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More firms report skills shortages

Antony Savvas

The number of firms reporting IT skills shortages has gone up and the business consequences of the skills gap are worsening, according to the latest quarterly E-Skills UK ICT Inquiry.

The study shows that the percentage of firms reporting IT skills gaps increased in the first quarter of the year, and that the consequent impact of these gaps on UK businesses reached the highest level recorded in a year.

The percentage of firms reporting a skills gap increased from 12% to 14%. On an impact scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is "no effect" and 100 is "company closure", firms reporting gaps in the skills of IT staff rated the effects at a worrying 48.

Karen Price, chief executive at E-Skills UK, said, "Although the IT skills gap only marginally increased in the first quarter of this year, this research shows that the impact of skills issues is potentially very damaging for organisations."

In addition, 20% of IT recruiters stated that they had difficulties finding applicants with the required level of skills - a 3% rise from the fourth quarter of last year.

Despite skills gaps being more common, 20% of firms surveyed stated that they would still not train staff over the coming year.

E-Skills UK is a not-for-profit, employer-led organisation, licensed by the government as the sector skills council for IT and telecoms.

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