New research reported in Shout 99 confirms that growing numbers of PAYE umbrella contractors specialising in the IT skills market are moving into the telecoms sector.

The study by giant group plc reveals a 43% leap in the number of contractors opting for telecoms jobs over the last twelve months, largely in response to demand from retailers as they pump more investment into mobile internet marketing. This represents a rise in the proportion of IT contractors working in telecoms from the 12% recorded last year to 17%this year.

High street retailers have been badly bludgeoned by the economic downturn and are developing m-commerce platforms vigorously in an attempt to revive their fortunes, as more consumers shift their purchasing habits away from bricks-and-mortar shops towards their online equivalents, the study suggests.

The total spend on internet purchases reached £7.9 billion in December 2011, representing a rise of 16.5% on the figure for the previous Christmas. Many of these online purchases are made using smartphones and tablets, hence the new investment in m-commerce platforms.

The MD of giant group, Matthew Brown, said:

“Ironically, despite some retailers struggling, retail is one of the few sectors which increased its use of IT skills over the past year. Compared to the banking sector, retailers have never been particularly intense users of IT skills, but that is changing fast as retailers channel investment into m-commerce platforms.”

“A surprising number of retailers don’t offer e-commerce functionality. With consumers becoming more demanding about how they shop, and legacy systems often a serious bottleneck, investment in IT is key to gaining competitive advantage.”

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