SoDA

Personnel gap in the IT sector

The development of companies in the IT sector and labour needs clearly show that the demand for employees significantly exceeds the capabilities of universities.

The SoDA estimates show that the personnel gap in the IT industry is as high as 300-350 thousand people.

There has also been much debate on the possibility of establishing academic centres to properly prepare and build specialized competences of young IT specialists, currently unsuited to work in such a demanding and dynamically changing industry. The experience of member companies shows that the most important advantage in the work of specialists is still experience. Newly graduated students (the so-called “juniors”), despite their academic background, are still not self-reliant and at work require the support of more experienced people in order to make every technological or product decisions on a daily basis. This type of training in companies takes at least a year – only after this time young specialists are ready to work with the client on their own. Therefore, there is a noticeable need for change at the system level – in particular in the context of close cooperation between business and scientific community.

The issue of alternative education methods in the form of courses or training for people who want to prepare themselves to work in the profession is also important. Lack of a diploma of specialist studies is not an obstacle to work in the industry – it is therefore a space for people from outside the IT market for whom previous activities have become unsatisfactory for various reasons or for whom technology has drastically influenced their current work.

What’s more – in the April (2022) survey on the economic situation carried out by the Central Statistical Office, every second IT company indicated the shortage of qualified employees as a barrier to business activity. This is the highest percentage in the service sector and a historic record in the IT industry.

What, in our opinion, should be done:

  1. Due to the lack of specialists in the country, the recruitment of foreign experts should also be considered. An important postulate of the Organization is therefore the further development of the flagship program Poland.Business Harbor (PBH). The above will facilitate and accelerate the process of employing foreigners owing to short waiting times for visa documents.
  2. In our opinion, it is also important to introduce free access to the labour market for foreigners employed outside the PBH program. For several years, an increase in the total number of applications for granting permits has been observed, in particular those submitted to Voivodship Offices, which translates into an increasing waiting time for considering matters. What is more – according to the information provided by Voivodship Offices, the average time of examining the application, depending on the Office, is even 400 days instead of 30 or 60 days (in complicated cases according to Article 35 of the Code of Administrative Procedure). In addition, the Offices also declare that they have from a dozen to several dozen thousand pending applications waiting for their turn. Therefore, a comprehensive reform in the employment of foreigners is necessary. The above is of key importance for the entire sector of IT entrepreneurs, which is considered to be one of the most important in the digital transformation that is already taking place before our eyes.
  3. Creation of a reimbursement program consisting of the division of employment costs between the state and the employer, in the form of a subsidy or tax relief, deducted by the employer investing, for example, in patron classes established in public schools. Assuming that the State would participate in the employee’s wage costs at 50% for the first year – the costs are refunded after just 4 years!

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