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Laid-off public sector techies better get flexible to survive

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Ex-government developers and other tech staff will need to accept the different culture of working in the private sector if they want to find jobs.

With this morning's news that the Cabinet Office is set to cull hundreds of government websites and associated staff, the warning comes from one of the UK's leading IT jobs sites.

Richard Nott, website director at CWjobs, said: "If we do see cutbacks in the public sector then there will be a flood of highly-skilled candidates onto the market. If they're aggressive and realistic about the differences in working life, they will find work in the private sector.

"People who are flexible and adaptable to change are the ones who will thrive and flourish."

Nott said candidates may have to change their mindset and accept that jobs for life, and gold-plated pensions, are less likely in the private sector.

He said the most in-demand skills were for SQL and C#. Nott believes the UK still has an underlying skills shortage which has been disguised by the recession.

He said the pressure for public sector cost-savings would first see a stop to recruitment which might then be followed by job cuts. The site has already seen a drop-off in recruitment adverts from central and local government.

He said: "The private sector has been through the mill in the last two years. The same process is going to happen in the public sector now, whether rightly or wrongly. But there will still be jobs for flexible candidates."

Nott reckons that the jobs market in the private sector has seen an upturn in the last six months. ®

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