Technology Insights 2011: Key findings

Technology is the UK’s key ingredient for driving private sector led economic growth, productivity, global competitiveness and wealth creation.

  • The UK’s IT & Telecoms industry delivers an annual GVA contribution of £81 billion, 9% of the total UK economy. 
  • IT & Telecoms is at the heart of every UK sector, underpinning the GVA contributions of all businesses.
  • Exploiting the full potential of technology could boost the UK economy by an additional £50 billion over the next 5 to 7 years.


The IT & Telecoms sector will underpin the majority of future job creation in the UK.

  • One in every 20 people (1.5 million) working in the UK is employed in IT & Telecoms.
  • Employment in the IT industry over the next decade will grow nearly five times faster than the UK average.
  • Over half a million new IT & Telecoms professionals are needed in the next five years, working across all sectors of the economy.
  • In terms of GVA contribution per head, an individual working in the IT & Telecoms industry is almost twice as productive as the average UK worker.


Attracting high quality recruits to the IT & Telecoms workforce is crucial for the competitiveness of all sectors of the economy.

  • IT & Telecoms in the UK is increasingly focused on higher value, highly skilled roles that harness technology to drive innovation and wealth creation across the whole economy.
  • Of those firms with IT & Telecoms professionals, around one in ten report gaps in their skills, most often in their business and technical skills.
  • Nine of out ten firms suffering IT & Telecoms related skills shortages are experiencing delays in the development of new products or services. 


Workers across the UK economy need higher levels of IT User skills, with IT literacy increasingly a prerequisite for employment.

  • 22 million people - 77% of the UK’s total workforce - use IT in their jobs, and this proportion will continue to rise. 
  • 92% of advertised vacancies require applicants to have basic IT skills.
  • Gaps in IT user skills are reported by around 1 in 10 UK businesses.


There has been a decline in the number of young people studying technology at school and university.

  • Since 2002 there has been a 33% reduction in applicants to Computing degree courses. In contrast, applications to other STEM courses have increased by an average of 23% over a similar period.
  • Only 9% of students taking A-level Computing and 15% of those on Computing degrees are female.
  • The proportion of IT & Telecoms professionals under 30 has dropped from 33% in 2001 to 19% in 2010 as the sector favours experienced workers from other sectors over young recruits from the education system.

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