£725m Required to Boost Public Sector Digital Skills
According to a National Audit Office report released last week, the UK government will need to spend £725 million over the next five years on training new digital staff. Two thousand new hires with digital expertise will also need to be employed to keep up with the pace of demand.
Commenting on the emerging digital skills crisis in the public sector, NAO claim that Government departments are aware they do not possess the specialist skills needed to operate within an increasingly digitised economy. Senior leaders with expertise in ‘project planning, benefits realisation and contract management’ are also urgently required.
As discussed in our previous blog ‘IR35 Change Brings Opportunity’ post, the public sector digital skills shortage will only get worse once the new IR35 tax rules come into force on the 6th of April. The exodus of public sector IT contractors may already have begun. This could have a devastating effect on public sector IT projects just at a time when the digital transformation of public services has started to gain momentum.
It is now more important than ever for informed public sector procurement teams to engage with SME IT suppliers, especially those with unique capabilities and specific expertise built on a permanently employed UK-based workforce.
Building a strong base of SME IT suppliers, working in partnership with systems integrators and recruitment agencies, is critical to delivering the public sector digital transformation agenda.
Full story at ITPro.