C#, SQL, .NET and Javascript skills could be in short supply in the UK for a long time

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s (REC)  latest report found there to be software development skills shortages in the UK.


It indicated that employer demand for ICT staff continues to grow with high demand for system developers, senior systems developers, senior test analysts, senior business analysts and more general skills in C#, SQL, .NET and Javascript.


I spoke to Jeff Brooks, the chairman of RECs technology group. He says there is a problem in the UK and that for years and years fewer people have been doing computer science degrees in the UK. He contrasts this with India where he says a lot of these skills have been developed. “We are not bringing through people that are ready for IT.”


He says there is a problem with how IT is perceived. The REC is currently doing research on this and is likely to publish the results next year.


He says there are a lot of project management and analyst skills likely to available soon as the public sector cuts jobs but skills in modern programming languages will remain in short supply.


Indian suppliers will pick up software skills slack if approached.


“Businesses will have to go offshore if they cannot get the skills in the UK,” says Brooks.


I wrote a blog post back in July, about an REC/KPMG study which said there was a shortage of .Net skills. I posted the blog on a LinkedIn group about offshoring to India and had a phenomenal response. If the UK can’t close these skills gaps offshore locations will.




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I'm afraid UK industry has made it's bed and must now lie in it.

For years they have failed to train, have failed to treat programmers with respect, failed to maintain permanent staff and pay them well.

In a totally price driven market where abuse of intra company transfers from India and other third world countries is rampant, few will go into program development and acquire the necessary skills, and who can blame them?.

Part of the problem is that employers are often reluctant to respect and honour self education as a means of addressing skills shortages. Institutionalised education just cannot keep up with technology in a fast moving industry like IT. Therefore the only way to learn modern technologies and programming languages is to teach yourself at home using books and material on the internet.

Riaz: "employers are often reluctant to respect and honour self education..."

Indeed, but it's not just employers. There is no tax relief on work-related training courses or materials paid for individually by employees. So if your employer sends you on a course, they save the tax. But if you pay to put yourself on a course, there is no tax relief.