IT skills gap prevents UK competing with Silicon Valley, poll of 1,300 shows

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The skills gap is preventing the UK IT industry from competing with the US, according to a survey from CWJobs, reporting 61% of IT pros believe there is currently a skills shortage in the UK.

The IT recruitment website conducted research among 1,300 UK IT pros, which highlighted the extent to which UK IT jobseekers need to skill-up if the Silicon Roundabout is to successfully take on ‘The Valley’.

Despite Britain being listed as the leading European market in terms of: having the best job prospects; being the best place to study IT; and leading the IT industry, the survey showed that IT pros want UK businesses to do more to help reduce the skills gap.

Three key steps needed to tackle skills shortage in the UK:

  • Encourage more businesses to offer IT apprenticeships (28%)
  • Get the Government to invest more in IT degrees and training courses (18%)
  • Improve the quality of secondary and further IT education (20%)

In spite of this, the survey found that 70% of IT pros feel that Britain is an attractive market for international IT jobseekers to work in.

Richard Nott, website director at CWJobs, said: “It’s been a year since the Tech City initiative was announced, and this has undoubtedly helped to position London as the Digital Capital of Europe.

"But if we are to take on Silicon Valley it’s imperative that the Government invests in helping young IT pros to skill-up, as well as investing in tech businesses. If the Government fails to do this, our IT specialists may be tempted to move abroad for better pay or to improve their skills set, which we can’t afford to risk.”

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