Opinions differ massively on the impact that Brexit will have on the IT jobs market, so it depends what you read and who you speak to, to make up your own mind. Danny Dyer phrased it best when he referred to it as “a mad riddle”. Some analysts claim that nearly 40% of hiring managers are finding that uncertainty over Brexit impact is affecting their ability to recruit due to questions over immigration, free movement of skilled IT staff in the EEA and salary thresholds for tiered visas. As a result, businesses across the UK are struggling to find the skills they need and anticipate that this will get worse when the UK leaves Europe.
However, the IT press have claimed that 2018 was another bumper year for the IT industry with high demand for top skills such as security, data analytics and business intelligence whether on a contract or permanent basis. Those with a blend of communication, technical and analytical skills were the most sought after as being able to communicate the increasing risk and likelihood of cyber security attacks and data breaches to all employees became vitally important following the advent of the GDPR. There was a higher demand for senior level candidates with this skillset as companies looked to increase collaboration between their IT crowd and the rest of the business. Other skills in demand included Data Science, Cyber Security, AI, Linux, Java, Cloud Security and Architecture.
The technology sector grew three times as quick as the main economy in 2018 and some say there is no sign of this stopping in 2019. To add to this those starting up and technology firms are investing in IT & Digital to the point where demand will grow for skills as companies roll out data, digital & transformation projects. In addition, they are likely to increase their data capabilities, build their architecture and shore up security which will most likely drive salaries up in these skillsets. However, companies may struggle to find these people as demand out ways supply.
Whilst no-one knows the impact of Brexit on the UK yet, it seems likely that if companies cannot find or attract the skills they need into the UK they will have to come up with alternate strategies like outsourcing roles and projects abroad leaving the people on the ground in the UK requiring highly strategic business skills rather than heavy technical skills. So, the reality is that if you’re an employee with good IT skills, experience and certification you should be in demand and possibly expect a pay rise, but if you’re an employer you’ll need to put some effort into looking more attractive to prospective employees to engage them and offer a good working environment, benefits and culture to keep them!
As for recruiters, we’ll need to keep our fingers on the pulse and offer consultancy to candidates and clients as an uncertain market can make candidates less likely to leave their current jobs, and businesses may be cautious with their budgets and hold back on recruitment. Very few employers talk to their employees about Brexit and its potential impact on their business and their employees job security, so it is likely that recruiters will fill this void keeping candidates and clients alike updated on the facts and legislative impacts as the various twists and turns occur. But don’t worry, at som3 we’ve got your back!