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Acute skills shortage is threatening tech sector growth

communication technology
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

The UK technology sector is booming, but may soon hit a ceiling as a result of an acute shortage of skilled workers.

This is according to a new report from the Harvey Nash Group and CIONET, which states that businesses are opting for all kinds of strategies, including upskilling, to stay on track with their growth plans. 

Surveying 2,100 digital leaders across the globe, the two companies found that two-thirds (61 percent) plan to increase technology investments, while 66 percent want to increase headcount. 

However, workers appear to have other plans, quite literally. For eight in ten companies, new life priorities are making staff retention difficult. Meanwhile, two in five admitted they can no longer retain key people for as long as they would like because they are being lured elsewhere with the promise of higher salaries and better benefits. Just a third (38 percent) of business leaders redesigned their employee offers to make them more attractive.

Of all the different positions businesses are trying to fill, two areas stand out: cybersecurity and big data analytics. Cybersecurity is the “most sought after” tech skill in the UK, with almost half (43 percent) of businesses indicating a shortage, up by more than a third in the last year alone. For more than a third (36 percent), there is a shortage of big data analysts and technical analysts. 

In response, many UK leaders are looking to upskill their current teams. More than half (54 percent) plan to cross-train people from other parts of their organization, while the number of apprenticeships offered is expected to rise this year as well.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.