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Contractors urged to capitalise on skills shortages

04/11/16 Peter Livingstone Director

The UK’s Contracting sector does not appear to be suffering from Britain’s shock decision to leave the EU, with the rate of contractor usage accelerating to the sharpest since May 2009. Temporary/contract staff billings continued to rise in July with some panellists indicating that clients had shifted focus towards short-term staff amid an uncertain economic climate. 

Whilst it is still too early to judge the full extent of the impact of Brexit, signs of recovery are already underway, with demand for Temporary and Contract staff continuing to rise across Engineering/Technology & Accounting/Financial. The slowest growth was signalled for Executive/Professional staff. Contractors’ pay could also be aided by intensifying skills shortages, with organisations in the engineering and finance sectors all struggling to source suitable candidates. This could worsen if the UK loses access to the single market, with Contractor demand likely to be even greater as a result. 

  • Contractors should explore the opportunities available as temporary and interim placements continue to outperform permanent hires, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) Report on Jobs for August 2016
  • Contractors are encouraged to capitalise on skills shortages in the engineering sector, as flagged up in the latest Jobs Outlook from the REC
  • A shortfall in talent in areas such as risk and compliance could benefit finance contractors, as highlighted by the latest Financial Services Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • New survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) shows finance to be the best performing sector as Contractor demand stabilises

Contractor placements rose prior to Brexit 

Contractors fared better than their permanent counterparts as uncertainty meant clients continued to favour temporary and interim hires prior to Britain’s decision to leave the EU in June. 

With the labour market still in recovery mode, confidence amongst firms is unlikely to have fully rebounded. Contractors are encouraged to capitalise on this by exploring the immediate opportunities available. 

The latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) shows that, whilst contractor placements continued to rise, permanent placements declined for a second successive month in July. 

Despite this, the gulf between contractor supply and demand widened in June, compounding concerns over a post-Brexit skills crisis. 

Contractors urged to capitalise on skills shortages 

Mounting concerns over skills shortages and caution amongst firms could result in a contract-rich environment in sectors such as construction, technology and engineering recruitment environments in the wake of Brexit. Contractors who are currently without a contract should take advantage of the depleted talent pool by sourcing contracts and negotiating more lucrative fees. 

Peter Livingstone, Redline Group Director of Contracts comments: “If you are in the camp where you see Brexit as a bad thing, then one thing that can always be guaranteed is that out of bad situations someone always does OK. It would appear that words like hesitancy, caution and uncertainty are currently and understandably being used within the UK when it comes to hiring staff, yet the reality is that at all businesses have design projects to complete and customers to deliver to so I am not surprised to see and feel encouraging news for the contract and interim recruitment market.” 

Redline Group is a specialist recruitment consultancy sourcing and selecting professional & qualified Management, Technical and Sales staff for the European technology market. They provide recruitment, retention and management advice, and expertise to assist technology companies in identifying and developing the best talent for their organisations.

For more information please contact Peter Livingstone, Director of Contract Division.