In the wake of Digital 2015, Phil Handley, Operations Director at IntaPeople, considers the impact of the technology skills shortage in South Wales.
Economic growth is being put at risk due to skills gaps in the tech workforce, according to a survey of 1,600 employers by the Tech Partnership.
One of the prominent issues that came out of Digital 2015 was the need for more skilled technology professionals in Wales to meet the demand of employers.
South Wales was identified as one of the top 5 fastest growing clusters in the UK digital technology industry according to Tech Nation research; however employers in the area are finding it increasingly difficult to find the right talent for their business. Candidates with niche technical skills are finding themselves with multiple offers and counteroffers, with employers increasing salaries to attract the industry’s top talent.
“50% of all businesses employing tech specialists report that they have skills gaps within their workforce. That works out to be 182,000 businesses across the UK whose tech workforce are missing some of the skills needed to fulfil the companies’ needs.” Tech Partnership, 2015
A number of people at Digital 2015 talked about education and the curriculum hindering tech skills growth in Wales.Technology, advances in communication systems, and the actual medium of communication and entertainment is moving at such a rapid rate that it’s difficult to envisage how the business world will function, and how the general public will be working/communicating/living in the coming years.
As technology is moving so fast it’s difficult for the schools and universities to stay current; by the time a course and syllabus has been written, the technology and possibly even the development language, will be out of date.
One suggestion that came out of the Digital 2015 panel debates was that industry and education need to collaborate more to ensure that young people are being encouraged into the tech industry and given the skills they need to build successful careers. However, there is no doubt that this will take time, and many employers need a solution today.
In the short term, employers needn’t try and face the skills shortage alone. Partnering with a specialist recruitment agency with extensive industry knowledge can take the pressure off finding the right talent.
Phil Handley is Operations Director at IntaPeople, a specialist recruitment consultancy offering talent solutions to the IT, data centre, storage and engineering professions.
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