Umbrella Company Employees and other independent professionals specialising in IT contracting may wish to consider contributing to a new House of Lords committee, which has just issued its call for evidence.

The new House of Lords committee on digital skills follows last September’s disquieting report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which strongly implied that continued growth in the country’s IT infrastructure could be hobbled by a looming skills shortage. This, the report argued, was the direct consequence of the burgeoning uptake of mobile and cloud technologies.

Contractors continue to play a valiant role in helping companies and organisations to meet their IT skills challenges; however, the deficit’s rate of growth will outstrip the capacity of home-grown talent in the foreseeable future unless urgent steps are taken to forestall this. The new committee’s principal area of investigation will be to determine whether the UK is taking the necessary steps to develop a workforce capable of providing the required skills.

The committee’s chair, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, said: “The level of technological change in the UK and the rest of the world is staggering, and having a workforce that possesses the right skills is going to prove vital to our economy. Our committee will therefore be analysing in-depth the state of the UK’s digital knowledge, and examining whether our labour market is skilled enough to compete on the international stage.”

The aim of the committee’s work, Baroness Morgan explained, was to ensure that “we have the infrastructure to support the digital environment of the future.”

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