British businesses are concerned over the poor IT skills of their employees, according to research from the CBI, sponsored by Pearson.
Two thirds of businesses surveyed said they are concerned about their existing employees’ IT skills, with half of respondents saying that they were running remedial IT courses for adult employees to address this.
This finding reflects "the shakier grasp of IT skills among some older employees," the report concludes. "Shortcomings in IT skills affect more and more jobs as the use of technology spreads to new activities."
By contrast, respondents are mostly satisfied with the IT skills of graduates joining their companies, moreso than any other skill. Just over a quarter (26%) said they are very satisfied with graduates’ IT skills; 68% are satisfied and just 6% are not satisfied.
Employers are, on the whole, dissatisfied with graduates’ foreign language skills and their business and customer awareness, the survey found. A small but shocking proportion (5%) have undertaken remedial numeracy training for graduates.
The survey asked respondent how they would like education to be changed to better support their needs. Despite the general level of satisfaction with graduate IT skills, around a third (30%) would like the government to encourage schools and college to develop technology skills among young people.
"The current reform of the ICT national curriculum is a welcome first step," the report asserted.
The report also revealed that the median starting salary for an IT-related role £20,000.