Intelligent Data Centres Issue 51 | Page 21


Addressing the data centre industry ’ s skills shortage

Creating a culturally diverse industry and appealing to the younger generation is of critical importance for closing the skills gap . Adelle Desouza , Founder , HireHigher , talks about how we can ensure the data centre space is a career of choice for young people and why we should be upskilling current talent to future-proof the industry .

Research from Uptime Institute suggests that half of existing data centre engineering staff will retire by 2025 , yet the number of staff needed to run the world ’ s data centres will grow from around 2 million to nearly 2.3 million by 2025 . This is a skills gap that won ’ t fill itself , so it is imperative that this issue is addressed now .

What are the three main ways we can take action to fill this talent shortage ?
First , we can talk directly with young people and highlight the crucial impact the data centre industry has on our lives and the exciting career opportunities that are at the heart of what we do . Without data centres and cloud , young people need to understand there is no social media , online banking , remote learning or streaming services . This is our industry ’ s USP – we should be talking to every young person we meet about the crucial role our industry plays in our lives . Each one of us can do that and potentially have a positive impact on how the industry is viewed .
At HireHigher we are taking this dialogue a step further by uniting Rising Stars in our industry with young students . Recently we brought together seven Rising Stars within the industry and 60 sixth-form students from two London schools for a productive day of workshops and a tour of CyrusOne ’ s data centres .
The students heard about the central role that data centres play in everyone ’ s lives today . A panel of industry Rising Stars talked about their varied jobs and paths into the industry – from graduate schemes to apprenticeships . The students also participated in two practical workshops , the first looking at how their particular style of energy can impact others and potentially help them identify a rewarding career path – led by the Young People Index . They then worked through a typical career assessment scenario to give them an idea of the types of questions and activities they will face when applying for jobs .
The students were then taken on a data centre tour which was truly eye opening for so many – watching their reactions and hearing their follow-up questions when it came to power consumption , green solutions and financial investment demonstrated how keen they are to learn about our industry .
One of HireHigher ’ s aims is to continue to bring more students into contact with Rising Stars to inspire them to look at careers in the industry . It was www . intelligentdatacentres . com