In 2018, an estimated 600,000 vacancies in the digital technology space cost the UK economy around £63bn, according to a report released by the Edge Foundation and techUK.
That is why it is more important than ever before to have a proper graduate or apprenticeship recruitment scheme in place to attract the next wave of talent to the workforce.
Poaching staff from competitors is not only frowned upon, but it is keeping the skills pool narrow and denying others an opportunity to learn and shine.
More and more IT firms are going back to grassroots-level in schools and investing in STEM education to encourage students - both male and female - to consider a career in our industry when they finish their education.
That is why CRN recognised the need to highlight firms in every part of the channel for what they are doing to encourage new blood into their respective sectors, and why we have extended the Best Graduate and/or Apprenticeship Recruitment Scheme to vendors and distributors, as well as resellers for this year's Sales and Marketing Awards.
If you have a story to tell, whether it is attracting students straight from school/college, or have a graduate recruitment scheme that is seeing real results, we want to hear from you.
Whether you have one, ten or 100 apprentices or graduates on a specific scheme in your company, you could be in line to win a prestigious CRN Award just by telling us about your scheme.
The more personal the entry, and the more the judges get to know your newest recruits and how they are getting on, the better. After all, it is people that drive this industry at the end of the day.
Entries close at 5pm on Friday 29 March - don't leave it too late to be in with a chance to pick up an award and show other potential recruits why you should be their employer of choice.
To find out more and to submit an entry, please click here.
Congratulations to all those who made the shortlist - your entries now go through to the second stage of judging in October
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