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Organisations seem to be turning their backs on looking to skilled technology workers from EU countries to plug the IT skills gap.

That is according to the 2018 CIO 100, which revealed that despite growing concerns among organisations and their CIOs about recruiting the necessary talent to drive transformation agendas, those actively looking to IT professionals from EU member states has declined by more than a fifth since 2015.

While some 72% of organisations represented in the 2018 CIO 100 said that their teams included IT workers from EU member countries, only 37% responded that they were actively looking to the EU to recruit key skills.

The number of CIOs and organisations looking to the EU to help plug the skills gap was 42% in 2017, and was 47% back in 2015, a month ahead of that year's General Election.

The latest edition of the CIO 100, which included a cross-section of FTSE-listed giants, large government bodies, non-profits and British megabrands, revealed again that CIOs are struggling to recruit key IT skills, and that recruitment and retention had risen up their agendas.

The EU's Chief Negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, stated in 2017 that the rights of EU citizens in the UK were one of his top priorities in negotiations over the terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU before any further discussions could proceed. In March 2018, Barnier and Brexit Secretary David Davis confirmed freedom of movement would continue during the Brexit transition period, which is mooted to end in December 2020.

President of Tech UK, Jacqueline de Rojas, said that the UK government had a crucial role to play in ensuring organisations were able to grow and innovate.

"The government must ensure the UK's tech sector has access to the brightest and best global talent in order to continue to grow and innovate," she said. "This is even more important in the context of Brexit which threatens to interrupt the ease of the current system if we fail to plan."

In the 2017 CIO 100 CIOs from organisations including Eddie Stobart, Trainline and the Financial Times noted negotiations around freedom of movement and rights of EU citizens living in the UK could have a significant impact on their organisations and that they were watching events closely.