Poor systems risk backlash from workforce

"We have to make computer systems easier to use, rather than expect people to learn to use what we provide. This should be an...

"We have to make computer systems easier to use, rather than expect people to learn to use what we provide. This should be an overdue lesson in humility for IT."

That was the reaction of Philip Virgo, strategic adviser at the Institute for the Management of Information Systems (Imis), to a new survey which shows UK workers place a relatively low value on IT skills.

The survey of a cross section of the UK workforce found that workers believed that having advanced IT skills was most likely to boost their wage packet, while the most important skills in doing their job were soft, rather than technical skills.

Some 76% cited communication skills as most important, with 65% choosing team working and self-motivation. In contrast only 38% mentioned basic IT and just 20% advanced IT skills.

The relative lack of importance staff attached to their IT skills, Virgo said, was a sign of a backlash by those working outside the IT department to the quality of some of the computer systems they have to work with.

The survey, by market research firm Mori, found one in four British workers felt they lacked the skills to do their jobs properly while 44% had not received any training in the last 12 months.

Paul Butler, chief executive officer of KnowledgePool, said the results highlighted staff enthusiasm for training, but showed "a gap exists between the desire to learn and the commitment of British companies to the development of their people".

Mori interviewed more than 800 people for KnowledgePool, the training services subsidiary of Fujitsu Services.

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