A row of empty desks in front of computers in an office space.
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Talent gaps are stalling innovation in the tech sector, survey says

26 Jan 2022

Just under half of employers surveyed said that employee turnover was hindering their company’s ability to achieve goals.

A shortage of job-ready digital talent is stalling innovation in the tech sector, according to a new survey by online learning platform Udacity and market research company Ipsos.

The organisations surveyed more than 2,000 managers and more than 4,000 staff across the UK, France, Germany and the US. No Irish respondents were involved.

Participants were asked for their attitudes towards the ongoing digital talent gap. The findings revealed that low retention rates, hiring difficulties and Covid-19 disruption have all contributed to the challenges faced by companies trying to fill jobs in tech.

Just under half (44pc) of employers surveyed said that employee turnover was hindering their company’s ability to achieve goals, while 59pc said that not having enough skilled employees has had a major or moderate impact on their business.

While recruiting and retaining skilled workers is an issue for many companies, half of employers surveyed also said that digital transformation initiatives were being held back due to a lack of employee adoption or engagement.

Among employers that offered learning and development programmes, the majority (80pc) classified them as at least moderately successful. However, less than half (45pc) of employees with access to learning and development programmes said they were completely or very satisfied. The disconnect between the answers offered by the two groups suggests employers may need to focus on upskilling workers who expect more.

The survey suggested that this issue will only become more pronounced over time, as younger employees expect their employers to invest in skills training. This was true for the majority of workers surveyed aged 18 to 49 in all countries, but especially pronounced in Germany where 69pc of people aged 18 to 29 held these expectations.

Workers indicated that they understood the implications of their employer failing to provide adequate upskilling options for them. Nearly two-thirds (62pc) said that their employers had the responsibility to pay for training initiatives.

“Employees and employers are in agreement that companies have a responsibility to invest in the future of their employees,” said Christopher Moessner, senior VP at Ipsos.

“The talent shortage has reached a crisis pitch,” added Udacity CEO Gabe Dalporto. “If companies do not invest in talent transformation, they are destined to fail. The lack of job-ready digital talent has become an existential threat to businesses around the world.”

Moessner said the research should serve as a “wake-up call for enterprises to invest in talent transformation or risk falling behind”.

“It’s a win-win for employees who desire the most in-demand tech roles and for employers who are not able to hire the right people to meet current and future demand,” he added.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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