Richard Hilton
Jenny Bell - Marketing Manager
Author
Jenny Bell
Marketing Manager
7 June 2024
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Bridging Minds, Shaping Futures: The Power of Shared Knowledge

york st john university students

Summary

  • UK’s digital tech sector grew 50% faster than the wider economy between 2017 and 2020

  • 70% of UK businesses are struggling to find employees with the necessary cloud expertise

  • We have started to work closely with the students at St John University in York

  • We were invited to take part at one of the University’s In-Panel talks as well as holding a specific In Session Talk

The UK Tech Sector

The UK’s tech sector continues to expand rapidly in the UK, with cloud computing playing a pivotal role in driving this growth. According to a report by Tech Nation, the UK’s digital tech sector grew 50% faster than the wider economy between 2017 and 2020, creating a significant demand for skilled professionals in cloud computing.

The UK Cloud Skills Report 2021, published by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), highlighted a shortage of cloud-related skills in the UK workforce. The report found that 70% of UK businesses are struggling to find employees with the necessary cloud expertise, indicating a pressing need for skilled cloud professionals which is hindering their ability to fully leverage cloud technologies.

Remember the professor who sparked your passion or the industry mentor who guided your career trajectory? These relationships are the backbone of progress. So as part of our ESG work, we have started to work closely with the students at St John University in York in order to bridge the gap between industry and education with this now being more critical than ever. We are very passionate about bringing on the next generation of technologists and believe in playing our part, supporting our local communities and the wider society.

Engaging the Next Generation

Engaging young talent when they face significant hurdles starting their careers is just one way we can help make a difference. Our seasoned professionals were invited to take part at one of the University’s In-Panel talks as well as holding a specific In Session Talk for selected students.

The In-Panel Session

The In-Panel session was facilitated by Patrick Loasby, who is part of the Careers, Placements and Student Opportunities team at the University, and was held in the Career Space on campus, which can hold up to 40 students. The talk was open to all areas of study, including Computer Science, Software Design, Cyber Security, and Game Design, and to students across all 3 levels of study.

On the panel was our very own Richard Hilton, CSO Private Sector and Ben Moorhouse, Head of Sales and Jon Rowley from RotaCloud.

 

A variety of questions were asked by Patrick, from initial introductions, current role and how their role fits within the company, to what has been their journey from initial education / training to now. The guys also took their time to share and explain about the challenges they faced along the way, as well as how they stay updated with the latest trends and developments and how much this informs their practice.

There was some very interesting debate when questions were asked about what the major industry changes are that they had experienced or were experiencing and what they foresee coming in the short to medium term. AI was touched on heavily, with Richard explaining that Singular AI (artificial intelligence systems that are designed to perform specific tasks or solve particular problems) will be fantastic in areas like healthcare (e.g. fast-tracking x-rays diagnostics or analysing blood results, etc.) as these systems are typically narrow in scope and are optimised for high performance in a single domain. However, he was less favourable about Generative AI which focuses on creating new content or data that is similar to the data it was trained on – highlighting the many risks of biased and fake data that can potentially have some very unwelcomed results. Richard Stressed the new need for regulation and legislation, as without parameters and controls this Technology Era could run away from us.

Universities are a fantastic melting point for cultivating fresh ideas and embedding academic rigor for the next generation of talent coming through and combined with Industry, you get the best of both worlds. Many graduates lack the practical skills demanded by employers of today, so when industry leaders invest in universities, they’re not just shaping individual careers but strengthening the fabric of communities. By sharing their insights, they equip students with the tools needed to thrive in a competitive landscape, bridging the gap between theory and practice. We believe that beyond profits, companies have a duty to invest in the next generation and give back to society.

It’s not just about imparting knowledge, but also nurturing talent, instilling confidence, and igniting curiosity. The future belongs to those who are willing to share their wisdom and shape the minds of tomorrow.

 

Thank you once again for accepting to give a talk and sharing your expertise with our students.

Hamidreza Bagheri, Ph.D., FHEA,
Lecturer in Computer Science, York St John University