Businesses struggling to keep up with speed of technology development

Seven in ten IT managers say that the speed of technology means it's almost impossible to train their staff in the latest skills and techniques.

More than a third (36 per cent) of IT professionals in the UK have not received any technical training through their employer in the last three years, according to new research by Upwork.

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This is despite 97 per cent stating that training in the latest technical skills is essential for them to do their job effectively.

The benefits of a workforce with up-to-date skills is also recognised by 95 per cent of IT managers. However, they face a number of challenges when it comes to employee training.

Techniques such as JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS and Node.js as well as NoSQL database structuring and analytics related to the rise of big data are subject to fast changes in the market, the study reveals.

Other challenges include budget restrictions (49 per cent), time limitations (44 per cent) and prioritising other business responsibilities (33 per cent), which all hold back training efforts.

An inability to keep up with new skills has a significant impact on employees and businesses. Nearly nine in ten (89 per cent) IT workers would consider leaving their current organisation for better training opportunities elsewhere.

For some IT businesses, this is already a reality with more than one in four (28 per cent) having lost an employee due to a lack of training opportunities available.

Many see a solution to this prevalent issue, with 51 per cent claiming that hiring freelance talent with specific expertise would relieve some of their skills and training burdens.

Rich Pearson, senior vice president of marketing at Upwork says, ‘IT managers recognise the value in having a well-trained workforce but other business priorities and tight budgets mean training is often neglected.

‘As a result, workers often feel stifled in their jobs, which can have negative effects on performance, morale and loyalty.’

It’s imperative for businesses to keep up with evolving skills but upskilling staff can be expensive and time-consuming, especially given the pace of change, adds Pearson.

‘Using freelance specialists who take it upon themselves to stay up-to-date with technical skills solves this problem, we are able to source the desired skill set immediately without major overheads, which in many cases is more suitable for start-ups with budget constraints.’

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