Charter to end skills shortage


Charter to end skills shortage

Bill Goodwin
Employers are being urged to take immediate action to head off a shortage of skilled IT professionals that threatens to damage the development of UK e-commerce.

Bill Goodwin

In the first concerted effort by the private sector to tackle the skills shortage, companies are signing up to an e-skills charter launched this week.

It commits both large and small firms to practical steps to bring more young people, older workers, women and ethnic minorities into the profession. Twelve leading employers, including EDS, Barclays B2B and Microsoft have signed up, with backing from the Government and the E-skills National Training Organisation.

Estimates by training body suggest that the UK will need a million extra trained IT professionals within the next five years. But it warns that without UK-wide action by the industry, growth will slow and the UK will fail to reach its e-business potential.

The charter is a follow-up to the 16-point action plan produced by the Government-backed high-tech skills strategy group early last year.

Computer Weekly revealed late last year that the Government and IT employers had made little progress on the report's recommendations a year after its publication.

But the group's chairman, EDS director Alan Stevens, said this week employers and the Government were finally making a concerted effort to solve the IT profession's recruitment problems.

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