Now that we're over a week into 2017, how are the UK's businesses feeling about hiring during the year ahead?
According to the latest edition of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation's (REC's) JobsOutlook report, almost half - that's 48 per cent - of recruiters in Britain believe that the ongoing skills shortage will continue to create hiring difficulties for them over the coming 12 months.
This is despite 32 per cent of organisations reporting that they need more workers in the near future or they won't be able to take on any new contracts.
For limited company contractors and freelancers, this means there should be plenty of opportunities available for them throughout 2017, but they will need to make sure they have the skillsets that businesses are looking for to ensure they can add value to their clients.
The REC report also found that despite the continuing skills shortage, 30 per cent of businesses feel that economic conditions are improving, which means that even more new opportunities for contractors could be created in the coming months.
Meanwhile, chief executive of the REC Kevin Green expressed concerns that hiring struggles will worsen following the triggering of Article 50 to begin the official process of Britain leaving the EU by the government. He is worried that tightening immigration laws will leave organisations with access to fewer overseas workers who could help to keep their operations afloat.
Mr Green stated: "In 2015, UK businesses invested more than £45 billion in training and skills development. While this long-term commitment to upskilling the domestic workforce is vital, there is an immediate need for people from abroad."
"We urge the government to take this issue seriously when considering changes to immigration policy," he added.
While we cannot yet know the impact of Brexit on hiring and the labour shortage, these concerns should remind contractors based in the UK of just how important it is that they are doing their bit to deliver the best standard of service possible to their clients as they begin to navigate their way through the post-Brexit era.
Contractors and freelancers need to take the time now to ensure their skills and qualifications are as up-to-date as possible in order to make sure they are adding the highest value to their clients' operations.
And if they need to take some time out from running their limited company to go on a refresher course of learn a new skill, PayStream's My PSC is on hand to assist with the administrative work associated with running your own limited company, allowing contractors to focus on upskilling themselves with the peace of mind that their limited company is in safe hands.
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