UK-based specialists in IT contracting considering projects overseas may be buoyed by new research suggesting that PAYE umbrella techies are experiencing a boom in demand across Europe.

A study by specialist IT recruiter Volt Workforce Solutions reveals that there has been a significant surge in the number of assignments going to contractors working in the European IT skills market, with especially high demand coming from France, Germany and Switzerland. A growing proportion of European firms are turning to contractors in preference to permanent employees, with the most sought after skills being in mobile application development, Android, Silverlight and .Net development.

Volt president Tom Daley explained that, for an appreciable percentage of his company’s clients, skilled IT contractors are indispensable, with many project-based activities depending on them. Firms are finding that “it’s easier to ramp up teams for new initiatives with contingent workers.”

Where the time taken to reach the market is an over-riding consideration, contractor roles are becoming vital.

Mr Daley continued: “The demand for highly-skilled IT professionals has picked up quite a bit, albeit somewhat unevenly across our geographic markets. We’re seeing clients applying a careful and methodical approach to requesting IT talent in that they are looking for very specialised skill sets related to emerging technologies.”

He went on to say that Volt’s research also puts the spotlight on functional roles, such as project managers and business analysts, who are also enjoying a rise in demand. A growth in the number of such roles suggests that many new projects are in the pipeline, which, Daley anticipates, “will lead to further increases in demand for IT talent as these projects are implemented.”

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