Growing demand for both permanent and contract staff resulted in a further rise in skills shortages and wages in May, reveals the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
According to the organisation's 'Report on Jobs' survey, produced in conjunction with NTC Research, last month saw the availability of permanent staff deteriorate at the fastest rate since December 1999, whilst the availability of temporary/contract employees dropped at its fastest rate since July 1998.
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Unsurprisingly, rising skills shortages were linked to higher salaries, with recruitment consultancies reporting increasing pressure to up payment rates.
Once again, the IT and computing sectors, were among those experiencing the greatest staff demand with e-commerce skills, Java, C++ and web development technologies proving sought after. HTML programmers, electronic and hardware engineers, telecommunications staff, and real time and embedded software engineers were also listed as being in short supply.
Tim Nicholson, chief executive of the REC, attributes the expanding vacuum of IT staff to the growth of the industry, and to the rate at which its technology is changing. "Developing technology always demands new people with new skills. However, in a rapidly changing environment like IT, the sheer growth of the industry means that skilled staff cannot be found quickly enough," he says.
Foreseeing no change in the situation for the next few years, Nicholson predicts instead that companies will realise they can no longer rely on the open market for skilled staff, and will begin to develop and invest in existing employees instead.