Immigrants needed to fill UK IT skills gap

IT staff from other countries are snapping up jobs in the UK because the British workforce does not have the required skills...

IT staff from other countries are snapping up jobs in the UK because the British workforce does not have the required skills.

A study of human resources professionals found over half (51%) agree that foreign IT workers are employed in the UK because British workers do not have the skills companies want. This is up from 39% two years ago, suggesting the UK has fallen further behind where it needs to be on IT skills.

They also think foreign workers are cost-effective and a necessary part of ensuring a business has the skills it needs to compete globally.

The study, which was carried out by NatWest International Personal Banking (IPB), suggests demand for IT workers will continue to be met by foreign workers unless skills improve in the UK.

Dave Isley, head of NatWest IPB, said, "Demand for IT is on the up, which might seem counter-intuitive in a recession. However, entrepreneurial activity and business start-ups can thrive in economic downturns, and almost all of these will require IT support of some sort. Also IT services are now such an integral part of modern business infrastructure that, whatever stage of the economic cycle, companies need to stay on top of IT as a basic hygiene factor."

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