· Insights

How retrained candidates could change the workplace

One of the many impacts of the pandemic has been an acceleration in the number of workers reevaluating their current role and career path.

In an Institute of Coding (IoC) survey, 70% of British workers said they have considered changing careers within the last two years and 44% said the pandemic and lockdowns have affected their careers. There was also a surge in online learning, as 52% considered starting, or did start, a course to upskill or reskill.

This coincides with a time when there is an increasing number of job vacancies and record investment in the tech sector according to government data, and employers, recruiters and HR professionals are finding it hard to attract the right talent.

The number of tech jobs available in the first half of 2021 outstripped that of pre-pandemic levels (H1 2019), with the number of advertised tech roles 42% higher in June 2021 than at the same time in 2019. In fact, tech roles made up the highest proportion (13%) of those available in the first half of 2021, that number further increased from the same period in 2020 (12.3%), according to Tech Nation Jobs & Skills report 2021.

It’s great news then that 94% of working Brits believe a job in digital or tech could be a well-paid and stable career and 69% of those who want to or have started a reskilling course are opting for tech-related subjects, according to the IoC.

As employed people are increasingly looking at upskilling and reskilling options to boost or change their career path, there is an opportunity for employers to access people with strong existing workplace skills along with the latest digital and tech expertise. The IoC and partners are working on new educational pathways to help learners and employers take advantage of this shifting landscape.

Rethink traditional education and the talent pipeline

Upskilled and reskilled candidates are a highly desirable option as they have a vast array of skills and strengths to offer employers.

  • Those who are studying on IoC-led programmes are acquiring qualifications from some of the UK’s most prominent universities. For example, the IoC offers 16-week Skills Bootcamps in top tech subjects from the University of Bath, Birmingham City University, Durham University, University of Huddersfield, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Open University, to many others.
  • IoC-led courses and programmes are developed in collaboration with industry to ensure that the skills being taught align with employer need, and include real-world applications and business scenarios, not just theory.
  • By creating inclusive routes to upskilling and reskilling, we are seeing workers from more diverse backgrounds entering tech education and careers. For example, our current Skills Bootcamp courses have included 45% women, significantly higher than the average 19% seen in traditional digital skills higher education6. Further, 37% of IoC Skills Bootcamp learners are from a minority background.
  • Candidates who have changed careers bring new perspectives and transferable skills to the role, alongside their updated skill set.

The voices of new talent

Oluseun Adeogun, 40, a graduate from Institute of Coding (IoC) Skills Bootcamp at Manchester Metropolitan University, signed up to the course after taking a career break to look after family.

She said: “I signed up to the Manchester Metropolitan Bootcamp as I wanted to get relevant, up-to-date and cutting-edge skills that would help restart my career, stand out during the recruitment process and then ultimately get a job.

"What was great about the course was that it didn’t solely focus on the specific technological skill, but also included other elements of its application in the workplace, for example entrepreneurial soft skills, interpersonal skills and working in a team, which is ultimately what a role will involve.”

Santrice Rivers, 31, a fellow graduate on Manchester Metropolitan’s recent Skills Bootcamp, added: “Before the pandemic, I was a flight attendant but always wanted to work in cyber security; I’d love to be a Cyber Forensic Analyst.

“The Institute of Coding-led Skills Bootcamp from Manchester Metropolitan University has enabled me to retrain to do just that. As well as gaining a thorough understanding of coding and cyber security, I also learnt about business and the varied real-world uses for coding. I’m excited to embark on my new career in a role that will enable me to put all of this into practice and continue to learn and grown as the industry does.”

Accessing new talent

As you look to keep your business future ready and fill vacancies with top talent, consider taking advantage of this newly emerging, diverse talent pipeline of recently upskilled and reskilled people.

Employers looking to find out more about the IoC-trained candidates, including the skill sets available and their graduation dates, should email Skillsbootcamps@deloitte.co.uk. A specialised team is standing by to help match employers with qualified candidates for their specific needs.

You can also visit the IoC website for more information.