Many IT contractors are finding themselves in a difficult position in the first few weeks of 2009. Work is not as readily available as it has been in the past and the competition for jobs has increased substantially. As a result, many contractors are now looking for different work opportunities. One such opportunity comes from the public sector.
The public sector is seen as a good location to scout for new job opportunities as it is more likely to be unaffected by a tightening budget in the coming months. For the most part, the budget that the public sector will use was put together in a previous year so positions and money have already been allocated.
Most IT contractors wanting to continue with their current work are being forced to accept greatly reduced salaries. In some cases contractors are losing as much as 25% of their income. Many of the biggest IT employers such as Microsoft, IBM, and AMD are being forced to lay off thousands of their employees who fill both contract and fulltime positions.
A director at Hays Public Services, Mark Staniland, said of the change in working habits “A few years ago the proportion of people willing to consider a public sector job would have been nothing compared to today. Right now the public sector is becoming increasingly attractive to white-collar professionals, who see it as less lacklustre and a much more challenging and rewarding environment.”