Mind the gap – attracting talent to digital and tech

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November’s KPMG and REC report on jobs in the UK shows little change in a labour market that is at odds with itself. Supply and demand continue oppose each other despite permanent jobs placements growing.

According to the report, candidate jobs shortages are the fifth highest since records began in 1997 with factors such as high demand for staff, a reduction in foreign workers, and lessened career switch behaviour identified as causes

As staff demand grows across the board, one area in particular gasps for fresh talent – digital and tech.

Learning and Work Institute, Enginuity and Worldskills UK recently found that 92% of businesses believe having a basic level of digital skills is important for employees and 76% believe a lack of these skills will now impact profitability.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills put this into context by saying more than 500,000 additional workers will be needed in the three highest-skilled groups in the digital sector by the end of 2022. That’s triple the amount of computer science degree students that have graduated in the UK over the last 10 years.

Many organisations already understand the need for digital skills. Data from our own getmyfirstjob.co.uk has identified an 870% increase in roles like Cyber Security and IT in 2021 already, compared to 2019. The issue, however, is candidate interests don’t represent the same growth in demand.

Young people’s interest in digital and tech roles have declined since 2019. IT and Creative & Digital Media, previously 3rd and 9th in the top 10 industries by candidate interest are no longer in the top 10. The trades and high touch industries such as childcare have improved their position.

It is clear that the need for digital and tech skills will persist. The question is in how organisations will attract new talent to the roles incorporate them.


Mike Lovell
Marketing Consultant