No summer slowdown in IT contractor demand

‘No summer slowdown in demand’ appears to be the message from IT contractors’ jobs agencies,’ following an almost new high in July.

Standing at 61.1, the index score of IT contractor demand by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation is only marginally lower than in May -- this year’s peak (61.9).

Traditionally, the summer can be a challenging period for IT contractors, as end-client decision-makers go on holiday. Candidates often do the same, prompting agents to follow.

'Under pressure'

But Brexit may be behind the atypically high demand, as “parts of the economy most reliant” on EU workers, such as IT, are “under pressure” from many such workers returning home.

In its July Report on Jobs, the REC also said: “Employers are having to work even harder to fill jobs as vacancies rise and candidate availability shrinks.”

In the IT sector, employers are actively seeking full-timers skilled in Cyber Security, Devops and Java. Generalist IT positions are hard to fill too, as are roles for SC/DV Cleared Staff.

Last month’s shortages of IT contractor skills are similarly spread -- IT generalists were keenly wanted for example, as were IT Security experts, Software Developers and Testers.

'The Brexit effect'

But Brexit might mean these temporary IT skills fetch less in the capital than expected, despite them being scarce. “London in particular is feeling the Brexit effect.,” REC said.

“Hiring is still growing but at a much slower rate compared with every other region of the UK. Financial services, a crucial part of the London labour market, are not hiring in their usual quantity as the uncertainty caused by Brexit makes them hesitant.”

REC’s chairman Kevin Green seemed to support the lion’s share of IT contractors, saying in the report that Britain “must make it easier, not harder” for firms to get the skills they need.

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