More SAP and IT security staff needed

IT and computing jobs most sought-after last month

Permanent staff with SAP and IT security skills were in short supply last month, according to the latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

The report, which surveys 400 UK recruitment consultants and asks them to name specific skills that are in short supply, also indicated that more business analysts, management information (MI) analysts and enterprise software specialists were needed in the market.

SAP contractors were also in short supply in July, but this month, the contractor staff that were reported in short supply were SQL developers and business analysts.

Overall, the report found that IT and computing jobs were the most sought-after in August, closely followed by executive and professional employees.

The report uses a figure to represent demand in each job sector, and a figure above 50 indicates an increase in demand on the previous month.

For permanent IT jobs, which ranked first, the figure for August 2011 was 58.2, compared to a ranking at third, the same time last year, with 59.1.

In terms of IT contractor jobs, which ranked second behind engineering and construction, the demand had written slightly compared with last year, from 54.7 to 55 in August this year.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, warned that the overall jobs market was showing worrying signs of another recession.

"Although the jobs market has held up relatively well, there seem to be early signs of trends similar to those of 2008. Whether this is a blip or a return to a familiar and unwelcome pattern will emerge over the next few months.

"Permanent and temporary staff appointments rose again in August, but only at the same relatively low rates seen last month."

Meanwhile, Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, was more optimistic, and said that employers were not fazed by the incoming Agency Workers Regulations.

From 1 October, agency workers are entitled to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly, if they complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in the same job.

"The numbers are lower than three months ago, but placements continued to rise in August, which was the twenty-fifth consecutive month of growth.

"The UK jobs market is being incredibly resilient. Even with increasing job losses in the public sector and a new influx of school-leavers, it is performing much better than many predicted. We are confident that this trend is set to continue and that the Agency Workers Regulations will not undermine the UK's flexible labour market given that our members and their clients seem well prepared for it."

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