Contractors in the IT skills market will be encouraged by another report which suggests that the sector is set to experience extraordinarily strong growth during 2011. The Technology Insights 2011 report produced by e-skills UK suggests that the IT industry is set to see a five-fold increase in growth.

The study was based on responses from over 1,800 employers across the UK and suggests that the UK economy could be boosted by ad additional £50 billion over the next 5 to 7 years by exploiting the full potential of the country’s IT sector. Whereas average UK employment is expected to grow by 0.45 per cent per year, employment in IT – which will undoubtedly include IT professionals from umbrella companies – will grow five times faster, at 2.10 per cent per year.

The report claims that the IT & Telecoms sector will underpin the majority of job creation in the UK in the coming years. Around a fifth of the UK workforce (1.5 million people) are already employed in IT and Telecoms and, as the UK is highly dependent on IT, an additional 500,000 new IT professionals will be needed in all sectors of the economy over the next five years.

IT has become integral to business and consumer services, information, modern day social networking and health and leisure, and approximately 22 million people –77 per cent of the UK workforce – now use IT in their jobs; a proportion which will undoubtedly increase, according to the report.

Ten per cent of firms using IT professionals are already reporting gaps in their skills, and it seems likely that highly skilled professionals in the UK’s IT contracting community will be much in demand for the next five years at least.

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