Data on a screen

 Responding to @MthreeC Research, @BBCDragonsDen star, @pierslinney, joins campaign to increase diversity in tech roles  

New research has revealed that misconceptions and a lack of awareness are preventing many young people from pursuing technology careers, which have been shown to be some of the most recession proof.

Despite rising levels of youth unemployment, the report by global emerging talent and reskill training provider, mthree, found that more than three-quarters (78%) of financial services, insurance, pharmaceuticals and life sciences businesses continued hiring for entry level and graduate tech roles throughout the pandemic in 2020.

Even more promisingly, 92% confirmed that they are currently planning to recruit entry level and graduate tech talent in 2021 – 46% at the level they usually would, and 46% at a slightly reduced rate.

This is in stark contrast to the wider jobs market; just 60% of private sector organisations recruited 16-24-year-olds in 2020, and only 43% are planning to do so in 2021, according to the CIPD.

Becs Roycroft, senior director at mthree, commented: “Entry level technology recruitment has remained buoyant in recent months, even while other sectors have been badly affected by the current difficult circumstances.

“Fortunately, this is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future: the tech industry is still growing rapidly and the digital skills gap is becoming a bigger problem for employers, creating an urgent need for lots of driven new talent.”

Perceptions and misconceptions

However, the report also found that there is a distinct lack of awareness of these job opportunities amongst many young people.

Only a third (32%) of 18–24-year-olds who are not currently working in tech believe that the industry offers a wide range of career choices, and just a quarter (26%) think that it currently provides excellent career opportunities.

Meanwhile, three quarters (74%) do not think that careers in technology are likely to be some of the most futureproof, and over a fifth (22%) said that they don’t know anything about careers in technology at all.

There are also apparent concerns about the industry’s lack of diversity: 16% of female respondents said that they believe that the industry is too male dominated, and 12% think that they wouldn’t feel welcome in the industry.

One in 10 (10%) of those from a mixed ethnic background, along with 1 in 10 (10%) of Black respondents, are worried that the industry is not ethnically diverse enough, and 21% of those who identify as homosexual think that they would not feel welcome, compared with 9% of heterosexuals.

Tech’s diversity problem

While there has been a big diversity push in recent years, mthree’s research found that two-fifths (40%) of businesses currently struggle to recruit entry level tech employees from underrepresented groups.

Consequently, diversity in the sector is still far too low: the latest figures show that only 15% of tech workers are from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and just 19% of the tech workforce is female, compared with 49% of the total UK workforce.

According to the research, 71% of tech workers aged 18-24 have felt uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or neurodevelopmental condition.

This shows that in addition to improving awareness of tech roles, we must also ensure businesses are creating a company culture which people from all backgrounds can connect with to ensure they are retaining as well as attracting talent from underrepresented groups.

Following the research, former Dragon’s Den star and successful tech entrepreneur, Piers Linney, has called for more young people to explore the different career paths offered by the industry, and encouraged businesses to widen their talent pool to improve their diversity and inclusion.

Commenting on the issue, Piers Linney said: “It’s really clear from this research that not enough is being done to advertise the fantastic job opportunities available in the tech industry or to improve its reputation.

“This is a real shame, particularly in the current circumstances, as it means that certain demographics will continue to benefit from these opportunities more than others, contributing to the inequality that’s so rife in the UK.”

Piers continued: “Tech’s diversity problem is well-documented, so it’s understandable why lots of young people are worried that they won’t feel comfortable in the sector due to their gender, ethnicity or sexuality.

“However, there are many businesses that are genuinely committed to improving their diversity and inclusion, and they can only achieve this with greater numbers of enthusiastic applicants from underrepresented groups.

“I would strongly urge young people to do their own research into the industry, even if they believe it’s not for them, as there is a good chance there’s a role they’re not aware of that could actually be a great fit, and kickstart a really fruitful career.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page