UK stuck with ageing IT workforce as offshoring squeezes out starter jobs

Expect more debates about jobs for young.

The proportion of under-24-year-olds working in the UK IT industry has halved over the 10 years, with part of the blame for the shortfall placed on the offshoring industry of entry-level jobs.

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The IT workforce is not being replenished by new entrants, with the proportion of 16-24-year-olds working in IT halving over the past decade.

The dwindling share of school leavers and graduates landing jobs in IT comes at a time when computer science graduates are the most likely of any university leavers to be unemployed, with more than 14 percent of comp sci graduates out of work six months after graduation. In comparison only one percent of those who studied dentistry or medicine were unemployed this long after finishing their course.

According to Karen Price, CEO of IT industry skills body eSkills the UK has offshored many of the roles that would have given graduates their start on the career ladder.

“We do have a rapidly ageing workforce. For the last 10 years we’ve been outsourcing and offshoring entry level roles, we’ve almost exported them,” she said.

The number of entry-level jobs in the IT industry is continuing to fall, in line with a decline in the number of vacant jobs in the UK IT industry as a whole. eSkills analysis of data from IT Jobs Watch found there were about 5,200 positions advertised for entry-level IT staff during the third quarter of this year, about 3.2 percent of 160,000 IT positions advertised overall. The number of entry-level roles posted is down six percent on the year before, as is the total number of IT jobs advertised.

Market data also indicates that the pace at which IT work is being contracted to service providers with large offshore hubs isn’t necessarily slowing.

Thewriter Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.. READ MORE

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