Almost half of UK businesses are experiencing an “extensive” IT talent shortage, leading to them recruiting additional staff, according The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

The IT skills and training body found this significant shortage in IT professionals – noted by 45% of firms – is also hampering productivity.

The International Technology Adoption and Workforce Trends Study – surveying a total of 1,500 IT executives across the UK –found that 44% are worrying that staff productivity is being affected due to their shortage of professionals with IT skills.

Searching for IT talent                                                      

Some 30% of firms added that insufficient IT talent is negatively impacting upon their customer services, while 27% noted that the skills gap is reducing the speed to market.

An additional 26% suggested the lack of IT skills among workers is preventing ideas generation and innovation.

As a result, firms are seeking young professionals to fill the skills gap, with 28% stating they plan to hire more IT staff this year; an increase from 14% found during 2014.

After skills shortages, cyber security is the next top concern for UK firms as 63% feel the threat of cyber-attacks is continuing to increase – 48% of companies blame human error and the wider use of social media for this.

Spending on increasing IT headcounts and IT security is set to rise in the coming 12 months for 58% of those questioned.

Rob Partridge, Head of BT Security Academy, is calling for UK universities to look at both graduates and those with vocational qualifications in order to fill these roles.

Estelle Johannes, Director for Member Communities at CompTIA UK, said the skills gap “threatens the livelihood of businesses across the country” meaning it is vital that firms begin recruiting the very best staff.

If you’re a recent graduate, take a look at the Discovery Graduates Job Board to see the types of IT roles available.