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IT students down 50%
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Science, IT and Engineering
New research has shown that the number of IT students has fallen by 50 per cent over the last five years.
The figures, from industry skills body e-Skills UK, have revealed that the lack of IT staff has created a substantial skills shortage in the sector, with 140,000 new recruits now needed to fill demand.
The National Outsourcing Association (NOA) has said that there is a "nerdish" image attached to the IT profession which is causing today's young people to stay away.
Since rectifying this problem may be a "long-term project", the NOA has stated that the answer may lie in outsourcing.
Commenting on the gap in the lower-skilled end of the sector, Martyn Hart, chairman of NOA, commented: "By choosing an offshore supplier, companies can employ low-cost specialists to carry out work that they can't complete in the UK."
He added that UK workers should be educated and employed to a standard that will enable them to take up positions in the high-end of the industry.
The IT industry is responsible for £66.5 billion of gross domestic product to the economy every year, according to WhatPC.