The IT employment market can look forward to some healthy years ahead, with employment set to grow at almost twice the UK average through to 2020, according to research from e-skills UK.
Employment of IT professionals is forecast to grow at 1.62 percent per annum and the number of advertised vacancies has shot up from the slump in the depths of the recession in 2009 to hit over 116,000 per quarter in 2011. In addition, almost three-quarters of those vacancies were for permanent roles. However, e-skills cite that their key concern is that supply (of qualified IT professionals) might not meet demand, as a record 129,000 new recruits a year will be needed to fill IT jobs in the UK. A change in demographics... A notable fact in those employed in IT is that the proportion of 16-29 year olds working in IT declined from 32 percent to 19 percent between 2001 and 2011, and almost half of those working in the industry are now over 40. This statistic is an interesting turnaround from the DotCom boom that prompted an entire generation to flock towards IT. Challenges... This trend is presenting UK-based employers with a number of challenges, as this senior project manager explains:
"Contrary to the media reports, our company is experiencing a high-growth period and has done for the last 18months. Outlining our plans over the next 2 - 3 years, this trend will only continue. We are desperate to make permanent and contract hires within our business but are simply finding that the candidates are not available - at least through traditional advertising routes."
Philip Fanthom, Managing Director of specialist IT Recruiter Jenrick IT, shared his analysis of the issue:
"Our company is definitely being used in a different capacity now. We are being viewed as a strategic partner to organisations, being engaged at a much earlier stage of the recruitment process in order to help companies plan their IT staffing needs. Furthermore, we are being utilised not just to acquire new talent, but also help companies identify how to nurture and develop their existing talent, both of which are essential if organisations are to maintain the levels of staffing required to fulfill the demand cycles for projects that we are witnessing."