Channel forecasts narrowing skills gap

The IT channel is confident of being able to reduce the skills gap by 2020, according to research by OnePoll commissioned by Agilitas.

The survey of IT resellers, Managed Service Providers and independent IT providers revealed a confident outlook, with 75% expecting the skills gap to change by 2020, and 64% believing it will be resolved or reduced.

The research also examined the skill sets required, unexpectedly revealing that despite the rise of the cloud 78% believe hiring and training more on-premise and data-centre technical skills will help to ease pressures by 2020.

"The trend is in contrast to the arguments that we've heard recently about running out of talent," commented Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas. "Our research revealed that rather than resting on their laurels, many in the industry are confident of being able to make positive changes and reduce the gap."

The research also looked to understand what channel leaders plan to do to assist in reducing the skills gap, revealing that fostering high quality technical skills is a key priority in the channel.

Forty-seven percent see a lack of internal training as the key reason for a continued skills shortage in 2020, and around two thirds (62%) view training of existing staff as key to reducing the gap by 2020, suggesting talent development is a key focus among industry leaders.

Lynn added: "The results of our research highlight a clear need for our industry to focus on upskilling existing staff.

"We're already seeing a growth in important apprenticeship schemes and building up the next generation of talent, but the challenge between now and 2020 is the extent to which we can improve existing skillsets to meet customer challenges. The survey highlighted the need to invest in internal skills training and the channel must take note."

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