From education to employment

FE in 2014: Plugging the IT skills gap

The IT skills gap in the UK is widening, this has created a problem for many UK businesses. A shortage of qualified IT technicians and support professionals causes headaches for a lot of business owners. However, it creates a fantastic opportunity for people looking to move into the sector through further education.

In a report published earlier this year by CompTia, the IT trade and training association, it was found that technology is directly linked to the fortunes of businesses in the UK.

  • 80% of British businesses regard technology as being very important or important to success.
  • Around 25% look to be hiring more IT staff this year
  • 62% of businesses look to increase their spending in the coming year.

As businesses migrate from the ‘bricks and mortar’ world and move in to the digital realm an IT skills gap gulf is growing. The following 5 areas were highlighted by business owners as digital priorities to address and strengthen in 2014:

  • Online security
  • Data storage, systems and back-up
  • Online presence
  • Networks
  • Mobility (apps and devices)

This presents a huge opportunity for those looking to get in to the IT sector in 2014.

Chris Wood, Head of Digital at UK IT training provider Computeach explained: “There has never been a more exciting time to jump in to digital. The jobs are out there but most businesses tend to find that a lot of applicants lack the certification and expertise to fill the roles.”

Opportunity in social media gifted by the government

Social media is a ubiquitous form of communication. Ideal for keeping in touch with family and friends no matter where they are in the world. So, where there’s people, there are pesky marketers – meaning it’s a strong marketing platform that is growing at a rapid rate.

In a bid to make social media marketing roles accessible in 2014 the Government has created the 24 Plus Advanced Loan Scheme. The scheme enables those over the age of 24 who could not usually afford an IT course to take out a loan that is not too dissimilar to a student loan. The scheme allows anyone to apply for this loan whether they are unemployed, employed, already in training, or in further education.

  • Repayments do not start until 2016
  • Repayments start once you earn £21k+
  • If you earn £22k a year your monthly repayment will be £7 per month

Emilie Cook is a digital copywriter at Computeach, which offers IT training courses


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