Three quarter of large businesses in the EU employ ICT specialists
In 2016, one fifth of businesses (20 %) in the EU employed . This share has been more or less stable since 2012. Among the EU Member States, the highest shares of businesses employing ICT specialists were recorded in Ireland (35 %) and Greece (30 %). The difference between and in the EU was remarkable: while 75 % of the latter employed ICT specialists, the share among SMEs was just 19 %.
This difference was most pronounced in Cyprus (87 % of large companies compared with 23 % of SMEs), the Czech Republic (81 % compared with 17 %) and Croatia (79 % compared with 15 %) and least distinct in Romania (46 % and 10 %).
EU businesses have difficulties recruiting ICT specialists
In 2016, almost 1 in 10 businesses (9 %) in the EU reported having recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists. Among the EU Member States, this share was highest for businesses in Malta (15 %), Spain, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom (all 13 %). Again, there was a considerable difference by business size class: while 41 % of large businesses in the EU recruited or tried to recruit specialists in the EU, the corresponding figure was just 8 % for SMEs.
This difference was most pronounced in Denmark (57 % of large companies compared with 10 % of SMEs), Ireland (51 % and 9 %) and the United Kingdom (53 % and 11 %) and least distinct in Cyprus (20 % and 6 %).
In the EU, around 4 in 10 businesses (41 %) which recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists had difficulties to fill their vacancies. Among the EU Member States, this situation was most widespread among businesses in the Czech Republic (66 %), Slovenia (63 %), Luxembourg and Austria (both 61 %).
Besides recruiting ICT specialists, businesses may choose to provide ICT training to their staff as well as outsource ICT tasks to external suppliers. In the EU in 2016, 22 % of companies reported having provided training to develop or upgrade ICT skills of their personnel. In addition, half of all EU businesses had their ICT functions mainly carried out by external suppliers, with the highest shares found in Italy (62 %), Belgium, the Czech Republic and Portugal (all 61 %). While 50 % of SMEs in the EU made use of ICT outsourcing, this was done by a much smaller proportion of large businesses (28 %).