2015 looks set to be an important year for UK contractors, with continuing growth in the sector and demand for the core disciplines of IT, engineering, finance and construction all on the up. A recent article on the Contractor Calculator website looked in more detail at the experts' predictions for the year ahead.
Increasing contractor numbers
With more people looking to work flexibly and achieve a greater work/life balance, it's likely that more will choose to go down the contracting route. The economic recovery will also play a part in this, as both businesses and individuals will have greater financial confidence. Julia Kermode, CEO of the FCSA, predicts that more people will "take the plunge" to set up their own business as a result.
Over the next 12 months, umbrella companies and contractor accountants are expected to improve the services they offer. More contractors, as well as an increasing amount of legislative challenges, means that service providers will need to come up with innovative and compliant solutions – which will need to be scalable.
Kermode also feels that even more young people are likely to establish themselves as freelancers – a trend that began in 2014. There will also be more female contractors; this will be driven in part by the new shared parental leave rules and discussions regarding maternity pay for the self-employed.
Greater demand, fewer skills
Businesses will realise the importance of big data in 2015, therefore IT contractors with data and analysis skills - as well as security experts - will be in high demand. Combined with an ongoing skills shortage, this means they can expect to earn more competitive salaries as companies try to attract and retain the best talent.
Engineering and construction opportunities
With greater demand for on-site staff, the construction recruitment market is almost at pre-recession levels, say experts. Commercial construction demand is still rising, whilst architects and building surveyors are recruiting more than they have done in recent years. This will see salaries receive a boost as skills shortages continue in this sector.