IT contractor demand hits a new high for 2018

Growth in demand for IT contractors increased in May to its highest level this year, an agency staffing index shows.

In fact, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) scores demand for temporary IT workers at 61.8, their biggest index score of 2018 to date.

The May reading represents the highest index score for such workers since August 2017, and frames April 2018 (the first time this year that growth in demand failed to increase), as a blip.

But the joy and relief of IT contractors won’t be shared by clients. “A lack of candidates remains a major challenge”, warned REC’s Tom Hadley. “Particularly in areas like…IT.”

As if to evidence his claim, the confederation’s Report on Jobs showed on Friday that last month, IT recruiters were struggling to fill 19 different types of technology roles.

They are Automation Testing; CAD, IT Security, ETL, Data, DevOps, Digital, Gaming, GDPR, IT, Tech, Java, Magento, .Net, Oracle Fusion, Scala, Sitecore, Software Engineering and UI/UX.

Last month, there were also 19 skills deemed scare for permanent IT positions and then, like now, the response from employers was the same.

“Because of the lack of candidate availability,” Mr Hadley said, “employers [are] paying higher salaries”.

But handing out more money to attract people is “only part of the solution.” He says clients must keep up with ‘candidates’ evolving expectations’. And government too, must do its bit.

“[While end-users] radically re-imagine their hiring procedures,” the REC said, “government can help by ramping up the UK skills-base and ensuring a balanced and evidence-based immigration system.”

In the temporary IT labour market, that skills-base is scarce of AI experts; Automation Testers, CAD, IT Security, DevOps, Data, Digital, Gaming, GDPR, Java, Oracle Fusion, Software Developers, Solutions Architects, Technology and UI/UX.

The confederation’s May jobs report adds that due to the drop in candidate availability now being “severe,” skill shortages are “becoming business critical” in many key sectors.

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