The significant skills gap within the UK could be set to narrow as over half of non-tech workers have expressed interest in changing careers to roles within the technology sector. 

New research by CWjobs, a UK technology job board, shows that over half of non-tech UK employees are considering a job within the technology sector. This is a very important development as the Confederation of British Industry previously reported that nine out of 10 employees would have to retrain by 2030 in order to close this skills gap.

This new research shows that over half of non-tech workers (55 per cent) are currently contemplating a career change or have begun the change to move into the technology sector. In addition, almost one in 10 employees (8 per cent) state that they have already made the move.

COVID-19 has also amplified the need for talent acquisition within the tech sector as, due to remote working, businesses have heavily relied on IT departments and tech support to make this shift. Consequently, just under half (45 per cent) of IT workers have stated that their company is actively recruiting for employees within this sector, offering a chance for employees looking to retrain and upskill.

This global pandemic has had a significant impact on employees’ thoughts towards reskilling and retraining for technology roles. Over one in 10 (12 per cent) state that the pandemic has sped up their ambition to change careers completely. For one fifth of IT workers (20 per cent), they state that the main advantage of the tech industry is greater career stability and that many organisations are prioritising technology due to the learnings of COVID-19.

Learning and development have also been on the agenda as just under three in 10 non-tech employees (29 per cent) also felt that their careers were more secure as they developed further IT and technology skills. Over a fifth (22 per cent) of non-technology employees have also undertaken training in IT during COVID-19 in order to upskill.

All this news follows the Government’s intention to fund a Lifetime Skills Guarantee which will aim to help people train and re-train at any point in their life. 

Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs, comments:

Our new research reveals that jobs in IT and tech are likely to offer a sense of security for those looking to enhance their employability and ensure they are adaptable and resilient to the new world of work. As businesses try to emerge from the pandemic in the best shape they can, it’s clear that technology is key to achieving long-term success. The tech skills supporting innovations, services and companies across the UK remain the most important factor, feeding demand to an industry that already experiences an obvious skills gap.

Tapping into this new pipeline of future talent will help alleviate the gap by supporting and offering training to those willing to learn and upskill. Going forward, businesses must be open to welcoming individuals into the industry, considering various job backgrounds, levels of experience and the transferable skills that new candidates can bring to the role and their company. In doing so, the tech job market will remain agile and robust, offering unique opportunities for all.

*Censuswide conducted this survey on behalf of CWjobs with 2164 UK workers being questioned in total including 1026 general workers and 1120 tech workers. The survey was conducted between the 9th-16th September 2020.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.