VSJ – November 2001 – Work in Progress

Last March, Charles Ross introduced SCALE 21 to IAP members via these pages. Here, Denis Saunders, CEO of Calibrand (previously Tecsys ) plc, reports on the latest developments.

SCALE 21 is a project that’s designed to help give the IT profession a better future, to ensure that the best ICT (Information and Communications Technology) professionals join the UK industry and to make sure we get the best people into Information Technology.

Developed initially by the Real Time Club, it’s got some pretty impressive backing. Sponsors and partners include the Royal Society, the Royal Institution, the DTI ICM Foresight Programme, e-skills NTO, the British Computer Society, the Institution of Analysts and Programmers, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Institute for the Management of Information Systems, Oxford University and the Talent Foundation.

So what is SCALE 21 all about? Well, we are trying to establish what makes our IT industry tick. And you, as computer industry specialists, are invited to take part in one of the most interesting and important pieces of research ever carried out within the UK ICT industry.

At one level the answer is easy – it’s you! You’re the professionals, exemplars of your trade, the heartbeat of IT within the UK (and, indeed, beyond). But what is it that makes you special?  Why are you good at what you do?  What are the characteristics and profiles of the best people, those to which others can aspire?

What we’re asking you to do is to help answer those questions by spending about an hour filling in some personal characteristic details and taking four tests on your knowledge, personality, reasoning and emotional intelligence. Each takes no more than 10-15 minutes. You can do them on-line at the Calibrand Test Centre specially set up for the purpose at www.SCALE21.co.uk.

Now I know you’re all extremely busy and you need a good reason to commit time to any new activity. I’ve got several.

First, according to e-skills NTO 150,000 to 200,000 additional skilled ICT professionals are needed each year.  To find these people we need to define the skills, aptitudes, capabilities and behavioural patterns of the best people and then find people with similar characteristics who may make good ICT professionals. If we can’t do that, we can look forward to a future of constant under-resourcing on each and every project – an uninviting prospect.

Second, we need to raise and improve the profile of our profession to attract the most appropriate talent. The UK economy needs to maintain its lead in IT and e-skills, rather than export them abroad.

Third, we’ve got some goodies to give away. If you leave your details on the site (you don’t have to, if you prefer to complete the tests anonymously) you could receive:

A free Calibrand skills capital card (including individual feedback)

Free test/survey feedback

Free registration with sponsoring recruitment agencies

A reduction in membership fees for new members of the IAP and IMIS (for qualifying individuals). We’re currently talking to the BCS and IEE about similar arrangements.

You could also win:

A two-week holiday for two people (worth up to £1500) donated by travel4less.co.uk

One of three weekend breaks for two donated by destination-group.com.

You can keep abreast of the project’s progress by visiting the SCALE 21 website at www.SCALE21.co.uk. We’ll be presenting the initial findings at The Royal Institution on Monday, 11 February 2002.

Interesting project or development? Let us know at eo@iap.org.uk!

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