Deliberately Sitting “Just Shy” Of The Curve

One-on-one with Andrew Stevens President and CEO of CNet Training

How strategic collaboration in reskilling, upskilling, and lifelong learning opportunities are crucial for driving the future of the industry.

InterGlobix Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jasmine Bedi, recently sat down in conversation with Andrew Stevens, President and CEO of CNet Training, and discussed the evolution of digital infrastructure and CNet’s role in the industry as well as core trends and leadership skills that contribute to the growth of both.  

What role does CNet Training play in the digital infrastructure ecosystem?

CNet plays a pivotal role due to our unique, panoramic view across the entire ecosystem. We’re in the privileged position of interacting with, and educating people across, the digital infrastructure space, from the beginning of their cabling journey through to master’s degree, level seven education—meaning that our scope across the industry is much wider than just data centers. Consider a smart city in its concept rather than what currently exists, and you will find not only data centers, but also CCTV, wireless, security, audio visual, and more—we sit in all those spaces.

The need for a core set of generic skills applies throughout every area of the digital infrastructure industry, and CNet is a crucial presence in imparting, cementing, and standardizing those skills. We spend a lot of time talking to companies about how to build an education framework and pathways into their business for the long-term benefit of their business and the wider industry. That quite often doesn’t result in financial gain for us, and it’s not something we charge for, but we sit in that space to provide support and somewhere people can ask those questions about the education systems. We are advisers in that sense.

A handful of trade associations have popped up to represent areas of the digital infrastructure industry, but none have our widespread, spider-like connections in terms of product offering, customer base, and numerous different stakeholders. We’re a voice of reason in that space.

We also action projects that are crucial to the future of the industry, but to be honest, they aren’t hugely exciting, just hard work—building an apprenticeship from scratch, for example. Everyone loves the Network Cable Installer (NCI®) in the UK, and it’s much needed, but there’s minimal realization of how much effort it takes to establish an apprenticeship; it genuinely is quite difficult to achieve. We brought industry leading companies together multiple times to scope and agree the content of it and helped push it through the system. It is often the case that we’re the glue that holds the industry together.

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