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For Immediate Release
Elizabeth J. Spalding
+1 630 268-1818, ext. 330

Claudine O'Leary
+31 30 284 4628

European ICT Skills Shortage Still Significant, Despite Economic Woes

Training and certification can address major shortages in networking, applications and distributed ICT job roles

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., October 3, 2002 — VA new IDC white paper just released by CompTIA, the global Computing Technology Industry Association, and VUE, the electronic testing business of NCS Pearson, projects a European ICT skills shortage of 1.7 million jobs by 2005. IDC, a leading global IT market research and advisory firm, expects the majority of shortages to be in networking, applications, and distributed ICT job roles.

Commissioned by CompTIA and VUE, the paper is based on interviews with 12,000 European ICT managers and primary and secondary IDC research.

Despite the economic downturn the research shows the skills shortage to be significant and relevant to every European organization that uses ICT.

Specifically highlighted is an undersupply of skills in three key areas: networking, software applications, and distributed ICT skills (client/server infrastructures, such as desktop support staff and NT server analysts). These areas are also less likely to have seen redundancies over the past year, compounding the significance of the shortage.

Germany, France and the UK are projected to have the largest overall skills shortages by 2005, with Austria, Switzerland and Spain projected to have the greatest percentage of shortages.

“For most companies, it’s impossible to separate ICT from business process,” said Steven Gilroy, CompTIA Vice President of International Sales and Marketing. “Employers may have deferred some new ICT projects in the current economy, but we must not be short-sighted. It’s vital that we work diligently to continue to attract new entrants to the ICT workforce, partnering with government and higher education whenever possible. We need to be providing foundational skills and credentials that prove knowledge level and start people on the road to lifelong careers in ICT. The ICT sector is fundamental to the economy,” he said.

“We must also work harder to retain the skilled workers we currently have, by offering them professional development incentives, training and certification programs to help them progress and prove their industry-relevant skills. In today’s economy, more than ever before, we need to prove we are getting maximum benefit from our existing ICT staff. Experience and research shows that training and certification are key tools in retaining and utilizing existing ICT staff,” said Anneleen Vaandrager, Vice President & General Manager, NCS Pearson-VUE Testing for Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Additional primary research from IDC cautions employers to consider that headcount reductions will likely cost a company more than they save if the company is likely to be re-hiring within a year. Worldwide, IDC believes that 26 million people are currently in IT-related jobs and that the number will grow to 32 million positions by the end of 2005.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is a global trade association representing the business interests of the information technology industry. For more than 20 years CompTIA has provided research, networking and partnering opportunities to its members, developing standards and best practices and influencing the political, economic and educational arenas that impact IT worldwide. More information is at

About VUE
VUE’s unique, high-security Internet-based test delivery system meets the needs of the Information Technology industry via its quality test delivery network of more than 3,000 VUE Authorized Testing Center locations serving over 130 countries. VUE is the electronic testing product of NCS Pearson. NCS Pearson operates as a business of Pearson Education, the world's largest integrated education company, which in turn is part of Pearson plc; the international media company (Pearson Education, Penguin Books, Financial Times Group). For more information, please visit and

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