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IT workforce is "crucial to the UK's recovery"

IT workforce is "crucial to the UK's recovery"

Technology expertise could be the solution to boost the UK's economic recovery but more investment in skills is required, according to new research from sector skills council e-skills UK.

Despite the recession and the wave of redundancies seen over the past couple of years, e-skills says that the industry has grown at twice the UK average over the past eight years to 1.1 million professionals working in the sector.

According to the study Technology Counts: IT & Telecoms Insights 2010, the lack of IT staff with the right mix of expertise, qualifications and experience is still a problem for many businesses.

Over the past three months of 2009, Computing led a high-profile campaign to discuss the skills requirements for the technology professionals of the future.

Even though unemployment levels are soaring in the UK, e-skills maintains that the IT and telecoms workforce will still require 110,000 new entrants yearly to meet demand and that so far, 60,000 of these posts are being filled with professionals employed in other occupations.

In December, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Peter Mandelson said that it was important to "intelligently intervene" in strategic areas such as IT, as well as help to up-skill workers to enable them to face the challenges ahead.

British Airways chief information officer Paul Coby highlighted that IT professionals are "crucially important" to BA's customer service, its business and future development.

Coby, who is also chairman of the e-skills UK CIO board, added: "Continued targeted investment in technology and technology skills is essential to support all businesses in the UK to recover from the recession, and to become more glo bally competitive than ever."


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