The tech sector lacks talented candidates in data, security, Python, Ruby, UI and UX, according to report into IT skills.

The report, by Hired, investigated supply, demand, interview requests and job offers.

Job Interview - Via Shutterstock
Job Interview – Via Shutterstock

Demand for security engineers spiked by 234% in the last 18 months alone and in addition the report found that the average salary for tech workers in London are lower than in Silicon Valley and New York. Salaries were found to be 38% higher in Silicon Valley than the UK and 35% higher in New York.

Hired conducted a survey to find out the views of companies and candidates. As a result the Mind the Gap report was created to identify which digital skills are in demand.

Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK President, provides a forward for the report in which she writes: “Digital skills are not just about the needs of tech companies – be they start-ups or multinationals. The UK needs people with the skills to help them keep pace and thrive in a digital future.

“This starts with inclusion – we must make sure that no part of the UK is left behind in the digital revolution, and people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds are given the tools and access to education to develop their digital skills.”

She added: “We must commit to challenging our employees and peers to learn new skills, or to update their current set, to ensure we remain ahead of the curve.”

Commenting on the report Claire Cockerton, CEO of ENTIQ, said: “Over the last decade the UK has worked tirelessly to become a centre of excellence in innovation and technology; today the industry is worth an incredible £161bn to the economy and supports more than 1.5million jobs across the country. Yet, as Hired’s report reminds us, there is always more we can, and indeed must do.”

“The statistics revealed a yawning skills gap emerging, with new skills such as data and security both vastly underserviced with talent. When considering the potential impact of Brexit, this becomes an even more concerning statistic. To address it, as an industry we must ensure we support free movement of talent and review the list of skills that are open for working visas, particularly in these key areas of technology that are currently underserviced.”

“Secondly, we must look to the long-term and work together with the Government to solve the education issue. There is a need to implement new initiatives in the curriculum that are consistently updated to reflect the ever-evolving nature of technology. Not only that but we must begin to celebrate our successes – and indeed openly address our failures; we must work together to showcase our technology entrepreneurs to the wider world to inspire tomorrow’s leaders. For the UK to remain a global player, it must address both of these points now, working to upskill current talent, as well as addressing the next generation. Only by doing that can we futureproof UK GDP. A failure to do so will see us fall behind on the global scale.”

Richard Shea, Managing Director EMEA Search of Futurestep , said: “This report has highlighted something the industry has been talking about for the last five years; but obviously, not enough action has been taken. The growing digital skills gap is worrying. By 2020, the UK alone will require 2.3 million digitally skilled workers. But according to these latest findings, supply is already falling incredibly short of catering to demand.

“To start bridging this gap between the cry for technology talent and the shallow pool we have on offer, we need to look to our grassroots and begin with education. As the UK continues to develop its digital economy and fuel the UK’s Plc, we are seeing an absence of students going on to study technology subjects at higher levels. This is where the pipeline of talent begins to leak and we lose potential members of the tech workforce.

“Yet too many organisations are waiting for governments or even competitors to do something to address it. All companies within the technology sector must take ownership of helping educate the younger generations; whether it’s through early employment careers, graduate recruitment or simply visiting schools with role model spokespeople, to solidify the UK’s future as a leading global hub with tech talent being the centre of its success.”

Paul Brown, Head of HR, Business and Application Services at Fujitsu EMEIA, said: “The findings of this Mind The Gap report make for concerning reading – particularly the fact that the uptake of technology degrees is falling over time. Our increasingly digitally-led business environment and society means that STEM and digital skills are essential in the UK, both within technology firms and virtually every other industry. Expertise in the fields of data analytics and security are increasingly important for all organisations, but we are already battling against skills gaps in these areas.

“STEM subjects clearly still suffer from an image problem. It’s often assumed that the only jobs that you can get with a degree in maths or engineering are highly technical and perhaps dull. We need to tackle these misconceptions and showcase how roles in technology are addressing some of the most important issues in society and creating new career paths as well as advancing economic growth.

“It’s also important to recognise that creativity and innovation can be as important as technical skill in ‘Digital’ jobs. Through engaging a diverse array of young people in STEM subjects and maintaining their interest through education and in to the workplace we will help protect the UK’s future competitiveness.”