Contractors working for umbrella companies who are on the lookout for new placements in the IT skills market have received a boost from new research commissioned by the US conglomerate General Electric (GE). The survey reveals that manufacturers in the tech industry are the UK’s most confident companies. Despite a quarter of them recording strong double digit growth during 2010, 71 per cent of them expect performance to be even better during 2011.
The IT contracting community will be heartened to hear that 48 per cent of these firms have pledged to recruit additional staff over the coming twelve months, expanding their workforces by 5.7 per cent on average.
Although 80 per cent of UK hi-tech manufacturers are dependent on exports for a significant proportion of their orders, most of them are confident that demand from overseas buyers will remain strong and actually increase by 12.3 per cent on last year. They anticipate that domestic demand will also grow by 5.8 per cent.
Some manufacturers expressed a degree of nervousness about the effect of increased commodity prices on overall operating costs in 2011 but, as GE’s President and Chief Executive Mark Elborne put it, the study shows a “vibrant and positive” sector well placed to help revitalise the UK economy.
The findings should bring relief to the Coalition, which has been promoting high-tech manufacturing in its efforts to rebalance the economy. It might take note, however, of one of the results which showed that only a third of IT manufacturers believe that conditions in the UK are favourable.