IT pros the 'new force' powering the UK economy says report

15.09.2013, von Antony Savvas

A report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills says IT specialists are "the new force" powering the UK economy, but that skill gaps remain.

The "Technology and Skills in the Digital Industries" report predicts that over the next 10 years IT specialists are "expected to turn the digital sector into a heavyweight element of the UK economy", as cyber security, mobile technologies, green IT and cloud computing change the way businesses and individuals use technology.

It says the digital sector will require nearly 300,000 new recruits by 2020 to maximise its full potential. New roles will be created that will require both deeper and more specialised technical IT skills, complemented by business, sales and communications skills, says the report.

But at present, a lack of specialist technical skills are hampering growth in the sector. The report says nearly one fifth of all vacancies are difficult to fill due to skills shortages, making it harder for digital companies to keep pace with technological change.

The report was written by e-skills UK and funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Rachel Pinto, research manager at UKCES, said: "The digital sector contributes nearly £69 billion to the economy. It is also one of the most productive sectors with a growth rate since the recession three times above the average.