Last week IT employers launched a charter to tackle the crisis of IT skills throughout industry. Meanwhile PC manufacturer Compaq announced it was to cut 5,000 jobs worldwide leading to speculation that 3,000 jobs in Scotland could be affected. It was the latest in a series of announcements of job losses or profit warnings in the high-tech sector. If you take the two developments together they appear to present a conundrum. Why lay off staff when you have skills shortages?
An attempt by employers to tackle the IT skills crisis is obviously welcome and is not before time. And there is nothing wrong with the aims of the IT skills charter.
However, there is something missing. Oddly, nowhere does it say that the IT industry will invest in more training. Surely it is cheaper to train existing staff in IT skills than to recruit new people, especially in companies which are making mass lay-offs? Any explanations would be welcome.