A Yorkshire IT company is raising concerns about a lack of technical skills amongst young people in the region as it struggles to fill a number of new jobs it has created.
Razorblue, in Leeds, has recently secured over £2 million worth of new work with a number of high profile organisations and, as a result, has created six new jobs with more planned for the start of 2015.
However, despite the current rates of unemployment, Razorblue is unable to recruit the necessary staff and fears that the lack of technical skills in the West Yorkshire area could hinder the region’s growth in the sector and could be as a result of the so-called ‘brain drain’ as many young people move away once qualified.
As well as a number of senior technical positions, Razorblue is also trying to recruit apprentices with a view to training and supporting them in their career development.
The company currently employs 35 staff with many of the team having been with Razorblue since the company launched in 2006, working their way up to senior positions through a variety of industry training programmes.
Technical director of Razorblue, Dan Kitchen, explains: “Staff turnover at Razorblue is very low compared to many other businesses in our sector and that’s thanks to the competitive salaries we offer and our commitment to career development. However, we have been shocked at the lack of skilled people and apprentices available for the jobs we’ve created especially amongst the 18 to 25 age group where we’re often told that there are high rates of unemployment.”
Chris Gill, Razorblue’s commercial director, said: “We’ve invested a lot of time and money in trying to find the right people for our roles and it’s of great concern that there appears to be a skills shortage- and a possible brain drain- in the Yorkshire region. I really believe it could hinder the region’s development in the technical and IT sectors.”
Razorblue has doubled its office space in Leeds, having moved out of the city centre to Airport West Business Park in Yeadon, close to Leeds Bradford Airport.
The company, which also has office in Catterick, Newcastle and York with plans to open on Teesside, specialises in consultancy, managed IT services, hosted solutions and connectivity for a wide range of SMEs, business parks and public sector organisations across the UK.
Razorblue has recently secured contracts in excess of £2 million with new clients including Furlong Flooring based in Dublin and FTSE100 listed company, Sports Direct. In the last year alone, Razorblue has seen contracts grow by around 40% and expects to increase in size by a further 50% in the coming six months.