A survey by IT industry employer council E-skills UK has suggested that four key areas are suffering from a lack of expertise.
The survey focused on green IT, cloud computing, cybersecurity and mobile tech, arguing that these four areas will drive the digital economy in future – yet interviews with UK employers reveal a dearth of related skills.
E-skills said in a statement that its survey has found that 20 per cent of current vacancies in the industry are "difficult to fill".
The £69bn digital sector, as a future "powerhouse" of the UK economy, is being held back by current skill shortages, it asserted.
"Since 2009, employment in the sector has grown more than three times as fast as the average for the whole economy," it added. "Maintaining this growth and realising the sector's full potential will require escalating recruitment at higher skill levels."
Meanwhile, there is an increasing need for technical skills to be complemented by interpersonal, team working, and project management capabilities, it said.
"There is a growing need for high-level IT specialisms, such as IT architects, big data and security specialists. Core technical and computing skills remain important, but giving existing IT specialists broader, deeper skills and more new specialisms is critical for continued growth," it said.
E-skills UK is arguing for the creation of a "world-class pipeline" of IT specialists via quality apprenticeships and industry-backed degrees.
"Half of the 1.1m IT specialists in the country are employed in the technology industry itself; the other half are key players in every sector from defence to retail and from finance to manufacturing," it said.
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