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IT pros don't have the time to learn new skills

More than a third of IT professionals in the UK (36 per cent) haven't gotten any professional training through their employers in the last three years. At the same time, pretty much everyone (97 per cent of IT pros everywhere) say that knowing the latest skills is essential to them getting their work done.

Those are the results of a new survey conducted by the global freelancing site Upwork.

IT managers are also aware of the issues. Ninety-five per cent of them know updated skills are essential, but they're having all kinds of trouble getting there. For 70 per cent, technology moves too fast to always keep up with the latest, while for 49 per cent, budgets restrictions are holding them back.

What's more, 44 per cent cite time limitations, while 33 per cent prioritise other business responsibilities.

But IT managers should really consider investing in trainings and courses, as 89 per cent of IT workers said they'd consider leaving their position for better training opportunities elsewhere. This not only means businesses could keep their workers, but they'd also attract new talent, as well.

“IT managers recognise the value in having a well-trained workforce but other business priorities and tight budgets mean training is often neglected,” said Rich Pearson, SVP of Marketing at Upwork. “As a result, workers often feel stifled in their jobs, which can have negative effects on performance, morale and loyalty. To alleviate these pressures in-house teams face, businesses shouldn’t be afraid to look beyond their four walls and capitalize on independent professionals with proven expertise in the specific technical skills they need.”

“Both training and finding staff with the right skill set is a real challenge for a growing business like ours,” said Philip Lilliefelth, Pansofica Founder. “It’s imperative we keep up with evolving skills but upskilling our staff can be expensive and time-consuming, especially given the pace of change. Using freelance specialists who take it upon themselves to stay up-to-date with technical skills solves this problem, we are able to source the desired skill set immediately without major overheads - which in many cases is more suitable for start ups with budget constraints.”