One in 25 British workers employed in IT

By Gareth Morgan
16 Aug 2011 View Comments
Front of a Job Centre

One in 25 British workers now has an IT-related job, according to new figures from e-Skills UK, the IT industry skills body.

The latest employment figures from e-Skills suggest that nearly 1.1m Britons were employed in IT – or 4 per cent of the UK workforce – between October 2010 and December 2010, the highest number on record.

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"Despite difficult economic conditions, the IT sector continues to make a major contribution to employment growth in the UK," said Karen Price, chief executive of e-Skills UK.

However, IT leaders were also warned that there were some signs that demand for IT skills is outstripping supply.

During the final quarter of 2010, the average IT salary increased slightly to £38,500, compared with the average UK salary of just £28,000.

Meanwhile, other research suggests that much of the demand for IT staff is coming from firms based in London.

According to new figures from recruitment agency ReThink Recruitment, 40 per cent of all new IT jobs in the UK are based in London – up from 34 per cent in 2008.

The new figures suggest that many of the large financial services firms are beginning to take on more staff, said Michael Bennett, a director at ReThink.

“Many of these responded to the downturn by cutting IT departments. When business volumes increased, so did requirements for qualified IT staff,” he said.

London also benefits from the emergence of Shoreditch as a centre for high-tech startups, Bennett added.

In the rest of the country, the public sector has accounted for a significant proportion of the IT jobs that were created.

But in the wake of the government’s austerity measures, “public sector recruitment freezes have really taken hold", said Bennett. “IT projects have been abolished and, consequently, demand for IT skills has been very subdued.”

The ReThink figures are based on analysis of over 10,000 new IT job vacancies.

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