Skills Gap or Wage Gap – Two Separate But Heavily Entwined Issues

Jim Marshall responds to TechEast UK recent Twitter post "Do we have a tech skills gap or a pay gap?" - http://bit.ly/2tctTD3


Skills Gap? No, Wage Gap @TechEastUK

Pay Gap

For years I have also been working with customers to set realistic expectations around the costs for skilled and talented people. The salaries and contract rates for Developers in particular have stagnated over the last 10 years in a period of high demand.

I agree with much that has been said:

  • Offshoring and Outsourcing has reduced the perceived value of Software Development. Whilst we look at Costs as day or hourly rates rather than overall Project Cost set against quality and timeliness of delivery then this will often appear to stack up.
  • Too many employers are referencing a ‘skills Gap’ when they are just not willing to pay the market salary for a skilled Software Engineer, or
  • Too many employers are:
    • Not willing to invest in the training and development of the next generation (higher education establishments are often blamed for not having ‘industry ready’ coding graduates, but we need to look at other industries and the in-house industry training programmes for Accountants or Solicitors or Architects – the expectation there is usually to build a career, not to simply ‘plug in a resource’), or
    • Not willing to retrain talented IT professionals that require refresher courses on the next generation of languages and technologies

Skills Gap

…. having noted all the above ….

In my experience a high proportion of individuals return to live where they grew up or where they were educated.

If we are not able to persuade our young talented people (of @TechEastUK) to join the tech sector then our region will most likely experience a more genuine Skills Gap. So that even with reasonable Post education salaries we are simply not able to generate enough supply for industry demand.

What are your thoughts on this provocative subject? We’d like to hear them on our social media streams or via email – info@ ifrecruit.com.

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