E-Skills reveals record demand for IT workers

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A record 129,000 new recruits are needed in the UK IT sector each year to fill new roles and replace those who retire, E-Skills has claimed.

The IT think tank also predicts that the employment of IT professionals, through to 2020, will grow at 1.62 per cent a year.

The jobs in highest demand include ICT managers, software specialists, and IT strategy and planning professionals.

It is vital that we continue to invest in the skills of those working in technology.

The most advertised jobs are in development, design and support roles. The most common skill requirements include SQL, C, C#, .NET, HTML, and Java.

The findings were published in the 2012 edition of E-Skills' Technology Insights report, which highlights IT market and labour trends.

"Technology Insights 2012 shows how important IT and telecoms is to the competitiveness and economic growth of the UK," said E-skills UK CEO Karen Price.

"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 added.

Separate research from IT jobs board, CWJobs.co.uk, suggests the industry might struggle to find the 129,000 new recruits it needs a year.

Investigating the decline in young people entering the industry, it found that 64 per cent of IT professionals believe tech firms aren't doing enough to attract young people.

The site surveyed 579 IT professionals from its own database and found that nearly half (49 per cent) thought there was a need for children to start learning tech skills at eight years old and under to encourage more of them to enter the industry later on.

Richard Nott, website director for CWJobs.co.uk, said: "Britain's place on the IT world map is precarious with a lack of investment largely to blame. Google's focus on IT education is a step in the right direction, but we need to see more campaigns of this nature."

According to CWJobs.co.uk's research, over half of those currently working in tech believe the challenge lies in overcoming the stereotype of IT being "geeky".

A further 39 per cent said IT is also not considered to be a fun career.

Respondents believe that promoting careers in social media, mobile and gaming could help combat this.

Additionally, respondents thought the industry needs to offer more apprenticeship schemes (66 per cent) and sponsored university degrees (51 per cent).

"The IT industry currently contributes 81 billion to the UK economy and this has the potential to grow given the sustained demand on IT to support evolving business and consumer needs.

"For the UK to take advantage o this potential, we need to invest in the next generation of IT talent, to ensure we have the workforce to deliver success," Nott concluded.