For the first time this year, crucial IT skills are in shorter supply in the contractor market than they are in the permanent market, Contractor UK reports.
According to research from Jobs by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, the number of IT skills on the staffing body's 'scarce' list has almost doubled from June to its July report. The report found that seven major IT skills were limited among contractors, whereas permanent staff were only scarce in five of the core skills.
Back in June, only a limited number of contractors were able to use eCommerce, Development, Java and SQL. Now, in addition to the latter three, there are many who are unable to use PHP, Net, Business Intelligence and Architecture.
The issue essentially comes down to a shortage in candidates that have these skills, as opposed to an overall lack of candidates.
According to the article, REC have stated that this could have been caused by an "incredibly strong" demand for IT contractors in the past year. Stable growth in the need for IT contractors has led to a "depleted candidate pool" in areas that are considered niche.
This pattern of growth continued in July, indicating that the jobs market for IT contractors is a strong one. However, according to Kevin Green, chief executive of REC, the post-recession concern for the UK is not about demand, but shortages in skills and talent.
For Green, if employers continue to employ in this way, then the "economy is going to be constrained by this ongoing talent crisis".
For employers to cope with this issue, he advises them to ensure their existing staff are trained in these core skills, and that training should be offered as a way to attract and keep the best talent possible.