Contractors and freelancers will be pleased to learn that temporary placements increased at a sharper rate than permanent placements, according to REC’s latest job report. The demand for temporary workers and contractors has increased throughout the UK with the two prominent areas being Scotland and London. 36.5% of recruiters stated that their billings received from the employment of temporary/contract workers were higher than the previous month.
New figures released from ONS complement REC’s findings with the employment rate reaching a new record high of 74.8% in the 3 months to March 2017 with the number of vacancies also increasing by 3% to 777,000 (in the 3 months to April).
REC’s report mentioned a decreased availability of temporary workers and contractors staff in April with 33% of recruiters who felt the availability of temporary/contract staff was worse in April – almost double since January 2017. This decline was the fastest that had been recorded since 2015. The hourly pay rate for temporary workers and contractors increased in April – yet another incentive to consider contracting.
Drilling down into specific sectors, the demand for temporary IT professionals has increased by 6% since April 2016. Other sectors including Nursing/Medical, Hotel/Catering and Secretarial also show a stronger demand than previous months.
Amongst the key temporary skills that were reported to be in short supply, Cyber Security and Developers were prominent in the IT category. As mentioned in our previous article, the demand for cyber security skills is growing at a fast pace with Contractor UK naming Information Security as one of the most sought-after skills of 2017. This shortage of skills, particularly Cyber Security, is something that needs to be addressed immediately. Last week, the NHS was a victim of a cyber-attack which crippled their IT systems – it is becoming evidently clear that the public sector needs cyber security specialists to help prevent any further attacks.
APSCo’s IT report echoes findings similar to REC with contractor and freelancer opportunities set to increase over the next 12 months. The report stated that the number of IT security vacancies in England and Wales in the 12 month period (ending 30th April) was 6.2% higher than the previous 12 months.
Another trend in APSCo’s report was the growing amount of IT security posts in the financial services sector which could surpass the Technology, Media and Telecoms sectors if this trend continues.
It is looking ideal for IT contractors in London with Greater London reporting a 12% increase than the previous 12 month period in IT security staff vacancies. The region itself now accounts for 51% of all IT security vacancies in England and Wales.
As we see the demand for contractors growing, now is the perfect opportunity to consider taking that step and begin your contracting career. With numerous industries seeking skilled workers, contracting can bring a flexible work balance, increased pay rates and more desirable job role. The teams at Cloud9 Umbrella and K&B Accountancy Group will provide you with a professional service and impartial advice to help you find the right solution for you.
From registering your limited company on Companies House to filing your self-assessment form, our accountants at K&B Accountancy Group will provide guidance every step of the way. Speak to one of our qualified accountants on 0207 078 0211 today to see if contracting is the perfect option for you!
If you want to test the waters of contracting or move away from a PSC then give Cloud9 a call on 0207 078 0212. We will look after the administrative burden of contracting for you and ensure that you get paid on time, every time!