Tech geeks will lead us out of recession

Britain's army of tech nerds will boost the country's economic recovery, according to a report published by an industry employment watchdog.

E-Skills UK, which works on behalf of UK tech employers to make sure they have a steady stream of suitably qualified drones, says that employment in the UK's technology workforce has continued to increase, despite the recession.

But the body warned that continued investment in technology and technology skills are crucial to help the UK’s economic recovery.

With one in 18 people of working age in the UK employed in IT and telecoms, the workforce has grown at twice the usual average over the past eight years, to reach over 1.1 million people today. Even using conservative post-recession figures, the number of IT professionals employed is forecast to grow at an average of four times the UK rate over the next ten years.

Despite unemployment in the UK sitting at its highest level since the mid-1990s, the report shows that a lack of suitably experienced applicants for tech jobs is a major problem for many employers.

110,000 new entrants are needed each year with the largest recruitment source (60,000) moving from other companies. A further 21,000 will enter the workforce directly from education with the remainder, around 32,000, re-entering the workforce after a career break, early retirement or unemployment.

Karen Price from E-Skills UK, said: "This research illustrates just how important technology is to the UK economy, and how technology will play a vital role in the UK’s economic recovery. Technology can help reduce costs and enable innovation, so continued investment into the sector, and into the skills of the people working in it, is essential for the UK’s economic future."