UK Technical Skills Gap Continues to Widen

In recent months, there have been an abundance of news headlines that revolve around the idea of skills shortages in the UK. One of the most prolific points of discussion has been the shortage of engineering professionals. In light of the fact that the average age of most UK engineers is fairly advanced, a mass ‘retirement cliff’ is soon to be expected, but it’s not only pure engineers who are in short supply, as related ‘technical’ skills are also in high demand.

The Technical Skills Shortage

Many employers are finding it difficult to fill IT, engineering or technical vacancies with the correct candidates, and a notable trend is arising where highly qualified persons are proving to be difficult to find. According to Contractor UK, a survey of 400 employers revealed that more than 33% of such individuals didn’t expect to be able to hand their technical or IT projects over to a suitable person, indicating that confidence in the pool of available talent is at an extremely low ebb.

Rather worryingly, 44% of the surveyed employers have already experienced dissatisfaction due to hiring an inadequate IT or technical candidate, and 38% admitted that this previous bad experience would serve as a deterrent to pursuing future projects or expansion in these areas. Apparently, this so-called ‘technical skills gap’ has been ongoing for 9 successive years, so it is hardly a fleeting concern.

An Opportunity for Contractors?

The fact is that the recruitment effort for IT and technical professionals is actually at its highest point for four full years, so the opportunities are undeniably out there; they are simply waiting for the right candidates to fill them. As a result, skilled freelancers in the IT and technical industries should have no problem finding contracts in this present climate, as employers are clamouring to see such experienced workers stepping forwards.

Finding a reliable source of contracts is, of course, the key to a successful career as a freelancer, but here at ICS we can also ensure that you experience success in other areas of your business too. As contractor accountants, we can assist you by offering a variety of accountancy and bookkeeping services, and our advice can also help you with potentially thorny issues like IR35. We’ve a long-standing track record when it comes to taking all of the stress out of contracting, so contact us now by calling 0800 195 3750 or emailing info@icsuk.com to find out more.