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Interview: Tapping Into The Invisible Talent Pool

Saturday 21 September 2019


From Computer Weekly:



Interview: Tapping into the invisible talent pool

As the technology talent gap grows, charity ASTRiiD aims to help organisations connect with people who are chronically ill to meet some of their mutual needs

By Clare McDonald
Business Editor
20 September 2019
All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2000 - 2019, TechTarget.

Those who have had experience with, or have had exposure to, chronic illnesses such as cancer, depression or autoimmune diseases may have also heard of the spoon theory.

The spoon theory is a metaphor to explain chronic illness or disability – as spoons are a unit of measurement, they’re used in this theory to describe how day-to-day activities cost people varying amounts of energy. While healthy people have an unlimited number of ‘spoons’, those with chronic illnesses only have a limited number for the day and so have to use them carefully.

The original blog explaining the spoon theory, But you don’t look sick, puts an emphasis on how the struggles of those with chronic illnesses are not always apparent.

For many, chronic illness is invisible, and when it comes to looking for work, the adaptations firms may need to make to cater for people with chronic illnesses means this group of skilled workers is often ruled out completely.

But as the technology skills gap widens, firms cannot afford to rule out large groups of talented workers, especially when the tech sector is so accustomed to providing staff with flexible working.

To help those who may otherwise be invisible to firms looking for talent, charity ASTRiiD helps connect firms looking for skilled workers with what it calls the Invisible Talent Pool – those with chronic illnesses who still want to work but cannot have a traditional job.

Victoria Clutton, SharePoint co-ordinator for Altran UK, is one of the people ASTRiiD has helped in this way. She explains her own personal fatigue symptoms as having to deal with flu-like symptoms after even basic levels of activity.

“Imagine if you did 15 minutes of very basic housework, or reading, and you had to deal with a level of flu-like symptoms as a result of that for a couple of hours,” she says.

Clutton suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), a long-term illness which can include symptoms such as hypersensitivity to light, sound or temperature changes, feeling sick after activity, and a limitation of energy.


Full article…



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