IT staff with the right skills in short supply

Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to hire IT staff with the right skills, according to new research.

A survey conducted by the National Computer Centre (NCC) found that just fewer than 40% of respondents indicated specific recruitment and retention issues – a significant increase on the 29% reported last year.

The NCC’s Benchmark of IT Salaries and Employment Trends report surveyed 244 organisations, which provided salary and employment details for 5,493 IT staff.

In many cases, shortages are seen as a recruitment rather than a retention issue, as 73% of those indicating the need for new skills plan to acquire them by re-skilling and training existing staff.

The NCC said that people with Oracle, SAP, .NET, web development, network support, business analysis and project management skills would be in high demand over the next two years. With the current trend towards the adoption of virtualisation technologies, professionals with VMware experience and skills will be equally highly prized.

Ian Jones, NCC’s head of content, said: “With some skills moving into shortage, employers should be planning and budgeting for how best to acquire these skills now. It is an unwelcome message, but they should be prepared for the extra cost.”

The overall rate of perceived shortages has increased from 4.2% last year to 6.8% this year, the highest shortage level reported by NCC’s research in the past decade.

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