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European IT Training Spend Set to Rise


IT training spend across Europe is expected to increase to combat skills shortages caused by accelerating retirement rates and a decline in IT graduates.

In a recent survey of IT decision-makers from leading European economies, Forrester Research Inc found that they plan to significantly accelerate spending on training between 2005 and 2007.

It also expects companies' IT skills requirements shift away from technicians and more toward business-oriented roles. Routine activities, Forrester expects to continue to be outsourced.

Firms expect to need more IT/business analysts, architects, enterprise programme managers, and vendor managers in the near future. However, Forrester is unsure existing education system will react quickly enough to meet company demands.

In a parallel study of European technical universities and engineering schools, Forrester found that academia had barely begun to transform its IT programmes. Meanwhile, it said, many European countries can’t even generate a respectable level of enthusiasm for computer sciences among young people planning to enter higher education.

The result, according to Forrester, is that European governments face an uphill task to meet the bare minimum of IT skills that industry and commerce need, let alone reach the ambitious targets of the EU's Lisbon Agenda. The targets, agreed in 2000, aim to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010.

Richard Peynot, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, said: “Other sources of talent, such as service providers, also need staff with technical skills — and the lack of new IT graduates gives them cause for concern, too. All the evidence indicates that Europe faces a serious risk of a shortage of IT skills and Forrester believes that companies need to take action now to support long-term IT competency needs and to pay close attention to the implications of renewed competition for the best talents.”


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