Thousands of young people became unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics people aged 16 to 24 suffered the biggest drop in employment.
The fast-growing technology sector might be the solution for these unemployed young adults to get back into employment and even earn a decent salary. The government-funded tech sector is in urgent need of skilled candidates to fill various roles and the large skills gap. Let’s see some statistics!
The retail and hospitality sectors take on thousands of students and young people every year who have now become either furloughed or unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in a large increase in unemployment and a large fall in employment amongst those aged 16-24.
Since the hit of the pandemic the number of unemployed young people in the UK increased by 59,000. The unemployment rate grew from 11.3% (Oct-Dec 2019) to 14.3% (Nov-Jan 2021), and around 227,000 more young people aged 16-25 are economically inactive – meaning they are not in employment and haven’t been seeking employment within the last 4 weeks and/or are not able to start work within the next 2 weeks.
So what could be the solution for this incredibly high unemployment rate caused by the unexpected coronavirus pandemic?
According to an article published by the UK Government in February 2020 the worth of the digital sector is more than £400 million a day. Tech companies contributed to the UK economy with £149bn in 2018, making the UK a leader in technology. Comparing to the rest of the economy, the tech sector grew six times more than the general economy as a whole with a 7.9% increase from 2017. Currently tech accounts for 7.7% of the whole UK economy. This resulted in the UK beating China and the US in global growth in 2019. The best performing, leading sectors were fintech, Al and clean energy.
Thankfully, the UK Government has been paying increased attention to the technology sector in the past couple of years. In 2019 the total investment in the UK tech sector was £10.1bn – the highest level in UK history. This is a 44% increase from 2018 which accounted for £3.1bn. In October 2020, the Government announced a £29 million fund to boost digital revolution and to make sure people are safe online. The fund will be received by six research centers across the UK who will invest the money in research around online safety and privacy. The UK overtook both China and the US with its growing investments. Investments in China and the US fell by 20% and 65% respectively. London also claimed the fourth place for the best city in the world in technology start-ups, coming up behind San Francisco, Beijing and New York.
Currently the demand for tech talent is stronger than supply and it's predicted that the gap will continue to grow. Many senior leaders believe that this is a key concern for all organizations. Apparently, the shortage is more significant than it was experienced during recession. For those, who have the right skills many doors have opened up. The sector is very competitive, but those with the right knowledge have more choice than ever. An organization can have several great technology ideas, but if they don't have the professionals to implement those ideas, it's a huge issue which will hold back innovation and development. According to a research conducted by KPMG, ‘Data Analytics Expert’ is the hardest position to fill due to the skills gap.
With the fast-growing and promising tech sector it's the best time to think about a career change and learn about available options! A very important thing to remember is that you don't need to know everything straight away, so don't be afraid if technology is something which you are not familiar with yet! For example, there are hundreds of apprenticeships and other opportunities available in tech where they teach you from scratch and it's only a great plus when you already know a couple of things. To familiarize yourself with basic tech skills and find free resources to learn check out our latest blog post on 10 Skills You Need To Land Your First Tech Job!
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