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A large concern that I’m hearing across the industry, certainly in the UK at least, is that there seems to be a widening gulf separating those who have digital skills and those who don't.
I think this is partly due to a lack of training investment by companies, for fear of staff leaving to rival companies later on: the online sector has a reputation for notoriously high staff churn.
As a wider focus on recruiting staff who can hit the ground running continues, this may turn into a toxic, cyclical scenario, where those who “can” are hired – and those who “can’t” are unable to get a look in. This in itself could be damaging to the industry long term, for various reasons.
This is not to say that they lack the skills, ability or dedication for working in the sector. Perversely, it’s quite likely that there are some people currently working in senior digital roles who have less aptitude for the sector than other individuals coming up through the ranks.
But the main focus of this post within the wider context of digital skills and training is graduate recruitment.
To their credit, there are a lot of companies in the digital space who hire graduates, but this seems to be very much on an ad hoc basis – a case of needing to fill a junior position, due to business growth or similar circumstances.
In contrast, graduate schemes within digital seem to be quite thin on the ground, especially when given the size of the sector.
It was a graduate scheme that gave me my big break into the world of digital marketing and advertising, so I have a lot of respect for any agencies, technology suppliers or companies in this space who regularly run graduate recruitment – not because they have to, but because they want to – and I want to draw attention to the organisations who annually make this commitment.
It’s coming up to that time of year where there’s a lot of raw talent fresh out of university and companies should be making the most of this. Equally, graduates should be actively trying to find the support they need and making efforts to understand the intricacies within this line of work.
Econsultancy is focusing on supporting both of these things in the long term.
A starting place for this would be to create a publicly accessible showcase of graduate training schemes within the digital industry.
Below is an ongoing list that I've started and intend to expand...
Who have I not included?
If you think you fit the bill, you can either add a comment or contact us directly and I’ll check it out. The main criterion is that you can demonstrate an active, annual commitment to hiring recent graduates, as part of a structured training programme.
As a rule, I’m not looking for intern programmes or graduate jobs, any postings as such in the comments will be deleted.
This is expliclty a list of pure career development programmes for the new blood wanting to find a path into the business.
UK Graduate Schemes
Quirk (Cape Town, Jozi, London)