IT contractors expect job opportunities and salaries to rise

The number of IT contractors expecting growth in public sector job opportunities has doubled since last year, a study by Giant Group has revealed

The number of IT contractors expecting growth in public sector job opportunities has doubled since last year, as public sector organisations turn to IT contractors for sudden spikes in workloads.

A survey by employment provider Giant Group found 15% of IT contractors are expecting growth in public sector job opportunities this year, compared with only 8% last year.

The survey of 601 IT contractors also found that more than half (63%) of IT contractors expect pay rises within the next year, and fewer IT contractors are expecting wage freezes this year, down to 6% from 10% last year.

Matthew Brown, managing director of Giant, said with the government’s austerity measures still in full effect, the public sector remains under pressure to keep headcount down.

“Even though budgets are stretched, some departments are keen to kick-start IT projects that might have been stalled or put on hold since the coalition government was formed. After all, many of these IT projects will deliver immediate savings,” he said.

“For these public sector bodies, contractors offer a flexible and effective way of ensuring that specific projects are carried out, without adding to headcount payroll,” added Brown.

Fujitsu to tackle youth unemployment with apprenticeship scheme

Giant is not the only company anticipating job growth. In a bid to tackle youth unemployment, Fujitsu has revealed plans to recruit 95 new apprentices over the next two months.

The apprentices will cover a wide range of roles across Britain, including customer service and software development.

The aim of the scheme is to provide each apprentice with a full-time position at the end of their apprenticeship. 

There are two levels – intermediate and advanced – under which apprentices work towards BTEC Level 2 and 3 qualifications. There is also the option to continue to Level 4 and 5 Diploma level.

Intermediate apprentices are school leavers with GCSEs. They join a one-year programme with a salary of £7,800. 

Advanced apprentices are college leavers with A-Levels. They join a two-year programme on a starting salary of £14,500.

Rachel Rose, who as head of talent management is Fujitsu’s champion for apprentices, said: "The apprentices will be recruited, many from areas of high unemployment, to take on a wide variety of important roles, from customer-facing ones, such as manning our service desks to help resolve customer queries; to technical roles, where they will learn a range of programming skills.”

A separate programme in Northern Ireland will see 10 apprentices join the programme in Belfast.

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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