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The IT skills shortage in the UK is being made worse by the routine offshoring of entry-level tech jobs.

Income Data Services’ (IDC) latest findings on IT pay for 2008 shows that offshoring low-levels IT jobs to the likes of China and India has led to fewer graduate opportunities because firms are reluctant to invest in their diminishing Blighty workforce. Mid-level pay rates are also rising as a direct result.

Average salaries for IT user support techies have leapt 13 per cent to £24,177 in the past year, and systems engineers saw a 9.5 per cent jump to £31,120. Meanwhile, IT project leaders’ pay was up nearly a quarter (23 per cent) in just five years to £47,605, according to the IDS figures.

"The sizeable pay increases we are seeing in mid-level IT support and technical roles are being driven largely by acute skills shortages," said editor of the IDS report Ken Mulkearn. He added that outsourcing overseas has led to fewer opportunities for graduates and others to get a job in IT.

Earlier this month the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that Britain’s brightest kids should be required to study three separate science courses in secondary school to offset a shortage of employees in the IT and science sectors.

The CBI’s plea to the government came amid gloomy forecasts from a number of employers’ groups that expect to see a dismal time ahead in the jobs market because of a rise in redundancies accompanied by a downturn in recruitment. ®

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