Editor: Only way is up when you give people savvy skills for future

Ey up, there’s something not quite right about the way we prepare Sheffield’s workforce of the future.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 6:43 am

This city has hundreds of jobs in the booming digital sector and nowhere near enough people with the right skills to fill them.

The salary is far higher than the average and the possibilities in the future are endless, not to mention the fact that they are available today.

So how do we get the right people into the right roles – because they live right here in the city and just need a helping hand to make that leap?

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I know a lot of people think they aren’t clever enough for coding, that they don’t have the experience to become a coder or are just generally afraid that this is a whole new world which they don’t really fit into.

But, there is a small corner of genius in the old B&C co-op which says they are wrong. You don’t have to have a degree to get a digital job, in fact many would say that you are better off taking a completely different approach.

That is where Sheffielder David Richards and his team at the Ey Up academy come in. They put people through what you might describe as a bootcamp, chuck them in at the deep end with an unparalleled level of expert support and then push them out the other end in weeks… job ready.

These aren’t just people from all walks of life who have been upskilled, they are the workforce that Sheffield’s fastest growing sector is crying out for. What more could we ask for, except many more in the future.

I spent some time listening to these young people’s stories yesterday and they are utterly inspiring. If we could replicate it across the city and even beyond, it would help the fortunes of individuals, families and Sheffield in a way quite unlike anything that has gone before.

There is still work to be done in breaking down the barriers that make some people think they aren’t clever enough or from the right neighbourhood to be able to expect a solid, well paid career. We also have to completely shake up school careers advice and stop families thinking that university is the only option.

Flat caps and buzzing brains at the ready… ey up, we’re finally getting serious about the future.