Demand for IT professionals remains buoyant


Demand for IT professionals remains buoyant

Growth in demand for both permanent and contract IT staff slowed fractionally last month but was still buoyant, according to the latest monthly survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

The permanent staff index fell from 68 to 67 and the contractor index was down from 58 to 57, but both were well above the 50 mark, at which demand growth reverses into decline.

The contractor index in particular has shown a good recovery since Christmas, after an unprecedented six months of decline in the second half of last year.

General e-commerce skills, plus expertise in specific related areas such as Web development, Java and HTML, are most in demand, although embedded software engineers have also emerged as a sought-after group.

Both indexes are now back at the high levels of two years ago, and the good news for staff is that the growth in demand also looks set to continue.

Almost 75% of 1,226 employers surveyed by software services company HPS Europe now believe skills shortages will last a long time.

Just under 60% see application development work increasing over the next five years to cope with e-commerce, renewing existing systems and moving to new products.

But instead of training, they are looking at the jobs market, and contractors in particular: more than 75% think they will be able to fill skills gaps by taking on freelances.

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