David Ivell, CIO of engineering charity Enginuity and CTO of its Innovation Lab, has held a range of high-profile CIO and CTO roles, including at Good Energy, the Prince’s Trust, Kew Gardens and the British Film Institute.

As a hands-on leader with a passion for nurturing emerging talent, he tells Computer Business Review: “The world is changing to become much more digitally focused. Industry 4.0 is probably hitting the engineering sector more heavily than some of the other sectors.

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“Whereas a company would normally have to look at reskilling their employees every seven years, that has now dropped to about every 18 months, because new technologies are arriving so quickly.

“We have to be prepared for these changes.”

The charity itself is focused on creating innovative solutions to emerging problems, using data and new technology. Ivell notes: “Part of my role is to use some of those technologies to spot new skills”.

Among them, using Minecraft to help bring in talent from often overlooked skills pools. (Watch the video for more!)


Also high on his list of priorities: creating a unique learning platform by pulling data from job adverts globally, to help pinpoint what skills employers and employees will need in the near future.

“We can start to map out all those different opportunities and we can tell how they will relate to each other,” says Ivell. “By doing that we can spot the skills of the future. We believe that if you approach the UK industry with what people will need to know now, we can ready them for the future.”

To some extent, this process has been quickened by the pandemic.

With many members of the public being pushed out of employment, and there being a chance that they may not be rehired, there is a risk that the British public may need to reskill sooner than expected.

“There are a lot of people who, because of the pandemic, are either on furlough or on reduced pay,” says Ivell. “We were going to launch this learning platform later on in the year, but we had some pressure, not only from government but from our own employees, to bring it forward”.

Ivell goes on to describe this learning platform in more detail.

“It acts a little like an Amazon market place but for skills,” he explains. “We are going through the process of pulling out different skills from individuals and overlaying these with our own predictive analytic science, to find which skills they will need to pick up to remain current and to grow their career.” Learn more about that in the video interview above.

* This article was first published on Computer Business Review.