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Bridging the automation skills gap

Updated: Jan 15

Building blocks to make a bridge, a metaphor in automation.

The automation sector is continually growing; being highly competitive and consists of multiple major players. The automation market was valued at USD 76.83 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 114.17 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 7.23% over the forecast period 2020-2025. However, there is a gap between the growing requirements and the skills to service it.

With this in mind, the need for RPA skills is in high demand within the automation sector and an increase in demand is growing. According to the Royal Society, 58,000 data science and automation jobs are being created every year in the UK alone. Although there is an increase in demand and job roles being created, there is currently a lack of qualified individuals to fills these roles.

About Costain and their journey of building sustainable skills to support and grow their automation initiatives.

Whilst businesses are struggling to find the right skills to properly resource their transformation journey, Costain are embarking on their own automation journey with ABP Consultancy. Through the understanding of the missing skill set needed, Costain have invested in their future by joining with the School of Automation (SOA), who are now providing them with the ability to build and nurture young talent, with the goal to not only fulfil their skills gap, but to enjoy the privilege of enhancing an individual’s career and aiding in providing ‘on the job’ learning opportunities. Our partnership with the School of Automation is central to the Costain RPA programme. We recognise that developing young talent is extremely important to narrow the skills gap & ensure we have a steady stream of developers to deliver in this exciting new technology space.” Steven Still, Head of Automation, Costain Automation Solutions.

SOA developers undertook an automation project with Costain to track the carbon emissions of their fleet of vehicles and built one of the first carbon capture robots that now tracks the carbon footprint of their full fleet. The process now runs seamlessly and has saved employees from hours of manually tracking this information, freeing them to do more productive tasks. SOA developers named the new robot “Keith” which is now live in production and hard at work.

Following on from the success of the project Costain now have 4 other processes being developed by the SOA team and are expected to be live in production in the coming weeks. “We are very proud of the achievements of our team and thankful to Costain for giving them the opportunity to work on a live project and be part of their automation journey. Our mission is to create career pathways for people to enter this sector and help other clients such as Costain by providing a sustainable source of talent and skills to resource their automation plans, to positively transform the way we work.” – Marc Cooper, CEO – School of Automation.

“I enjoyed working with Costain. Working on the process has taught me a lot of new things such as working with the enhanced framework and completing some file validation. The project also provided me with new experience like being in calls regularly with clients to help get a better understanding of what is required and showing/running the developed process.” Mark Birrell, Developer

The role of ABP in supporting SOA within the business environment

ABP Consultancy have been able to support the SOA developers with opportunities to work with their client partners while offering their senior technical expertise and oversite on projects. The SOA developers require guidance and support to be able to transition into the world of process automation and work with clients to deliver real projects. This enables our young people the time and space to grow and gain the project experience on low complexity projects before becoming experienced developers themselves. “As process automation experts working closely with our clients such as Costain, we are increasingly seeing a demand for good skills and talent. Through our partnership with SOA we can not only fulfil our clients’ needs with high quality talent but also ensure we are nurturing and guiding young people to step in confidently into the corporate world and build fulfilling careers in automation” – Jorge Soares, ABP Consultancy.

Our model of success?

  • A unique model of identifying, assessing and selecting potential talent

  • Detailed 12 week pre-apprenticeship personal and technical training programme

  • A supportive 18 month full time employment contract supported by an apprenticeship framework

  • Collaborative partnership working with SOA, TIGERS, ABP, Costain & UiPath

  • Real live client lead project experience and industry certification

  • Continued personal and technical upskilling

  • Continued technical and future steps support

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