A new report has revealed evidence of a widening skills gap in the IT sector.
The report from the IT and telecoms skills council, e-skills UK, found that the percentage of firms reporting ICT skills gaps and the impact of these gaps on companies reached its highest level for a year in the first quarter of 2006.
Around 14 per cent of the more than 1,000 businesses, IT and HR leaders surveyed reported that they were facing a shortage of skilled ICT staff, up from 12 per cent in the final quarter of 2005.
The impact of the skills gap on businesses was rated as 48, with 0 meaning 'no effect' and 100 meaning 'company closure', a worryingly high figure, according to e-Skills.
Firms reported difficulty finding skilled ICT staff, with 20 per cent of recruiters saying that they had problems finding applicants with the correct level of skills and knowledge.
With each ICT vacancy advertised externally attracting 26 candidates on average, only seven of these would fully match the requirements set out in the job description, the survey found.
However, despite the skills gap, employers seemed unwilling to train ICT staff, with one in five firms saying that they would not train staff over the coming year.