By Jonathan London on 8th June 2015

Rise in demand for contractors seen in May 2015

Contractors have become increasingly in demand among UK businesses due to a shortage of available talent, according to the latest data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

Figures from the REC and KPMG Report on Jobs has indicated that hiring rates for temporary/contract-based staff increased further in May, with the rate of growth in this market accelerating compared to April.

The Midlands and London posted the sharpest growth in temporary/contract staff appointments, with the south of England growing at the slowest pace.

Hourly pay levels rose further for this category of worker, albeit at the slowest rate since January, reflecting the high demand for talented short-term workers to help address the persistent skills shortages that have been affecting UK companies for the last year or so.

Indeed, temporary staff availability fell sharply during May, with the latest drop representing the fastest rate of decline in this market for seven months. Moreover, four in ten recruiters say the availability of candidates is getting worse each month.

Given this reduction in the pool of available talent is coming at a time when permanent staff hiring rates are also being hit by the same problem, opportunities for self-employed people with the right skills and availability are likely to be numerous at the moment.

However, the report also observed that the trend is likely to be bad for businesses in the long run if it persists, indicating that government action is needed to expand access to key skills among UK companies.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said: “Businesses are looking to expand, and roles like marketing, legal and HR are increasingly in demand. This is good news for jobseekers, because they can command higher starting salaries as employers compete for talent. But at the same time, shortages are a serious threat to long-term sustainability for organisations within both the private and the public sector.”

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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