International recruitment giant Robert Walters has encouraging news for PAYE umbrella contractors specialising in the London IT skills market: pay rates have risen by 3.4% year-on-year.

The firm’s latest Salary Survey reveals that C# developers have seen their daily rates leap from £400 in 2011 to £500 today. Project managers and senior business analysts have also seen daily rates rise from an average of £450 in 2011 to £500 in 2012.

IT contracting is set to grow even more lucrative if candidates have the requisite skills. In an article for Computer Weekly, Matt Bartley, manager of IT Recruitment at Robert Walters, writes: “The number of infrastructure projects has also increased significantly lately. This has led to demand for information and security specialists as employers seek to ensure their systems are as robust as possible. The move towards cloud computing continues to gather momentum across the market. As VMware is the predominant technology, specialists in this area are particularly in demand.”

Project specialists and developers with expertise in regulatory, statutory and compliance platforms in the financial services sector are very much in demand and, Bartley notes, the business-critical nature of their roles means they are likely to continue to be so throughout the year.

Permanent salaries have remained relatively sluggish, however, growing by just 0.6% year-on-year. Even so, developers with expertise in .Net, C++ and Java can expect salaries of around £90,000 a year in the investment banking sector compared to last year’s £85,000.

Demand for front-end development roles has also remained strong. Contractors with skills in jQuery, CSS, PHP, HTML5 and Drupal continue to enjoy numerous opportunities.

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