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UK – Shortage of skilled IT professionals strain the labour market

01 February 2012

In many European countries the shortage of skilled labourers is increasing and in Britain IT professionals are the ones most in demand, but least available in the labour market. This is according to the latest Robert Half Professional Hiring Index2 which found that 84% of Chief Information Officers are having difficulties in hiring skilled IT professionals.

The study bases its findings on responses from 600 executives across the UK and shows that 93% of publicly listed companies find it difficult to fill the labour gap while 92% of large companies reported similar issues. 88% of firms around London and the South of England have been severely impacted by this.

Database management (46%), network administration/engineering (41%), Windows administration (36%), desktop support (33%) and business intelligence/reporting services (28%) are the skills most in demand.

Neil Hedges, Senior Manager, Robert Half Technology (UK) said, “IT departments across all sectors are facing a shortage of skilled professionals. A shift in technological advancement means that businesses are unable to fill critical back-office roles that support organisational growth and flexibility. In particular, data management was highlighted as a top requirement by CIOs, as businesses prepare for changes in regulatory requirements such as Solvency II/Basel III, and the huge amount of unstructured data that is being hosted.”

“Big data is becoming a significant issue for organisations. Many are struggling to manage the vast amount of information passing through the business, and lack the tools required to analyse it in a reasonable time frame, using conventional techniques. Unfortunately we are experiencing a situation where demand is outweighing supply in certain areas, and companies are struggling to attract the requisite talent to support this change.” 

To tackle the issue, 38% of those surveyed were keen to implement new initiatives, such as mobile solutions, in order to attract more IT professionals. 53% also plan to invest in upgrades and the introduction of new technology.

Neil Hedges commented, “During a period of rapid and often unanticipated change, businesses need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve. Mobile solutions have been a top priority for CIOs, particularly as companies look to provide remote working access for their employees. As new platforms such as cloud computing, tablet computers and smartphones continue to gain momentum, IT professionals skilled in these areas will be in high demand.”


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