More jobs for public sector IT contractors

Brief: SQL, Oracle and Unix contractors are highly sought after by the government, according to latest research

The demand for IT contractors to work in the public sector has risen sharply, according to research published on Tuesday by a recruitment company.

CW Jobs has found that the number of IT contractors who found jobs in the public sector increased by 25 percent over the first quarter of 2005, and was up by 200 percent since the start of 2004.

"Since 2004 we have witnessed a continual investment in e-government initiatives aimed at improving efficiency at all levels within the public sector," said Richard Nott, sales director at CW Jobs. "The results are beginning to show particularly in the rise of contractor positions. However, we feel that the numbers will continue to increase throughout 2005 and beyond."

From January to December 2004, the public sector posted 135 percent more job vacancies than the previous year, the company said.

The most sought after skills for permanent jobs in the public sector were SQL, OFFICE, Java and C, while contractors skilled in OFFICE, SQL, Oracle and Unix were most popular.

But results for permanent positions did not correlate with contractor job growth — there was a 0.5 percent decrease in the number of permanent positions, compared to the fourth quarter of 2004.