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UK IT recruitment market still showing positive signs

UK IT recruitment market still showing positive signs for longer-term growth
-The IT Job Board launches its white paper on The State of the UKs IT Recruitment Market- 
Despite the economic downturn, the UK as a market for IT recruitment is still showing several positive signs for longer-term growth. This is the overall conclusion from a white paper* issued by The IT Job Board,, entitled The State of the UKs IT Recruitment Market.
The research highlights that whist Q2 of 2009 will show negative growth in job vacancies, the industry as a whole still foresees a significant shortage of IT professionals in the longer term.
Demand for IT professionals in the UK
In April 2009, the UK saw a 50 percent decline in the number of vacancies advertised online. And research by The IT Job Board highlights a further decline in jobs in May of 57 percent year-on-year.
However, there are a few signs of recovery in at least one of the market sectors. New research from the pre-employment firm, Powercheck, indicates that job offers to IT contractors in the financial services sector doubled between April and May of this year. 
Demand by location
The greatest demand for work remains in London (36.2 percent), followed by the South East (21.5 percent) and the South West (11 percent).
Demand by skill
As a result of the recession, The IT Job Board has seen a decline in jobs by 57 percent on the site year on year in May (as reported above). 
But, the software market is showing more promise than the hardware sector, representing 60 percent of all positions advertised, up four percent year-on-year.
This year, the site has witnessed an increase in project management and testing positions, with a two percent growth per category. Developer and business analyst positions have seen a decline, as have networking jobs, and IT support roles have remained constant.
Future skill predictions
The IT Job Board corroborates the predictions made by Computerworld on the 9 skills that will be in demand in 2009, which includes: Help Desk Support, Programming and Project Management. However, the company also predicts that developers with experience in Open Source will see an increase in demand, and that infrastructure analysts and business analysts are likely to witness the same.
Contract vs Permanent
Despite the belief that contract IT roles increase in demand during a recession, The IT Job Board statistics paint a different picture. In April 2008, permanent roles accounted for 79 percent on the site, and in April 2009, this figure rose to 79.6 percent, with contract jobs now representing 20.4 percent. 
Candidate market confidence
The IT Job Board conducted primary candidate research in May 2009, to determine candidates' confidence during the current downturn. As a result of the conditions, 72 percent are spending more time gathering knowledge about IT industry trends, and 53 percent are beginning to rely on online networking to secure a job in IT.
Companies' appetite for recruiting
In June 2009, The IT Job Board conducted research with organisations to gauge details as to whether they planned to recruit in the third and fourth quarters of 2009. In response, 34.3 percent stated they will, 27.5 percent said they might, and 51 percent advised that recruitment would remain on a par with 2008.
Commenting on the future challenges, Teresa Sperti, head of international marketing at The IT Job Board, said: As a result of increasing demand and candidate supply shortages, we predict that the long-term IT recruitment market will be particularly buoyant.
It is therefore important for clients to continue to improve their employer brand, in order to attract the right industry talent. In addition, organisations need to actively consider how they will mitigate the risk of a longer term skills gap, to ensure they remain competitive within their marketplace.


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