Employers feel impact of IT skills shortages

The number of employers reporting IT skills shortages has gone up and the business consequences of the skills gap are worsening, research shows.

The latest quarterly UK ICT Inquiry, by sector skills body E-Skills, reveals that the percentage of firms reporting IT skills gaps increased in the first quarter of the year.

The consequent impact of these gaps on UK businesses reached the highest level recorded in a year.

The percentage of firms reporting a skills gap increased from 12% to 14%. On an impact scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is “no effect” and 100 is “company closure”, firms reporting gaps in the skills of IT staff rated the effect at 48.

Karen Price, chief executive at E-Skills UK, said: “Although the IT skills gap only marginally increased in the first quarter of this year, this research shows that the impact of skills issues is potentially very damaging for organisations.”

In addition, 20% of IT recruiters stated that they had difficulties finding applicants with the required level of skills – a 3% rise from the fourth quarter of 2005.

Despite skills gaps being more common, 20% of firms surveyed stated that they would still not train staff over the coming year.

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