Specialists in IT contracting who work through umbrella companies may find their services in increased demand as permanent staff in the IT skills market seek new job opportunities.

According to a new market survey by IT Jobs Board, around 42 per cent of permanent IT personnel are actively seeking new jobs, with an additional 52 per cent keeping a keen lookout on the jobs market.  Contractors, too, are amongst those looking for pastures new– the report forecasts that by the start of the fourth quarter of 2011, 35 per cent of permanent staff and 57 per cent of contractors will have moved on.

IT Jobs Market’s Managing Director, Alexandra Farrell, warned that as the economy climbs out of recession, many UK businesses “could be in for a shock”.  “You would expect to see movement within the contractor space,” she added, “but I was alarmed to see such high numbers of permanent staff thinking about a near-future career move”.  And, as Ms Farrell pointed out, losing such highly qualified staff “could have a serious impact on a company’s IT department.”

Intriguingly, better salary prospects do not appear to be a major factor behind the movement – only 19 per cent of respondents claimed this as their primary motivation.  40 per cent placed career progression as their foremost concern, while 35 per cent wanted a change of location and 29 per cent were seeking new challenges in a more professionally rewarding job.  Ms Farrell believes that companies will need to re-engage with their staff and listen to what they want: “It seems that problems won’t be rectified with a simple pay-rise or bonus.”

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