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Reprieve for City IT Jobs?

Cliff Saran

People with the right technical and business skills who have lost their jobs due to the turmoil in the City this week, should face little difficulty finding a new job.

Recruitment agencies have received a flurry of CVs from City IT staff in the wake of the crisis at Lehman Brothers and declining confidence in the City.

Simon Walker managing director of Project Partners, a recruitment firm specialising in providing technology staff for financial services, said the company has seen a 300% rise on the number of CVs it normally receives.

"You will not be out of a job if you have the technical skills that enable financial services companies to gain a competitive edge," he said.

Anyone dealing in product lines that require technology modelling using C#, C++ or object oriented design will be in demand, he said.

Demand for IT staff with experience of mergers and acquisitions or demergers in the financial services sector has also grown in recent months, as firms restructure in the downturn.

"We are starting to see demand for system architects who understand large integration projects, along with people who can manage change."

However, he warned that people without these skills may face difficulties securing employment in other investment firms.

Tommy Bright, principal consultant specialising in financial services technology at recruitment company Madison Black, advised affected IT staff without the in-demand skills to consider looking for alternative city IT careers, given the turmoil in the investment banking sector.

"It may be appropriate to change your career plans slightly and move out of investment banking to asset management consultancies or even the hedge fund business."

Cathy Holley, partner at Boyden UK, a company that specialises in global executive search and interim management, recommended that people should think about moving out of financial services altogether. "It may be time to look at another sector."

People looking at moving out of investment banking IT should consider the skills they have that are transferrable, and those that are appropriate only to investment banking. For instance, she said, "Retailers are not interested in the equity market so you need to align your CV with the job application."


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