UK firms plan IT hiring spree

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British firms are planning to splash the cash on IT talent in a bid to boost innovation and customer service.

More than a quarter (28%) of the 1,500 IT executives questioned by technology skills and training body CompTIA said they plan to hire more IT staff this year.

That’s double the 14% who said they intended to recruit when questioned in 2014.

IT security will be the number-one priority for 58% of industry professionals over the next year, while 63% said cyber security threats are on the increase.

The study found that almost half (45%) of UK companies are experiencing an “extensive” shortage of IT talent. Staff productivity, customer service, innovation and product development are all said to be suffering as a result.

This potentially represents an opportunity for contractors – skilled professionals who are able to hit the ground running when hired to work on specific projects and other short-term assignments.

“This report proves UK IT companies are struggling to fill vacancies with suitable candidates,” said Rob Partridge, head of the BT Security Academy.

“The IT industry needs to consider looking beyond university degrees and attracting and developing talent through vocational qualifications, new forms of online learning and apprenticeships,” he said.

CompTIA’s Estelle Johannes added: “Businesses of all types and sizes recognise that IT is a critically important factor to success. Despite this, the skills gap remains an ongoing challenge.

“Building and managing talent requires concerted effort, resources and time. There is rarely a quick fix to addressing skills gaps.”

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Are you an IT manager or contractor? Do you agree that a lack of IT skills is negatively impacting customer service within UK firms? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

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