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No Short-Term Let Up in IT Skills Shortages


IT skills shortages increased over the past year and look set to continue in the short term, according to research by the National Computer Centre (NCC).

The Benchmark of Salaries and Employment Trends for 2006, from not-for-profit NCC, showed that more than a quarter - 26% - of respondents identified specific IT skills for which they had encountered recruitment or retention difficulties in the past 12 months, up from 20% last year.

A further 26% of respondents identified a requirement for specific skills over the next 12 months. These skills included .NET and Java development skills, Windows 2003 Server, VoIP, and business analysis skills.

The study also revealed that the rate of staff turnover over the past 12 months was 12%, a significant increase from 9.4% in 2004.

However while a quarter of respondents identified specific recruitment or retention problems over the last year - up 5% on 2004 - there was a slight decline in projected demand for IT workers generally.

Over the next two years, 41% of respondents expected their IT staff numbers to grow, while a further 41% expected numbers to remain the same. Last year more than 50% predicted increase in IT staff numbers.

Managing Director of NCC Membership Services, Stefan Foster said that in the short term the IT labour market looked buoyant.

He added: "It looks like the dust will begin to settle on the labour market by next summer, but watch out, with certain skills such as internet and intranet development, demand will be high, so put your recruitment plans together now - or risk a fight for skilled staff later in the year.

"With many organisations implementing Voice over Internet Protocol technologies (see NCC's Benchmark of IT Strategy 2005) it is no surprise that skills in this area are highly prized."

* The Benchmark of Salaries and Employment Trends in IT is based on an annual survey of the IT labour market, carried out by the National Computing Centre. The analysis is based on an aggregation of the responses from 383 organisations, which provided salary and employment details for 9,346 staff.


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