IT recruitment slowing down due to skills shortage

11 March 2019

Demand for IT and computing staff across the UK reached its lowest rate in 28 months in January, according to the latest report on jobs published by auditor KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Vacancies rose for both permanent and temporary roles across the UK, with IT managers and infrastructure analysts appearing in the first list and cyber security in the second.

The IT and computing permanent vacancies index registered well above the neutral 50.0 level at 61.1 in January. The report said that although the reading was consistent with a sharp rise in demand, “the latest figure was the lowest seen in 28 months”. Across the ten monitored job categories, IT and computing was the third best-performing sector for permanent staff vacancies and continued to outperform the UK average (59.2).

It was a similar story for temporary vacancies, which also increased at a slower pace at the start of 2019. The respective index posted 56.3, down from 58.0 in December, to point to the joint-slowest rise in demand for 28 months in January.

The increase in short-term IT vacancies was also softer than seen for temporary staff across the board in the UK (58.5). Overall, IT & Computing ranked sixth in the temporary job sector rankings.

Ian West, head of TMT at KPMG UK said while hiring continued at pace across most areas of the economy, “it is clear that the industry is suffering from a skills shortage”, with recruiters struggling to meet demand for roles. “Such shortages are driving employers to really look at their ‘grow your own’ strategies both from an acquisition of talent perspective and via structured development programmes,” he said. “Businesses will want to see this addressed as soon as possible, with measures to boost apprenticeships and other routes into these roles.”