A stark warning that the target to put all public services on line by 2005 may be in jeopardy because of a shortage of staff, comes from a survey by the National Computing Centre. The survey found that salaries for IT staff in government are the lowest in the IT profession with the average pay of managers more than 12,000 pounds behind their counterparts in the private sector. Managers in the government sector receive on average 34,186 pounds per year, whilst IT managers in the private sector receive 46,565 pounds.With average earnings increasing at 4.1%, salary increases for IT staff in government departments stood at just 3.7%. This was the lowest increase in the survey.
The survey, which is in its twentieth year, also looked at the fringe benefits and perks offered to workers in the IT profession. Again government employees were at the bottom of the pile. Over 80% of IT staff in government received paid overtime, but they were at the bottom of the league for non-contributory pension schemes and private health insurance.
Other findings include a fall across the IT sector in the ratio of permanent to contract staff. Contract staff now account for 16% of the total workforce, down from 18% last year. The highest rate of turnover was amongst user support staff, 13.8%, closely followed by systems developers 12.3% and technical support 11.8%.