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Review of ICT labour market available online


e-skills UK (formerly the e-skills NTO) has published the first in a series of quarterly reviews of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) labour market. The aim of these reviews will be to provide an up-to-date and definitive understanding of the trends and issues that impact any group with an interest in the current or future development of the ICT workforce such as employers, trade bodies, educators, training providers and public organisations.

"Through the e-skills Bulletin we will be communicating the most critical trends and issues in the ICT labour market to the groups that are most affected by them," said Karen Price, CEO, e-skills UK. "The main points to come from the first issue are positive in that the market is showing signs of recovery before the end of the year but mismatches still exist between the skills needed by employers and those held by the current workforce. Research presented by the Andersen/REC monthly recruitment market survey does suggest that recruitment in the ICT sector remained in decline for the first quarter of the year, but to a lesser degree than in recent months."

Information included in the first issue suggests that although the labour market for IT and telecoms staff remained depressed during Q1 2002 there are indicators that the worst could be over. Long-term forecasts of employment within the ICT industry undertaken on behalf of e-skills UK, suggest that both overall employment within ICT firms and in dedicated ICT roles will rise over the next three years, albeit by lesser amounts than in previous years. It is also predicted this growth could begin as soon as the third quarter of this year.

The review also highlights the potential growth in demand for certain specialist skills in the short to medium term such as Session Initialisation Protocol (SIP) and eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) but emphasises the continued importance of ‘core’ technical skillsets such as C++, Oracle and Unix despite the overall decline in demand for ICT skills over recent months.

The first issue of the e-skills Bulletin also provides an overview of the historical changes in the ICT market and provides some short term predictions of likely developments over the next three years. Detailed analysis is also provided on a number of key indicators including:

Total employment in ICT firms (1996-2002)
Redundancies in ICT firms (2000-2002)
Change in the number of ICT staff (1996-2002)
Changing demand for the main ICT skills (2001-2002)
Demand for ICT staff (2001-2002)
Workers receiving job-related education or training in the last four weeks (1996-2002)

The e-skills Bulletin is available free of charge from the e-skills UK website. There's also a link to click on there which will ensure that the next edition of the bulletin will be emailed straight to you.


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