IT firms look to government as hopes in financial sector slide

Ben Southwood
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INFORMATION technology contractors are investing more and more hope in the prospect of a boost to public sector contracts, just as jobs from the financial sector are expected to dry out.

The fraction believing the biggest wedge of new jobs will come from the state in the next 12 months hit 15 per cent at the end of 2012, according to recruiter Giant Group, up from nine per cent a year ago and just six per cent in 2010.

Giant managing director Matthew Brown put this public sector boost down to the need for departments to reduce permanent headcounts by contracting out IT staff. Brown also suggested a drive for efficiency across government departments was creating a demand for skilled IT professionals to design and implement new systems.

This comes just as the fraction placing its hopes on the financial sector fell to 23 per cent, having stood at 35 per cent just two years ago.

“The financial services sector has continued to experience a tough time in 2012 as the UK entered a double-dip recession, while the sector continues to suffer from the aftermath of the banking crisis – this has limited the demand for new IT contractor roles,” Brown said.

Overall, the biggest fraction of those surveyed – 26 per cent – thought most new IT jobs in the next 12 months would come from the support services sector, up from 22 per cent at the end of 2011 and 19 per cent back in 2010.