A contradictory picture has emerged in recent days about the health of the UK’s IT skills market. According to figures in the latest “IT Monitor” report from the specialist recruiter Computer People, demand for IT workers remains consistently above the level of supply, with pay rates rising by 1.5 per cent last month. IT contracting roles also expanded in July by 0.7 per cent – news that will be welcomed by many PAYE umbrella workers.
The report is upbeat about the future, forecasting that the healthy trend is set to continue as businesses invest in new IT projects over the next few months. The firm suggests that a “war for IT talent” is gathering momentum, as firms endeavour to increase revenues, service “business as usual” requirements, and lower costs. “Projects that were previously shelved are now coming back online and the addition of new projects means that both activity and demand is increasing at a steady rate,” the report concludes.
However, such an optimistic view has been complicated by another recent report that paints a rather dourer picture. Figures compiled by another specialist recruiter, the IT Jobs Board, suggests that the UK’s IT sector is not emerging from the recession as rapidly as other European countries, with only 50 per cent of the UK’s IT workers securing pay rises last year. 69 per cent of their Dutch counterparts and 73 per cent of German IT workers saw their pay packets rise.
IT Jobs Board spokesman Peter Healy said that many UK IT workers do not believe that they will see pay rises in the foreseeable future, although they may see improvements in other benefits.