Reduce IT skills gap to compete with US, say IT professionals

By Sooraj Shah
09 Dec 2011 View Comments
School children using a computer

The IT skills gap is preventing the UK from competing with the US IT industry, according to a survey by IT recruitment website, CWJobs.co.uk.

The IT industry opinion survey of 1,366 IT professionals showed that 61 per cent of those surveyed believed that there is still a skills shortage in the UK.

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In order to tackle the problem and be able to compete with the US IT industry, IT professionals think that both businesses and the government need to do more to help reduce the skills gap.

Of those surveyed, 28 per cent said that businesses should offer more IT apprenticeships, 18 per cent believe the government should invest more in IT degrees and training courses, and 20 per cent believe that the quality of secondary and further IT education needs to improve.

However, 70 per cent of IT professionals believe that Britain's IT industry is an attractive market for international job seekers.

Richard Nott, website director at CWJobs, said this is partly due to the fact that Tech City is booming, but he is also worried that if the government doesn't rectify the skills problem, British IT specialists may move abroad to further their careers.

"If we are to take on Silicon Valley, it is imperative that the government invests in improving the training available to young IT professionals, as well as investing in technology businesses.

"If the government fails to do this, our IT specialists are likely to move abroad for better pay or opportunities; we can't afford to lose them," he said.

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