Hard figures on the scale of skills shortages

In 1999, the DfEE Information Technology Communications and Skills Strategy Group reported that it expects employment of IT technical specialists to rise by more than 40 per cent. According to the report, there were about 9.1 million full-time equivalent IT professional jobs in Europe as a whole, of which 320,000 were unfilled due to a shortage of qualified people.Given the level of IT training provision in 1998, the shortage of people with professional IT skills could be as high as 12 per cent of the total demand by 2002.

This Europe-wide problem is reflected by anecdotal evidence suggesting employers are turning to Australia and Third-World countries to find suitable employees. The London Skills Forecasting Unit has reported that in the capital’s manufacturing industry, 16 per cent of firms say there are skills gaps, while 18 per cent of London’s construction companies are experiencing skills shortages. In retail, 12 per cent of London companies reported skills shortages with the figure rising to 16 per cent in hospitality. For transport the figure is 11 per cent.

Source: London Skills Forecasting Unit 020-7735 6000

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