The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has stated that it expects IT contractor demand to continue growing this year, Contractor UK reports.
According to David Geary, a policy adviser at the REC, the UK skills shortage has led recruiters to enable more contractor placements within the IT sector, in order to help meet the demands of businesses.
Although demand for temporary IT professionals dipped slightly towards the end of last year, it has been growing steadily for the last two years and is expected to continue doing so for the rest of 2015.
The REC's Job Outlook Survey for January 2015 goes some way towards explaining this trend; the report found that 35% of companies have 'no spare capacity' to accept more work due to lack of staff, compared to just 25% who had this problem in January 2014. Nearly half of respondents expressed plans to hire temporary workers between April and December this year in order to access 'short term skills.'
The lack of available talent means that IT contractors with the most in-demand skills – including .Net, Java and SQL – will be able to negotiate higher rates for their work. While this may be good news for contractors, it's not so positive for the end-user, and could suppress growth within the IT sector, making the UK market less competitive in a global sense.
With this in mind, the REC's recent 'Manifesto for Jobs' identified that the government should make it a priority to guarantee that IT workers are able to gain the necessary skills here in the UK. As well as this, there is a greater need than ever for temporary working, Geary argues, as these assignments can help individuals to gain new skills and experience.