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Three-quarters of UK IT workers are planning a job move in 2017

Computer Weekly - Author Clare Mcdonald

Three-quarters of IT staff in the UK are considering a job change in 2017, according to research. A study by Investors in People found 76% of IT staff are planning a move in the next year, a 15% increase from last year’s figures.

The employment standards agency speculates this is a result of confidence in the tech job market, with 23% of IT workers saying the tech job marketplace has improved since 2016, a 6% increase since last year.

Paul Devoy, head of Investors in People, said this trend was unexpected. “We were expecting to see British workers planning to stay put in the face of economic uncertainty. However, we’ve seen exactly the opposite – a significant rise in people seeking to move employers in 2017 and a jump in job confidence,” he added. According to the research, better pay is the main reason to move for half of IT workers, which is an increase of 11% from the same time last year. A lack of career progression is also a bugbear for tech staff, with 36% saying they want to move roles to reach the next stage of their career.

Due to the growing IT skills gap in the UK, employers are forced to find workers in a smaller pool causing trends such as job hopping and freelancing in the IT community. Many employers have said they cannot find graduates with the correct skillsets for the job, and the UK curriculum has made computing mandatory for children between the ages of five and 16 in an attempt to improve the pipeline.

 A better talent pipeline is a focus for the IT industry after the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), and IT firms will need to attract and invest in local talent once the UK leaves the EU.

Younger talent is more focused on the value an employer places on its staff, with 38% of 16 to 29 year olds saying feeling valued is one of the most important values they look for in a new employer. “With worker wages stagnating and a strong jobs market,?there is a clear imperative to address workers’ pay and tackle poor management,” said Devoy. “No career progression and poor management are critical factors for IT workers being unhappy in their jobs.

Employers need to really invest in their people in 2017 to attract and retain the best talent.” A lack of flexible working is one of the many reasons women do not choose a technology career or end up dropping out of roles after reaching a certain level. Flexibility is a high priority for all technology workers, and 34% would rather have increased workplace flexibility than a small pay increase


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