The shortage of IT skilled workers is getting worse, with companies experiencing difficulties hiring and retaining their staff.
According to the quarterly survey of the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), 60 per cent of companies in London and the South East are having difficulty recruiting workers, especially professional and managerial staff.
The survey predicted that one in five information technology professionals are expected to change their jobs this year. It cited an example of a company in the Thames Valley, where network managers are staying for only three months, and another company which had had 10 network managers in 14 months.
In a statement, Simon Sperryn, chief executive of the LCCI, stated that: ?The skills shortages in computing throughout the industry are especially worrying.?
The survey said the economic upturn and the rapid expansion of the telecommunications industry had created more demand for information technology skills. Preparations for the European single currency and the millennium have also been stipulated as reasons for skills shortages.
The LCCI is attempting to get over the problem by encouraging firms to re-employ older workers who fell victim to massive redundancies a few years ago. Older workers can be worth employing because they have better management skills than younger staff.
The LCCI survey was conducted among 243 organisations. Of the total, it found that 84 per cent of service sector companies and 73 per cent of manufacturers had tried to recruit workers. Job growth was reported by 31 per cent of service companies and 27 per cent expected further growth in the next quarter.
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