IT contractor skills shortages surge in London

An outbreak of skills shortages among IT contractors has been detected by recruiters in London.

In a new report series on hiring in the capital, The Recruitment & Employment Confederation showed six IT skills to be scarce on a temporary basis, up from just one skill previously.

The six are; Application Support, Digital, Gaming, Pen Testers, GDPR and IT Security. It is security experts who were the only scarce contractors in the inaugural report, published last month but covering activity in September.

“We simply do not have enough people for all the roles that are out there at the moment,” REC chief executive Kevin Green said yesterday.

“And the number of vacancies is still getting higher…[so] employers are willing to pay higher starting wages to attract the right candidates.”

In September, when security was the only scarce IT contractor skill, Green said that a slowdown in the number of EU nationals coming to the UK for work was “exacerbating the situation”. 

Yesterday, reflecting on the October report showing six IT contractor skills to be in short supply, he said EU workers were now actually “leaving” the UK because of “uncertainties” about their arrangements brought on by Brexit.

First Point Group, a specialist IT contractor jobs agency confirmed to ContractorUK: “In some instances, it is proving harder to attract new EU talent into UK roles.

“[This is partly] due to Brexit uncertainty, but [we] believe [it’s] mainly due to the very weak pound, as it used to be attractive to earn GBP and now its fall to just above parity means it’s not that much more than can be earned in their home countries.” 

David Taylor, managing director of the agency’s London office warned: “If this continues, then it may push up British contractor rate expectations as there could be a genuine talent shortage.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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