Around one in five employers say gaps in technical skills (18%) and communications skills (13%) are reasons for not employing new graduates into IT roles, according to findings released from the latest eSkills UK report.

Around four in ten (38 – 40%) employers also consider the level of business, non-technical and interpersonal skills of new recruits to be below company requirements.

The e-skills UK ICT Inquiry is based on the views of over 1,000 individuals responsible for recruitment and development in this area in UK companies. The ICT Inquiry for the fourth quarter of 2006 shows that skills gaps are also an issue for the existing workforce. Around one in four (27%) employers who reported skills gaps in their existing IT workforce regarded the level of business skills and other non-technical skills as 'poor' or 'very poor'.

Karen Price, e-skills UK chief executive said: "Attracting new and professional talent into the IT and telecoms workforce is vital to its renewal and growth. In order to encourage more employers to recruit new graduates, we need to address employer concerns about graduate skills gaps.

"In the first instance we need to ensure new graduates enter the workforce better prepared to meet the requirements of the business. Employers are looking increasingly for graduates with a blend of technical, business and personal skills. We are working with universities to offer more business-oriented technology degree courses such as the Information Technology Management for Business degree, which will be offered by 13 universities by September 2007.

"We are also keen to support universities in devising innovative approaches to professional development for new entrants to the IT workforce – approaches that will help to address outstanding skills gaps and 'fast track' new entrants' capability so that they can take on more demanding, value-added roles from an earlier stage in their career."

A copy of the full ICT Inquiry Q4 06 is available on the eSkills UK website.