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With this year's A-level and GCSE results imminent, Tech Partnership has launched its #choosetech campaign.
The initiative will see employers showcase the types of role that apprentices and graduates can apply for in the tech sector. The campaign aims to highlight the diversity of jobs on offer, such as creating apps and protecting companies from cyber attack.
Tech Partnership is a network of employers that aims to create the skills to grow the global digital economy. Founding members include Cisco, BT, Capgemini, Tata Consultancy Services, Telefonica/O2, Accenture, Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM and National Grid.
Ronan Dunne, CEO at O2 Telefonica UK and a Tech Partnership board member, said: “We have lived through a digital revolution – and it’s not over yet. Importantly, it’s no longer limited to the tech sector; we are seeing its positive impact across all industries, from health to education, retail and the public sector.
“Digital technology has been a driving force behind economic recovery and can continue to help the UK to compete on the global stage. But we’re only as good as the people and skills we have.
“Our research shows that the UK needs 750,000 digital skilled workers by 2017. We urgently need to plug this gap, but if our focus remains solely on upskilling people, we are in danger of missing the mark. Government and educators need to inspire young people, our digital natives, to go after these jobs – whether that’s through career advice, work experience or mentoring – to future-proof the economy.”
Harry Goldie, a former tech apprentice turned apprenticeship adviser for the Tech Partnership, said: “I was able to experience things I never thought were possible and I owe it all to the great start I had in my career doing an apprenticeship.
“IT is now within every business, in every work stream and the skills you gain from your apprenticeship would make you a valuable employee in any organisation.”
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Sanaya Khambata, UWE Bristol undergraduate in IT management for business, added: “I am a huge fan of ITMB – it is not only a fantastic course where you gain both business and technical knowledge, but you also learn interpersonal skills that you can apply to situations later on in your working life.
“There are also great opportunities to encourage women into IT, such as female-only IT networking events.”
Research by Tech Partnership has found that the tech sector contributes three times more (£91bn) to the UK economy than the sports and recreation, film, TV and gambling industries. The survey also found the average salary in the IT sector is £37,960, compared with the UK average annual salary of £24,960.
According to the research, 99% of employers expect to increase or maintain their tech specialist staff in 2015, and the sector needs 134,000 new recruits every year.
Tech Partnership recently called on employers to help create a “digital lexicon” to adjust the language used in job applications and demystify the industry for possible candidates.
The digital dictionary aims to make jobs clearer and easier to understand, enable students to match their skills and strengths to available jobs, and help students realise the full range of jobs on offer in the sector.