Music to the ears of any current or prospective IT, engineering, construction, marketing or Finance Contractor will be the news - as reported on the Contractor Calculator website - that pay rates have been rising across the core contracting disciplines as a result of the difficulties that many recruiters are encountering in their search for suitably skilled staff. |
Indeed, the most recent Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs revealed that March 2015 had been marked by the steepest decline in candidate availability since last October. It has led to fears among commentators that the UK economic recovery could be compromised by shortages in vital skills.
Bernard Brown, KPMG's partner and head of business services, observed: "Recruiters are struggling with industry-wide skills shortages, as demand for talent continues to outstrip the number of candidates seeking work. This pervasive skills shortage could put the brakes on economic growth if it continues unabated."
Also potentially dangerous to the nation's economic resurgence are the growing public sector skills shortages, according to REC chief executive Kevin Green, who said that recruiters were having a tough time searching for teachers and healthcare workers, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. He expressed hopes that as the general election loomed, politicians would "recognize the potential impact of this skills crisis, because a lack of workers to meet demand threatens the sustainability of our economic growth."
However, such a dire state of affairs for many recruiters would seem to present a major opportunity for permanent employees unsatisfied with their current role - and seeing new starters significantly out-earning them - to consider a switch to contracting.
That is the suggestion of Contractor Calculator CEO Dave Chaplin, who said that permanent workers with transferable skills in such areas as construction, IT, engineering, finance and marketing could be tempted to capital on the "acute skills shortages" in these core contracting disciplines that have resulted in "a steady stream of contracts [becoming] available to provide stability during those first few months of a contracting career.
"There is increasing evidence that organizations are filling talent gaps with contractors while seeking suitable long-term candidates, but that those candidates just aren't out there. This is providing contractors who can spot these opportunities with extended contracts at good rates of pay."
Workers contemplating taking this route will be heartened to read that March was a month of strong growth in demand for the entire core contracting disciplines. For the budding contractor who has been waiting to take the plunge, this latest report would suggest that now may be the right time to jump.
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