IT talent is lured to the public sector by interesting projects

IT talent is moving to the public sector to take advantage of the more
interesting projects currently on offer in local and central government, it is

A survey of a focus group of 30 public sector organisations, by software
company Tridion, revealed that financial reward is now less important for UK IT
professionals, but the backing of a good budget to support projects is becoming
more important.

The group’s results estimate that 25 per cent of public sector IT
professionals from a private sector background were motivated to leave by
stagnated projects within the business.

When rating factors contributing to job satisfaction, interesting projects
and supporting budgets came ahead of salary. Several companies said the
‘mega-salaries’ of the late 1990s were now a thing of the past. And mundane and
repetitive jobs topped the list of things that frustrated IT professionals.

Pete Atkinson, public sector manager at Tridion, said most firms still want
the same amount of work done as before, but with a markedly smaller budget.

"[The Government’s e-enabling] deadlines are at least making the public
sector spend," Atkinson said. "This means interesting projects are
being kicked off in traditionally cautious environments.

"It’s great that this is attracting the best British IT talent,"
he added. "A bit of healthy competition between public and private for the
best talent will not go amiss, and may even help kick-start the sluggish
recovery that the industry is talking about."

Matthew Parton, IT project manager at Southampton City Council, said
e-enablement deadlines have led the public sector to really focus on IT over
the past year. "This has led to an increase in the number of people
applying for IT positions," he said.

By Quentin Reade

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