Boost for IT contractors from 2012 Olympics
According to James Toovey, who is founder and director of recruitment firm Langley James, the London IT sector is about to be given a ‘significant boost’ by the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. In a recent interview Mr Toovey said that IT professionals should consider a move to the capital in order to make the most of forthcoming opportunities, and that IT contractors in particular will stand to benefit from a boost in the jobs market.
He added, “I think there will be more jobs for the short-term contractors, because of the weight of workload that’s going to be around and also because of the amount of time off people are going to be taking to go to the Olympics. So for contractors, there’s going to be a boost. It’s more for the contractors, apart from new ventures that will start up on the legacy that’s left, for which there will be some new positions. The bigger area of growth is going to be for the contract market, because people are going to be off during that busy period.”
As one of the world’s most vibrant and visited capital cities, London needs little in the way of introduction. At the last count, in February of 2010, more than 3.7m people were working in the capital – and if you like city living, it’s clear to see the appeal. With its mix of shopping, leisure activities, culture, open spaces and of course job opportunities, some would say there’s nowhere else like it on earth. And they would be right! Even without the Olymics, London remains the UK’s largest contractor hub with more contractors and contractor vacancies than any other UK city.
With London being such a large capital city, there are numerous companies which have premises here, covering everything from finance and banking or IT and telecoms, through to retail, hospitality and tourism. Many of the leading UK, European and US banks have large offices in the City – Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale, Coutts, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, Citi Bank, Comerzbank and JP Morgan to name but a few.
As outlined above by Mr Toovey – and identified by SJD many months ago – one of the largest likely sources of jobs for contractors over the next couple of years will of course be the run-up to the Olympics in 2012. Additional contracting jobs are being created as the UK works to get its infrastructure, and of course the necessary stadia, ready for this huge event. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODC) is managing the process of awarding construction-related contracts to firms, and these firms will then decide the best approach for bringing additional skill-sets on board. Something which is widely expected to involve a high number of contractors – and indeed this is already starting to prove to be the case.
Outside of the Olympics, TFL (Transport For London) is always looking for contractors for their projects. For example, in 2010 it spent millions on the new ‘Interactive Journey Planner’ website, and the majority of the work was carried out using contractors. In general, London is seen as being a city which is beating the recession and, in a recent survey, one in which 61% of international firms stated that they would be more confident about the economic prospects for their business. In the same survey, 90% of firms questioned said they are satisfied with London as a location to do business, and nearly ¾ said that the London Underground upgrade programme would be an important factor for their company.
In response to the survey, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, recently stated, “We are working extremely hard to maintain and improve the capital’s reputation as an open, diverse, cosmopolitan city and international companies continuing to locate here play a crucial role. I applaud them for their continued confidence and, in turn, will ensure that we continue to set the benchmark as the most successful, sustainable and prosperous world city.”
So, all in all, it seems that London is a great place to become a contractor – and not just thanks to the Olympics! So if it’s something you’ve been thinking about (or even if not, until now!) why not look into it in more detail? We have a wide range of guides to help you get started, including:
- Becoming a Contractor
- Contractor Calculator
- How much can I earn as a Contractor
- How to Contract
- Contracting for the first time
- SJD Accountancy’s Contractor Guide