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IT industry seeks permanent staff as vacancies grow

KPMG finds demand for IT workers has grown since 2014, leaving more open vacancies for positions

Demand for IT workers rose from July 2015 to August 2015 as demand for permanent IT workers grew above the national average. 

According to research by KPMG, the index measuring vacancies in the IT sector climbed from 62.8 in July to 64.4 in August 2015, showing a sharp acceleration in demand for IT workers, making permanent IT professionals the fifth most sought-after in the UK.

Heath Jackson, partner in the CIO Advisory practice at KPMG, said: “There was no respite for recruiters in August, who were left struggling to fill vacancies after a vast swathe of Britain’s job seekers appeared to take the summer off.”

But the demand for IT staff year-on-year fell. In August 2014 IT staff were ranked the fourth most desirable in the UK, at 69.5 points.

The demand for short-term staff in the IT sector has also fallen year-on-year, from 65.2 points on the index in August 2014 to 58.7 in August 2015.

Jackson said: “With candidates having their pick of the job market, companies need to offer more than just cash.  In order to attract and retain the best people, businesses need to offer a bespoke package of benefits, including flexible working, which can be tailored to suit the individual and their priorities and commitments.”

But the IT industry is still suffering from a skills gap, and many IT firms say they cannot find candidates. A recent TechUK paper claimed the UK is losing up to £2bn per year as a result of unfilled roles needing digital skills.

The paper goes on to suggest the IT industry should take a more united approach to solving the skills gap. The authors recommended the Department for Education (DfE) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) should be the starting point, by collaboratively assessing the successes and improvements for the new computing curriculum in addressing the issue.

IT and digital skills are not only in demand in the IT industry, with the creative industries claiming to lack candidates with digital skillsets and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills suggesting retailers should invest in upskilling as the need for technology in every industry increases.

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