Avoira to tackle skills shortage with university partnerships
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Andrew Roberts, Avoira’s managing director, has opened discussions with two universities who have expressed interest in introducing industry specific courses or modules, with the goal of addressing the current skills shortage. He fears that the latter, if unchecked, will create a radio industry recruitment crisis.​

Under the proposals, the universities would partner with resellers to secure work placements. Those who graduate with an upper second class or first degree would be guaranteed a permanent job.

“While this is not going to happen overnight, I am confident we will have an offer in place by September 2021, although I’m aiming for the beginning of the next academic year.”

He is calling on resellers to lend their support which he says will be in their own interests. “If, through reseller partnerships, we can deliver a student cohort of 15 or more then we can look to design an industry specific course. That would be tremendously beneficial to those participating resellers. But even if we begin with a specific module attached to an existing course, this would be a big step forward in filling the skills gap.

“If we don’t act, collectively, then I fear the two-way radio sector will suffer further as other communications industries attract the best talent.”

Roberts announced his plans at Motorola Solutions’ ‘Next is Now’ Annual European Partner Conference in Dublin. “Motorola [Solutions] share my concerns as did three resellers who expressed interest in joining such a scheme at the conference,” said Roberts. “There is a paucity of educational opportunities open to budding engineers which is compounded by a widespread failure within the industry to invest in structured training and development programmes.

“This is already creating recruitment issues. As Motorola [Solutions] points out, radio technology is increasingly embracing networking and computer sciences. If educational and training programmes fail to acknowledge this then what is currently a significant issue will become a crisis.”

Avoira – which was created earlier this year from the merger of Pennine with Co-Channel and audio-visual specialist Videonations – has vacancies that it is struggling to fill. “We are very proud of our own track record in training and development, said Roberts. "It something I, who joined this business as an apprentice, have always championed. But despite this, a wonderfully prestigious and varied client base and solid renumeration packages, recruitment remains a constant struggle.”

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