IT employment in the public sector has grown dramatically over the past four years following huge investments by central and local government in technology, research by has revealed.
The number of IT professionals working in the public sector has risen by 28% – from 109,000 at the end of 2001 to 140,000 at the end of 2005, according to sector skills council E-Skills UK.
The public sector now accounts for 14% of the IT professionals working in the UK, up from 11% in 2001, according to analysis of data collected by the Office for National Statistics.
The growth comes despite the fact that weekly take-home pay for public sector IT staff is on average £90 less than the private sector average, at £570.
But outside London, public sector pay rates are comparable, if not better than the private sector, particularly in the North East and the North West.
Other perks are attracting IT professionals to the public sector, including shorter working hours, at an average of 39 hours a week, compared with 43 hours a week in the private sector. Public sector staff also get longer holidays, typically receiving 26 days’ paid holiday a year, compared with 24 days for those working in the private sector.