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Channel confident of reducing skills gap by 2020

New research suggests that channel leaders are confident that the skills gap will be smaller within the next four years

Channel leaders are confident the skills gap will be reduced by 2020, according to new research from Agilitas.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll, quizzed 100 resellers, managed service providers and independent IT providers. Despite warnings from the European Commission that the continent is likely to see a shortage of 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020, Agilitas’ research suggests that channel bosses are taking a more ‘glass half full’ view. Nearly two thirds (64%) said that they expected the skills gap to be resolved or reduced by 2020, while only 17% said that they thought the gap will become worse.

“The trend is in contrast to the arguments that we’ve heard recently about running out of talent,” commented Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas. “Our research revealed that rather than resting on their laurels, many in the industry are confident of being able to make positive changes and reduce the gap.”

Nearly half (47%) said that they saw a lack of internal training as the key reason for a continued skills shortage in 2020, suggesting internal talent development is a key focus amongst industry leaders.

The research contradicted other widely held beliefs. Only a quarter saw poor education performance in STEM subjects as a reason for the existence of a gap.

“The results of our research highlight a clear need for our industry to focus on upskilling existing staff,” said Lynn. “We’re already seeing a growth in important apprenticeship schemes and building up the next generation of talent, but the challenge between now and 2020 is the extent to which we can improve existing skillsets to meet customer challenges.

“The survey highlighted the need to invest in internal skills training and the channel must take note,” he added.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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