Interviews

Fujitsu: Digital Natives in the Digital Revolution

  • It’s estimated that 2025 millennials will represent more than 50% of the workforce in the UK and Ireland and that 65% of the children entering primary school now will have a career in a job role that doesn’t currently exist.  Against that background, Louise Hull, apprentice programme manager at Fujitsu spoke with the company’s award-winning apprentices Georgia McGonigal and Adam Donnell about the opportunities presented by the digital revolution.

    “With low levels of unemployment and the ever-evolving needs of businesses due to ongoing digitalisation, the technology sector is continually on the lookout for talent and so a great avenue for students to explore,” explains Louise Hull, Fujitsu’s apprentice programme manager. “The latest NI Skills Barometer Report forecasts that we need at least 400 engineering and technology graduates – and a similar number of maths and computer science graduates - each year to match the jobs expected to be added to the sector by 2026.  A key aim of many local businesses, industry bodies and educators is therefore to attract talent into the industry and showcase the benefits of a career in a STEM related field.”

    “We work closely with local colleges  to shape courses so our apprentices are studying not only the topics most pertinent to the future of the IT industry, but that they gain the transferrable skills to help futureproof their careers.  Along with school leavers and graduates, apprentices are also attractive to those looking to change career paths. Indeed, many of our own employees started their careers in accountancy, pharmacy, retail and even physics. While apprentices benefit from gaining practical experience from the start of their career journeys, we benefit from their diverse background and varying knowledge.  It is this diversity that generates additional creativity; crucial to enhancing innovation.  

    This sentiment is echoed by apprentice Adam Donnell.  Speaking about his experience, Adam says, “Fujitsu is a melting pot of ideas and that is very much down to how it empowers its team members.  As an apprentice you work with and learn from different teams across the business – from network and applications support to infrastructure and the service desk. It was great to see how Fujitsu welcomes the input of everyone including apprentices when brainstorming ideas and solutions.” 

    Shining light on what it’s like to be an apprentice, Georgia McGonigal recent winner of the ‘ICT Learner of the Year’ accolade at the Belfast Metropolitan College Skills and Apprenticeships Awards adds, “An apprenticeship was for me the perfect route into the sector. As well as ‘earning while learning’, I gained hands-on workplace experience and insight into how businesses work.  One of the most rewarding aspects about the apprenticeship programme is seeing how much you can achieve if you apply yourself. It is a challenging programme and it’s important to strike the right balance between college and work responsibilities but once you get that right, you have the best possible platform to further your career.”

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