Contractor opportunities in Scotland during September 2014 have been driven by rising demand from Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry and contractor shortages in Dundee’s video game development centre. Dundee also experienced the sharpest increase in contractor rates during the month, a reflection of the skills shortages in the city.
This is according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs for September 2014, which also shows a slowdown of demand and contractor agency billings in Edinburgh’s financial centre.
“Two of the three main contractor centres of excellence in Scotland, oil and gas and video games, are performing strongly,” notes ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin. “These sectors offer opportunities to contractors throughout the UK, as there are not enough suitably skilled local candidates to meet demand.”
The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer, which provides a snapshot of the health of Scotland’s entire labour market, slipped slightly during the month, but is still well into positive territory.
Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae explains: “September’s Barometer showed a continuing rise in the number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs, although at a lower rate than recent highs.
“The Barometer is showing almost four years of monthly improvement resulting in the rate of unemployment in September of5.5%.The Scottish economic recovery continues.”
By sector, the core contracting disciplines of IT & computing and engineering & construction occupy second and third place respectively in the demand league tables. Accounts & financial is in sixth place, reflecting a slight slowdown of activity in Scotland’s financial sector.
The demand of interim management contractors has flatlined, with the executive & professional category in eighth place in the demand league table, where it has languished for the last four months. The category is showing a score of 50, which means no change in demand when compared to the previous month.
Overall contractor availability fell again during September and at one of the sharpest rates in the survey’s history.
“For some months now, Scotland has been experiencing increasing contractor candidate shortages,” continues Chaplin, “offering new contract opportunities to contractors elsewhere in the UK who are willing to relocate.”
Chaplin concludes: “Once the financial sector is back on trend, then Scotland’s contract market will be firing on all cylinders. The challenge then facing clients will be to entice contractors from elsewhere in the UK and overseas to move.”