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UK will need 2.3 million IT workers by 2020

If you thought the story about Europe needing 800,000 workers in the IT security industry by 2020 was insane, you'll be blown away with what O2 claims.

According to its research (opens in new tab), the UK alone will need 2.3 million workers with IT skills by the same time. The research also predicts 766,000 new jobs will be created over the next five years, with London and the south-east being the main targets.

This poses somewhat of a problem, with the north-west and east of England expected to create just eight per cent of digital jobs.

As a result, O2 has launched a Digital Communities pilot in St. Helens, in Merseyside, to encourage young people to pursue IT careers outside London.

“It’s promising to see so many jobs will be required to fulfil the UK’s digital potential. But we can’t get complacent – these figures highlight that the economy is nowhere near digital maturity and – worryingly – the opportunities that are being created, are predominantly in the south,” O2 business director, Ben Dowd, said.

“We’re committed to playing our part – which is why we’ve launched an ambitious partnership with St Helens Council to show other communities what’s possible when they put connectivity at their heart."

The general idea is to create a “blueprint”, which could serve as a road sign, showing other areas in the country all the benefits of connectivity and the benefits of going digital.

Dowd said he will encourage other countries to do the same, so that “the entire nation can feel the benefits of the UK’s growing digital economy”.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.