A survey from a government agency paints a positive picture of the prospects of IT and telecoms professionals over the next five years: over half a million new jobs will be created and employment in this sector will grow nearly five times faster than the UK average.
The report from e-skills UK, which pulled together data and recruitment intentions of IT employers, forecasts that high value roles will grow fastest. Typically, these roles embrace customer, consumer and business-oriented skills as well as sophisticated technical competencies. Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, outlines some further trends.
System is *the* prefix
Just under two thirds of IT and telecoms positions advertised by employers over the last 12 months have been in the field of systems design or systems development. Within these two broad groups the top five roles in demand were: systems developers, senior systems developers, project managers, business analysts and test analysts. Together, these accounted for almost one half of all sector vacancies.
The report reveals the mixed fortunes of different workers within the growth sector. While mature workers from other sectors are successfully switching to IT, fewer graduates are being hired. Significantly, the proportion of under-30s has dropped from 33% in 2001 to 19% in 2010 as the sector favours experienced workers from other sectors over young recruits.
The global village factor
Two factors are contributing to this trend. Firstly, globalisation means that entry level jobs tend to be less prevalent in the UK. Secondly employers have reported they often have difficulty recruiting graduates and younger workers with the correct blend of business, technical and interpersonal skills they require for the higher value roles available.
Soft skills first
Make sure you develop their business, management and communication skills alongside your technical competence. E-skills UK, in partnership with the National Skills Academy for IT, has developed a series of programmes designed to help individuals develop their skills and become productive as quickly as possible.
• The UK’s IT & telecoms industry delivers an annual GVA contribution of £81 billion, 9% of the total UK economy.
• IT and telecoms is at the heart of every UK sector, underpinning the GVA contributions of all businesses.
• Exploiting the full potential of technology could boost the UK economy by an additional £50 billion over the next five to seven years.
• One in every 20 people (1.5 million) working in the UK is employed in IT & telecoms.
• Employment in the IT industry over the next decade will grow nearly five times faster than the UK average
• Over half a million new IT and telecoms professionals are needed in the next five years, working across all sectors of the economy
• In terms of GVA contribution per head, an individual working in the IT and telecoms industry is almost twice as productive as the average UK worker.
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