VSJ – October 2007 – Sounding Board

Paul Uszak of Klick’n’Go.com adds a comment to the IAP Panel’s View on Ageism, published in June’s VSJ.

I wanted to share my experience of your phrase “experienced staff are complaining that they can’t find jobs and employers say they can’t get suitable employees”.

I perceive that the problem is more systemic than you allege. I think that it is a training issue and that it’s country and sector wide. It isn’t specifically to do with IT. UK business seems to be becoming more and more short-termist. We don’t seem to want to train anyone these days, as that implies too long a return on investment.

From my contracting days, I’ve found that it’s not just experienced staff employers are looking for, it’s staff that have done the exact role that they’re recruiting for. So if they’re installing information management systems into hospital laboratories, they want someone who has done exactly that. Installing information management systems into a bank won’t cut it and the candidate will be overlooked. They’ll then wait and wait for an ideal candidate who might never come along, whilst all the time complaining that there is a skills shortage. They don’t seem to want to take on someone who is a ‘close enough’ fit, and who might have drive, interest and good interpersonal skills. How can we therefore do anything new?

[Something you’d like to get off your chest? Email me (Robin Jones) at eo@iap.org.uk.]

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