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Contractor shortages in Scotland worsen, generating opportunities for wider UK

Contractor candidate shortages worsened in Scotland during September 2015, whilst demand, contractor agency billings and rates all increased. Contractors elsewhere in the UK struggling to find work and who have the right skills should consider relocating, particularly as this trend has dominated Scotland’s contracting sector throughout the year.

This is according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs for September 2015, which also clearly shows what opportunities the three key Scottish contract markets of oil and gas, finance and video games can offer contractors.

“Scotland’s contracting sector has performed strongly throughout 2015 and, with the exception of oil and gas, clients and agencies have unfilled roles they can offer contractors in other parts of the UK,” highlights ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin.

According to Pulse Accounting CEO Chris Futcher, some contracting disciplines are outperforming both the permanent market and the wider UK: “Contractors in Scotland are still enjoying excellent conditions as billings from temporary staff rose for an eighth successive month during September and at a faster pace than expansion in permanent appointments. This increase in billings was more marked than across the UK as a whole.”

“The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs rose in September,” adds Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland. “These results suggest that business confidence in the Scottish economy is holding up despite the slowdown in growth evident earlier in the year.”

The report says that “Dundee recorded the fastest rise in temporary billings ahead of Edinburgh, while Aberdeen saw a renewed decline,” adding: “The sharpest decreases in permanent and temporary candidate availability were recorded in Glasgow and Dundee respectively, with Aberdeen seeing further improvements on both fronts.”

This data, alongside the demand league table that places IT & computing in first place, suggests Dundee’s video game industry is thriving. It is also no surprise to see Aberdeen with falling agency billings and increased candidate availability, as the UK’s oil and gas sector continues to suffer from low oil prices.

In sixth place in the demand league table, Accounts & financial is still very firmly in growth territory, which is supported by strong agency billings in the financial centre of Edinburgh. And Scotland’s interim management sector has bounced back into growth territory after shrinking during the summer.

Published: 20 October 2015

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