London steps up IT job creation

It may account for only about a quarter of the UK's population, but London and the South East creates nearly two out of every three of the country's new IT jobs.



In a regional breakdown of its books, IT jobs agency ReThink Recruitment said the region, with the capital, generated 64% of IT openings, up from 58% two years ago.



London generates 40% of all new IT jobs, compared with 34% in June 2008, and the South East accounts for 24%, compared with 23% over the same period, ReThink found.



The increases, seen in the agency's billings for June, were due to London and the South East's high concentration of banks and financial institutions "bouncing back" from the recession.



"Many of them responded to the downturn by cutting their IT departments to the bone," added the firm's director Michael Bennett



"As businesses levels have picked up, many have found themselves understaffed and have had to replace a lot of the [IT] skills that were shed during the recession."



Despite the CBI recently warning of no growth in financial firms' IT budgets for the coming year, "banks are now kick-starting projects," ReThink said of its half-year data.



A "significant" uplift in demand for financial IT skills, particularly compliance, was put down to a new breed of bank opening on the high street and at the supermarket checkout in the aftermath of the credit crisis.



However other than London and the South East, Yorkshire & Humberside emerged as the only other of the nine UK regions measured to have grown its share of UK IT jobs above its pre-recession level.



Moreover, a growing number of IT opportunities in London, the South East and Yorkshire & Humberside is not a universal trend.



"The proportion of our business, both contract and permanent, has remained at very similar levels to that of pre-recession," said Philip Fanthom, managing director of staffing agency Jenrick IT.



"We have found [though that] in this recession and the previous ones we have witnessed that London and the South East is often one of the first geographical areas to feel the downturn, but is always the first to bounce back."

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