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Tech sector recruitment to rise in 2006

Despite moves to low-cost manufacturing markets

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The job prospects in Europe's tech sector are looking bright, a new survey has revealed.

Almost two-thirds of European tech firms are expecting to increase recruitment in the coming 12 months, according to a new IT confidence survey by Eurocom Worldwide in association with its UK partner Six Degrees.

A mere eight percent believed they would reduce their staff numbers, while a third of firms are actually finding it more difficult to recruit staff than last year.

As the most in demand, software engineers are reaping the benefits of the current boom. Project management specialists and international sales staff are also in great demand.

"The IT recovery is reflected in the fact that a skills shortage is now seen as the third most likely threat to growth in the sector," Six Degrees managing director Jennifer Janson said. "A slowdown in the global economy and further oil price increases are seen as the major threats."

However, the survey has also predicted a growing number of technology jobs in low-cost labour markets such as China. As a result, Europe and the US are losing their lead as technology manufacturing centres, with 76 percent of the survey agreeing with the statement.

This effect has already been seen in Ireland, with NEC deciding to shift its production of semiconductors to Asia, losing 350 jobs in the process. In 2005, data storage hardware firm Quantum Corporation announced it was to cut 250 jobs with the closure of its manufacturing facility. The firm said it was moving production from Dundalk to Eastern Europe.

As part of the survey, 71 percent of respondents said China would record the biggest growth in IT manufacturing jobs over the next three years, with India in second place.

Seventy-nine percent of firms said they are expecting to increase revenues, with only 3 percent anticipating a downturn. More than half are more confident than last year; only 3 percent admitted being less confident.

The survey asked the opinions of almost 300 executives in 20 European countries.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

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