What are the hot roles in the IT sector?

Monday 23 June 2014

The spotlight has been on the IT sector recently, with research showing that the industry will be behind the considerable growth in the UK capital. However, the skills shortage could throw a spanner in the works and there are a few key roles that are already in high demand.

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), there are a myriad of roles in London were candidate availability is proving to be a problem, from technical project managers to .Net and Java developers.

Indeed, there has been a 17 per cent year-on-year increase for .Net roles and a 42 per cent rise in Java positions.

"These are high quality skilled roles with terrific salaries and yet our members struggle to fill these vacancies. In an economy with an unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent and almost one million unemployed young people this is deeply worrying," the REC explained in a release.

Other positions in high demand focus around mid-level, permanent software developers, who traditionally have salaries ranging from £30,000 to £50,000. The REC claims this is because many are worried about the lack of market confidence and therefore are unwilling to make the move to new companies.

Yet the economy is strengthening and as confidence builds it is likely there will be more mobility in the jobs market. The REC believes this will create "opportunities for senior and junior candidates as they transition".

Of course, over the long-term more needs to be done to improve skill availability. The REC has been working with STEMNET and Inspiring the Future to educate younger people about roles within the technology sector, as many are often unaware of available opportunities.

Furthermore, the body has called for immigration reform, to help UK businesses source talent from overseas.

Currently, the British visa system is complicated and can often deter foreigners from making the move.

"The REC has championed a pro-business immigration system and actively engages with key government stakeholders to push for the removal of quota’s for highly skilled workers, the re-introduction of the post study work visa and the exemption of STEM roles from the Resident Labour Market Test," the organisation explained.

If London and the UK as a whole are to realise its potential as a technology hub, then work will need to be done to address the skills shortage.

Contractors with the most in-demand skills are seeing their schedules fill up but availability is on the decline and businesses need to look at how they're attracting talent.

The latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey saw employers rank retaining key staff and a lack of skills as their biggest concerns over the next 12 months. The REC's monthly report on Jobs for May also showed growth in demand for contractors in the IT sector, rising from 63.7 to 64 on the index.

Richard Reid, London chairman of KPMG and the East London Business Alliance, says to address the problem the government needs to introduce "focused policies that help and encourage education in STEM subjects".

By Victoria McDonnell

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