A growing number of businesses are struggling to find enough IT graduates to fill computing and IT roles, new research commissioned by Totaljobs.com reveals.

More than one-third of employers (34%) said that a skills gap was appearing in technical roles, and vacancies in finance and production are also becoming increasingly difficult to fill. Earlier this year, Totaljobs.com published research indicating that almost half (48%) of IT hirers had shifted their emphasis from graduate recruitment to apprenticeships as a result of the graduate shortage.

Mike Fetters, the graduates director at Totaljobs.com, said that the large growth in graduate IT and computing jobs does not show any sign of abating, but businesses are continually confronted with the fact that there simply are not enough graduates with sufficient skills and experience to fill them. He added: “What’s interesting is the increase in apprenticeship hires. There is definitely still a need for degree-level hires, but companies are increasingly understanding the value of taking on an apprentice as an effective way to address their skills shortages and foster a new generation of IT and business experts.”

The latest research found that over half of the employers polled (57%) were struggling to make entry-level IT appointments, while 27% now regard apprenticeships as a crucial means of overcoming the skills shortage.

One implication of the research not directly referred to in the report is that, until such time as sufficiently qualified graduates and apprentices come on stream, IT firms may turn to the talents of skilled IT pros contracting through Umbrella Companies to keep essential business projects on track.

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