The Home Office increased its permanent in-house IT team by 24% between 2019 and 2020 amid the COVID-19 outbreak, according to official figures obtained via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by the Parliament Street think tank.
The purpose of the FOI was to understand how major government factions have invested in teams in order to support the continued provision of public services despite the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic.
While in 2019, the Home Office employed a total 1,225 permanent team members across IT, this number soared by 24% to 1,523 last year, meaning the department recruited an additional 298 employees in various digital-, data- and tech-based roles. Interestingly, note the findings, temporary IT professionals in the organisation decreased from 197 in 2019 to 134 in 2020.
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The most sought-after full-time IT roles in 2020 were in the field of strategic tech, with the Home Office recruiting 97 technology project managers, 92 infrastructure engineers and 80 service managers.
On top of this, the department employs 25 full-time data scientists, with an additional 15 working in data engineering and 26 in DevOps; as well as 78 operations analysts and 72 business analysts.
Sridhar Iyengar, managing director of technology corporation Zoho Europe, commented: “It’s encouraging to see organisations like the Home Office boosting in-house IT skills, particularly at a time when technology is playing such a crucial role in delivering vital services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Iyengar added that, with the crisis forcing millions of people to transition to working from home, access to the necessary technology devices, solutions and services is crucial.
“Digital skills are set to play a critical role in the economic recovery,” he explained, “so having a talented team that can recruit, train and support the next generation is also an important step forward.”