Recruitment company GCS has launched an OFQUAL Certification Program designed to meet a growing demand for RDK talent.
Jon Gibbs, Managing Director of GCS, tells Broadband TV News Editor Julian Clover that as a recruiter he needs to be aware of the technologies used in the industry.
Broadband TV News: Through the dedicated RDK Certification Program, you’re trying something very different here, what are you looking to achieve?
Jon Gibbs: We’re serving an industry community skillset that goes beyond the transactional side of ‘here is a CV’. I think there’s a misconception in the industry, which was here before Covid, but which the pandemic has exacerbated. You’re not going to survive as a recruitment agency if you are just sending CVs. You need to engage a brand and we do this through GCS Connect, which is our way to connect to communities or industries, whether it’s a product launch or an interesting topic of conversation.
BTN: Despite the increasing popularity of RDK among operators, is there enough knowledge of the technology out there?
JG: The talent pool is too small at the moment, but there are people with transferable skills. In Sunday League football, no matter how good a footballer I think I am, if I played every Sunday for the rest of my life, I’d never be good enough for the Premier League because my ceiling’s not there. But you could get a kid at ten years old in the Chelsea Academy, and in ten years’ time, they’ll be playing in the Premier League. And it’s the same with these engineers. And I think it’s down to really identifying them, especially when there’s niche talent pools that don’t exist.
BTN: So, you’re looking for people who don’t necessarily know RDK at the moment, but they have all the skillsets that you can identify from everything else to suggest. They understand this kind of coding, so there’s a reasonably good chance that would be pretty good doing RDK as well?
JG: There are several stages in the accreditation, the first of which is you’re working on RDK-B. You’ve got the experience. You can take your accreditation, the acknowledgement, there’s your badge of honour, well done. The second stage is the transferable skills. It allows to get a feel for servicing components and familiarise himself with the technologies from the RDK-BSAT [Check]. You’d pass the Linux and the networking, but the target area is those transferable skills that you’d need to pick up before you can be certified. The last stage is engineers with no RDK experience. There might be something, you know, that could be a graduate apprenticeship. And we’re building this training programme with our partners.
BTN: Are you also looking for the engineer who may not necessarily be looking for a change in job, but they’re looking to the accreditation because they never know when it might be useful or to simply build up their CV?
JG: If they know the protocols, they know Linux, and they know the open-source nature. So, it’s just them stepping into a slightly different environment. Regardless of how good an engineer is, that tends to always be this ramp up time of four to six weeks. So that ramp up time is the same as just understanding the concepts of RDK-B.
BTN: What are you planning for next?
JG: Our next evolution is to take on RDK-V, we’re working on the roadmap with RDK and Metrological, and what we can do with it. If you want to know RDK-V you have to know Lightning, but Lightning’s not embedded software. So, we can then start upskilling and improving the development of a whole generation of engineers.
BTN: It feels like you’re trying to create a community for those who work with RDK.
JG: The community of RDK for the partners is phenomenal. But it’s very business-to-business. Whether it’s an engineer or a VP, we’re now trying to bring the community to the individual. We do this by having videos or a live Q&A to enable people to ask their questions. It doesn’t matter what level you are, but it’s starting to give your identity to someone who you’ve passed an accreditation. You as an individual, not your company.