Following the Office for National Statistic’s announcement that the number of unfilled positions in the information and communication technology sector rose by 24.3% last quarter compared with a year ago, Iain Brown, head of data science at analytics leader SAS UK & Ireland highlights that there is collective responsibility across the government, businesses and schools to ensure the next generation is fully equipped to deal with the shortage of skilled staff in the tech industry.
Iain Brown, Head of Data Science, SAS UK & Ireland said: “At present, the country is experiencing a flood of opportunities in areas like artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, yet there continues to be a shortage of skilled staff to extract insight from all the data that is out there.
“That’s a big loss. Our study with the Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR) showed that big data analytics and the internet of things (IoT) has the potential to add £322bn to the UK economy over 2015-2020. Over the same period adoption of big data analytics and IoT are expected to create 182,000 new jobs.
“It’s hard to find individuals that have all the qualities required of a data scientist, particularly given we’re seeing a reverse in EU migration. That’s a huge hit to the labour supply. Replacing it will push us towards automation, as business invest in talent augmentation to tide them over. That means that AI will need to shoulder more of the burden routine from tasks in 2018, which has the benefit of leaving staff to focus on the important, business-critical tasks.
“It’s now the responsibility of government, businesses and schools to ensure the next generation is fully equipped and motivated by this huge opportunity, through raising awareness of the real-world applications of data which are dependent on critical STEM and creativity skills.
‘’While we are moving in the right direction, more needs to be done to encourage all to take up – and then develop – these skills. Only then can we create a data-driven culture to drive the UK forward in the global market.”