Opportunities for IT contracting in the public sector may have been badly squeezed of late but according to ReThink Recruitment, as that door closes another has been opening in a big way in London.

London is emerging as a major technology hub, generating 41.4% of all new IT roles in the UK; this is one IT skills market that is in rude health. The capital’s fortunes contrast markedly with other parts of the UK, at least as far as IT opportunities are concerned. There has been a slight decline in market share for the South East of England, which now accounts for just 22.5% of new IT jobs – nearly half of London’s figure. In June 2008, the region accounted for 23.8% of new IT opportunities.

The recruiter notes that “the bottom has fallen out of the public sector”, with the result that those regions which had been more dependent on it have been left struggling to create new technology opportunities. London, however, has been “more insulated” from the austerity measures taking place in both public and private sectors. The ‘Silicon Roundabout’ area of the capital alone has become home to no fewer than 500 start-up technology companies – a fact that should attract the attention of jobbing PAYE umbrella techies.

However, there are pressures too. ReThink’s Director, Michael Bennett, explained: “There has been a long term decline in the number of candidates with IT qualifications coming onto the market. This has intensified poaching and bidding wars for talent among tech start-ups. The problem start-ups face is that larger organisations can usually outbid them, which means they can find themselves constantly fighting for skills.”

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