Organisations in the public sector have recently been encouraged to address the current digital skills shortage it faces. Public sector issues are rife post IR35 reforms, but a lack of IT skills is now seriously hampering progress.
That’s according to TechMarketView, a UK analyst and advisory firm. They are advising public sector bodies to look ‘beyond its four walls’ and ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to addressing this shortage in the new year.
The great irony of this is that IT contractors are a hotbed of skills and talent. However, the vast majority of contractors have been put off working in the public sector because of the reforms which saw many placed inside IR35 by their current employer.
Due to the many negative effects this had, a large exodus of contractors in the public sector took place.
But might IT contractors potentially start to be seen as the answer to a lack of digital skills, creativity and expertise within public sector organisations? It’s certainly possible.
However, sadly many IT contractors will likely to be highly reluctant to go back to the public sector. If these organisations are to address this skills gap, they're going to have to think very much outside the box.
December 2017 did see a drop in what has been steady growth in demand for IT contractors in the UK.
Stats from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation put IT contractor demand at 59.3 – representing a 10-month low. To clarify, the demand for IT contractors is still on the up, just not at the rate it had been.
While demand is still there though, few contractors will consider supporting companies in the public sector. Only a if the government changes its stance on IR35 will they alter their position. This seems unlikely to come any time soon, and could hinder progression in the public sector moving forwards rather substantially.