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IT Skills gap to leave UK economy exposed

IT Skills gap to leave UK economy exposed

Technojobs have revealed that although the number of IT jobs available is increasing, the number of graduates with qualifications in IT isn’t keeping up.

IT has long been a growing industry and was, not too long ago, credited with leading the UK out of recession.  However, evidence shows that without a change to the number of the next generation who take an interest in the subject during their time in education, we could be facing a huge skills deficit. This will result in the UK’s competitive advantage in the field of IT being lost overseas.  

Technojobs, a leading IT and Technical job site in the UK have seen the number of IT jobs advertised rise from an average of 19,000 a month in 2011 to over 23,000 in 2012 – and they expect to see this trend continue throughout 2013.

Anthony Sherick, Director of Technojobs said:  “The more we rely on technology and the more we crave new technological breakthroughs, the more skilled IT professionals we are going to need to build them and protect us from the new threats that come with each new development.”

However, the number of IT graduates entering the IT jobsmarket, is not keeping up with this rise in the number of jobs. There was a 10% increase in enrolments to Computer Science courses from 2011 to 2012 – however job numbers sprung by over 21% in the same period and with job numbers looking likely to jump by a significant amount again this year, the skills gap looks to be expanding rapidly.

One key area in IT is the protection of our cyber space. The National Audit Office’s latest report re-iterates the fear that without investment in the next generation and their IT capabilities, or encouraging youngsters to take an interest in the subject, Britain could be vulnerable to the threat of cyber-attacks for up to 20 years.  Additionally evolving mobile platforms is a huge fuel for growth over the next ten years.

Sherick continues: “The latest figures from the NAO back up exactly what we’re seeing. Unfortunately, without tailoring our education system to deliver future IT professionals, we are likely to experience a whole range of problems, from cyber security threats to companies outsourcing abroad and the consequential impact on unemployment in the UK.”

Despite the government announcing last month that Computer Science is to be made a core subject in UK schools  there is growing debate as to what this should include and whether, without further encouragement students will continue to explore the subject beyond its compulsory level. Technojobs are calling for more incentives to encourage the continued interest of IT through to university courses in order to keep the UK at the forefront of technological innovation. 

“Although the government’s move to make Computer Science a core subject is a very welcome one, this will only take the next generation so far in their knowledge of the subject. We need to ensure that students continue their studies to university and beyond, however with such steep tuition fees in place, many potential IT professionals aren’t making it in to the field as they simply cannot afford it.”

The EU have announced plans to form a commission which proposes, amongst other key strategies, to simplify the certification systems making it easier for IT graduates to prove their specific skillset, regardless of which country they were achieved in.


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