From education to employment

GP Bullhound’s Future Stars Initiative to Tackle Concerns Over Graduate Job Opportunities​

Young people across the globe are taking the leap into a very different world of work to the one we knew pre-pandemic. It’s been a hugely challenging period for businesses and workers, and for many the pandemic has created the need to completely revamp a long-standing business model.  

One industry that has excelled, and has even grown exponentially over the past two years, is the technology sector.

The tech sector was already experiencing enormous growth and expansion before the pandemic hit. In 2019, there were 2.9 million people employed in the digital tech economy – an increase of 40% from 2017, making it the fastest growing industry in the UK. 

In spring 2020, tech businesses and particularly early-stage start-ups feared the worst – the start-up scene took a hit in the short term amidst staff layoffs and halts on funding. But we also saw a wave of new businesses across e-commerce, healthcare and gaming taking over, and these verticals grew significantly as social distancing restrictions redefined how we spent our days.

The UK now sits in third place on the podium for global investment into technology. According to our 2021 Titans Report, the tech industry doubled in value through the pandemic, with the UK remaining top of the list in the number of unicorn companies.

One third of jobs worldwide are expected to be transformed by tech by 2025. But there is one headwind that may stand in the way of this powerhouse industry.

There is immense demand for talent in the sector, but supply has been failing to meet the market’s rapid hiring needs due to a prominent skills gap in the industry and the war for talent. In fact, over three in four executives in the UK say that it’s difficult to recruit people with the right digital skills.

Reskilling and upskilling must become a viable option for aspiring people of every background and socioeconomic status. Education providers must take ownership of this early in curating courses and programs specifically designed to close the skills gap, and businesses have a very significant role to play too.

There is progress to be made in enabling academic institutions to infuse the future careers of their students in the courses they teach, and employers stand much to gain when they provide opportunities for students to supplement their classroom-style learning with on-the-job experience.

While efforts to close the skills gap will generate positive resourcing and revenue outcomes for employers, it should also aspire to increase diversity in the sector. And given the impact of the pandemic on education, it has never been more important for companies to provide access, skills and opportunities to graduates of all backgrounds.

This is precisely why we built the GP Bullhound Future Stars program – inspiring the next generation to explore a career in the fast growing tech and finance field, where we offer immense opportunities for growth and are working to shape a more inclusive and diverse technology sector.

Our 2022 program offers a two week work experience across our global offices, including London, Manchester, San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and Madrid. We will provide 100 university students who possess a passion for finance and technology with the chance to immerse and experience what it’s really like to work in investment management and investment banking, in the cut and thrust of the booming tech world.

Young people are having to reassess their future and forge a new pathway to success. We hope to see programs like Future Stars gaining support along with new creative initiatives to make finance and tech careers attainable for students who may not know how to break in or see the full scope of opportunity on offer.

There is immense talent just outside our company doors, and it’s up to employers to provide meaningful career experiences for young talent and equip the next generation with the skills needed to make a positive impact on the rapidly evolving tech sector.

Kristin Tougias is Chief People Officer at GP Bullhound

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