Demand for IT staff on the rise

Reports show increase in demand for IT staff as vacancies rise in the Midlands, North East and North West but decline in London

The UK technology sector saw a spike in advertised job roles for the third quarter, with the Midlands, North East and North West leading the way, while vacancies in London declined.

Recruiter Robert Walters' European jobs Index tracker found a national increase of 18% for the third quarter, compared with a 2% rise for the first and second quarters of this year.

Of the vacancies advertised, the Midlands saw a 17% increase, the North East and North West increased its IT advertised positions by 13%, whereas London saw a fall of 8%.

In comparison, the legal sector saw a 4% rise for the quarter, while marketing saw a decline of 6% and sales dipped 6%.

Mathew Bartley, associate director of technology recruitment at Robert Walters, said: “An increase in hiring by SME clients in the regions has boosted vacancy levels, as has the actions of large banking clients in ‘near-sourcing’ technology teams to locations in Midlands, a move that in the past was limited to back office and call centre business units. Retailers have also been relocating technology teams away from London to rein in overhead costs.

“Retailers with a strong high street presence have been recruiting around the country as they embark on click-and-collect and e-commerce projects, many of which were mothballed over the past 12 to 18 months, as companies waited for trading conditions to improve.”

Bartley said hiring for mobile commerce roles has also increased, with companies ranging from SMEs to FTSE 100 organisations looking to bridge their expertise in digital marketing and technology –“A trend we expect to see continuing into 2014.”

Demand for IT staff on the rise

A second report found IT and computing staff are in demand. A jobs index report from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has revealed demand for permanent staff in the sector, posting 66.4 for October, just below September’s 13-year high of 67.1.

The IT and computing category came in third place out of nine in the demand for staff league table. The index for all permanent roles in all job sectors was 63.9.

“The data suggests that as confidence starts to return to UK businesses, technology is climbing up the board agenda and is fast becoming key priority for many organisations," said Andy Brown, IT advisory lead for KPMG’s management consulting practice.

“After a sustained period of under investment and cost reduction in IT departments and platforms through the downturn, businesses are now looking to invest, and in particular in new staff with different skills that will be required to drive benefit from IT expenditure in future,” he said.

According to Brown, the key to hiring these staff is often more about “sharing a compelling vision” rather than just the salary package.

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