UK demand for IT workers continues to grow rapidly

A government cap on skilled professionals outside the EU of 20,700 a year is making it even harder for UK businesses to recruit skilled IT staff.

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Demand for both permanent and temporary IT staff continued to grow rapidly in June, according to a report published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG.

The index measuring permanent vacancies in the IT sector increased slightly from 64.7 in May to 64.8 in June, where 50 suggests no change, 0 is a fall and 100 an increase.

The IT industry has demanded chancellor George Osborne act in today's budget to help plug the growing shortage of IT skills int he UK.

Skills within security, business intelligence and data analytics are especially lacking within the UK, according to MTI Technology’s sales SVP Ian Parslow. The most in-demand programming languages in the UK are C#, Javascript, Java, PHP and Python, according to data from IT Jobs Watch released in May.

However government restrictions on visas for skilled professionals outside the EU – capped at just 20,700 a year – are making it even harder for businesses already struggling to recruit the people they need, according to REC’s policy director Tom Hadley.

Furthermore, Home Office plans to demand ICT workers on Tier 2 visas earn at least £24,800 could “could substantially damage the competitiveness and productivity of UK businesses”, he warned.

At 64.8, the level of demand for staff in the IT and computing sector last month was well above a UK average of 62.7 for all vacancies.

Demand for jobs in the IT industry came fourth out of nine sectors, behind engineering, nursing and executive vacancies, but ahead of accounting, clerical, construction, hospitality and blue collar posts.

“Vacancies continue to rise, candidate availability has fallen steeply and we’re seeing this affect the amount of placements being made each month. Starting salaries are being pushed up as demand exceeds supply, but the concern is that business growth is being constrained,” Hadley added.

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