Bullish technology sector driving growth
The organisation has also highlighted encouraging GDP results – which reveal that the UK’s economy has grown at its fastest rate since 2007.
The GDP upturn is also fuelling impressive growth across the professional jobs market.
The latest data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reveals that placements, across all professional sectors, have increased year-on-year for both the permanent and contracting segments (8.4% and 8.7% respectively).
Technology sector thriving
While impressive GDP figures are fuelling the overall employment growth, APSCo’s data reveals that the technology sector is showing the most marked recovery. On a month-on-month basis, vacancies overall increased by 3.5% signalling six months of consecutive growth within this sector. This trend very much mirrors the latest KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor report which reveals that the tech sector has grown at its fastest speed for a decade. The report also shows that almost 44% of UK tech firms plan to hire more staff throughout 2014, fuelling speculation that employment within this area is expected to intensify over the coming months.
It also appears that professionals working within the technology arena are set to capitalise on this growth with a separate survey, carried out by Barclays, revealing that seven in ten tech organisations plan to increase wages in 2014.
Contracting the & lsquo;new norm’
APSCo’s data also reveals that, whilst some sectors are increasingly relying on contractors to plug skills gaps, employers within the technology space are using flexible labour as a matter of course – driven largely by project work – with 11% more contract positions over the last year than permanent ones. This is a trend reflected in APSCo member, Venn Group’s, own research which reveals a marked increase in contracting work in the latter months of 2013. Jodie Finn of Venn says:
“As optimism in the economy heightened towards the end of 2013, many organisations within the IT sector resurrected projects that had been put on hold during the financial downturn. Consequently the demand for highly skilled contractors – for example to manage large scale system upgrades – who could quickly enter a business, hit the ground running, and manage the project until completion intensified. With employers realising the benefits of contractors for project led work we expect their use to increase hugely over the coming months.”
Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments:
“Our data, coupled with really encouraging GDP results, makes me confident that the hard times the professional staffing sector has faced in recent years are truly behind us. With impressive growth across all sectors, 2014 looks set to be a turning point for job seekers and employers alike. Despite this positivity, however, we still need to remain cautious and ensure that the UK doesn’t face a critical skills shortage – something certain sectors are already contending with”.
John Nurthen, Executive Director International Development for Staffing Industry Analysts, who compile the report for APSCo, comments:
“There are already more IT workers in the UK than in any other European country and while the strong demand we are seeing at the moment should enable the UK to maintain this lead, most countries are recording increases in IT employment.”
“The burgeoning e-commerce/m-commerce industries are reporting pressing needs for experienced project managers. At the same time, new skillsets are appearing such as user experience designers (UXD), which incorporate the technical skills of a user interface designer but with a strong awareness for marketing and sales strategies. In fact, marketing and sales skills are now essential in many senior IT roles, where technical skills are no longer enough. Other IT skillsets that are trending up are security experts, social media architects (again, incorporating marketing skills), and cloud computing specialists.”