§ Mr. Hooley
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what study has been made by his Department of the national demand for computer staff; and what surplus or shortfall has emerged.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that a study of the shortage of computer skills was carried out by the Training Services Division in 1978–79. The study showed that there was a shortfall in current92W stock of software occupations varying between 7 per cent. and 15 per cent. among sectors of employers; future growth was expected at sector rates between 11 per cent. and 25 per cent. The study also showed that training was insufficient to meet present needs and was making no contribution whatever to future growth.
A working party drew on the findings of the study to devise training arrangements to help to ease the shortage of computer operators, programmers and systems analysts and these are now being applied under the MSC's current training for skills programme.