Contractor availability at its lowest for seven months
The General Election meant that May was a busy month for the politicians who were trying to appeal to people from all walks of life in the hope that they could secure their vote. However, it was also a time when contractors were more in demand than has been seen in recent months. This has resulted in a particularly beneficial environment for contractors across all the core disciplines.
The news comes on the back of the Report on Jobs complied by the Recruitment and Employment Federation and the tax and advisory service KPMG. Contractor agency billings rose considerably in the month of May, and the richest source of contracts comes from the Midlands and London.
These areas are both known for being hubs for excellence in engineering and finance, so there are plenty of opportunities for contractors who are able to accept work in these locations.
However, while this may be good news for contractors who have the skills and experience to command higher rates and more favourable terms in these core disciplines, Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC, is concerned that the increased use of short-term staff is a sign that the skills shortage is worsening. Although recruiters are making huge inroads into increasing the number of people in work, forty per cent of them say that they are finding it harder and harder to find available candidates from one month to the next.
Bernard Brown, a partner at KPMG, added that the elections results may have prompted a slight slow-down the number of people hiring because board members would have been trying to ascertain the impact of the election results on their businesses. However, this did not translate to any slow-down in the number of short-term positions available, with temporary billings rising for the twenty fifth consecutive month.
Contracting in the core areas saw all of the core areas performing well in the demand league tables. Accounting and financial moved up from ninth place last year to fourth place in May, IT and computing remained strong in sixth place and engineering and construction took eighth and ninth places respectively.
The rising number of contractor placements has been attributed to increasing workloads amongst client companies. New orders are being placed, business is growing, but the number of staff available simply isn’t sufficient to meet demand.
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