EU exit would damage UK technology sector

With two-thirds of the CIO 100 employing skilled Europeans, another 47% are looking to the EU to plug the IT skills gap.

An overwhelming 88% of CIOs have pushed IT recruitment up their management agenda with 58% revealing they are finding it difficult to recruit the talent they need to drive transformation – and almost half of technology leaders in the latest CIO 100 are looking to talented workers in the EU to fill the UK IT skills shortage.

Furthermore only 34% of organisations in the CIO 100 responded that their technology departments did not include skilled workers from the EU. Among those already employing talent from Europe is a list of UK institutions and global businesses, including Channel 4, The National Trust, British Gas, Jaguar Land Rover, infrastructure projects HS2 and Crossrail, the Royal Mail, Save the Children, Thomson Reuters, Eurostar, Gatwick Airport, De Beers, Paul Smith, BT, JCB, Virgin Airways, and Starbucks.

As the 2015 edition of the CIO 100 recognised Halfords CIO Anna Barsby, hotel group GLH’s CTO Chris Hewertson, and Hyperion Insurance CIO David Jack as the three leading CIOs in the UK, the IT skills shortage and recruitment concerns of some of the UK’s leading institutions and organisations were also revealed. Some 62% of the CIO 100 also said that their organisation offered an apprenticeship scheme to train the technology workers they required.

The findings of the CIO 100 confirm a number of recent CIO profiles where business technology leaders have expressed their worries about finding, retaining, and training the right candidates to support their businesses.

And with nearly six in 10 organisations struggling to recruit the right talent to drive transformation, 47% of the CIO 100 said that they were actively looking to recruit skilled workers from the EU to support their business.

Those looking to Europe included many of the British ‘megabrand’ institutions listed above, along with the Financial Times, The Economist, AstraZeneca, Foster and Partners, Unilever, and the British Medical Journal – and is perhaps a warning signal a fortnight before the general election to politicians and voters proposing to restrict immigration.

CIO UK Editor in Chief Mark Chillingworth said: « The attitude and behaviour of politicians in the Conservative and UKIP parties worries me. These statistics demonstrate that the UK’s most important organisations, which are driving exports and bringing much needed revenue into this country, rely on a rich resource of skills.

« Putting the UK even further on the sidelines of Europe risks making the UK an uncompetitive country and we will lose our technology leadership advantage. »

Read the full article here.

Source: CIO Magazine

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