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UK technology skills shortage drives companies overseas to find the top talent


A skills shortage in the UK means companies are looking overseas for their top talent, according to a panel of SME business leaders last night.

It identified a 'lack in high-end technology related skills' as a major concern.

Andrew Bailey, managing director at recruitment firm Abrs, told HR magazine: "There's just not enough people for tech roles you have to go abroad to find the best talent.

"It's a shame there's not enough tech-skilled workers here in the UK, but companies can't afford to wait. If a company doesn't adapt and change it will die."

The panel of 18 SME directors and senior managers took part last night in central London at a round table discussion: Small businesses - the employment outlook for 2013 and beyond organized by provider of flexible working space Avanta.

Peter Adediran, solicitor at law firm Pail, said: "We're seeing such a change in technology. You must be in the first in the class to get the talent or else you have to go abroad."

To help plug the gap in skills shortage, the panel felt a greater need for training for new-technology roles. Bailey said: "In the UK we are not investing enough in training and development and it's sad because the UK will be left behind in this ever-changing business environment."

The panel stated that without the cut in red tape the Government promised the job market would struggle to grow in 2013.

Alan Pepper, CEO of Avanta, said: "We have workers here on visas who want to stay and would help with the growth and innovation of British businesses but can't because the UK border agency is incapable of doing anything.

"They are grossly undermanned and have become a stopper in growth of business."

Bailey added: "In terms of the job market we're walking into 2013 blind. For all SMEs it is going to be a stab in the dark."