Will IT contractors be able to plug IT skills gap?

The Boardroom

by Duncan MacRae| 09 May 2014

Optimism is returning to the IT contracting market as the UK’s technology skills shortage presents new opportunities for contractors, research suggests.

As many as 77% of IT contractors feel well placed to help plug national skills gaps in their field, according to a survey by Parasol, which provides employment services to professional contractors and freelancers.

That's compared to an average of 74% across all sectors. Meanwhile, 92.4% of IT contractors say they feel either more confident or as confident about their career prospects as this time last year - a higher percentage than in any other industry or sector.

Parasol MD Derek Kelly said: "Our research shows that, as economic conditions improve, optimism is returning to the UK's contracting and freelancing community.

"IT contractors rightly believe that their expertise and experience will be of use to clients struggling to recruit permanent employees with the right skills.

"While the skills shortage is a cause for concern for employers and UK PLC as a whole, it undoubtedly represents an opportunity for members of the professional flexible workforce.

"As our report states, if recruitment agencies and their clients are unable to source permanent staff members with the necessary skills or experience, then contractors offer a short-term solution."

Parasol's Contractor Barometer May 2014 report also reveals that 82% of contractors plan on contracting for the long term.

More than a quarter of the 360 survey respondents (27%) cited earnings potential as the single biggest motivating factor in their decision to become a contractor, while 38% named responsiveness as the quality they value most in a recruitment agency.

Meanwhile, 31% said they view a workplace pension as either very important or fairly important to them.

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