Contractor demand in the IT industry has skyrocketed, with a recent report indicating that growth has hit its fastest pace in 15 years.

The data, which come from the latest Report on Jobs by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), scored demand for temporary IT and computing workers at 66.1. This is the highest score for 184 months.

The REC reported that various hirers had chosen to seize on the rising business confidence and the generally strong economic data that had been emerging across the market within the past couple of months.

The group had previously claimed that contractors would have nothing to fear from the rising confidence within the sector.

The REC data showed that IT contractors had become the most sought-after temporary professionals in the UK, out-ranking contractors in eight other sectors.

The report also went into detail about the areas in which contractors have been most frequently hired. These include .Net, PHP, business intelligence, digital marketing and web development, which are all skills that are believed to be relatively scarce.

December also saw some full-time shortages for suitable candidates, including in the fields of Java, business analysis, PHP, digital marketing, web development, and a number of general IT roles.

The head of policy for the REC, Kate Shoesmith, said: “The real concern now is the mismatch between demand and supply, with recruiters reporting that they can’t source suitable candidates for vacancies in a whole range of sectors.

Companies want to hire more salespeople, accountants and businesses development staff to help their enterprises grow, but can’t find people with the right skills to take the jobs.”