Leyla Yildirim also said that at the same time demand for some traditional roles was disappearing fast as the pandemic had pushed firms to use technology like never before. Upskilling staff was even more vital now than ever, she said.
‘They’re seeing how they’re able to do business much better and more efficiently using technology, which perhaps they didn’t realise. There’s just no realistic scenario where we’re going to wind the clock back and go back to old ways of working.’
The genie was now out of the bottle, she said during a Digital Greenhouse webinar considering the importance of digital skills.
‘We’re seeing demand in Guernsey for certain roles fall off a cliff. So PA roles, certain admin type roles, there just isn’t the demand that there once was. At the same time, we’re seeing demand for those kind of tech type roles – so data analysts, digital marketers – really increasing very rapidly.
‘But what recruitment firms are telling us is that the pool of talent for those jobs has shrunk to a puddle.’
She also referred to what has become known globally as the ‘great resignation’ where mass numbers of people were quitting their job because they wanted to do something different in their career.
‘What all that means for us here in Guernsey is that even if you’ve got talent in your business, with the right digital mindset and the skills for the future, hanging on to those people is going to be really difficult.
‘And you’re just not going to be able to hire your way out of this problem because there just isn’t the pool of people available to fill those gaps. So really that emphasis on upskilling your staff is even more important and even more urgent.’
Lucy Kirby, director of the Digital Greenhouse, said people were increasingly recognising the need to reskill and upskill.
‘There have been a lot of challenges and negatives with the pandemic. But for some people, I think a positive that has come out is reconsidering of where do they want to go with their careers. What’s of interest to them? What are they looking for within the employment environment?’
Accessibility of upskilling programmes is vital, particularly for those no longer in formal education environments. ‘It needs to be flexible, it needs to fit around probably a very long list of competing priorities,’ she said.
There is also growing interest in flexible digital-first programmes that are also global because of a desire to connect with other learners and businesses around the world.