PAYE umbrella contractors specialising in the IT skills market may be interested in a new study from the REC which reveals a persistent shortage of adequately qualified candidates in the ICT sector.

The REC Technology Group conducted the research and proposes a number of measures to remedy the problem. Specifically, the study recommends that recruitment agencies should work closely with employers, universities and schools to encourage more young people into the sector. Amongst the proposals for recruiters are closer work with employers to identify the best universities for specific IT roles, and offering expert careers advice to teenagers and university undergraduates at school open days and graduate conventions.

The report states “While the demand for more advanced technology-based skills is not new, the recent economic crisis has increased the urgency of addressing the gap between available skills and what the market demands.”

If the UK is to maintain its competitive edge in the global market, most pundits are agreed that vital IT skills will need to be in place both in the short-term and for the more technology-driven emerging markets.

The Chair of the REC Technology Group, Jeff Brooks, said “Shortages currently being experienced give IT recruiters and their clients an ideal opportunity to influence the skills agenda both in the short and long term.” He went on to add that employers, educators, recruiters and the Government need to get to grips with the issue to find workable, practical solutions for providing the relevant information to help inspire and influence more young people to think about a career in IT.

IT contracting may well be about to attract some new blood.

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