative work to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

It is now seen as a key part of the business strategy. With technology being at the very core of many businesses’ growth strategies, leadership is needed more than ever. Technology professionals have been thrust into the very centre of business strategy.

Some of the responses from business leaders consider that the education system does not support the development of soft skills early on. Is this something the UK government and education system need to take into consideration? Do we need to enhance our educational curriculum to support the additional learning of soft skills alongside the technical knowledge?

Without the necessary leadership skills, are organisations best equipped to make the right strategic decisions? Without good leadership skills managing and running the technical teams, could UK businesses be at risk of losing staff and generating unproductive environments and cultures?

*(This section was left open for comments.)

The Importance of soft vs hard skills

Business Leader - How important are soft skills to you when hiring?

Some 50 per cent of business leaders in our survey said that the relative importance of soft and hard skills would differ from role to role.

Only 8 per cent said technical/digital skills were more important than soft skills, which left almost half (49 per cent) of the respondents saying that soft skills were either equally or more important than technical skills when hiring for a role.

We asked the same managers if they would consider hiring someone without the technical background if they demonstrated all of the soft skills and a willingness to learn; 56 per cent said ‘yes’ and only 15 per cent said ‘no’.

This opens up an opportunity for people in non-technical roles with strong soft skills considering a career in technology or digital. It’s also important information for technology professionals. If they have the right attitude, culture fit and willingness to learn, this could open up new opportunities for them. However, someone with both the soft skills and the required technical experience will be in a very strong position indeed.

Graduate and junior hiring

Business Leader - If someone were to demonstrate all of the soft skills needed for a role and the willingness to learn, but did not have the technical background would you still consider hiring them?

When we asked leaders if they would hire someone with the willingness to learn but no technical background, 56 per cent said that they would and only 15 per cent said they wouldn’t.

The data also suggest that a number of business leaders feel the UK education system isn’t designed well for our future workforce to pick up the ability to learn new skills and soft skills in general.

Therefore, why are business leaders placing such a big emphasis on people coming from a degree background when they value soft skills as much as technical skills, would be prepared to hire someone without the relevant experience, and don’t see the UK education system as a place that’s properly preparing the next-generation workforce for the skills they really need?

The key suggestion here is that hiring managers may be used to hiring people from degree backgrounds. It could be a company or organisational rule.

However, if businesses and technology teams are going to work towards closing the skills gap, maybe we need to spend more effort really understanding what we actually need graduates and juniors to have and if the degrees are really relevant, or just nice to have because that’s what we’re used to.

If we can be open to hiring people with the willingness to learn, ability to pick up new skills quickly and those who have the right culture fit, then we have access to a much larger pool of candidates than just trying to target people with the right kind of degree.

Routes into the Technology Industry

Technology / Digital Worker - What led you into a career in technology?

Some 60 per cent of the technology and digital professionals we surveyed said that they have always had an interest in technology from a young age. At 37 per cent was a natural passion for technology and digital and also at 37 per cent, was because of a university education.

Non - Technology / Digital Worker - Would you ever consider a career in a tech or digital role? vs are you happy in your current role

Some 67 per cent of the non-technology professionals in our survey said that they would consider a career in technology or digital, and out of the respondents who currently like or love their current job on average 62 per cent would still consider a career in technology. That’s great news for the industry! But how can these people take the first steps towards having a career in technology/digital?

Cross-Training Into Tech

Technology / Digital Worker - Have you ever worked in another business function and been cross-trained to work in a technology /digital role?

The best advice for new people considering a career in technology or digital is to learn a whole set of new skills – which is possible, no matter what stage you’re at in your career. Out of all of the technology and digital workers we surveyed, 33 per cent were cross-trained into technology and digital from a different role/area of the business.

The main areas people came from were Operations, Sales, Project management, Consultancy, Finance and Administration. However, this isn’t the limit. If you look at everyone who responded ‘yes’ to the question and where they were cross-trained from, it spreads across all spectrums of roles and careers – creative, customer service, medical, you name it!

Technology / Digital Worker - Please detail how were you cross-trained

"self-funded training courses"
"Mix of on-the-job development and formal training“
"On the job and training courses”
"Paid attention and did it myself as my roles changed”
"Training courses provided by my company“
"I went back to university part time”
"Summer work experience“
"Adhoc, practicably in order to meet business demands"
"Started by managing simpler digital campaigns then moved into more complex web builds“

The majority of respondents were cross-trained informally, by shadowing people at their work, self-taught or completed further education either in their own time or as an in-between step before their career move into technology or digital. Very few said that they were formally cross-trained by their employer.

This suggests there’s potentially room for organisations to look at cross-training a little more closely as a way to help close the skills gap and support more talent coming into technology and digital careers. However, it is clear that it is the responsibility of the business leaders and the technology workforce to help support these people who are looking to make the move into technology/digital.

