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Skills shortage fears create surge in IT jobs

Demand for permanent IT staff is the highest since August 1998.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

British companies enjoyed the strongest growth for 16 years in August but the surge in activity put further strain on the already tight supply of skilled workers, according to research.

The study found that the demand for permanent IT and computing staff increased from 68.4 in July to 70.4 in August, the highest level since 1998.

The research also revealed that the demand for temporary and contract workers jumped to 65.6 in August, up from 64.2 in July and 62.6 last year.

Heath Jackson, partner in the CIO Advisory practice at accountant KPMG, said: "The latest jobs figures for the technology sector mirrored the sunshine of August.

"But the gloomy weather towards the end of the month reflected the problem the industry is still facing – skills. The desperation to fill recruitment holes is leading to continued wage growth, which is creating a market that is both unsustainable and unrealistic.

"It’s a conundrum British business will have to solve quickly because if the job market stagnates the wider impact on performance will end up harming productivity."

The study, conducted by the Recruitment Employment Confederation and KPMG, also found that demand for temporary workers in the IT sector remained below the UK-wide trend (68.7).

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