DCN May 2016 - Page 33

apprenticeships Awareness Equinix now provides three separate training opportunities for those wishing to become an Equinix apprentice. for UK apprentices to become Certified Data Centre Technicians. We now provide three separate training opportunities for those wishing to become an Equinix apprentice. These include an Electro-Technical apprenticeship, a Mature Student apprenticeship in the Facilities Team and a Customer Operations apprenticeship in the Operations Team. However, the first challenge is: how many teenagers know what a data centre is? The next generation of school students need to, and will, become aware of the importance of data centres. This is actually something that we are looking to encourage by setting up a schools programme. The plan is to start by inviting a few local secondary schools in Slough to visit our data centres and hear from the people that work here, particularly our apprentices. It is important that we inspire the next generation so we will talk to them about what data centres enable in order to make it more relevant to them. For instance, every App on their smartphones needs a data storage system behind it in order for it to run! It is hoped that by engaging children at a younger age, there will be a greater demand for apprenticeships within data centres. Hiring apprentices provides young people with excellent opportunities and allows companies to train people in a specific way whilst increasing employee loyalty. In the modern job market it is vital to invest in your staff and their development. Businesses that clearly value their staff are only going to prosper. Apprenticeships are also important as they offer an alternative route into employment. Higher education is not always feasible or the right path for everyone. Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to become engrossed and au fait with a business, providing training and transferable skills for the broader industry. It is an important avenue to a career and for that reason, we are looking beyond the UK and Germany to see where else we can roll out the programme within the Equinix network. Training in this way also provides a broad basis and insight into different roles within a business. We can then, where possible, support people who want to move across roles. For example, many of our IT team members started as data centre technicians. Another way to support staff development and knowledge sharing is to move them around the business in terms of location. This system is dependent on the scale of the operation, it is of course not something that every company can offer. However, where possible, it is beneficial. Our Global Mobility team looks at how we can move our people around other countries and parts of the business. Transfers offer a great experience for employees but we also benefit as the exercise allows geographies to share best practices. The technology industry needs to find a way to engage women, to inspire them to look into the opportunities that we can provide. Stimulating change An area which must be addressed by the industry is the lack of women, a challenge faced across Science, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsĀ (STEM) industries. The technology industry needs to find a way to engage women, to inspire them to look into the opportunities that we can provide. In order to stimulate this change, the most important audience to reach is female students, encouraging them onto 33