Mind the Skills Gap

New research from Chinwag confirms what many working in the new media sector already know. There is a severe shortage of suitable digital people despite increasing numbers of posts that demand them.

Key findings from the report include:

It’s hard to attract staff: 97% of respondents find it either difficult or impossible to attract the right digital staff for their businesses
It’s difficult to retain staff: 76% of respondents find it difficult to retain staff within their companies.
Digital staff numbers are growing: Most businesses have increased the number of staff working in digital during the last year, with more permanent staff joining than leaving.
Use of freelancers is growing: Businesses have found themselves using the services of freelance staff more this year on previous years.
The digital skills shortage is stopping businesses grow: 57% of respondents reported that the digital skills shortage impeded the growth of their business in 2007.
Salary is a major issue in attracting and retaining digital staff: Companies having most difficulty attracting staff are also the least likely to raise wage levels next year.
Most companies giving pay rises in 2008: 75% of businesses are planning to increase the salaries of digital staff.

skillsgap

Chinwag MD Sam Michel comments: “These results show the pain of recruiting in 2007 gets worse in 2008. It’s now actively affecting the growth prospects of a sector that is booming despite concerns about the wider economy. Employers must work harder to attract and retain quality staff, without resorting to the temptation of unsustainable wage levels.”

He continues: “The digital sector desperately needs to improve career development opportunities and widen its net, with industry-wide initiatives to support internships and training programmes, and to encourage people with traditional skills to make the jump to digital.”

The full report is available from the Chinwag site and will be discussed at the company’s forthcoming ‘Skills Emergency‘ event on January 29.

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