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Skill shortages multiply in Internet Economy

We need a strategy

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Having trouble finding IT staff? Worry, it's going to get a hell of a lot worse, according to those Cassandras at IDC. The market research firm predicts shortages of skilled IT professionals in Western Europe will jump from 1998's five per cent to 20 per cent in 2002. And it's all down to the Internet Economy. As if it weren't difficult enough for e-commerce/Net companies to make a profit already, they are faced with soaring wage bills, translating into higher operating costs and lower profit margins. So what does Europe need to do? It needs to devise a strategy, according to IDC research manager Andrew Milroy. "Otherwise in, individual countries, and Europe as a whole, will begin to suffer at the expense of other countries and regions, which are already planning more strategically," he says. "In October 1998, the United States attempted to address supply-side concerns by increasing its allocation of green cards to professionals with IT qualifications and experience." In other words, we're competing for programmers from second and third world countries. ®

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