Charities face database skills gap

A skills shortage in the charities sector has pushed up demand for IT staff with database skills, according to a specialist...

A skills shortage in the charities sector has pushed up demand for IT staff with database skills, according to a specialist recruitment consultancy.

The Principle Partnership said it has seen a strong increase in demand in the charitable sector for staff with experience in specialist database packages such as Access, Raiser's Edge and Visual Arms.

Charities, which need to maintain up-to date lists of donors and target marketing campaigns, rely heavily on database technology. An experienced database manager can receive a salary of up to £40,000 in the charitable sector, according to the Principle Partnership.

"Candidates with the right experience are able to take their pick of roles," said Kit Gatrell, consultant at the Principle Partnership. "I know of one charity that was offering £28,000 for a database manager but ended up paying £32,000."

Gatrell added that many charities, operating to tight budgets, were also struggling to find the resources for training existing staff in the latest database skills.

"Charities are faced with a difficult dilemma: should they release funds that go towards training new staff with the appropriate IT skills, or do they increase efforts to make sure that database skills are part of regular staff training?" he said.

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