Over nine in ten (93 per cent) UK CIOs are calling on government, businesses and universities to help solve the country’s tech skills crisis. Research from recruitment specialist Robert Half Technology UK shows 31 per cent of UK CIOs feel that actively promoting IT as an attractive career path to Millennials and Generation Zeros is crucial to address the skills gap. Another 20 per cent believe that an equal mix of measures – including more investment in training, closer collaboration with educators and additional government initiatives – is the best approach to solve the crisis.
This view is held across Europe, with the continents CIOs agreeing that a mix of these initiatives would be beneficial in solving the skill shortage, even if exact solutions differ. CIOs in Belgium place higher priority on promoting IT as career path for Millennials/Generation Z professionals (45 per cent). Whereas French CIOs place greater importance on in-house training (21 per cent) compared with 13 per cent in the UK to address the tech skills crunch.
European CIOs were asked: In your opinion, what is the single thing that would alleviate the skills shortage in the technology field?
|Continental Europe and UK||UK||Belgium||France||Germany|
|Promote IT as an attractive career path for Millennials/Gen Z professionals||31 per cent||31 per cent||45 per cent||31 per cent||16 per cent|
|All of them in equal measure||10 per cent||20 per cent||4 per cent||5 per cent||15 per cent|
|Increased in-house training initiatives||17 per cent||13 per cent||15 per cent||21 per cent||16 per cent|
|Increased government initiatives||10 per cent||11 per cent||9 per cent||10 per cent||11 per cent|
|Increased collaboration with education providers/universities||16 per cent||13 per cent||16 per cent||12 per cent||23 per cent|
|Increased collaboration initiatives from the business community||12 per cent||8 per cent||8 per cent||16 per cent||15 per cent|
|Nothing||3 per cent||5 per cent||1 per cent||3 per cent||3 per cent|
|Don’t know||2 per cent||2 per cent||2 per cent||2 per cent||3 per cent|
Source: Robert Half, 2018
Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half said:
“With continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the potential of reduced access to skilled EU workers combined with visa caps, the IT skills gap is likely to increase unless all we take positive steps to address it. By taking a holistic approach to tech recruitment challenges, UK organisations will start to see more candidates attracted to a career in IT.”
Businesses are already facing increasing competition for talent in the technology sector. In fact, 79 per cent of CIOs claim it is now more challenging to find qualified professionals than five years ago. This is comparable with Europe, where 67 per cent of CIOs agree that it is more challenging today. With a possible tech talent exodus imminent, upskilling and training current and future employees now is key to the UK’s continued competitiveness.
“Our research shows that the UK is not alone in its challenge to find qualified, highly skilled IT professionals. This is a worldwide issue that is particularly prominent in IT as digital transformation, automation and industry 4.0 shapes the future of the working world. CIOs in the UK recognise that if government, businesses and universities can work together to provide the correct environment to nurture, develop and train IT professionals, the benefits to both organisations and employees will be a major boost to the UK economy,” concludes Weston.
Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.