This is a guest blog by
Scott Woodrow, associate director at Pure
Resourcing Solutions, a recruitment consultancy
firm in the East of England.
With IT being the fastest growing industry in the UK, it's
probably not too surprising that we're seeing a significant skills shortage,
especially in the areas of web development and software engineering.
I work for Pure Resourcing Solutions (Pure) - a leading
recruitment consultancy firm in the East of England.
We're finding that the IT job market has become
particularly buoyant in the last year in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and
Suffolk. And over the next 12 months we expect to see new technology vacancies
emerging as the regional economy strengthens.
Many local employers are struggling to fill permanent IT
vacancies, but they're offering competitive salaries and generous benefit
packages to attract and retain the best talent. This trend is expected to
intensify throughout 2015.
According to data from Compare
(the UK's only live peer-to-peer salary comparison website), senior wages in
the eastern counties exceed £100,000, and almost one quarter earn between
£40,000 and £49,999. Annual bonuses range from £300 to £15,000.
We're also seeing more people escaping long commutes and
crowds of big city life as they relocate to this region.
Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk are seeing growing SMEs advertising for new IT staff
to support their development. With around 548,000 SMEs in the East of England
alone, these opportunities are probably set to increase as SMEs engage more
with customers through digital channels. As a
result, more roles are emerging in user experience, e-commerce and data
management, as well as traditional IT support.
Also, SMEs in our region
need IT staff with non-traditional skillsets. We know of digital marketing
agencies that are looking for developers for client-facing roles, for example.
Ipswich has an
established financial industry in need of more IT professionals. Plus, with
increasing business investment in the local start-up scene, the signs here are
very positive for plenty of new jobs.
if job seekers want to work with bigger names, the East of England is also home
to employers including BT, Aviva, KLM, Konica and Benefit Cosmetics.
But I couldn't talk about the region without mentioning
Cambridge - one of the world's centres of technology. Research shows that the
city is the best place to look for work, with 10 vacancies to every job seeker.
Dubbed 'Silicon Fen', Cambridge is home to successful technology
firms, making it a strong contender to London. Also, the city is thought to have 18% of the UK's £1bn gaming
- it's home to companies such as Jagex and Sony Computer Entertainment
Cambridge's innovation cluster includes global names such
as ARM, CSR and Microsoft Research, and Apple is
due to open an office here. And with some of the
world's brightest minds and global commercial deals, it's safe to say that the
options for IT workers will remain excellent.
But job seekers shouldn't focus on the city - we're seeing many more
progressive employers around the eastern region now offering opportunities for long-term
More than a
Although income is a key factor, we're hearing that IT candidates
want more from a new job. They also want to work for a business with vision, to
work with the latest systems, and to push their professional boundaries. They
also want to know whether the business is a good employer.
In response, regional employers are promoting themselves more
openly when recruiting, so candidates can get to know the company behind the
for example. The brewery is currently recruiting an IT Director so Pure is promoting its brand
including its award-winning status as a 'Best Employer', to attract
Overall, the job market in the East of England is certainly
a viable alternative to the more traditional hubs such as London and the M4 corridor.
The job market is ripe for people seeking both permanent and contract roles. But
I recommend job seekers sign up with just one recruitment agency: one with a
good client list and one that will meet you in person to find out what you
really want. It's the most effective route to finding the right job and the