Over nine in ten (93 per cent) UK CIOs are calling on government, businesses and universities to help solve the country’s tech skills crisis. Research from recruitment specialist Robert Half Technology UK shows 31 per cent of UK CIOs feel that actively promoting IT as an attractive career path to Millennials and Generation Zeros is crucial to address the skills gap. Another 20 per cent believe that an equal mix of measures – including more investment in training, closer collaboration with educators and additional government initiatives – is the best approach to solve the crisis.

This view is held across Europe, with the continents CIOs agreeing that a mix of these initiatives would be beneficial in solving the skill shortage, even if exact solutions differ. CIOs in Belgium place higher priority on promoting IT as career path for Millennials/Generation Z professionals (45 per cent). Whereas French CIOs place greater importance on in-house training (21 per cent) compared with 13 per cent in the UK to address the tech skills crunch.

European CIOs were asked: In your opinion, what is the single thing that would alleviate the skills shortage in the technology field?

Continental Europe and UK UK Belgium France Germany
Promote IT as an attractive career path for Millennials/Gen Z professionals 31 per cent 31 per cent 45 per cent 31 per cent 16 per cent
All of them in equal measure 10 per cent 20 per cent 4 per cent 5 per cent 15 per cent
Increased in-house training initiatives 17 per cent 13 per cent 15 per cent 21 per cent 16 per cent
Increased government initiatives 10 per cent 11 per cent 9 per cent 10 per cent 11 per cent
Increased collaboration with education providers/universities 16 per cent 13 per cent 16 per cent 12 per cent 23 per cent
Increased collaboration initiatives from the business community 12 per cent 8 per cent 8 per cent 16 per cent 15 per cent
Nothing 3 per cent 5 per cent 1 per cent 3 per cent 3 per cent
Don’t know 2 per cent 2 per cent 2 per cent 2 per cent 3 per cent

Source: Robert Half, 2018

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half said:

“With continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the potential of reduced access to skilled EU workers combined with visa caps, the IT skills gap is likely to increase unless all we take positive steps to address it. By taking a holistic approach to tech recruitment challenges, UK organisations will start to see more candidates attracted to a career in IT.”

Businesses are already facing increasing competition for talent in the technology sector. In fact, 79 per cent of CIOs claim it is now more challenging to find qualified professionals than five years ago. This is comparable with Europe, where 67 per cent of CIOs agree that it is more challenging today. With a possible tech talent exodus imminent, upskilling and training current and future employees now is key to the UK’s continued competitiveness.

“Our research shows that the UK is not alone in its challenge to find qualified, highly skilled IT professionals. This is a worldwide issue that is particularly prominent in IT as digital transformation, automation and industry 4.0 shapes the future of the working world. CIOs in the UK recognise that if government, businesses and universities can work together to provide the correct environment to nurture, develop and train IT professionals, the benefits to both organisations and employees will be a major boost to the UK economy,” concludes Weston.






Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.