2.3 million digital workers needed by 2020 to power Britain’s digital economy

Low levels of digital job creation putting "Northern Powerhouse" at risk; 47% of all digital jobs created over next five years will be in the South

Britain requires 2.287 million digitally skilled workers by 2020 in order for the economy to reach its digital potential, research published today by O2 has suggested.

The study – an update of O2’s 2013 report which said that 750,00 jobs for digitally skilled workers would be created by 2017 – argues that, due to the role digital is now playing in driving economic growth, the demand for digital jobs will accelerate over the next five years but the North is least likely to feel the benefit.

The research predicts that almost half (47%) of new digital jobs created in the next five years will be in London and the South East which lends doubt to the government’s plans of building a “Northern Powerhouse”.

Of the 766,000 jobs set to be created between now and 2020, just 8% will be based in the North West and East of England.

O2 business director Ben Dowd has said the findings “highlight that the economy is nowhere near digital maturity”.

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