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Contractor placements at 7-month high

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Thursday 15th Dec, 2016

New statistics show that contractor placements in the UK reached a seven-month high during November 2016.

This is according to the latest monthly Report on Jobs compiled by Markit and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which showed that demand for temporary workers rose at a strong pace last month.

Limited company contractors were in demand across the majority of sectors, with marked increases recorded for blue-collar roles and nursing, medical and care positions in November in particular. Construction was the only industry where demand fell.

In addition, contractor pay rates rose over the course of the month, growing at their fastest pace since August, showing that the upcoming exit from the European Union is so far not hampering businesses' hiring intentions.

However, the number of contractors available for advertised positions fell once more last month, indicating that the nation's skills shortage is continuing to cause recruitment struggles for many organisations.

Chief executive of the REC Kevin Green commented: "In all parts of the UK recruiters are reporting increasing demand, so clearly businesses continue to seek growth in their workforces.

"The main concern as we look forward to 2017 is an increasing skills shortage. We need engineers to deliver infrastructure projects, carers and nurses to look after our ageing population, teachers to educate our young people, and right now we are short of warehouse workers, drivers and chefs to meet demand over Christmas."

With this in mind, umbrella company and limited company contractors and freelancers specialising in these areas need to make sure they are putting themselves forward for any opportunities that become available so they can add value to those organisations that are struggling to recruit quality workers due to the skills shortage.

The report found that demand for contract workers was highest in the north of England and London, with Scotland the only place where fewer contractors were required during November.

Mr Green also stressed the importance of workers being as highly-skilled as possible to help the country to navigate its way through the post-Brexit era, emphasising that umbrella company and limited company contractors should be taking the time to improve their skillsets now. By taking this action ahead of the government's triggering of Article 50, workers will be in a strong position to add value to the clients they work with in those initial post-EU days.

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