The number of contracting job vacancies in the IT sector increased by 3% during the latest quarter according to the latest Tech Cities Job Watch from Experis. More firms are now sourcing digital skills via the flexible workforce, indicating an ongoing shift in hiring habits.

The number of job adverts for permanent IT employees plummeted by 11% between April and June as more firms looked to cover skills shortages by taking on experienced self-employed workers on a short-term basis. This flexibility appears to be becoming increasingly important to clients.

Meanwhile, Leeds is now among the UK’s hotspots for IT contract jobs, with the Yorkshire city recording the third-highest demand during the spring. Only London and Manchester saw more SMEs and large organisations offering tech roles.

Experis managing director Geoff Smith said: “Leeds, another thriving tech city, not only benefits from strong transport links, but is also quickly becoming home to many large corporates who are investing heavily in digital programmes and IT projects in the area.”

The report also noted that recruitment figures increased during June following a pre-election lull. Experis predicts that investment in IT is likely to rise during the remainder of the year, which will result in a “return to solid growth in IT recruitment.”

Mr Smith added: “It is likely that uncertainty in the run-up to the general election in May will have caused many organisations to postpone permanent hiring decisions until the election results were known. The possibility that this slowdown was only temporary, however, is reflected in our figures post-election, which showed a recruitment uplift in June.”

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