North of the border, umbrella companies (especially those supplying contractors in the IT skills market) are likely to be heartened by the Bank of Scotland’s latest Report on Jobs.
Last month, IT professionals saw a significant increase in demand for their services in Scotland, with the IT industry seeking more temporary workers than either the executive and professional or accounting and financial sectors.
The figures represent an encouraging trend in the number of permanent posts being advertised, too; according to the Bank’s Chief Economist, Donald MacRae, last month was the seventh consecutive month in Scotland where permanent appointments rose. More vacancies were also reported by recruitment consultants during the month, reflecting a marked increase in demand for permanent staff. Mr MacRae also noted that demand for temporary workers rose to its strongest rate for four months, especially in the hotel and catering sectors.
The data coincides with observations made by a leading employment agency. ReThink Recruitment has seen a nationwide surge in demand for IT specialists in line with the growing development of e-commerce. Anyone with e-commerce expertise in their repertoire of IT contracting skills may have noticed that demand for e-commerce specialists has doubled in the last 12 months, according to ReThink’s data.
It is a development, moreover, that has seen something of a bidding war break out between firms seeking their input. Some companies are offering as much as 25 per cent more than their competitors in other sectors in order to bag the specialists they need to improve the functioning of their e-commerce systems. According to ReThink’s Director, Ian Blair, demand for IT staff in the retail sector has undergone an “astonishing turnaround”.