A survey commissioned by Robert Half has suggested the city-state’s critical skills shortage within the technology sector could be resolved by promoting the profession to millennials and Generation Z. The survey of 75 CIOs found just under one in four (23 per cent) believe the number one factor that would alleviate the IT skills shortage is promoting IT as an attractive career path for these professionals.
The survey reveals the extent of the skills shortage impacting IT employers, as just under nine in 10 (87 per cent) CIOs say it is challenging to source qualified IT professionals, while 83 per cent say it is also challenging to attract them once found.
The second primary solution to solving Singapore’s IT skills shortage according to one in five (21 per cent) CIOs is increased in-house training of existing IT staff. This is followed by 16 per cent who think increased collaboration with education providers and universities and 15 per cent who believe increased collaboration initiatives from the business community will ease Singapore’s IT skills shortage. Just over one in 10 (12 per cent) CIOs refer to increased government initiatives and 9 per cent believe all the mentioned initiatives in equal measure are the primary solution.
The IT skills shortage is not just about finding the right IT talent, but also of equal important to IT employers is retaining and upskilling their top performers, indeed more than eight in 10 (84 per cent) state IT professionals are more willing to resign if their company is unable to provide them with their requested training compared to three years ago.
“Singapore’s IT employers are currently locked in a war for talent as top IT professionals prove scarce in a skills-short market,” Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore said. “As Millennials continue to dominate a changing workforce demographic in Singapore, companies need to not only modify their staff attraction policies to attract the workforce of the future, but also actively promote the benefits and opportunities available with a career in IT and technology. Promoting IT as an attractive career path to millennials needs to be part of a comprehensive approach undertaken by the business community, educational institutions and supported by government initiatives.
“IT employers need to focus on not only attracting high-calibre talent, but also on upskilling their existing staff,” Matthieu added. “Professional development programs can be used to not only fill crucial skills gaps, and motivate top performing staff, but also to help organisations stand out as an attractive employer when the number of jobs available outweighs the current IT talent pool.”