Thousands of new jobs in store for UK tech industry

Tech workers in the UK would do well to dust off their CVs and get their interview suits to the dry cleaners.

According to the latest research by industry body e-skills UK, over 500,000 new IT and Telecoms professionals will be needed in the next five years, working across all sectors of the economy.

And in the next decade, employment in the industry is expected to grow at 2.19% per annum, which is nearly five times faster than the UK average.

The Technology Insights 2011 report adds that the IT and Telecoms sector will underpin the majority of future job creation in the country.

e-skills states: “Technology is the UK’s key ingredient for driving private sector led economic growth, productivity, global competitiveness and wealth creation.”

The report also notes that:

• One in every 20 people (1.5 million) working in the UK is employed in IT and Telecoms. Of these, 40 percent are employed in the industry itself, while the rest are spread across every other sector of the economy.

 • The UK’s IT and Telecoms industry delivers an annual GVA contribution of £81 billion, nine percent of the total UK economy.

• Exploiting the full potential of technology could boost the UK economy by an additional £50 billion over the next five to seven years.

• This year alone, the IT and Telecoms workforce will require 110,000 new entrants to keep up with demand. Over half of these will be individuals employed in other occupations moving into the sector, while 17 percent will need to come directly from education.

• Since 2002, there has been a 33 pwexwnr drop in applicants to Computing degree courses. However, applicants to other STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses have increased by an average of 23%.

The report also highlights issues of age and gender. It says the IT professional workforce is getting older, with the proportion of workers under 30 falling to 19 percent in 2010 – compared to 33 percent in 2001. Meanwhile, the proportion of those over the age of 50 has almost doubled to 17 percent. And the industry is still male-dominated, with women making up just 18 percent of the IT professional workforce.

Karen Price, e-skills UK CEO, says: “With high levels of unemployment in the UK, this research shows that IT and Telecoms is one sector of the economy where employment is growing steadily with an immediate need for new entrants into the workforce to keep up with the demand.”