Home technology professionals are increasingly finding it tough to locate the right employees for available posts, especially in mature European markets such as the UK. To provide a solution to this challenge, CEDIA is working on initiatives to engage students and veterans, ensuring a skilled workforce for the future.
“Our industry is growing at a rapid pace, with more than 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020. We are prioritising the development of our workforce to answer the needs of our members,” said Vin Bruno, CEDIA CEO. “The strategic two-pronged approach, developed with insight from our research team, our members and our stakeholders, will allow for industry professionals and veterans to navigate a career path confidently and knowledgeably within this industry.”
In the UK, CEDIA training has been awarded City & Guilds accreditation. City & Guilds evaluates externally accredited training against a comprehensive benchmark that has been developed from over 130 years of experience in managing quality systems and training courses.
Building on this initiative, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has approved the development of a Smart Home Technician Apprenticeship standard. This standard is set to encourage young professionals to enter the home technology industry and develop a career within this sector. Once the standard is available, any industry employer will be able to hire an apprentice, send him or her for training, and receive funding from the UK government in return.
Since 2013, the Government welcomes employer groups, called Trailblazer groups, to put forward suggestions for new apprenticeship schemes. Trailblazer groups usually consist of 10 or more employers who gather and develop an apprenticeship standard for their industry. Having recognised the growing shortage of young, skilled and qualified engineers entering the home technology industry, 10 CEDIA members have formed a Trailblazer group to create a Smart Home Technician Apprenticeship standard that will suit the needs of the CEDIA industry.
“Bespoke Home Cinemas has been proactive at bringing new blood into the industry,” commented Melanie Malcolm, director of the Leeds-based home technology installer. “Over the last couple of years, we have worked closely with local colleges to employ apprentices. We have taken on a number of apprentices and they have all fit into our business really well. It is important for our industry to embrace apprentices as we need new talent that can be mentored and trained to become junior and then senior installers.”
The other prong in CEDIA’s approach to finding and training potential employees in the channel is engaging with veterans who are transitioning into civilian life. Military veterans, who are struggling with high unemployment rates, possess skills and characteristics that make them a great fit for employment in an installer business.
The idea behind CEDIA’s new Veterans Employment Initiative is to create a bigger workforce pipeline for military personnel transitioning to civilian careers.
Forces Recruitment Services has recognised the opportunity within the UK market and has recently joined CEDIA. This shows that the home technology industry has been recognised as a viable career option for ex-military personnel, and one that will be put forward to veterans.
CEDIA is also busy creating a job applicant bank as part of members’ online resources. Some veterans who have had the right electronics training during their service can ‘test out’ of up to half of their coursework – their military training may have given them enough knowledge to skip two years of a four-year apprenticeship.
Workforce Development initiatives will continue to be a priority for CEDIA for the coming year.
For more information visit www.cedia.net