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February 7, 2017

UK CIOs face IT skills shortage as candidates fail to live up to expectations

CIOs are facing an ever growing digital skills gap.

By Joe Clark

A new study has found that 74% of CIOs say UK IT professionals lack the required IT skills.

The report by Robert Half Technology revealed that 74% of UK CIOs and IT directors are relying on candidates who do not meet their standard of technical skills, meaning only 26% were satisfied with candidate performance.

UK CIO’s and IT Directors stated that they mostly rely on qualifications and years of experience as a vetting process. Only 38% actually offered a technical skills test before making an offer of employment.

Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology said: “The rate of technological change combined with the digital evolution of business today is exacerbating the current IT skills shortage in the UK.”

“To cope, many businesses are needing to reassess their hiring requirements, considering the ‘need to have’ and ‘nice to have’ skill sets alongside cultural fit.”

IT Skills

The report comes just days after a recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC) concluded that the UK’s overall approach to cyber security was in dire straits. Cyber attacks over the last few years have been exponentially more common, and until the technical skills necessary are emphasised in training, will only get worse.

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Labour MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the PAC said: “Its approach to handling personal data breaches has been chaotic and does not inspire confidence in its ability to take swift, coordinated and effective action in the face of higher-threat attacks,” said Labour MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee.

“In this context, it should concern us all that the government is struggling to ensure its security profession has the skills it needs.”

In order to combat cyber security threats the UK needs to incentivise more young people to become invested in IT programs or risk the country falling behind globally.

The study was based on more than 100 responses from CIOs and IT and technology executives from companies across the UK.

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