Skilled migration into the UK of IT and telecoms workers will add £16.2 billion to the IT sector by 2012, according to a new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
IT migration and a flexible workforce is vital to future economic stability, according to 'The Future Flows' report from CEBR in association with Harvey Nash.
“Far from undermining the UK labour market, migration is vital to future economic stability, helping to fill in the gaps created by older and under-skilled workforces,” said Albert Ellis, Harvey Nash chief executive.
The CEBR findings indicate the number of skilled migration for IT and telco sectors will rise to 160,000 in 2012, driven by an increasing demand for eCommerce software development. The report also reveals skilled migrant workers will contribute £77 billion to the UK economy by 2012.
Another report released today from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) predicts low economic growth in the UK for 2008 and 2009, which could impact employment in the sector.
In its quarterly economic forecast, the CBI has lowered its prediction for GDP growth to 1.8 percent, a drop of 0.2 percent.
“Having enjoyed two years of strong growth, we are now living in uncertain times,” said CBI director general Richard Lambert. “We are facing a financial shock on a scale not experienced in recent times, which is coming on top of already slower growth.”
However Lambert, the former editor of the Financial Times, remains positive about the robustness of UK business and a flexible workforce. “It is vitally important to keep the story in perspective. After a few good years, the UK corporate balance sheet is in good shape. Our flexible labour market is a real force for stability and our best bet is still that our economy will continue to show modest growth this year and next, before starting a gradual recovery.”
CBI predicted investment will only grow by 1.4 percent in 2008, compared to 5.0 percent in 2007. CIOs looking to expand operations or develop new business could be impacted by a predicted slowdown in investment growth.
But CBI is upbeat about the state of British businesses and the opportunities the current market presents. Lower growth has, in the past, presented CIOs with an opportunity to invest.
As the economy slows, inflation is expected to rise, with the CBI expecting a CPI rate of inflation reaching 3.2 percent in Q3 of 2008. Previously the CBI had predicted an inflation rate of 2.7 percent.
Next year will also be difficult. The Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling predicts that economic growth will be between 2.25 percent and 2.75 percent.
CBI disagrees and puts 2009 economic growth at 1.7 percent GDP. It believes 2009 will see continued problems in the credit markets, rising commodity prices and demand for products and services dropping on the local and international markets.
Earlier this month, the National Computing Centre said spending on IT would remaining buoyant and above inflation, despite an uncertain economic outlook.