The demand for IT workers in the public sector has soared, according to figures released on Wednesday by an employment trends research company.
Statistics from the CWJobs quarterly IT skills index showed the number of permanent IT jobs in the public sector had increased by 20 percent in the last quarter of 2004. Contract vacancies rose by 49 percent over the same period.
According to the study, this is the fourth consecutive quarter that demand for IT staff in the public sector has grown, with an overall increase in vacancies of 135 percent between January and December 2004.
"There has been huge investment in e-government initiatives which is evident by the increase in demand for IT personnel to initiate and undertake these projects," said Richard Nott, sales director at CWJobs.
"However, some government departments are still not set to meet the looming e-government deadline so we expect to see the number of IT vacancies in the public sector increasing throughout 2005. The government's IT initiatives provide public sector organisations with the opportunity to reap significant benefits, so it makes sense to employ IT specialists who can make these changes happen.”
Software developers with SQL skills -- the most highly sought -- can earn an average of £27,081 per annum, according to average advertised salaries. Second in demand were Office experts who can make £36,000 per annum, followed by Oracle workers who bring in an average of £30,288. Average hourly rates for contractors were not available.
The number of public sector IT vacancies advertised in the fourth quarter outperformed the UK average with a 49 percent rise, compared to the UK average of 14 percent.
However, other industries outperformed public sector recruitment, such as software houses and IT consultancies with a 148 percent increase in vacancies for IT professionals, and the finance sector, which saw a 140 percent rise.
The CWJobs data is taken from IT recruitment Web sites and jobs advertised in IT business magazines as well as in the national and regional press.