Although IT job vacancies are on the rise, May 2014 saw the lowest number of applicants for permanent positions in the sector since November 1997.
REC claims that the skills gap is widening and salaries are on the rise because employers are failing to attract candidates.
The IT skills and roles in highest demand last month included business analysts, cloud, digital media, e-commerce, games technology, Java, senior developers, PHP and project managers.
“The UK’s jobs boom continues with vacancies increasing as employers look for new workers to meet increasing demand and to replace staff that have been snapped up by competitors,” claimed REC CEO Kevin Green.
“The creation of these jobs, combined with the return of job fluidity, is creating a dynamic labour market. However, the big issue remains that employers are finding it hard to find the talent and skills they need, yet ONS figures show that we still have 2.2m unemployed people in the UK,” he added.
Green called upon political parties to acknowledge the “skills gap” in debates around immigration.
“Now is the time for government to reform the Visa system to ensure that the UK retains a flexible labour market so our businesses can grow and create more jobs,” he claimed.
KPMG partner and head of business services Bernard Brown supported Green’s comments.
“Trying to fill vacancies in the current climate must feel like wandering through a hall of mirrors for the UK’s employers,” claimed Brown.
“No sooner are they in a position to reflect the improving economy by creating roles and offering tempting salaries, than the search for talent seems to reach a dead end, with candidates either preferring to hide in the shadows or failing to offer the appropriate skills,” he added.