Public sector jobs in IT in the UK have begun to recover as they now account for 11% of all new IT consultancy roles, says Procorre, an international professional services consultancy that operates in all business sectors across 120 countries.
Procorre points out that this contrasts with 2012 when only five percent of new IT roles were created by central and local government.
While IT public sector jobs have yet to return to the pre-general election height of 30% of all new IT roles there is now a steady upward trend. Procorre expects that this will gather pace as the Government rolls out its ‘digital by default’ strategy. The strategy aims to make all digital services straightforward and convenient so that more members of the public use digital services.
The Government’s austerity programme saw many IT jobs being cut as central and local government and public service providers had their budgets reduced. Projects like the NHS national electronic database and second generation biometric passports were cancelled soon after the last election.
Public sector employers also took a series of measures to reduce costs such as shedding staff, introducing headcount freezes or not replacing staff that had retired or moved job.
Procorre says that the increase in hiring IT consultants is being partly driven by the Government’s ‘digital by default’ strategy for delivering public services. This requires greater investment in IT in the short term in order to achieve longer term savings. This increased investment in IT is also partly to restore the public sector’s IT capacity and replace the IT professionals who have moved on to roles elsewhere.
The Government estimates that once their new digital strategy is in place it could save up to £1.8billion a year.
Part of the plan is to move all government information onto one website – Gov.UK – and ensure that the 650 transactional services the Government provides can be accessed and completed online.
Lisa Mangan, Relationship Manager at Procorre, comments: "The recovery in IT jobs in the public sector demonstrates how critically important IT is in delivering public services."
"The digital by default strategy that the Government has set out will require more IT consultants working on government contracts, so it is good news for contractors, particularly those who have the right skills and know how to gain access to the most attractive roles."
"Hiring in IT consultants provides employers with the flexibility of bringing in highly skilled professionals for a limited period to ensure the delivery of a project. In the future, we expect more public sector providers to use IT consultants in this way."