ICT specialists - statistics on hard-to-fill vacancies in enterprises

This is the stable Version.

Data extracted in June 2021.

Planned article update: June 2023

Highlights


In 2019, more than half of EU enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists had difficulties in filling ICT vacancies.

During 2019, 10% of EU enterprises provided their ICT specialists with professional training, while 17% provided ICT training for other staff.

[[File:ICT specialists - hard to fill vacancies 28-06-2021.xlsx]]

Enterprises that had hard-to-fill vacancies for ICT specialists, 2020 (% enterprises that recruited/tried to recruit)

This article presents recent statistics on ICT specialists in enterprises. Information and communication technology (ICT) has fast become an integral part of business functioning. Its extensive and intensive use, together with new and more complex technologies emerging and new ways of accessing and using the internet efficiently, creates a continuous demand for skilled ICT specialists and their training to adapt to the increasingly digital and data-intensive business environments.

For the purpose of the survey, Eurostat defines ICT specialists as "workers who have the ability to develop, operate and maintain ICT systems, and for whom ICT constitute the main part of their job". A workforce with ICT specialists’ skills, possessing the potential to maintain and to grow the digital economy, is a key element for a successful digital transformation. In today's companies, specialised ICT skills are essential to the effective use of ICT in business processes (e-business) and commercial transactions that are carried out electronically (e-commerce).

Full article


Employment and recruitment of ICT specialists

19 % of EU enterprises employed ICT specialists in 2020

Table 1: ICT specialists in enterprises, 2020
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_itspen2) and (isoc_ske_itrcrn2) and (isoc_ske_ittn2)

In 2020, 19 % of EU enterprises employed ICT specialists. Among the EU Member States, Ireland and Belgium presented the highest proportion of enterprises employing ICT specialists, with 30 % each. Italy, with 13 %, presented the lowest ratio of enterprises employing ICT specialists in 2020 (Table 1).

The information and communication sector had the highest proportion, with 72 % of enterprises employing ICT specialists in 2020. Apart from the enterprises in information and communication activities, the highest percentages of enterprises employing ICT specialists were observed in ‘professional, scientific and technical activities’ sector (30 %), ‘electricity, gas, steam, air conditioning and water supply’ sector (26 %) and ‘real estate’ sector (23 %). With 8 %, the construction sector presented the lowest ratio of enterprises employing ICT specialists in 2020 in the EU (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Enterprises employing, recruiting and having hard-to-fill vacancies for ICT specialists, by economic activity, EU, 2020 (% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_itspen2) and (isoc_ske_itrcrn2)

The percentage of large enterprises employing ICT specialists (76 %) was more than 5 times higher in 2020 than the ratio of small sized enterprises employing ICT specialists (14 %) (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Enterprises employing, recruiting and having hard-to-fill vacancies for ICT specialists, by size class, EU, 2020 (% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_itspen2) and (isoc_ske_itrcrn2)

Recruitment and difficulties reported in recruiting ICT specialists

In 2020, 8 % of EU enterprises reported that during 2019, they recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists and 5 % had difficulties in filling those vacancies. The share of enterprises recruiting or trying to recruit ICT specialists was much higher in information and communication activities (53 %) than in the rest of the economy (Figure 1). The ratio was substantially higher among large enterprises – 45 % recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists in 2019, compared with 6 % for small enterprises (Figure 2). Among the EU Member States, the proportion of enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists in 2019 ranged from 3 % in Romania to 18 % in Belgium (Table 1).

Among the enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists, 55 % reported difficulties in filling vacancies in 2019 (Table 1). In Czechia, more than 3 out to 4 enterprises that recruited ICT specialists in 2019 reported difficulties in filling those vacancies. In Austria and the Netherlands respectively 74 % and 71 % of enterprises which recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists reported difficulties in filling ICT vacancies. With 24 %, the lowest ratio in 2019 of enterprises with difficulties in recruiting ICT specialists was observed in Spain (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Enterprises that recruited ICT specialists, with or without difficulties in filling vacancies, 2019 (% of enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_itrcrn2)

Lack of applications was reported by the highest share of enterprises (42 %) as a difficulty for filling ICT specialists’ positions in 2019. Lack of relevant qualifications, high salary expectations and lack of experience were almost equally significant barriers faced by enterprises when filling ICT specialists vacancies and reported by only a slightly lower share of enterprises in 2019 (see Figure 4). In 2019, enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists, faced the same difficulties regardless of their enterprise size (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Enterprises with difficulties in filling vacancies, by type, EU, 2019 (% of enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_itrcrn2)

ICT training provided to personnel

1 out of 4 enterprises provided ICT training to persons employed

Training is crucial to enhance or equip employees with new ICT skills. ICT training is relevant for all staff, particularly for ICT specialists, but also for other persons employed i.e. non-ICT specialists. In 2019, 20 % of EU enterprises provided training to all their staff in order to enhance their ICT related skills (Figure 5). The ratio reached 68 % among large enterprises, which was more than four times higher than for small enterprises (15 %).

