PAYE umbrella techies specialising in IT contracting could be forgiven for experiencing a degree of confusion today, as conflicting pictures emerge about the health of the IT skills market.
The REC’s latest Report on Jobs suggests that demand for IT contractors fell slightly in July, dipping from June’s score of 51.9 to 51.6. Although this marks a welcome rise on May’s dismal score of 49.2, it represents an annual decline – demand stood at 55.5 last July.
A more encouraging snapshot comes from specialist IT recruiter CWJobs, with data compiled from contractor job ads in the national and regional press, IT business magazines and specialist IT and multi-sector websites. According to this survey, demand for IT contractors rose by an average of 3% in July.
Attributing the rise to the ‘Olympics effect’, CWJobs’ director Richard Nott said: “A significant number will have been recruited just to work on the opening ceremony, for example, and that's before you take into consideration those extra hands needed for traffic management systems and broadcasting images and videos of the athletes in action.”
90% of these vacancies arose in the UK’s technological hub – London and South East – which are in close proximity to the Games. The Games have generated increased IT demand and local businesses have responded by drafting in additional IT contractors to help them cope.
Although permanent IT billings fell for the first time since 2009, particular contractor skills enjoyed increased demand. Topping the poll were .Net (with vacancies rising by 3.3%, C# (up 3.1%), Agile (up 3.2%), and SQL and Java (both rising by 3.1%).