Growth in IT vacancies is greater in the regions than in Central London


Growth in IT vacancies is greater in the regions than in Central London

Will Hadfield

Permanent and contracted IT recruitment in many regions of the UK is growing at a faster rate than in central London, according to the Computer Weekly/SSL Quarterly Survey of Appointments Data and Trends.

The number of advertised IT roles in the West Midlands grew by 26.4% between the second quarter of 2005 and the second quarter of 2006. In Central London, the number of IT jobs advertised grew by 10.8%.

Wales, Scotland and the East Midlands also saw big increases in vacancies, with advertised positions increasing over the past 12 months by 21.2%, 17.9% and 17% respectively. IT recruitment was up in every region except the North East, where the number of advertised positions fell by 4.6%.

However, the Computer Weekly/SSL survey showed a 12.7% drop in demand for contract IT staff between the first and second quarters of this year.

Central London's relative weakness is led by a 35.1% drop in advertising for IT posts in the public sector. Other parts of the country may be benefiting from the government moving work out of London, as public sector IT recruitment has grown in the East Midlands (62.3%), Wales (29.7%) and Scotland (22.6%).

The manufacturing sector has more IT vacancies than it did a year ago. Manufacturers are advertising 56% more IT roles in the West Midlands, 52.6% more in the East Midlands and 50.6% more in Scotland. Greater London - excluding the West End and the City - has seen a 51.1% rise in manufacturing IT roles.

Richard Jenkins, consultant at Xansa Recruitment, said, "The market for manufacturing IT roles is very much driven by the contractors at the moment. They cannot demand any price, but they do tend to know they are in demand."

Kathleen Smith, director at ­recruitment company Preferred ­International, said, "[In the South of England outside London] salaries are going up and the contract market is tipping back round.

"Clients are not getting the permanent people they want and they are giving in and hiring contractors again."

Demand is being led by big companies increasing their investment in core systems. Smith said, "Clients need either senior developers or lower-skilled project teams for roll-outs of national programmes of desktop refreshes."


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