By Jenny Williams ( Computerweekly )

IT decision-makers plan to train existing staff to plug skills shortages rather than recruit new employees, according to a report.

A survey of 110 UK IT directors and heads of IT departments, by IT recruitment specialist Modis International, finds 71% plan to train existing workers as a priority over recruitment of new permanent staff in the coming year.

"Although decision-makers are conscious of the need to progress and mindful of the gaps that exist within their IT departments, almost half are likely to employ their current staff and skill mix to address their short-term demands and long-term plans," said Jim Albert, managing director at Modis.

But retaining talented staff will be a struggle, with 43% of IT managers agreeing that holding onto their best staff would be more of an issue in the coming months.

"There is the panic response where employers look to hold on to everybody when they should be selective in how they develop their retention programme," said Albert.

"In business-critical functions such as IT, it's imperative employers look to focus on retaining their best people, retaining those that will be able to drive change and the future shape of IT across their organisation."

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