UK grads lack practical training to close the IT Skills gap

As the IT Skills gap continues to grow, the number of UK graduates without practical training restricts the starting salaries they can achieve and is considered a key factor putting off young people from choosing IT as a career path. 

News of the expanding IT skills gap is hard to avoid, particularly in the last few weeks with the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda highlighting the situation as a pan-European issue. has confirmed that the number of IT Graduate jobs advertised on their site increased by 21% from 2011 to 2012, however, they have also noted that the salaries on offer are actually falling, rather than rising as would be expected when trying to lure young talent on board from a small talent pool. The average IT Graduate salary is static at £23,000.

IDS (Income Data Services) have confirmed that they too are seeing graduate positions across all sectors increase yet the salaries are remaining frozen. One potential reason for this is the lack of practical training and vocational experience that graduates are demonstrating from their degree course.

Helen Bayram from IT Graduate jobs says: “Despite the skills gap, the lack of salary growth is a worrying sign that even by encouraging more young people to get involved with IT by studying computer science through University; this is not providing businesses with the IT candidates that they are looking for.”

“By enhancing the theoretical knowledge learnt at university with practical training, we are able to provide businesses with candidates who are ‘workplace ready’ and able to add value from the offset, as well as enabling IT graduates to demand higher entry level salaries.”

She continued: “This in turn, could help encourage more young people who are interested in IT to turn that interest in to a career.”