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Staff churn fell to 16% in 2001

Staff turnover in the IT sector is at its lowest level since 1995, according to the latest Labour Turnover survey by the...

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Staff turnover in the IT sector is at its lowest level since 1995, according to the latest Labour Turnover survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The research found that employee churn for the "professional and technical" sector in 2001 fell by more than 5%, dropping to 15.8% from 21% the previous year. The overall labour turnover rate for 2001 was 18.2%.

Institute chief economist John Philpott said that, if it had not been for the recent glut of redundancies in the IT sector, the drop would have been a lot more marked.

However, he warned that IT recruitment is cyclical and if companies are not careful they could find themselves back in the skills shortages seen in the late 1990s.

"The key danger is that companies will not respond by training," said Philpott. "It is important that employers invest in skills and training across the board to make sure that there are no bottlenecks."

For the next survey Philpott expects to see a blip in IT recruitment as a result of the increased government investment in IT, helping turnover rise to 17%-18%, although he sees no prospect of a recovery in the private sector until 2003-4.

IT staff should be using their time to update their skills to make them as employable as possible, he said.

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