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UK could see a shortage of over 30,000 IT and Tech workers

The Boardroom Tineka Smith

05:01, January 22 2013

IT and tech salaries rise to avoid a brain drain from the UK.

A study revealed that the UK could face a shortfall of 33,000 technology workers by 2050.

According to specialist recruiter, Randstad Technologies, the UK's workforce will experience a 3.1m shortfall by 2050 if skill shortages go unaddressed.

"The IT and tech sectors are vital for the overall health of the UK economy - the countries who lead the digital evolution are the ones who will recover fastest," said Mike Beresford, managing director of Randstad technologies. "With the growth of technology hubs such as Silicon Roundabout in London over the last few years we have proved the UK can be at the forefront of digital and IT progression and it's vital we continue this trend.

"Our projections for the size of the IT and technology workforce are conservative, yet they paint a very grim picture for the UK's economic prospects. Unless we can plug the employment gap, we'll be unable to capitalise on the advance and growth we've achieved over the last few years and this will have serious consequences for the overall prosperity of the country."

UK workers are increasingly leaving the UK to find work abroad, due to changes in immigration policy and difficulties in economic performance. Randstad revealed that work related emigration has risen 16% since 2007, with work immigration dropping 24%.

The potential shortfall of 33,000 IT and tech workers by 2050 are attributed to skills shortages, an ageing workforce and a restrictive migration policy.

"If the UK economy is to grow and overcome the difficulties of the last few years then it requires a strong workforce capable of meeting demand," added Beresford. "However, we also need to compete with other countries who are also keen to boost their IT and technological capabilities.

"Unfortunately, with a stagnant economy and crippling migration policy, the UK represents a much less attractive option for both domestic and overseas talent. A growing economy will not only help prevent home-grown skilled IT and technology workers from moving overseas, but combined with a sensible migration policy, it will also encourage foreign talent to consider a career in the UK. Without foreign skills bolstering the IT and tech workforce the sector will have to deal with a large black hole over the coming years."


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