More than 50% of SMEs planning to increase IT spend in 2011

The Managing Director of one of Orange’s customers, Dr Andrea Ercole, said that \”We\’re planning on hiring more staff and doubling our headcount. We\’re also seeing many businesses now collaborating through social media, and plan to invest more in this area in order to reach out to new and existing customers.\”

According to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) around 28% of UK companies are planning to increase employee numbers in 2011. However the Head of the Human Resources Services at PwC cautioned that this recruitment drive may be severely restricted by skill shortages, immigration restrictions and new restrictive employment laws which are due to be implemented during the course of 2011.

The Head of Human Resources services at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Michael Rendell, said that “The United Kingdom has lost its position as the world\’s most educated workforce, which is particularly worrying as we come out of the recession and may limit future growth. Firms must take a more systematic approach to learning and development. Ensuring staff can be easily deployed internationally is ever more important for businesses extending their global reach, but UK firms have been particularly challenged by the immigration cap.”

On the Immigration Cap Mr Rendell said that “It does not make economic sense for businesses to bring people into the UK for less than two years so this limit poses a serious threat to the flexibility of the UK’s labour market. With financial services in particular being hit with a raft of regulation, Britain’s ability to compete with markets where there is less of a compliance burden could be reduced.”

Recently the latest REC / KPMG jobs survey showed strong growth for both permanent and contract placements during November 2010 with figures standing at a three month high after subsequently poor results over previous months. Overall the number of IT contract roles last month increased from 49.6% to 53.2%, however compared to the same period last year figures are still down overall.

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