It takes a whole village…
Have you heard the famous African proverb “it takes a whole village to raise a child”? The notion is that it isn’t just about the mother and father, but the wider family, friends, indeed the whole community to step in and support the next generations of the village both practically and emotionally. In some ways this is how we feel about business and community in West Oxfordshire.
We don’t see ourselves as a standalone business, busying away at what we do best. Instead, we are passionate about reaching out and giving time and energy to local causes which tug at our heart strings and make us stop and think about the focus of our energies.
Focus on the future
First and foremost we believe wholeheartedly and passionately in developing the next generation. Our industry is all about shaping the future and is one of the fastest growing sectors on the planet. The demand for developers has never been greater but the competition for jobs never hotter. We understand that experience is everything so every year we offer work experience placements and apprenticeships to young people. This is a tried and tested structured programme where we give our students support, guidance and training to develop their technical skills and expose them to programming languages, software and hardware, system architecture and internet principles.
“The demand for developers has never been greater, but the competition for jobs never hotter”
As with any industry, it’s not all just about the technical skills – personal skills are just as important and play a key part in employability. Our approach encourages the students and apprentices to use their initiative and motivate themselves. We teach them about time management, planning and organising, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and how to be flexible in their approach to a brief. This takes a considerable amount of time and effort on our part, but is a cause we are very passionate about.
Reaching the next generation
We work closely with local colleges, secondary schools and attend careers fairs armed with useful career guides for young people to take away and read. We recently ran an after school programming club at a local secondary school and were delighted that there were girls interested as well as boys – encouraging more women into IT is high on the agenda across the industry and starts at grass roots level.
But, we are not solely focused on IT causes. Our passions lie with encouraging the best possible start for the next generation as a whole. We sat on the Board of Governors at our local primary school for many years and have now moved on as a Trustee on the Board for Quest for Learning – the Oxford based charity who focus on inspiring and supporting children in deprived areas who are struggling with literacy and numeracy. We also work as local Enterprise Advisors offering practical advice and providing a key link between education and business.
So the famous African proverb does certainly ring true for us, and we encourage other businesses to follow our lead. It really does take a business village to raise not just a child, but the next generation.
We are Olamalu – web technology and Drupal experts. We build websites and offer technical solutions for all sorts of businesses and pride ourselves in our friendly approach and dedication to ongoing customer support and service.