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The technology industry continues to struggle with a shortage of skills, after research conducted by Reed Talent Solutions finds most IT companies (92%) feel there’s a significant gap between the skills held by their current workforce and those needed to meet business objectives.
After surveying senior managers in the IT industry, Reed also found that 90% felt the skills gap in their workforce is likely to restrict their business’ growth in the next three years. Adding to the struggle is the fact that recruiting talent has become significantly more challenging, with the majority of senior managers (87%) in the IT sector claiming they’re finding it harder to recruit now compared to previous years. The top three reasons behind the struggle are: a lack of candidates with the right skills and knowledge for the role (64%); a lack of candidates in general (51%), and a lack of the required qualifications (49%).
To tackle this pressing IT skills shortage, Reed Talent Solutions has recently launched a new ‘Recruit, train, deploy’ programme.
Louise Reed, Solutions Director at Reed Talent Solutions, said: “The technology sector in the UK has been battling for talent for a while now. A lot of it is due to the industry’s rapid pace and the fact that there isn’t enough talent out there with the existing skills required.
“The employment market has been hit hard by Brexit, the pandemic and the Great Resignation, resulting in a loss of talent across the board. But for the technology sector, further issues prevailed due to the increase in demand for people in the sector over the past few years.
“In order to meet demand and develop at the pace needed to keep up to date in the ever-changing digital environment, the technology sector needs to be able to quickly locate the talent they desperately need.”
Surprisingly, there is a concerning digital skills gap, with over a quarter of businesses (30%) in the IT sector currently lacking computer and digital literacy skills.
“The technological boom has brought forward the importance of digital skills. Despite naturally being digital first, the IT sector still needs to look at ways they can reskill and retrain their workforce to meet the demands we’re currently witnessing in the industry,” adds Louise.
To tackle the skills shortage, the research also pointed out that the IT sector is more likely1 to offer different programmes to attract talent, for example, internal and international mobility programmes (83% compared to the average of 53%). It’s also more likely to be reskilling (55% compared to 49%), improving employee value proposition (53% compared to 38%) and outsourcing talent from outside the UK (35% compared to 28%).
Louise adds: “Given the struggle the technology sector has faced over the past few years, it’s not necessarily surprising to see leaders in the industry being more proactive to tackle the skills shortage. Unfortunately, it seems it’s still not enough.
“As part of this research, we asked 1,000 people2 who are not in work what’s stopping them from returning to work. The majority (91%) said they were struggling to find a job, with over two-thirds (69%) claiming they don’t have the right skills or qualifications.
“While IT companies are struggling to recruit and fill the widening skills gap, there’s still a large talent pool struggling to find work. By tapping into this market and offering opportunities to retrain and upskill, businesses can begin to solve their recruitment and retention problems.”
Reed Talent Solutions’ recruit, train, deploy programme is designed to support businesses with this, partnering with organisations to upskill and retrain people – providing them with satisfying careers and organisations with the workforce they need for successful business growth.
“As it stands, less than half of businesses (49%) say they’re upskilling to tackle the current skills shortage; this simply isn’t enough. We designed recruit, train, deploy to tackle this by helping business leaders to adapt and develop new strategies to attract, prepare, train and retain new talent,” concludes Louise.
“We need to make sure we’re sustainably working towards a workforce that’s ready for the jobs of the future. Upskilling for the IT sector has never been so important,” concluded Louise.