Dr Graham Herries, co-chair of Innovation and Skills at the IET, said: “It is a huge concern to see a talent shortage within our technology sector and employers need to recognise that they play a significant role in addressing the skills gaps that they face – by recruiting more apprentices and re-training existing staff, as well as utilising the apprenticeship levy to address demand. The importance of engaging with local schools, colleges and universities with employees acting as STEM ambassadors and exciting future generations should be a priority for employers.
“The IET recognises the tech talent shortage is impacting industry with a significant number of vacancies that cannot be filled by available skilled candidates. Our annual Skills Survey has highlighted an ongoing shortage of engineering skills for the last 15 years and this is now being exacerbated by the pace of change in digital technology adoption by businesses. We continue to call upon the government and employers to increase their collective focus on apprenticeships as they provide a quicker route to addressing vacant roles and start to add value from Day 1 through gaining hands on experience combined with great training.
“However, there is no easy fix, and we must recognise the importance of addressing the gaps we face today, as well as the gaps which will exist in the coming years and prepare for this now. The need for tech and digital skills is only going to grow and we must continue to enthuse children about careers in STEM, which all contain high digital skills content.”