By Faez Ahmed and Rachel Phillips
It comes as no surprise to most that UK companies are currently facing a massive digital skills shortage, and the past year has only served to intensify the issue.
With all sectors forced to digitise rapidly due to the pandemic, more than 70% of businesses are finding themselves critically short of the digitally skilled workers they need in order to remain competitive.
But demand is fast outstripping supply from traditional talent avenues; there are simply not enough computer science graduates or candidates from traditional pools to fill the vast number of roles required.
It’s time for us all to think differently about who can fill the digital skills gap – and at ServiceNow, our NextGen Programme is doing just that.
Our comprehensive suite of NextGen training programmes is designed to shine a light on talent from all walks of life.
That’s why, when the Refugee Council presented the scale of the employment crisis among professionals newly granted asylum in the UK, we immediately recognised the untapped potential of this community.
Upskilling top talent through ServiceNow and the Refugee Council
Working in partnership with the Refugee Council, we designed an 8-week training programme geared towards equipping participants with in-demand ServiceNow skills.
Training kicked off on 15th March with ten talented participants coming from the Refugee Council.
During the programme, students are provided a strong foundational knowledge of the Now Platform® within five courses, including an introduction to ServiceNow® Virtual Agent.
The jointly-run programme will see students graduate with two certifications in high-demand with our customers – Certified System Administrator and Certified Application Developer – and enter full-time employment. In fact, PwC has already recruited two of these talented individuals, who are attending the training as part of the PwC team.
What makes the programme especially unique is the additional support for both employers and participants through the Refugee Council. Alongside technical training from ServiceNow, students receive employment and soft skills coaching from the Refugee Council to prepare them for the transition to the UK workplace. Trainees continue to receive care with structured points of feedback during the internship, while employers receive refugee awareness sessions to gain a better understanding of their new employee’s background.
Raising awareness through the Refugee Council
The Refugee Council has many years’ experience in supporting refugees into employment by connecting their clients with partner organisations for employment – a vital step towards rebuilding their lives in the UK.
In 2020, nearly 10,000 asylum seekers were granted stay status, yet still faced considerable challenges.
With only twenty-eight days to find a place to live and secure a source of income, 57% of refugees end up sleeping rough after leaving asylum accommodation and find it even more difficult to get work.
According to Holly Asquith, Employer Engagement Manager at the Refugee Council:
“Many refugees are highly-skilled professionals who had to flee their home countries, yet struggle to have their education and skills recognised in the UK and are unable to find work as a result. Through our partnerships with organisations like ServiceNow, we’re able to get our clients back on track through rewarding employment.”
Recruiting the best and brightest
At ServiceNow, we are constantly on the look-out for talented people to train and fill the digital skills gap businesses are facing.
By partnering with the Refugee Council, who deeply understand the barriers their clients face, and prepare them to work in the UK, we have been able to develop a programme that matches valuable talent with great opportunities.
Says Asquith, “Our clients bring such incredible passion and resilience to any company they ultimately work for – yet it’s not just an opportunity for them, but for employers too. In recruiting highly skilled people with different life experiences, employers benefit from talented, highly motivated people who, with the right support, are ready to hit the ground running!”
To our customers ever-in-need of employees trained in ServiceNow technology, this programme is for you, too. The candidates coming through all NextGen programmes will have the necessary skills to make an immediate contribution from day one – so, if you have positions to fill, do get in touch at email@example.com. We have a pool of skilled and talented professionals ready and raring to go!
Changing the narrative with the right supportWhen a young man reached the UK to escape persecution from his home country, he arrived alone with only his accreditations in hand, yet hoped for a brighter future.
But after being granted the right to remain, he discovered his education wasn't recognised; more critically, he had less than a month to secure a place to live and find employment, otherwise he would be homeless and destitute.
He had no one to turn to until he was put in touch with the Refugee Council.
Through their services, he found work in a coffee shop, started English lessons, and converted his accreditations allowing him to start University, and graduate with First-Class Honours.
Now, he’s set to join the ServiceNow and Refugee Council programme and is one of the two students pre-recruited by PwC, with an excellent job awaiting him after completing the course.
He attributes his success to the Refugee Council and ServiceNow, “When I came to the UK, I didn’t know anyone. But because of this programme, I suddenly have so much to look forward to. Through hard work and the right support behind me, I can create a better future for myself and give back to society in return.”