IT skills shortage looms as vacancies rocket

The UK’s IT skills shortage is in danger of becoming even more severe, with a record numbers of vacancies.

According to eSkills UK, a non profit organisation related to the quango UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the UK needs to produce 129,000 new recruits to fill the vacant IT jobs each year.

The numbers of vacancies has been climbing quickly overall, up from 82,000 a quarter in 2009, to 116,000 per quarter.

The most pressing need is found for highly skilled roles including software professionals, ICT managers, as well as IT strategy and planning professionals. Technical skills in SQL, C, C#, .NET and Java are regarded as the most sought after.

Although there are record vacancies, businesses believe that the adequate skills are not available to them in the market place. This has meant that – despite high unemployment – there is a growing shortage of workers to fill IT related roles.

The mainframe sector has been one of those worst affected by a lack of skilled workers to move in and replace those who are retiring. The problems is being felt throughout Europe.

The government has made changes to the curriculum with a view to encourage interest in IT, but e-skills CEO Karen Price says that more needs to be done to ensure young people are attracted to IT jobs.

“With IT employment set to grow at such a pace, it is vital that we continue to invest in the skills of those working in technology, and create new routes for young people to enter exciting and challenging careers in the industry,” Price said in a statement.

Efforts are also being made by MPs and government organisations to attract more women to IT. roles.