IT skills gap resurfaces as student numbers fall

IT skills gap resurfaces as student numbers fall

Channel urged to invest in future of new recruits to ensure long-term skills resolution

Internal investment is the key to solving the IT skills crisis, according to the channel.

This follows the findings of a recent survey by the National Computing Centre (NCC) that claims the skills shortage is at its highest level for a decade.

Nearly 40 per cent of respondents cited recruitment and retention issues, up from 29 per cent last year.
Skills in Oracle, SAP, .Net and VMware will be among those in the most demand over the next two years, the NCC added.

The report comes just weeks after the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) expressed concerns after a survey by e-Skills UK revealed a 50 per cent slide in IT students. The NOA said firms must satisfy the demands of the IT sector with 140,000 recruits.

However, onlookers said the channel itself should do more to close the gap.
Tom Kelly, UK managing director of VAR Logicalis, said: “It is an industry problem, which the channel needs to take into its own hands. Firms need to take an interest in young blood and invest in their future. There is no quick fix.”

Terry Walby, datacentre solutions director at corporate VAR Computercenter, said: “Companies need to remain attractive to new candidates through offering education and new challenges to fulfil their career aspects ­ investing is the only way the gap will close.”

Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at analyst EuroLAN, said: “Channel partners tell EuroLAN they are lacking in skilled people. Vendors should be doing more, for example, Cisco has some interesting initiatives to attract people to IT.”