Growth in UK tech sector threatened by skills shortages
Growth in UK tech sector threatened by skills shortages

Growth in UK tech sector threatened by skills shortages

The Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey has revealed that the UK’s tech sector is suffering from its highest skills shortages in more than a decade.

According to the data, which is the largest IT leadership survey in the world, 64% of tech sector CIOs say that they are experiencing a shortfall of talent, and this is impacting on the most technology-enabled cities and regions of the country.

The issue is laid bare with the news that London, Manchester and Leeds – cities that are in the top 10 best UK cities for digital technology – are reporting major skills shortfalls.

In London’s tech sector, 63% of leaders have reported skills shortages, but it is a figure that has remained stable over the last 12 months.

For the North West and North East however, the evidence suggests that the pressure on finding those with the appropriate skills has intensified in northern cities.

In 2017, 20% of leaders in the North West and North East reported shortages. But over the last 12 months, this has increased to 65% for the former, and 63% for the latter.

Albert Ellis is the outgoing CEO at Harvey Nash. He commented: “With technology developing at such a pace, supply just can’t keep up – with the most acute shortages at the top end, in advanced fields such as big data/analytics, cyber security, and AI.

“It is particularly worrying that northern tech hubs like Manchester and Leeds have experienced greater rises in skills shortages than London, as these cities are often competing for talent that’s lured to the capital.”

Elsewhere in the survey, it was revealed that big corporate firms are the ones under the most pressure, and feeling it most keenly; of those businesses over half a century old, 68% are facing a talent problem, while larger organisations with budgets in excess of £200 million seem to be least able to retain their staff for the duration that they would like to.

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