Technology recruitment specialists Lorien, part of the global Impellam Group, have partnered with schools outreach provider TechGirls in a bid to tackle the country’s STEM skills shortage, and promote greater diversity within technology. The partnership was launched with an event at Lorien’s London HQ, which saw 19 sixth-form girls find out more about the opportunities available, as well as tips on building their professional brand.
Figures show that the UK is losing £1.5 billion a year through a lack of people to fill STEM vacancies, while women currently make up just 17% of the technology workforce.
As a result, there is a big focus on tomorrow’s talent, with an emphasis on encouraging the next generation of women. TechGirls have provided fun, inclusive and interactive workshops to over 1000 young girls to date, and are regarded as a key organisation in helping bridge the skills gap.
Lorien have worked with a host of big-name clients on Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. MD David Gettins believes tech businesses are better placed than the education system to encourage and attract more talent.
“I was talking to my daughter and was amazed to find that in her IT class, they’re still teaching input and output. There’s still a lot of admin-based skills being taught rather than programming. Even with the introduction of Computer Science as a GCSE, we’re not seeing enough interest.
To be honest, I think the education curriculum moves too slowly to keep up with technology. But if we as a country are serious about competing with the rest of the world, we need to develop tech skills quicker. It’s businesses who can do this best, by actively encouraging the next generation and providing more training opportunities.
I also think it’s important to show young girls that a tech career is exciting and achievable. Organisations like TechGirls are great at this, and I’m really looking forward to this partnership.”
TechGirls founder Sukvinder Kathuria said:
“One of our missions at TechGirls is to connect Education to Industry. With technology being ubiquitous across all industries, we work to empower the next generation, so they have the knowledge and confidence to influence their career choices. The outreach session was well received and the students enjoyed the TechGirls interactive workshop. They were free to be expressive and creative.
An introduction to the importance of personal branding was delivered by Lorien and the students were encouraged to build their profile. They are now armed with useful information to make positive choices for their future careers.”