Talent gap: Young girl using computer
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Tech-savvy kids: Learning how to turn skill into a career

2 Feb 2017

There is a growing talent gap in the tech sector. One way to fill it? Show young children why tech is worth loving.

One of the biggest talking points in the tech sector is the talent gap. It is huge and continues to expand, with the talent pool unable to keep up with the growth of the sector.

As such, it is increasingly falling upon the companies themselves to find ways of bolstering their staff by growing the talent pipeline in any way possible. For many, a simple philosophy of ‘get them while they’re young’ may fit the bill.

“There is a significant demand for high-skilled, work-ready talent in technology jobs in the sector, and it’s a sector where the market is not keeping up with demand,” said Robert Cahill, MD of operations technology production support at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“I think that young people are unaware of the number of technology jobs on the market, and they are often unaware of the different types of technology jobs on the market.”

We spoke with Cahill and his colleague Yvonne Jeffery at a recent event held in the bank’s Leopardstown offices, designed to encourage primary-age students to consider tech as a career path.

Jeffery, co-chair of the Women in Technology and Operations network at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told us about the bank’s drive to not only grow the talent pool, but also to ensure it is reflective of broader society.

“One of the aims of this internal employee network is to try and encourage young females to pursue careers in technology,” said Jeffery.

“We’re committed to creating an inclusive working environment. Having a diverse workforce can increase productivity and creativity …”

At the event, the young students participating were able to explore a number of different aspects of the business, discovering what a role in banking tech is really like. They even got to wear the guise of a tech employee for the day.

“Young people are very technical-savvy when it comes to using technology. What today provides is a way for them to be creative or innovative with technology,” said Cahill.

Whether this will make the difference when it comes to career choices remains to be seen.

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Kirsty Tobin
By Kirsty Tobin

Kirsty Tobin served as careers editor of Silicon Republic from 2015 up to August 2017. When she was younger, she had a dream where she started and won a fight with a T-Rex, so she’s pretty sure she kicked butt at this, too. Passions include eating all the cake, watching more TV than is healthy and sassy comebacks.

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