Managing Director Global Knowledge
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HOW ARE BUSINESSES RESPONDING TO SKILLS GAPS?

23rd Jan 2020
Managing Director Global Knowledge
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For 12 years, Global Knowledge has been conducting a Skills and Salary survey.  Over a decade of insight allows us to see the trends and cycles, helping us predict the training landscape.  It’s clear that 2020 is going to be a year where commitment to skills development may separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Skills shortages aren’t a new thing but, with more than 40% of decision-makers saying their company doesn’t offer formal training opportunities, it’s hard to see how those organisations will meet their goals. How can a company infuse its team or department with necessary skills or manage the talent shortages that are industry wide, without backing from the business? 

Training existing employees reduces the need to increase headcount and it’s a popular way to invest in people. Employees who believe their company isn’t investing in their development are more likely to leave for other job opportunities.

But training isn’t seen as the only solution, according to our survey. 15% of decision makers say they will hire outside contractors for their skills needs, while 15% plan to hire full-time employees.  Most surprisingly, 19% of IT decision-makers say they have no plan to address skills gaps, ignoring skills shortages and hoping they will go away.  Maybe it’s the lack of available budget or confusion about where to start. 

IT skills gaps are up 155% in three years in large part because decision-makers are struggling to find qualified job candidates. Are they sticking too rigidly to prerequisites that are no longer appropriate? Perhaps requiring a degree isn’t necessary, when you can take on a committed, talented candidate and support them through a Degree-Level apprenticeship?

Many of the technologies that companies are implementing, upgrading and building their competitive edge with, such as cloud computing and AI, evolve from year to year, so an ongoing plan for updating skill sets is vital.  And, fortunately, it’s not just the technology that’s transforming, the learning opportunities are too. The variety of available training – formal, self-study, mentoring, classroom, virtual – meets the needs of the wide range of professionals looking to keep up with their industries.  A strategy is only as good as the people who implement it. Without the skills in place, the best-laid plans are destined to hit a wall.   

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