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Early Development Programmes Vital for Addressing the Data Centre Skills Shortage

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In the current digital landscape, the demand for professionals is rapidly increasing, while the skills gap is also widening. It’s not just in the data centre sector, but across the technology world, sourcing technical talent and strategies to attract and retain talent continue to be an issue.

The technical skills gap in the UK is a constant uphill battle for many organisations, to the point that proactive measures must be taken to address it, if businesses want to drive industry growth. That’s why Pulsant are highlighting the success of their new apprenticeship programme as a first step towards nurturing the next generation of data centre leaders, helping close the gap that plagues their industry.

The importance of investing in future talent

Pulsant believes apprenticeships are the cornerstone of their talent pathway, that offers young professionals’ unique opportunities to earn money, while gaining industry-relevant qualifications and practical experience. In these uncertain times, with many young people seeking their career paths following post-pandemic disruptions, apprenticeships prove to be a clear pathway to success.

Pulsant have experienced success with onboarding five apprentices in one cohort, which has been their most ambitious investment to date. Their programme allows apprentices to take up positions across their facilities, which are in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Maidenhead and a Manchester data centre. The new apprentices will work alongside seasoned professionals, who will help guide them towards attaining those industry-recognised qualifications.

A lot of school leavers and graduates unsurprisingly lack awareness of the data centre world, despite those same people may have an interest in relevant technology roles. With this in mind, Pulsant have recognised the importance of collaborating with the likes of Gateshead College and Elite Training in Scotland to tap into existing talent pools and identify promising candidates. This collaborative approach has proved to be invaluable to the data centre experts, ensuring a seamless transition for apprentices into the data centre world while also equipping their internal leaders with the necessary skills to mentor and support their development.

It’s a win-win situation

Pulsant believes their apprenticeship programme is not just about acquiring new talent, but more about creating a culture that’s inspired to learn and develop within their organisation. It delivers real value to their internal team, offering them the opportunity to grow their own skillsets through coaching, mentoring and leadership.

For others internally, it also offers them an opportunity to take on a supervisory role and hone their mentoring abilities, so it is important for Pulsant to ensure the appropriate tools and support are implemented and ready to be offered. After all, jumping from a technical role to a leadership one, brings the need for the right training and support for new managers, to manage, mentor and formally appraise the new apprentices to meet their on-the-job qualifications standards, which Pulsant finds just as important as the recruitment process itself. By fostering this reciprocal learning environment, they are not only investing in the future of their industry but also ensuring their internal team remains at the forefront of innovation and excellence.

An endless learning cycle begins

The new apprenticeship programme allows Pulsant to create a self-perpetuating learning cycle within their business to retain and develop talent by offering continuous growth opportunities. Their new apprentices will gain deep organisational knowledge alongside their qualifications, but they’ll, in turn, bring fresh perspectives that will challenge conventional thinking. Their differing approaches to problem-solving and unique generational viewpoints on the modern workplace can challenge Pulsant’s thinking, thus should be embraced. Its vital for Pulsant to remain receptive to these diverse perspectives, as today’s apprenticeships are not just their future, they will also represent future clients. By listening and incorporating their ideas, Pulsant can be better at adapting their processes and offerings to meet evolving demands.

On the other hand, Pulsant’s existing team have an opportunity to not only share their knowledge, but also gain leadership skills that are equally important for the future of growth. This perpetuates a self-sustaining cycle where past apprentices can nurture the next generation. Some of Pulsant’s current leaders, have started off as apprentices themselves and display a “pay it forward” mindset. Hopefully, this new programme will deliver the next tranche of Pulsant leaders to help them grow in years to come.

The future is bright

As Pulsant embarks on this journey, they believe that apprenticeships can be one of the cornerstones of a strong future talent pipeline. Fostering a culture of learning and development will increase people’s engagement, job satisfaction, and loyalty. Additionally, it provides the platform to ensure our talent pool remains skilled and adaptable, enabling it to respond effectively to changing business needs and competitive pressures.

If organisations within the data centre space were to embrace these kinds of changes, they’d not only address their immediate talent needs but also lay the foundation for future growth and success. The industry together can build a more resilient workforce that drives innovation and propels the data centre industry forward.

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