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Niche job board helps North West HE career advisors to bridge the digital skills gap

The Manchester event will be hosted by niche digital jobs board Bubble Jobs to make career advisors more aware of opportunities within the digital sector.

The job board, which specialises in advertising careers in the digital industry, will run the event on Thursday 11th December at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The event follows a successful pilot at the university in June and is being run as part of the job board’s pledge to the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs.

Launched in March 2013, the EU initiative has been designed to tackle the critical shortfall of talented ICT experts across the continent and aims to increase the supply of ICT practitioners by 2015, addressing Europe’s predicted shortage of 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020.

Bubble Jobs MD Adam Butwilowski said: “Through our work with our Digital Career Portal, we talk to university career advisors regularly and it quickly became clear to us that there was a real gap in knowledge and understanding of the digital industry.

“Working in the sector, we’re obviously clued up on the latest trends and the roles within the industry, so we thought a series of & lsquo;train the trainer’ events was the perfect way to raise the profile of digital careers – and to do our bit to address the current digital skills shortage.

“It’s our hope that if we can assist university career advisors they can then pass this information on to their students and graduates – who will then have a better understanding of the what the digital sector is and the vast opportunities available within it.”

The event will be attended by 20 career advisors from a number of high-profile universities across the region, including the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Liverpool, Lancaster University and Sheffield Hallam University.

Assistant Head of the Careers and Employability Services at Manchester Metropolitan University Janet Moore said, “The world of work is changing rapidly for graduates. In the past decade, the biggest driver without doubt is digital technology and, with it, we have seen the creation of many new companies and job roles.

“There is now a vast plethora of job titles out there that bear little resemblance to the job titles that most graduates will be familiar with. 

“As a result, it is essential that advisers collaborate with the industry to keep up to date with these changes and get an accurate insight into the skill sets required and learn more about the companies that are seeking to recruit. 

“This event presents a wonderful opportunity for this to happen.”

Former EU Digital Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who originally launched the Grand Coalition, said, 

“As I always say, there is no 'digital economy' the economy of 2014 is digital, and we all need to get a better understanding of how our businesses and careers are changing because of this.

“I am so pleased that initiatives like this one are taking place - we need more of them across Europe. Giving teachers, trainers and job centres more support is absolutely fundamental if we are to fully embrace digital.”

Following the event, Bubble Jobs will hold a similar event in London in March 2015 with higher education career advisors from the capital.

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