That may seem like a daunting, extra task that requires more time, but until we have a large enough workforce in the UK to carry out all of the technical roles, we’re only going to continue to feel stretched and overworked. A little support in the short term could help lead to having extremely valuable members in your team and business.

Business Leader - Does your organisation cross-train employees into technology/digital roles?

Business Leader - If yes, why

Business Leader - If no, why

Some 54 per cent of the business leaders we surveyed said that their organisations do cross-train individuals into technology and digital roles. For these companies, the main reason was to help their teams grow and allow them to experience something new. Struggling to find good talent was actually seventh on the list, which could suggest that some organisations may be missing a trick.

Business leader - Which areas do you cross train into?

Two of the key areas that companies cross-train people into were programming/software development and BI/analytics, which were both listed in the top five most sought-after technical skills and the most difficult to recruit for! Project management was top, however, with 46 per cent.

This is interesting as, traditionally, project management doesn’t always require a super-technical skill set, so it could be that organisations see this as a good stepping stone into more technical roles further down the line. Is this something we could look at and apply to some of the tougher areas such as programming and analytics? Are people put off by how technical they think they need to be?

Business Leader - What would you deem as the top three critical success factors for cross training an individual into the technology/digital team?

The most important question might be ‘What are the three critical success factors for cross-training an individual into a technology/digital team?’ Willingness to learn came right on top (49 per cent), again supporting the view that if you have the right soft skills and a willingness to learn, there are companies in the UK that will support, train and develop your career in the world of technology and digital.

What will help you on your journey?

Mentoring Matters

Technology and digital affect us all, no matter what your role is or where you are. More than ever before, mentors are supporting the journeys of others currently working in technology, or those wanting to get into technology, through mentoring methods helping to develop and support careers throughout the industry!

Although there is a large gap and an overall lack of skills in the UK for technology and digital roles, there are still thousands of individuals here and all over the world who are incredibly passionate about the industry and how it can make the world a better place.

Even more so, there are countless success stories of people who didn’t have an interest in technology at a young age, didn’t study for a computer science or mathematics degree but at some point in their lives decided to make the move into technology and digital and haven’t looked back.

How can you help towards closing the technology and digital skills gap?

1 - Mentoring

Throughout our 6 years of research, we’ve found that the majority of people who have had a mentor throughout their career said it has helped them with both personal and career development. Taking a look at your own career, have you ever experienced times when you could have benefitted from a voice of experience to guide and support you? Thousands of people feel like this. If we’re really going to close the gap, everyone needs to work together, share knowledge, advice and support. By joining a mentoring programme either within your business or externally you can help support either existing technology professionals that may need a bit of coaching, or brand new professionals looking to join the industry who need guidance on how to take their first steps.

2 - Support the Cross-training process

When business leaders decide to invest in a cross-training programme, there’s no denying it can be a painful process to start with for everyone. It costs money and more importantly, time to teach and guide inexperienced hires. However, if implemented properly, the long-term rewards for having someone talented, knowledgeable of your business and tools, motivated and a great cultural fit, far outweigh having an under-resourced team, or a team made up of skilled individuals who may not fit your team’s culture.

3 - Support the Diversity Agenda

Having a diverse team is more important than ever before. People are realising the tangible and cultural benefits of having a team made up of diverse individuals who can contribute to new ideas, approaches and innovations. Getting there is hard though. The technology industry is not diverse, so we have to work extra hard to make it so. If your organisation does have diversity on the agenda, support this in whatever way you can - offer to mentor new hires; educate at diversity events; attend unconscious bias training - or if they don’t, then maybe do a little research yourself and present this to your Team Lead or Business Manager.

4 - The industry needs more leaders

Not only are we lacking on technical skills , but it was clear from our survey that finding technical professionals with strong leadership ability was also tough. Not everyone has ambitions to manage a team, however the nature and speed that products and services are being produced today necessitates strong leaders to encourage and facilitate team work and communication. Leadership is the ability to help people achieve things they don’t think are possible – which we’re doing on a daily basis with technology.

5 - Get your soft skills up to scratch (Problem Solving, Communication, Creativity,)

If leadership really isn’t your thing, then there are lots of other soft skills business leaders are looking for. Problem solving, communication and creativity are all high on the list. Take some time out to improve some of the basics to ensure your own personal and career development.

6 - Education, Education, Education

Even if you just engage with one class in one school to educate students on the possibilities of careers in technology and digital, this will help. We still have a huge hurdle to jump when it comes to changing the perception of technology and this is a great way to do it early. There are so many schools and teachers that are crying out for support and guidance and who is better placed to help than the technology professionals and business leaders themselves?