IT contracting in the financial services sector continues to have decidedly healthy prospects, new research suggests.

The study from the contractor service provider Giant Group suggests that insurance firms and banks are boosting their IT expenditure, a development that hasn’t gone unnoticed by many PAYE umbrella contractors in the IT skills market. A third of IT contractors believe that it will be the financial services sector where most IT jobs will be found in the coming year – a significant rise from the same time last year, when only 8% of those polled felt that way.

The number of contractors anticipating that the public sector will produce the most jobs has virtually halved, plunging from last year’s 17% to today’s 9%. In 2008, the proportion was a positively buoyant 30% but the government’s austerity measures have since taken the wind out of the public sector’s sails. With public sector opportunities evaporating, the finance sector is becoming considerably more important to specialists in IT contracting.

Experience and skills in cloud computing will be especially in demand, according to the Giant Group’s Managing Director, Matthew Brown, who believes the evidence now suggests that banks are “ramping up spending again” after the recession, during which they pulled out of many IT projects.

In addition to efforts to improve productivity through cloud computing, banks also have to deal with new regulations aimed at making them more transparent. Brown believes this, too, is driving demand for IT contractors.

The research heralds a welcome change in fortune for IT contractors, who suffered acutely during the depths of the financial meltdown.

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