As long as your company has the right staff, with the right skills, in the right role, then who cares? Except when a major vendor cannot deliver products on time due to a shortage of IT skills in its own organisation, and there is a knock-on effect to you and a delivery to your customers, which then affects your bottom line.
Last week, e-skills, the non-profit making body which represents telecoms, IT and contact centre employers, announced that the UK needs about 179,000 new entrants into the IT sector every year to replace leavers and new positions. This simply isn’t happening, hence, we have a growing skills shortage on the horizon.
Importantly for the channel, the study by e-skills noted that 76 per cent of firms have had to delay product updates or launches due to a shortage in skills, and this could have a major knock-on effect.
With our sector finally back on the straight and narrow path to growth – albeit only just – this, in turn, will mean an increase in jobs. And while most firms are slowly increasing their spending budgets, spending on training courses and updating employee IT skills is still way behind.
But this is both good and bad news for the channel. It is bad news because most VARs will, at some point, need to hire staff, whether that be on a temporary or permanent basis. These staff will need to have the relevant skills, of which there may be a shortage. However, on the flip-side, according to the e-skills study, more than 5.6 million people need to increase their skills to meet changing employer demand over the next three years. That is an awful lot of e-learning, onsite and off-site training courses to be sold.
VARs should use this opportunity to not only invest in training their own staff, to ensure staff retention, job satisfaction and ensure their business is at the cutting edge of technology, but should also use this opportunity to encourage customers to bring their own staff up to speed as well which, in turn, will help improve the channels’ bottom line.
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