'Skills shortage' threatens government projects!

Kable, the publisher of 'Government Computing', has carried out a survey of Whitehall's IT managers and has discovered that their main concern is not a lack of funding, but a shortage of IT skills and personnel.

Over half of the 160 central government IT managers took part in the study.

According to Kable, out of a list of eight "business pressures", which included funding concerns, technology issues and Government initiatives, the majority of comments were about staffing and skills shortages.

Among the comments which arose from the study, IT managers complained that the recruitment process is too lengthy and that staff are not well motivated and hard to keep hold of.

In our opinion, it could well be that the 'staff shortage' referred to in this study may relate to the fact that many graduates and young IT people do not want to work in the public sector more than an indication of a general industry-wide 'skills shortage'.

Only last month, Home Office Minister, Angela Eagle revealed that the total number of work permits approved under the shortage occupation category for information technology since 21 January 2000 - over 20,000 in total. Perhaps this revelation and the 'skills shortage' referred to in the Kable report is just another example of the failure of 'joined up government policy'?

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