A report looking into the widening UK digital skills gap has found that, although successive governments have prioritised growing the technology industry, the skills gap is still vast.
Hired’s study – titled Mind the Gap – says that the UK needs people with the skills to help them keep pace and thrive in a digital future. This starts with inclusion, with Hired hoping that their report will bring the issue of the skills gap into the spotlight.
They say that the country needs a new and innovative approach to cultivate the current skills base.
Speaking to Recruitment Grapevine Mehul Patel, Hired’s CEO, says: "The key learning from the Mind the Gap report is that companies looking to recruit top talent need to make sure the door remains open for the best candidates.
“Brexit has stirred up a lot of market uncertainty and it is important that those looking to hire in the UK remain open-minded about talent and where it comes from. This means considering those from non-traditional educational backgrounds, or hiring from abroad while current labour laws still permit it."
Sophie Adelman, Hired’s Head of Sales – EMEA, wrote about the study’s key findings in a blog post, which can be seen below.
- “There is a significant skills gap in the key areas of data, security, Python, Ruby, UI and UX. Whether measured by supply and demand, interview requests or job offers, these areas consistently emerged as the skills most coveted by tech firms. Market appetite for these skills is far outstripping supply, with, for example, the demand for security engineers increasingly by 234% in the last 18 months alone.”
- “Particularly with the uncertainty over the Brexit decision, gaps in the supply and demand of vital skills may hold back the UK tech sector’s growth. One in three people working in the UK tech sector come from another European country. Britain’s position as a digital powerhouse has been dependent on bringing in these kinds of high-skilled workers as a supplement to the country’s home-grown talent; the skills gap will only worsen if the UK can’t attract the best talent, wherever it’s from.”
- “The UK’s global competitiveness against US tech hubs is an area of concern. Average salaries for tech workers in London are substantially lower than in Silicon Valley and New York, which have salaries 38% and 35% higher, respectively, than the UK.”
- “There is a worrying trend when looking at the pipeline of tech-savvy students entering the workforce. 74% of tech workers have a degree – a much higher proportion than the national average. However, the number of UK students graduating with computer science qualifications has dropped considerably since 2002. This is in direct contrast to neighbours such as France, which now provides the European market with more computer science graduates than any other country. Given this and the fact that our data revealed that a large number of developers are now self-taught, employers need to ensure passion and commitment are given due consideration in their recruitment process, alongside university degrees.”