Employers are confident and investing again, with over 77% anticipating growth over 2015 and heavily investing for the future, economy is predicting GDP being above 2% and the UK market is predicting a growth of 7% in just the first quarter of 2015, rising to 8% by the end of 2015. Employers are now moving in line with market salary benchmarks and 56% expect to offer salary increases to staff and the Bank of England are anticipating a growth in salaries across the UK market of 2%.
Some of the main growth strategies are starting internally with the majority investing in business change and transformation aligned projects; upgrades on internal systems, business intelligence and big data; maximising sales opportunities with existing and new customers. As you can see from the previous blog, ‘Technology, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics – How ‘Private’ is your Private Life?’ the whole industry is set to spend nearly a further 24 billion globally on Business Intelligence and Big Data alone. Technology is ever evolving and becoming an enabler for organisations to grow, but are we ready for this growth?
There is a constant ringing in the market of “skill-shortages” across the recruitment sector as a 5 year recession period left many employers looking to take stock and operate in a lean fashion, operating with shorter term goals, month to month as opposed to year to year and beyond. 73% of the market expects a distinct skills-shortage around development, infrastructure BI and projects. For many obvious reasons, the UK has taken a fairly blinkered approach to business initiatives, as for many it was about survival!
But how and what was done to encourage our employees to remain loyal and incentivised? What did organisations offer to enable career progression?
As with confidence in the market amongst organisations, there is increasing confidence amongst employees and although most have been grateful for the opportunity to work during very difficult times, recent surveys have suggested that 55% believe that there is no scope for career progression in their current role/ company, prompting 80% of the UK employment market set to move jobs within the next two years. Although 56% of the employment market is set to increase salaries it’s not the single one factor considered when people look at their long term career goals and objectives. In another recent report, outside of remuneration, employees put career development down as the second most important factor when deciding on their future.
The evolution and emerging technologies market of cloud computing, big data analysis and security systems have prompted an increased demand for IT testing professionals. Newly developed mobile systems and programmes have meant robust testing has acquired an extra urgency, while open source software has developed faster than the availability of suitable professionals within this space, seeing a rise in internal up skilling. Permanent testers are more sought after than contractors, especially those with previous development experience/skills.
So what next? How is the skill-shortage going to be tackled? How can confidence be instilled in employees to retain talent before they embark on other opportunities?
A skill-shortage has been anticipated for a number of years’ now due to outsourcing of testing/ development services leaving our shores for a more cost effective model and a lack of emerging talent in the market deciding on careers outside of the IT sector, prompting the need for talent outside of the home grown UK market.
However with salary inflation rates of up to 16% in some of the chosen off shored resources, financial services organisations have started to consider bringing these functions back to the UK as it is now just as cost effective, but have we got the sufficient skills in our shores to facilitate this?
Yes we need to look at the here and now and yes it’s encouraging to see the market is taking an upward trajectory but before we get carried away with being in a healthier economy, we need to seriously consider our existing employees, mobility and training, scope for career progression as well as how we can encourage the next generation of engineering across all sectors; otherwise run the risk of incomprehensible skill-shortages in the not so distant future.
By: Mark Outram
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