The upcoming Skills Shortage

There has been some talk in the news recently of an upcoming IT skills shortage in the country when we still have a high unemployment rate.  I have noticed that every time there is a period of great unemployment, this is followed by what is perceived as a skills shortage.

During the employment and financial crisis of the last few years, those companies who were able to hire got very used to the idea that they could get exact fits to their needs. While there was high unemployment through these times, companies and employment agencies became comfortable with the knowledge that every job advertised would have a hundred or more applicants. They could then be extremely picky about their exact needs. In other words, if they wanted, say, a senior Java developer to assist them in programming plugins for Atlassian's Jira, then they could easily expect to find amongst the applicants, some who have 3-4 years exerience specifically programming jira plugins in Java.

This is no longer the case and employees and agencies are crying "Skills Shortage" to the government. Too bad if there are 120 others within a 10 mile radius who are very well qualified and capable and have enough experience to quickly pick up the industry and product knowledge - heaven forbid but they may even be 10 years younger or older than all of the others in the team. Who know's they may even bring some diversity to the team, especially if they are originally from another country or have a different accent and skin color.

While we do need those highly qualified and experienced people, employing good people willing to work their guts out for opportunity might resolve some of the issues.

Your thoughts?