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UK skills gap could cost billions

Microscope contributor

The skills crisis in the industry could cost the UK economy billions if more people cannot be found to fill the gaps.

The warning comes from e-skills UK, which monitors the skills situation in the IT and telecoms markets. It estimates that 140,000 technology specialists will be needed to enter the industry in the next five years.

According to its latest research the majority of skilled workers are expected to come from other jobs, with just a fifth coming direct from education. In addition there will be more demand for those in the market to broaden their skills to encompass business and communication issues.

In a statement, Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said that more skilled IT and telecoms specialists were needed to drive the British economy.

"To safeguard the long-term success of the UK we must maintain the strength of our thriving IT and telecoms sector and world leading IT-enabled sectors such as financial services and biotechnology.

"We cannot achieve this without widespread investment in skills," she said.

Resellers have been actively trying to recruit staff in an attempt to keep up with vendor ambitions but one pointed out that it was not easy.

"What people need is a flexible workforce because it is expensive having skilled people sitting there who are not working all the time and as a result they are turning to resellers to help them plug the gaps," he said.

Last year Cisco was among those warning that unless thousands of additional technical engineers could be found the situation would have an impact on its future growth projections (MicroScope 17 September 2007).


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