Students at DCW

HireHigher expands talent scheme to address digital skills shortage

HireHigher, an initiative to address the rampant skills shortage in the digital infrastructure sector, has announced its plans to extend the scheme to assemble the industry’s Rising Stars with sixth-form students from an additional seven schools across London, the South West, and Wales. This year, it also plans to host 60 students from technical colleges in London at the Data Centre World.

Adelle Desouza launched the Rising Stars Programme as a wide-reaching talent development initiative. This initiative is geared towards supporting young professionals, increasing employers’ esteem for young people, and increasing the talent pool of the data centre industry, thereby building a strong, future-proof infrastructure.

The programme also provides students with an unprecedented opportunity to visit a data centre or a supporting facility, participate in workshops, and interact with a panel of ‘Rising Stars’ about their varying jobs and the unique paths leading to the industry.

Commenting on the campaign, Adelle Desouza said, “I am proud that we have the support of more data centre providers this year, including CyrusOne, who were our first supporter, VIRTUS Data Centres and EnerSys. Together, we are showcasing all the amazing careers and opportunities that exist in our industry, and the Rising Stars are helping bridge the knowledge gap between students and work.”

“Our program is also educating the next generation about the importance of the data centre industry to their everyday lives,” said Desouza.

In light of recent statistics by the Harnham Group, which suggest that the number of female professionals entering the UK data industry has plummeted from 35% in 2022 to a meagre 11% in 2023, Desouza stressed the importance of reinforcing the benefits of the industry.

Desouza said, “We all have a responsibility to ensure we are demonstrating what the industry has to offer and that it can be an inclusive and happy place to work for everyone. My aim is to continue to grow the program year on year; we just need more companies to invest in the programme.”

Steve Hone, CEO of The Data Centre Alliance, approved the campaign, saying, “I am immensely proud to have worked alongside Adelle from the start of her campaign and to see it go from strength to strength. The Rising Stars and student programme are a concrete way of helping resolve the skills shortage in the data centre sector. Adelle Desouza’s vision has now become an incredibly inspiring and exciting reality.”

One of the workshops that the students partake in during the programme is designed to evaluate how their unique patterns of energy can influence their surroundings and possibly help them identify a rewarding career trajectory. The Young People Index leads this workshop, facilitated through a typical career assessment scenario to provide an inkling of the kinds of queries and activities they will encounter while applying for jobs.

Nathan Ott, Chief Polisher at The GC Index and Co-visionary of The Young People Index said, “We are delighted to be working alongside HireHigher again this year. We have a fundamental belief that everyone can make an impact in their world.”

“The Young People Index provides schools, colleges, youth organisations and young people themselves with access to data they have never had before. This enables them to make more informed decisions about their future. We have seen it liberate young people to make a positive impact in their world,” said Ott.

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