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ContractorCalculator: Contracting news in brief – 30/Aug/2013

Contractors see fastest rise in business volumes since November 2007

Contractors experienced the fastest rise in business volumes since November 2007, in the quarter to August 2013. The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) quarterly Service Sector Survey showed that “business and professional services”, which include contractors, “saw a particularly sharp turnaround in business volumes.” The growth is predicted to continue into the next quarter, with headcounts increasing and greater contractor hiring. More...

Financial services and accounting contractor demand out of the doldrums

There were further signs that the UK’s financial sector may be slowly recovering, according to financial recruiter Experis Finance. Its latest Monthly Accelerate Report shows that contractor demand across the financial sector soared by 46% between February and July 2013. “This data reflects an economy in recovery, albeit a cautious one,” believes the firm’s managing director, Clive Allen. More...

Will smart cities and big data drive the need for ‘data contractors'?

An article by BBC technology reporter Jane Wakefield paints a fascinating picture of a world in which data is being carefully analysed and adapted to make ‘smart cities’ better places to live in. Careful analysis of data can be used for everything from sending taxis to areas before rain is due, to improving our health and happiness. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day, by everything from tweets and online searches, though bus stops and fridges to jet aircraft and power plants, might we be seeing the rise of a new breed of specialist, the ‘data contractor’? More...

Design contractors with 3D skills in high demand for 3D printing

Contractors with 3D rendering, modelling and animation skills are in high demand as 3D printing technology continues to grow within the consumer and business sector. The latest data from online freelance marketplace Freelance.com shows that PowerPoint, accounting and report writing top its top 50 in-demand skills table. These top three skills requirements are being driven by small businesses outsourcing core functions. Google’s latest Penguin update has driven down demand for search engine optimisation (SEO) and link building skills, as clients prioritise quality original content over tactical SEO. More...

Energy, oil and IT lead contractor demand, followed by manufacturing and construction

Demand for energy and oil and IT contractors continued to rise, increasing by 7.3% and 3.2% respectively during July 2013, when compared to July 2012. According to the latest Adzuna Job Market Report for July 2013, “hiring patterns suggest employers are increasingly convinced the worst of the economic downturn is in the past”. Contractors in the manufacturing and construction sectors also experienced higher demand during July 2013. More...

North Sea oil tax breaks to ‘enhance’ output – and contractor roles

In yet another confirmation that oil and gas contractors can look forward to an ongoing flow of roles in the North Sea, potentially for decades to come, an Aberdeen University report concludes that government tax breaks will lead to a “substantial enhancement” of North Sea output. This study follows an encouraging report earlier this week from Oil & Gas UK, whose chief executive Malcolm Webb said the refocus of government policy had led to “the highest-ever investment” in the North Sea. More...

IT & programming accounts for 35% of contractor and freelancer sector

IT contractors and freelancers account for 35% of all contractor online hiring via online marketplace Elance. Consultancy Staffing Industry Analysts reports that in its latest quarterly Global Online Employment Report, the online marketplace showed the amount of business conducted on the site increasing by 47% and clients by 51% year-on-year. Engineering and manufacturing enjoyed a 173% surge in demand during the second quarter of 2013, when compared to the same period in 2012. More...

New accreditation will help non-NHS informatics specialists win NHS IT contracts

To ensure IT workers who routinely process critical patient data undergo similar professional checks as do other NHS workers, new professional skills development and accreditations have been developed. These have come about from a new healthcare informatics partnership of The UK Council for Health Informatics Professions(UKCHIP), NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). More...

HMRC steps up tax-evasion fight with ever-more property raids, including for smaller sums

Suspected tax evaders are more likely than ever to find HMRC raiding their homes and business properties, according to Pinsent Masons. The international law firm has obtained figures that show HMRC stepped up its raids from 196 in the 2010-2011 tax year to 449 in 2011-2012 and 445 in 2012-2013. “To keep up with its criminal prosecutions target, HMRC is no longer reserving its tougher tactics for just the very biggest evaders,” Jason Collins, head of tax at Pinsent Masons, told The Telegraph. "It is increasingly targeting middle class professionals suspected of cheating HMRC out of smaller sums.” More...

PCG members receive iTunes and Amazon vouchers for ‘refer a friend’ scheme

PCG members who successfully refer another contractor to become a member of the PCG will be sent a £10 iTunes or Amazon voucher. The new member also receives a £10 voucher when they join the contractor and freelancer membership organisation. “It’s a real source of pride for us that we receive so many membership referrals via word of mouth,” notes PCG chairman Julie Stewart. “This new scheme is a way for us to say thank you and to reward members for the recommendations they make.”

Published: 30 August 2013

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