48 per cent of workers in the UK will be looking for a new contract during 2017, according to new figures compiled by recruitment firm Reed in association with YouGov.
With almost half of workers feeling confident enough to apply for new roles as the start of the official Brexit process fast approaches, this suggests that contractors, freelancers and other members of the workforce are feeling quite optimistic about their prospects for the year ahead.
Reed found that the opportunity to earn more money was the trigger for 51 per cent of workers to begin looking for their next contract, while 38 per cent wanted to change their current role in order to achieve an improved work-life balance. This finding suggests that the number of people opting to work for themselves as contractors or freelancers to achieve a better balance between their professional and personal lives could be set to increase.
Meanwhile, one-third of workers said their main reason for looking for a new role was because they were after a better working environment. Again, this is something that workers would have more control over if they decided to become their own boss and set up a limited company.
Reed's research, which was published to coincide with the release of its Market Insight 2017 report, also led to the discovery that almost half (43 per cent) of workers feel positive about the opportunities that are likely to be available to them over the course of this year.
The government is set to begin the official process of separating Britain from the EU this spring, but it appears that a significant number of workers are not concerned about the effect this will have on their career prospects.
Tom Lovell, UK managing director and specialist recruiter at Reed, explained: "As technology changes roles and creates new jobs with new skills, gaps in the market are opening and new opportunities created. The next generation is looking to the future to train and keep pace with these exciting changes."
With this in mind, limited company contractors need to make sure they are upskilling themselves digitally too in order to make sure they are in a strong position to compete with the increasing number of workers expected to be looking for a new job over the course of 2017.
Mr Lovell also hinted that contractors need to be making more of an effort to offer their services to businesses that may be struggling to navigate the ongoing skills shortage, which will help them to continue earning amid the potentially challenging initial days of the post-Brexit era.
He stated: "Increasing skills shortages mean that in 2017, the war for talent is back on, with great rewards for those who can successfully negotiate the opportunities available."
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