The NHS is seeking highly skilled specialists in IT contracting working through umbrella companies, according to data from the international recruitment firm Badenoch and Clark.

Contractors in the IT skills market who have knowledge of NHS data systems and SQL server business intelligence are experiencing increased demand for their services, figures contained in Badenoch and Clark’s latest Talent Spotlight reveal. The company’s Operations Director, Mark Gascoigne, says that NHS Trusts based in Birmingham are creating new NHS datasets and are on the lookout for skilled information analysts as a result. The health service needs to develop more robust data warehouse solutions and business intelligence, Mr Gascoigne explained, both of which are driving demand for IT contractors.

In London, numerous NHS Trusts are attempting to complete major projects and are seeking data migration professionals, especially those with testing and training experience in RiO and Cerbner, he added.

Outsourced work for IT professionals may also be more generally on the rise. Technology sector analyst Ovum claims that the utilities sector, which is known to be squeezed for cash, is reluctantly outsourcing IT work in a bid to keep the long-term costs associated with permanent positions to a minimum. Hiring PAYE umbrella contractors and other skilled freelancers is about the only option they have to keep permanent headcounts to a minimum.

The rise in outsourced work is hardly a tidal wave – Ovum’s Principal Analyst Stuart Ravens described it as small but significant – but it is a trend he believes will increase over the coming year. Utilities companies are beginning to realise that outsourcing must be given serious consideration.

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