It appears that IT contactor skills are not a scarce commodity in the UK. Employers and businesses were able to find IT contractors with the skills that they require in January 2017, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
The REC found that the last time that there was no shortage of skilled IT contractors was in December 2015. However, even during that month, there was one IT skill that was scarce, but in January 2017 that was not the case.
It appears that agencies and businesses are getting ready for the challenges and opportunities that they will have in the coming year. Also, the REC explained that the lack of skills shortages is due to IT contractors starting 2017 with newer opportunities.
The REC went on to state that the demand for IT contractors is high. This suggests that the absence of IT skills shortages is not due to more freelancers being available or companies not hiring candidates. On the contrary, the REC’s Report on Jobs found that the demand for IT contractors increased in January 2017 to 58.3 from 56.3 in December 2016. While this may be a marginal increase, it is a significant one. The IT contractor index score for January 2017 is the highest since January 2016.
Anecdotal evidence shows that most businesses use the period before Christmas to find, identify and hire IT talent so that they are prepared for the new year with the skills that they require. This may be the reason for the lack of IT contractor skills shortages. However, the same cannot be said for full-time IT workers.
REC CEO Kevin Green pointed out that businesses are looking to fill vacancies, and if they are unable to find the right full-time talent, they will outsource work, automate processes or shut down their business activities. The REC found that in January 2017, there was a scarcity of permanent employees in the fields of Oracle, digital services and CAD Design.