It is fair to say that the effects of the recession have been felt by employers across the UK. However, figures show that both Scotland and Northern Ireland have actually experienced an increase in IT recruitment over the past five years. However, the majority of recruiters in Scotland admit to the recession affecting their team morale due to increased workloads and training cutbacks.
Jacqui Hepburn from the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils in Scotland has said that while the IT sector was indeed affected by the recession there are now signs that it is “clearly stabilising”. Much of the strength of the IT sector in Scotland has been attributed to the lessons learned from the demise of the dotcom years and the acceptance by businesses that they must be flexible in their business models.
Jacquie Hepburn commented: “The IT professional workforce will be central to the UK’s recovery from recession. All industries need, and will continue to require, highly skilled technical professionals. There is an arguably even greater need for business-focused technologists who can understand business needs, know how to apply IT to solve business problems, and can manage technology projects to deliver direct business value.”
The ‘Skills, Business and the Economy’ report which was published a number of weeks ago included advice from the Alliance that the Scottish IT sector could be boosted by encouraging more young people to train for careers in IT.
Ms Hepburn concluded: “The UK must continue to invest in the technology skills pool: from the IT professionals who create the systems, to the business managers who need to be able to exploit them for business benefit, to the individuals who need to be able to use them in their day to day jobs.”