Firms must focus on IT as staff eye other roles

Scottish firms risk losing market share to more innovative peers by failing to prioritise IT and staff working in this area, a new survey has found.

The study found 63% of IT staff have looked for roles elsewhere. Picture: John Devlin
The study found 63% of IT staff have looked for roles elsewhere. Picture: John Devlin

The study, by technology company EMC, found that 63 per cent of IT and cybersecurity workers north of the Border have looked for new roles at other organisations in the past year.

Limits on career progression were selected as the main frustration at 51 per cent and outweighed a poor pay package as the priority for considering alternative roles.

“This potential staff churn significantly threatens the growth of Scottish firms as they increasingly focus on technology to compete,” EMC said.

What’s more, 68 per cent of those surveyed said the growth and success of their organisation is fundamentally reliant on themselves or their team.

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Bridging Scotland’s digital skills gap

Martin Brown, Scottish country manager at EMC, said companies “must ensure that they offer the most compelling career opportunities in order to retain the best staff, or risk losing as many as almost two thirds of their IT team in the coming months — something which would have a hugely detrimental impact on any organisation”.

He added: “I would urge businesses to review their options and the opportunities they can offer their teams now.”

Boot camp aims to help bridge data skills gaps

The first ever data “boot camp” aimed at helping unlock a £17 billion opportunity for Scotland is set to be staged, writes Perry Gourley.

The three-week intensive initiative will provide employees with the skills needed to become data scientists at a time of booming demand.

Edinburgh-based innovation centre The Data Lab has partnered with New York’s globally renowned The Data Incubator to develop the boot camp.

Brian Hills, the centre’s head of data, said: “The skills needed to exploit the data opportunity – estimated to be worth £17bn to Scotland – are in great demand and short supply. With the average cost of recruiting a data scientist around £10,000, we’ve come up with a pioneering solution that will upskill existing talent and allow organisations to benefit quickly.”

There are up to 50 places available taking place in September. The event will focus on developing practical application skills.