Jas Hayre, Skills Associate for West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC), supports both businesses and providers to meet local employer’s skills and training requirements within the Leeds City Region.
With extensive experience of employer supported training, and working within regional funding streams, he can assist partners, colleges, businesses and stakeholders to best access and allocate appropriate funding provision.
We spoke to Jas about the skills gap and what he would change to give people greater opportunities and businesses access to the talent that is needed.
Tackling the skills gap
He comments: “The skills gap is a complex topic. If it was something that we could easily fix, then we would. In reality, there are many moving parts that need to come together if we are to make the changes needed to tackle the problem. It needs to start in education.
“For example, providing tech courses as part of all subject areas. At WYCC, we support tech qualifications delivery into a variety of non tech apprenticeships. This equips candidates with the knowledge and practical application they need for future roles.
“As I see it, there are three key areas that we need to consider if we are to address the skills gap in tech. These are: fully funded tech courses for those in employment; tech skills checks in SMEs; and tech skills experts linked to SMEs.
“In this first instance, funded tech courses need to be sector based, not generic. There is only so much value that can be delivered from generic insight. However, when you make this specific to a sector, it becomes more relevant and applicable in practice.
“With skills checks for SMEs, this needs to be for the company and then for individuals. After all, identifying where the problems are, will then equip a business with the insight it needs to formulate a plan.
“Finally, with funded support, linking tech skills experts to SMEs would give businesses access to specialists to make recommendations that deliver sustainable change for the longer-term.”
Big data and analysis
While the skills gap is a topic that Jas feels needs to be addressed, his prediction for the next 12 months is that big data gathering and analysis and green tech will be the two ecosystems within the sector that will see fastest growth.
He comments: “We have all seen examples of what can be achieved with big data. The challenge is ensuring the right data is captured, in the correct way and then analysed to deliver meaningful outputs.
“Businesses are aware of the insights that big data can deliver and the positive impact that this can have. The challenge is often to allocate the resource required to ensure that the information is analysed, and changes are made, to ensure the findings are applied.
“I’m sure it will come as no shock to hear that I predict Green Tech to be an area of growth in the next 12-months. While companies of all sizes across the world are now more mindful of sustainability and the impact that they have generally on the environment, I am interested in using tech skills to reduce carbon usage.
“People are often unaware of the true environmental impact of tech, and I would like to see more exploration into this topic and innovative ideas to solve these challenges.”
Dinner with Steve Jobs
Finally, we ask Jas if there was one person he could have dinner with, who would it be and what would he ask them.
He comments: “I would have dinner with Steve Jobs, and I would ask him how tech can become more sustainable and reduce environmental impact. It would be really interesting to get his thoughts and to find out what we can do now and what longer-term thoughts and ideas he may have.
“I honestly believe that with the right investment the UK could be a global powerhouse for tech, however we need to make sure that we are taking factors such as sustainability into consideration at every step of this journey.”
For more information about Jas Hayre and the projects he delivers as Skills Associate for West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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