UK IT Sector Needs 110,000 New Recruits In 2011

The UK IT industry needs around 110,000 new recruits this year if it is to keep pace with demand, a report by e-Skills UK has found.

In its Technology Insights 2011 report, e-Skills UK said that demand for IT recruits is set to rise by 2.19 per cent over the next decade - five times faster than the UK average. According to the report, over 500,000 professionals will be needed in the next five years.

“This year alone, the IT and telecoms workforce will require 110,000 new entrants to keep up with demand,” the report said. “Almost half of these will be individuals employed in other occupations moving into IT and telecoms, while 17 per cent will need to come directly from education.”

But the report noted that the technology sector is increasingly favouring more experienced workers over young recruits.

The proportion of IT and telecoms professionals under 30 has fallen from 33 per cent in 2001 to only 19 per cent in 2010, whilst the number of employees over 50 has almost doubled to 17 per cent, e-Skills UK chief executive Karen Price said.

"There is a particular need for new types of development programmes that help young people move into IT roles and become productive more quickly, and for continued action to attract talent from all sources, particularly women," she said.

According to the report, around 1.5 million people are currently employed in the IT sector, accounting for 1 in every 20 people employed in the UK.