Apprentices Will Solve The Skills Crisis Say TechWeek Readers

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Education is good, but in-service training has the edge, says our latest poll

The answer to the growing IT skills crisis is training in the workplace and better education, say TechWeekEurope readers.

Companies are finding it hard to get the staff they need with IT skills and qualifications, while the number of graduates in ICT is dwindling. TechWeekEurope readers believe that improving the education system it seems will help, but apprenticeships have a slight edge.

Training as you work

Despite technology changes, the biggest challenge facing the industry is in human resources, the EU digital champion Neelie Kroes warned at a recent CIOnet event in April.

More than a third (36.5 percent) of our readers say the answer is apprenticeships, rather than more academic study of ICT disciplines.

It’s an idea that governments can support, but is the responsibility of industry. Firms that have moved in that direction recently include Microsoft (1000 apprentices) and Salesforce (20 apprentices).

Nearly equal, 34 percent want to catch potential ICT people young, with better ICT in schools. School IT lessons are widely criticised as nothing more than training in how to use PowerPoint – a criticism that Google’s Eric Schmidt made forcefully on a visit to the country, in August 2011.

In January, Education Secretary Michael Gove promised to reboot, or even re-program the entire ICT curriculum – an effort which has yet to bear fruit.

The cheap-and cheerful Linux-based Raspberry Pi device is being proposed as a way to enthuse children and improve ICT lessons, and Eric Schmidt agrees – Google is funding the device in some British schools, along with some teachers.

Our readers weren’t so convinced though as only 17 percent saw this as a way to beat the skills crisis.

Thankfully that figure was higher than the response for the counsel of despair we offered. Maybe we needn’t worry about skills, since the cloud will effectively make IT so easy no skills are required? Only twelve percent of readers fell for this one.

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