That’s the upshot of the Hays Global Skills Index, released this week, and it adds to a growing body evidence that shows that there just aren’t enough home-grown candidates to fill the specialist IT roles required by the UK economy.June’s Report On Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that IT professionals were the fourth most sought-after profession in the UK and a lack of people to fill these roles was affecting companies’ ability to grow. A third of businesses that responded to this years’ Tech City UK report also considered a lack of local talent to be one of their biggest barriers to growth. Encouraging STEM is not working So how can this problem be solved? Current evidence suggests that government-backed drives to get more children interested in working in STEM-related subjects isn’t working – specially among girls, who are five times less likely than boys to want to become engineers, according to recent research. It seems we just can’t tempt our youth into jobs in the computer science sector, despite them being among the best-paid roles. Evidence suggests that the UK will require 750,000 digitally-skilled workers by 2017, and if the skills of the graduates that we are producing aren’t up to scratch – or even in the right area – then we need to look elsewhere, and fast. Is overseas talent the answer? Bringing in talent from overseas is also fraught with difficulty. Government policies have restricted the ability of UK-based companies to hire talented developers from outside the EU, with the Tier 2 Visa plans proving unfit for purpose. While Eastern Europe has provided an option for some companies, it’s still an expensive gamble. And given the lacklustre economic performance of the BRICS countries, it’s worth looking elsewhere, further afield, to find skilled IT workers. For example, universities in the Philippines are producing 130,000 IT and Engineering graduates each year – many times that produced by Romania – and IT is one of the highest paid sectors in the country. Read more about the UK’s skills shortage and what needs to change:
- Addressing the UK’s skills gap: Where should we start?
- Tackling the IT skills shortage
- Recruiting foreign skilled workers: The cap doesn’t fit
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