The technology workforce is set to grow four times faster than the rest of the UK's employment sectors over the next 10 years, according to IT sector skills council e-skills UK.
The number of people employed in IT grew at twice the rate of the UK average over the past eight years, reaching more than 1.1m people today. Despite the recession, e-skills says many employers are still struggling to fill certain technology positions.
The IT industry needs more than 110,000 new entrants each year, with the largest recruitment source being people currently working in other sectors. Others come from education, re-entering the workforce after a career break, and the unemployed. "All of these people need the right mix of technical and business skills to make the most of current and emerging technology," e-skills said.
E-skills says the research, presented in its IT & Telecoms Insights 2010 report, shows how important technology is to the UK economy as it emerges from recession and the vital role it will play in recovery.
Paul Coby, Chair of the e-skills UK CIO Board and CIO of British Airways, said: "Most of what we do in British Airways is supported and enabled in some way by technology systems. Our IT professionals are crucially important to our customers and our business and our future development."
Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said the growing importance of IT should lead to growing investment. "Technology can help reduce costs and enable innovation, so continued investment into the sector, and into the skills of the people working in it, is essential for the UK's economic future.
"The new National Skills Academy for IT, opening later this year, will play a significant role in helping people gain the technical and professional IT skills necessary to help secure the UK's economic success."