Technology workforce will boost UK's economic recovery

While many view ICT in the classroom as an aid to learning, many see it as a future skill in its own right. This view is supported by news this week from e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology, whose research shows that a highly skilled technology workforce could be the solution to the UK's economic recovery.

Employment in the UK's technology workforce has continued to increase, despite the recession, and continued investment in technology and technology skills are crucial to help the UK’s economic recovery, e-skills UK claimed.

The research, 'Technology Counts: IT & Telecoms Insights 2010', shows that employment in the UK's technology workforce has grown, with one in 18 people working in the UK employed in the sector. “The IT and Telecoms professional workforce has grown at twice the UK average over the past eight years, to reach over 1.1 million people today, and even using conservative post-recession figures, the number of IT and Telecoms professionals employed is forecast to grow at an average of four times the UK rate over the next ten years,” the organisation said.

The research also shows that a lack of applicants for technology positions with the required skills, qualifications or experience is a major problem for many employers. The IT and Telecoms professional workforce requires more than 110,000 new entrants each year with the largest recruitment source (60,000) being people currently employed in other occupations. A further 21,000 will enter the workforce directly from education with the remainder, around 32,000, coming from elsewhere.

Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said: "This research illustrates just how important technology is to the UK economy, and how technology will play a vital role in the UK’s economic recovery. 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."

To download the research for free, visit www.e-skills.com/insights2010