Skills warning as IT employment booms

A warning has been sounded by e-skills UK over the amount of new entrants into the IT and telco sectors required to keep growth on track over the rest of this decade

The IT and telecoms industry requires 129,000 recruits a year to fill the positions needed to fill vacancies and take the roles of departing staff.

Without the next generation of software experts, and strategy and planning professionals coming through the implications for one of the UK's main growth areas could be severe, according to e-skills UK.

The latest Technology Insights research indicates that IT employment over the next eight years is forecast to grow at almost twice the UK average and the level of ICT vacancies is on the rise.

The number of advertised jobs hit a low point of 82,000 a quarter in 2009 but by last year was already back up to 116,000, with the skills most in demand being around SQL, C, C#, .NET and Java.

The report described the importance of the IT and telecoms sector not just for its current contribution to the UK economy but also to ensure future competitiveness.

"Today, the IT & Telecoms industry accounts for 8% (£75 billion) of the UK’s total Gross Value Added (GVA). In addition, the previously un-assessed economic contribution of the internet is now said to be worth an estimated £100 billion to the UK economy," the report stated.

"The ICT supply chain, as a sector in its own right, clearly offers the UK continued economic opportunities, but perhaps of equal if not greater significance are the potential opportunities across the rest of the economy resulting from businesses in all sectors of the economy maximising their use of ICT, broadband and internet access," it added.

Recent research by MicroScope also revealed that recruiting skilled staff was one of the channel's top concerns, an issue that is also impacting vendors and distributors as well as resellers.

Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said that the IT and telecoms sectors were vital to the economy now and in the future.

"With IT employment set to grow at such a pace, it is vital that we continue to invest in the skills of those working in technology, and create new routes for young people to enter exciting and challenging careers in the industry," she said.

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