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Dan Blake
27th May, 2014

69% Of UK Companies Make Use Of Temps

St Paul's Cathedral and Millennium Bridge

During the first quarter of 2014, 69% of UK employers had temporary workers among their staff. Overall, 7% of the national workforce consisted of people employed on temporary contracts, according to the Labour Market Outlook Spring 2014 report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The figure for temps covers employees on fixed-term contracts, agency workers and self-employed people serving as consultants. The public sector is particularly keen on recruiting temps: 83% of public sector employers reported having temporary workers on their payroll. In the case of private sector organisations, the proportion stood at 65%.

the median share of such workers amounts to 10% of their staff

Within the group of employers making use of temporary contracts, the median share of such workers amounts to 10% of their staff, the CIPD estimates. This is the proportion reported by public and private sector companies alike but it rises to 13% in the voluntary sector. With 20%, education is the industry vertical with the largest share of workers employed under temporary contracts.

It seems that the near future holds strong employment opportunities for independent professionals. UK companies are ramping up recruitment as the economy continues to recover but many are finding it difficult to fill vacant positions. According to the CIPD report, the outlook for near-term employment is at its best in six and a half years. However, recruitment difficulties could put a spoke in the wheel of many companies, especially those operating in sectors where skilled labour is critical. This talent shortage has prompted employers to turn to independent contractors and temps. Engineering vacancies are the hardest to fill: 17% of employers in this sector stated so. Management and executive positions came next with 16%, followed by IT with 14%. Other roles posing problems for recruiters are care/social workers (12%), nurses (11%) and doctors (7%).

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