Launching the 2015 UK IT Industry Awards

Launching our 2015 UK IT Industry Awards, has given me time to reflect on the role these Awards play in recognising excellence and innovation - the cornerstones of our profession.

Our Awards have been running, in one form or another, since 1973. The fact that they’ve continued for so long is a real testament to the ever changing nature of IT and the value placed on receiving an Award.

The industry doesn’t stand still - neither do our Awards and year on year we make changes to the categories to keep pace with the progress of the industry.

This year is no exception and as I look through the categories for 2015, I’m delighted to see that we’re including an award to recognise the growing importance of IT apprentices.

Apprenticeships are very much a part of both the UK’s digital skills agenda and our own and I’m pleased that, having been named as one of three assessment organisations for the Digital Industry Trailblazer apprenticeships, we’ve introduced this new category. Apprenticeships are a great way to encourage young people into the profession and the industry needs them.

Research shows that the profession will face a serious skills shortage in the coming years; this is a real threat which we must address by encouraging young people to recognise IT as a great career option and provide them with different entry points. Apprenticeships are one entry option, offering young people an exciting, hands-on approach to learning with direct access to a career that they may not have considered otherwise.

I know the benefit of apprenticeships from personal experience as I started my own career in this way and have always been very grateful for the fantastic foundation it created for my ongoing development. For employers, apprenticeships are a great way to attract new talent.

Attracting new talent is high on many organisations’ agendas, however, so too is keeping the talent they have and building recognition for the excellence of their individuals and their teams. Two other new Award categories; IT team of the year and best place to work in IT, aim to help organisations achieve this as well as raise awareness of organisations who are leading the way.

An Award is recognition for something you’re doing well, whether that’s at an individual or an organisational level. It can help you stand out from your competitors, retain and attract talent, and demonstrate your professionalism, innovation and excellence. Research shows that as humans, two of the most valuable psychological needs* we have are to be appreciated and to belong. Peer-to-peer recognition and thanks help us achieve these needs and while financial compensation supports a fundamental need, recognition and career advancement support our higher-level psychological needs.

Go on, enter and achieve the recognition you deserve.

*Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

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About the author
Paul Fletcher is the Group Chief Executive Officer of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Paul joined BCS in 2014 after ten years at RM Education where he was Group Managing Director of the Education Technology Division. Prior to RM, Paul held senior management consultancy roles with A.T. Kearney and KPMG. He started his career in the Aerospace Industry. Paul is passionate about the role of IT in education and society as a whole.

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September 2017
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