Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Skills Shortage

We all hear about the 'skills shortage' and how it it going to blight the lives of those poor souls in UK PLC. And yet in the midst of the shortage some of my friends, seasoned IT professionals, are unable to find work. They are nearly all over 40 or are good people with out of date skills, or have a family to maintain and cannot afford to work for low pay. So I think that this skills shortage really means that there is a shortage of people who are young and have the right skills. Also maybe a shortage of young people who will go to college to learn about IT, get into debt with student loans, and then work very cheap afterwards.

In other words there is not really a UK skills shortage, but a shortage of people who can be readily and immediately exploited by firms who do not want to train or retrain and develop their staff. And of course the IT recruiting agencies want people here and now - under the recruitment agency model of 20% of fist year's salary there is no profit margin in offering employers people with potential.

There are of course some good firms out there who will invest in and train people. But they seem to be increasingly few in number.

In the UK we still seem to trust too much to chance in building a skills base for the future. On the other hand government attempts to build the skills base seem to waste a lot of money for any progress made.

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