IT skills shortage hindering implementation of EU Privacy Directive

Businesses are in a rush to find skilled security professionals to update websites in time for EU Privacy Directive.

A shortage in IT skills means businesses are under pressure to update their websites in time for the new EU Privacy Directive coming into effect at the end of this month, according to recruitment firm Modis.

On May 26th the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will impose its EU directive, which has been designed to protect Internet users’ privacy.

Sid Barnes, managing director of recruitment firm Modis, said with the deadline fast approaching, a last-minute rush amongst companies looking to get up-to-speed is almost inevitable.

“IT teams working in UK businesses will come under pressure to rapidly bring company-run sites into line with the new regulations. With many IT departments facing budget and staffing pressures, it is likely that contractors with web and privacy-specific skills will be in particular demand over the next month,” he said.

Barnes explained that data security and web professionals are already in high demand, but will start to rise even more due to more emphasise being placed on web security and privacy.

Recent research from Modis found that average salaries for web development contractors have risen by 10% over the past year. Despite this, the on-going threat of hacking and the importance of information security could see UK businesses facing an imminent shortage of IT professionals with web and data security skills says Barnes.

A recent Modis report has shown that the UK IT industry is falling behind the likes of Scandinavia and the USA.

Barnes warned: “The UK has immense potential and has traditionally led the way in IT innovation. However, more recently IT skills have increasingly been self-taught at home or relegated to niche higher education courses. More must be done to make IT skills, beyond basic Word and PowerPoint, accessible to all and a key part of school-level education.

“If this problem is ignored, the UK will face an IT skills gap, which could easily be exposed by a regulatory change such as this. In turn, this could go on to threaten the wider UK economy, as well as the IT sector itself.”

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