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Software programmers needed despite slump in job vacancies

Software programmers are in short supply despite the recession decimating the total number of UK job vacancies and some IT workers are still sought after.

Programmers are in demand despite there being the lowest number of total job vacancies ever recorded in the monthly Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG UK employment report.

The research report, which began in October 1997, is carried out by Markit Economics. It reports the findings of questionnaires completed by 400 UK recruitment firms.

The total demand for staff fell at its highest rate since the first ever survey more than 10 years ago but there is demand for certain IT skills. UK businesses need more permanent staff with .net, C#, and PHP developers, while temporary staff with CNC programming skills are in high demand.

C# and .net skills are needed for building Windows applications and web services, while PHP is a website programming language.

Yann L'Huillier, CTO at share trading exchange Turquoise, says people with the right programming skills are always in demand providing they understand the business needs and can communicate. "The way that business evolves means we always want more computerisation, which requires more skills to support it."

He said in 200 there was an influx of people into the software industry training as programmers which led to an overflow of them around 2003. "But now that the world has moved on we need a lot of people with new skills again."

Jeff Brooks, chair of the REC IT sector group, said because IT helps businesses increase sales and cost cut at the same time, certain skills are still required.

"It is a tough time for job seekers, but technology is one area where vacancies still exist and certain skills remain hard to find," he said. "We expect this trend continue for a while yet, but we also know how the IT sector can move into growth quite rapidly from our experience of previous downturns."


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