Encouraging more over 50s to move into tech careers, can help close the UK’s digital skills gap and boost the economy, according to new analysis.

Just 22% of the those working in information technology are aged 50 or above, according to research by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

To make the IT sector equal to the workplace ‘norm’, there should be an extra 148,000 people aged 50-plus in the profession, BCS’ analysis of ONS data found.

The Diversity 2022 report, created by BCS in partnership with Coding Black Females, also found that if gender representation in IT were equal to rest of the workforce, an additional 486,000 female IT specialists were needed.

There were also around 63,000 IT specialists with disabilities, missing from the industry, using similar calculations.

Broader range of people

Rashik Parmar MBE, CEO BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “We can only achieve the government’s ambition for the UK to be the ‘next Silicon Valley’ by closing the digital skills gap and making this vital profession attractive to a far broader range of people.

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“Information technology changes lives, yet employers are struggling to find workers with the right digital skills. The figure for over 50s working in IT is significantly lower than in other sectors, as are the proportions of women and people with disabilities.

“This is clearly costing the economy and society, given how computing is woven into everyday life.

“The message must be that you can become an ethical, trusted and highly competent tech professional no matter what your background or age.”

Read the full 2022 reports: