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Tech contractors in Scotland in high demand over coming year

Constant digital transformation and continued business growth mean technology contractors in Scotland will continue to be highly sought after this year and beyond. Organisations are competing for talent in a short-skilled market, causing day rates to increase by an average of 2.8% in the last year, up from 1.8% in the year prior.

Scotland’s acute skills shortages are in Software Development, Cloud, Cyber and Data, where all rates have risen compared to last year. The daily rate in Scotland for an Information Technology Architect is typically £650, while rates for a Programme Director in Project and Change Management can go as high as £750.

The Hays Technology Contractor Day Rate Guide 2019 also shows that 95% of organisations surveyed who use contractors, said they expect their activity levels to rise or stay the same in the year ahead.

Justin Black, business director for Hays IT in Scotland, said:

“Constant introduction of digital projects in the workplace means more organisations engaging with contractors to support their business activity. Organisations may still be exercising caution, keeping day rates consistent year-on-year for project and change contractors, but roles essential to digital projects have seen significant rises in day rates which are only set to increase.”

Developer roles have seen some of the highest pay growth as organisations focus on improving internal and external user experience, as have Java developers where demand is often outstripping supply. Development roles in digital technology have seen pay rise by 4.9% since last year.

Functional testing roles, especially test analysts and senior test analysts, have also seen significant day rate increases, as have QA analysts whose roles are increasing in complexity. Contractors working in cloud and infrastructure roles saw a 3.8% average day rate increase, largely driven by ongoing demand for more specialist skillsets in roles such as server support engineering.

“Private sector organisations are urged to be aware of reforms to IR35 legislation and make sure they are adequately prepared,” said Black.  “Learning valuable lessons from the public sector will ensure those in the private sector who expect to engage freelance or contract staff this year can mitigate risks to their organisation, potential cost increases and loss of key talent.”

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