Contracting is becoming increasingly more important to the UK’s major contracting clients, says the latest JobsOutlook from the RECruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
Contractor pay is higher than permanent employees, according to 71% of clients, and 84% of client organisations need contractors “to gain short-term access to key strategic skills”.
Skills shortages continue to threaten to derail the UK’s economic recovery, but they do present contractors with an opportunity to fill those gaps, believes ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin.
“The latest JobsOutlook from the REC shows that contractors are earning more than their permanent contemporaries,” says Chaplin. “It also shows that contractors are being hired because of their expertise. This presents contractors with a ‘perfect storm’ to benefit from.”
REC CEO Kevin Green is concerned that skills shortages pose a problem: “The biggest challenge, and a real constraint on continued growth in our economy, is the lack of candidates with the right skills to fill the vacancies employers have to offer.”
“Employment is at a record high, and yet businesses say they will need more staff if demand for their products or services increases. It’s good news for jobseekers and people looking to move roles, but it’s a headache for bosses as candidates become harder and harder to find.”
The JobsOutlook shows that engineering and technical skills are in particularly short supply. “22% of employers expect to see shortages in permanent technical and engineering staff and 32% expect shortages in agency staff.”