The Edinburgh arm of Xilinx, the US chip maker, hired three graduates from Europe last year despite efforts to draw from the local university population.
Colin Carruthers, Scottish head of Xilinx, is now looking to fill five vacancies to boost its staff of 36.
“These are more senior-level posts, but it is the same story,” Carruthers said. “All of the serious interest and all of the offers that we have on the table so far are for people from outside the UK – not even just outside of Scotland.”
The situation at Xilinx, which began life in 1989 as a spin-out from Edinburgh University, illustrates long-standing claims of skills shortages in the IT sector.
Demand at Xilinx, which is based at the Edinburgh Technopole science park, is being driven by the need to upgrade internet, 3G and 4G networks as operators add bandwidth.
Xilinx’s chips can be reprogrammed remotely, removing the need to send workers out to hundreds of base stations.