Swiss companies will face a shortfall of 25,000 qualified IT specialists by 2024 unless more is done to boost the number of apprentices in the sector, according to an industry lobby group.
A report issued by ICT Switzerland on Wednesday painted a bleak position across all industries that will increasingly rely on IT staff in the digital age. Firms employ 13,000 more IT specialists than in 2013 but are likely to need another 75,000 in the next eight years just to keep up with retirements and people leaving the workforce for other reasons.
The predicted shortfall could rise to 35,000 if immigration restrictions for European Union citizens are strictly enforced, warns ICT Switzerland.
The lobby group has urged companies to fill at least 5% of positions Swiss apprentices to have sustainable IT departments. “It’s important that all companies stick to this target, not just IT firms,” ICT Switzerland head of training Jörg Aebischer told Swiss public television SRF. “The need for IT specialists spans across all industries.”
“If it’s not possible to offer training then companies will have to look abroad for staff or outsource IT to other countries,” he added.
The number of annual IT apprenticeship places has increased from 7,200 in 2010 to 9,200 this year, but this is not enough, the report stated. The number of qualified staff needed in the economy will rise from 210,800 at present to 234,800 in 2024.