Figure 5: Enterprises that provided ICT related training to their persons employed, by size class, EU, 2019 (% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_ittn2)

In 2019, 10 % of EU enterprises provided training to ICT specialists to enhance their ICT skills. Among large enterprises, the share of enterprises that provided ICT training to ICT specialists reached 56 %, while only 6 % of small enterprises provided ICT related training to their ICT specialists (Figure 5).

The proportion of enterprises providing ICT training to their ICT specialists ranged from 3 % of enterprises in construction to 51 % in the sector of information and communication. In 2019, 17 % of EU enterprises also provided ICT training to ‘other persons employed’. In all the economic sectors, except for the sector of information and communication, the share of enterprises providing ICT training to non-specialist staff was higher than the ratio of enterprises providing training to ICT specialists (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Enterprises that provided ICT related training to their persons employed, by economic activity, EU, 2019 (% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_ittn2)

ICT functions performed in enterprises

71 % of EU enterprises outsourced their ICT functions in 2019

In the 2020 survey on ICT usage and e-commerce in enterprises, respondents were asked to report on who mainly performed ICT functions for the enterprise in 2019, own employees or external suppliers. In 2019, in 71 % of EU enterprises external suppliers performed the ICT functions. In all EU Member States the majority of enterprises outsourced their ICT functions, with the highest shares in Cyprus and Latvia (each 84 %) and Denmark (82 %). In Romania and Bulgaria the ratio was the lowest, with 55 % and 52 % of enterprises respectively outsourcing their ICT functions. In 2019, in 41 % of EU enterprises the ICT functions were performed by own employees. Among the Member States, the ratio of enterprises fulfilling their ICT functions internally ranged from 24 % in Italy and Latvia, to 68 % for Finland (Figure 7).


Figure 7: ICT functions performed in enterprises, 2019 (% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_fct)

The share of enterprises outsourcing their ICT function reached 81 % among large enterprises, compared with 69 % for small enterprises in 2019. On the other hand, the disparities between the enterprises of different size classes were much higher when comparing the share of enterprises where own employees performed the ICT functions. While in 85 % of large enterprises the ICT functions were performed by own employees, this was the case only in 36 % of small enterprises (Figure 8).

Figure 8: ICT functions performed in enterprises, by size class, EU, 2019 (% enterprises)
Source: Eurostat (isoc_ske_fct)

Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

The data in this article are based on the results of the 2020 survey on ICT usage and e-commerce in enterprises.

The statistics were obtained from the surveys conducted by national statistical authorities in 2020. The statistical observation unit is ‘the enterprise’, as defined in Regulation (EEC) No 696/1993. The survey covered enterprises with at least 10 persons employed.

Enterprises are broken down by size: small (10-49 persons employed), medium (50-249) and large (250 or more). In 2020, 146 000 out of 1.5 million enterprises in the EU were surveyed. Of these 1.5 million enterprises, approximately 83 % were enterprises with 10-49 persons employed (small), 14 % with 50-249 (medium) and 3 % with 250 or more (large).

The survey covered enterprises in the economic sections C to N and group 95.1 (repair of computers and communication equipment) except section K of the NACE Revision 2. Figures by economic activity refer to the following selected economic sectors:

  • manufacturing;
  • electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply; water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities;
  • construction;
  • wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles;
  • transportation and storage;
  • accommodation;
  • information and communication;
  • real estate activities;
  • professional, scientific and technical activities; and
  • administrative and support service activities (excluding 'travel agency, tour operator and other reservation service and related activities')

Data presented in this article may differ from the data in the database on account of updates made after the data extractions used for this article. Data in the database are organised according to the survey year. Data in tables shown as ‘:’ refer to data that are unavailable, unreliable, confidential or not applicable. Unreliable data are included in the calculation of European aggregates.

Data on enterprises that employed ICT specialists refer to calendar year 2020. However, data on enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists, had hard-to-fill vacancies and provided training refer to the calendar year 2019.

Context

Competitiveness, innovation and job creation in European industry are being increasingly driven by the use of new information and communication technologies. This needs to be backed up by a workforce that has the knowledge and skills to use these new technologies efficiently. Given the transversal role of digital competences in the economy, a shortage of ICT specialists and workers with advanced ICT skills could hamper Europe’s growth objectives. The European Commission is working on a number of initiatives to boost ICT skills in the workforce. This is part of the Commission’s broader agenda for better skills upgrading, anticipating skills demand and matching skills supply to demand.

The Commission is launching the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition to develop a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labour force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills.

Direct access to
Other articles
Tables
Database
Dedicated section
Publications
Methodology
Legislation
Visualisations
External links




Database

Digital economy and society (isoc)
ICT usage in enterprises (isoc_e)
Summary of EU aggregates (isoc_ci_eu_en2)
Digital skills (isoc_sk)
ICT specialists (isoc_sks)
ICT competence and demand for ICT skills in enterprises
Enterprises that employ ICT specialists (isoc_ske_itspen2)
Enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists (isoc_ske_itrcrn2)
Enterprises - ICT functions performed (isoc_ske_fct)
ICT training (isoc_skt)
Enterprises that provided training to develop/upgrade ICT skills of their personnel (isoc_ske_ittn2)

Dedicated section

Methodology