Government agency e-skills UK has slammed the IT training industry for being unable to stand up to the task of filling the UK's technology skills gap.
In a report released last week, e-skills announced the existence of a skills shortage created by the growing demand for business technologists: people with IT and business and management skills. The report said this threatens to wreak "catastrophic damage" upon the UK?s economy.
The report added: "The private training industry alone will be unable to deliver the necessary IT skills development needed in the UK."
Margaret Sambell, director of strategy at e-skills, said all IT educators must adapt to meet changing market needs.
"A lot of the traditional entry level jobs, such as programming and testing, aren't necessarily needed in the same levels as before geosourcing became common. As the trend continues, that will increase," Sambell said.
She added that as demand for traditional IT jobs lessens, there will be fewer people being groomed for IT business management posts, which will exacerbate the executive skills crisis.
Nigel Pearson, UK director of training at distributor Azlan, said the decline of the private training industry in the past two years was linked to a wider downturn, but claimed things are changing.
"Green shoots are showing," he said. "I know from my own order book that there is an upturn. The telcos are coming back on stream."
Paul Thoma, business manager at Partners Group, which provides IT recruitment for the financial services sector, agreed that demand for IT business skills is increasing. But, he claimed, the need for regular IT skills is also greater than in the past.
Thoma added that demand for regular IT jobs suggest it is linked to the wider fortunes of UK industry, which are improving.
Moreover, Sambell could provide no quantitative evidence to support e-skills' assertion that demand for regular IT skills is lessening as jobs go overseas.
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