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IT could give Wales £1.4bn economy by 2020, says skills council

Kathleen Hall

Wales could be develop a thriving IT economy worth £1.4bn over the next decade, according to research from E-Skills UK.

The skills council said it has developed a plan for Wales to help the government nurture IT talent. The body has partnered with the University of Glamorgan to launch the information technology management for business degree this month, a course designed to prepare students for a modern career in IT.

This follows E-Skills UK's recent introduction of an apprenticeship service for small and medium IT businesses in Wales.

Karen Price, chief executive of E-Skills UK, said the IT professional workforce in Wales is set to grow at 10 times the national average over the next decade, with 96% of all job vacancies now requiring applicants to have basic IT skills.

"For these reasons, it is vital that everyone in Wales, from IT professionals to those using IT in everyday life, has the skills they need to make the most of technology," she said.

Lesley Griffiths, deputy minister for science, innovation and skills in the Welsh Assembly, said to fully exploit technology Wales must have a highly skilled IT professional workforce. "This is critical to driving productivity, prosperity and growth across the whole Welsh economy," she said.

Last month, the Welsh Assembly announced a 10-year, multimillion-pound programme to bring broadband to Wales.


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