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IT students down 50%

Published: Wednesday, 30 January 2008   Category: 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.


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