HMRC spends £150mn on IT staff amid academy launch

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HMRC spends £150mn on IT staff amid academy launch
Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

HM Revenue and Customs has spent £150mn on its IT staffing budget, an increase of almost double the pre-pandemic figure, according to official data.

The findings, obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by the think tank Parliament Street, revealed that a total of £152,871,499 was spent on 4,032 IT staff in the most recent financial year ending March 2023. 

This was a 91 per cent increase on 2019’s figure of £79,916,209 where only 2,203 staff were in post.

The FOI also revealed that HMRC has launched several new initiatives within its IT department, recently. 

HMRC said that around 2,000 learning requests for courses and training are submitted annually by staff, with some staff attending multiple programmes.

James Campanini, CEO of VeUP said: “It’s encouraging to see HMRC investing in IT skills and cloud support, areas which will enable it to vastly improve public services and reduce costs in the long-term. 

“By embracing cloud, organisations of all sizes can better manage large volumes of data, optimise costs, and dramatically improve their performance.”

HMRC also said that it has developed 15 academies for its Chief Digital Information Office that deliver professional learning for specific technical roles such as data scientists or for functions and technologies like cloud computing. 

The FOI response stated: “The academies use a blended approach of externally and internally developed learning content. They are led by internal subject matter experts who ensure we are aligned to industry standards and using the best learning opportunities for our people.”

Source: HMRC

Tech expert Joanna Reynolds, managing director of Bordeaux & Burgundy said that enhancing digital skills is crucial for creating a now and future-ready workforce. 

“HMRC's new academy programme is an excellent example of sharing knowledge and expertise throughout their organisation,” she said. 

“By prioritising investment in tech skills, we can position the UK as a centre for private equity and venture capital investment and a hub for the development of tomorrow's most innovative technology companies.

“Skills such as these are a key differentiator, and forward-thinking organisations will appreciate technology's value and use it accordingly."

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