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Nine in 10 tech start-ups plan to recruit this year: report

But the IT skills shortage is stunting growth

By Sophie Curtis, TechWorld
April 26, 2013 12:45 PM ET

TechWorld - The jobs market may be grim, but new research has highlighted that technology start-up businesses have ambitious hiring plans for the next year.

According to a survey of technology start-up executives in the US and the UK by Silicon Valley Bank, 87 percent plan to hire new employees in 2013. Software companies plan to do the most hiring, with 90 percent planning to increase the size of their workforces this year.

[ALSO: IT jobs still in high demand]

However, nine in 10 have difficulty finding workers with with both STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) and general business skills. In the UK, 69 percent of start-ups reported trouble finding qualified engineers.

"Tech companies are a bright spot in the economy worldwide, which is evident from the significant number of startups in the US and the UK that expect to grow and hire this year," said Greg Becker, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank.

"There is a lot of opportunity to put people to work at startups, which is particularly welcome news since jobs in general are recovering slowly. Investments in STEM education and policies that support tech businesses will help people take advantage of jobs, and benefit economic growth overall."

The news backs up a recent report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which indicated that although IT and Computing permanent jobs are still experiencing strong demand when compared to other sectors, there is a troubling skills shortage in the market.

In particular, REC found that companies are struggling to find permanent staff with the following skills: business intelligence, DBA, developers, digital marketing, Java, .Net, online marketing, PHP, PPC, SEO and SQL server.

"Persistent skills shortages in these areas could have a disastrous impact on critical infrastructure projects, especially if employers can't find the talent they need to jump-start new ventures in energy, transport and construction," said Kevin Green, chief executive at REC, at the time.

"The government needs to build the talent pipeline for the future by increasing funding for apprenticeships in sectors where there is demand, refocusing the Work Program to train people who have potential but who lack the skills to fill current vacancies and driving take-up for existing schemes like the Youth Contract."

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