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Half a million IT workers needed over the next five years

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The government’s sector skills council has predicted that demand for telecoms and IT workers is set to increase five times faster than the national average over the next ten years. This means that opportunities in ICT will grow by 2.19% a year – compared with 0.45% for the general workforce, indicating that IT will indeed lead the recovery, as ministers have claimed.

But put another way, the figures from e-skills translate into the technology industry needing half a million workers over the next five years just to meet its requirements. In its latest report, Technology Insights 2011, the group said, “This year alone, the IT and telecoms industry will require 110,000 new entrants to keep with demand.” It also noted that only about 40% of the UK’s IT headcount is directly employed by technology firms, indicating that 60% of the 110,000 will more than likely be contractors.

Almost half the IT workers needed this year will be sourced from non-tech industries, while 17 % will come directly from education, such as school leavers and university graduates.

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