IT jobs: Public sector vacancies edge up

IT applicants also receiving counter-offers as demand for skills increases...

IT applicants also receiving counter-offers as demand for skills increases...

Public sector IT vacancies increase but only as critical jobs are reinstated

Public sector IT vacancies are increasing from a low level but only as critical jobs are reinstatedPhoto: Shutterstock

IT has outperformed the wider jobs market in terms of unemployment rates and salary increases - and the latest figures suggest things are getting even better.

The number of IT vacancies in the public sector has increased by 5.98 per cent from April to May this year, according to research from recruitment consultancy Computer People.

However, Sid Barnes, executive director of Computer People, said much of this increase is a result of critical roles being reinstated after severe public sector cuts.

"We can't get carried away with it because it's growth from a very, very low base. These are critical roles, and for the first time public sector employers have budget to fill these roles," Barnes told

"Yes, it's been a bounce back but only because it's been so quiet in the past 12 months," he added.

The research also found that demand for skilled workers is on the increase, with top candidates receiving counter-offers as employers fight to attract talent and keep existing staff in place.

Barnes told that 50 per cent of permanent roles cannot be filled, causing employers to offer salary increases to keep existing staff.

"What we're seeing a lot of is counter-offers. Clients know it will cost a significant amount of money to replace a candidate - if they can."

However, Barnes told that salary is not the only thing candidates look out for when choosing a job.

"Employers have to move with the times. You have to understand what empowers your staff. It's not just about the money, it's about interest in the job, career potential, training - that sort of thing."

Barnes added that he expected the IT job market to become even more candidate-led over the coming year as businesses fill critical IT roles cut during the recession.

"Most businesses cut too deep," he added.