UK tech sector ‘bounces back’ from pandemic

The UK’s technology industry has shown strong post-pandemic recovery, bouncing back “bigger and better” than before, figures from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT have found.

The sector was impacted by the economic downturn following the first lockdown in the spring of 2019.

In the second quarter of 2020, the demand for IT specialists had hit a low. But according to BCS’ report on digital skills, after this period the industry began to recover.

“The speed of digital adoption and innovation has, unsurprisingly, put more emphasis on the need for digital skills, not only for those working directly in an IT and digital role but across the workforce as a whole,” said Annette Allmark, BCS head of apprenticeships. “The pandemic has been a catalyst for change, and that change is here right now.”

The latest figures from the Department for Education reveal that starts on digital apprenticeship routes in the first six months of the 2021/22 academic year were more than 30 per cent higher than the same period of the previous year.

Within this, advanced digital apprenticeships have seen over a 70 per cent increase, while higher digital apprenticeships have had over a 10 per cent increase.

“More than ever, apprenticeships are playing a vital role in helping leading industries, such as digital and tech, get the skilled workforce they need to continue delivering innovation to the highest level,” said minister for skills Alex Burghart.“Quality apprenticeships in exciting industries will give more people across the country the chance to upskill, learn on the job and get on the path to a fantastic and fulfilling career.”

BCS says that by the end of last year, the need for technology staff was higher than before the pandemic.

On average, there were 64,000 job vacancies in the information and communications sector by the third quarter of 2021 - an increase of 36 per cent on the previous quarter and 191 per cent on the equivalent period in 2020.

The research shows that the highest demand was for highly skilled staff like developers, who represented 23 per cent of all posted vacancies, followed by analysts, who came second at 11 per cent.

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