Telford said 10 per cent of new jobs created since the last recession are in IT-related fields. 'Taking the existing skills shortage as a starting point, we are looking at historical data from the Office of National Statistics, which analyses the economy in general and, more specifically, how the changes affect and shape our business,' he said.
He pointed out that IBM was identifying how the skills and employment landscape changes, citing new growth areas like e-commerce, the networked economy, the year 2000 and preparation for the Euro.
'Not only is there a shortage of skilled IT staff, but there has also been a significant change over the past few years in the number of IT vacancies filled.
'Four years ago, about 75 per cent of vacancies were filled. It's only 40 per cent now, and about 20 per cent for software engineers.
'Wage inflation is another factor, and anecdotal evidence throws up stories of software engineers earning #2,000 a day, but what we need is hard evidence.'
Telford added: 'The public statements from IBM are an attempt to generate a debate to change attitudes to IT employment. Recent surveys suggest that young people are not attracted to IT careers. Many see IT, wrongly, as very technical.'
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