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Tracey Sutton
19th November, 2014

Report: Contractor Skills Shortage Keeping Prospects High

People walking in office corridor                         Growth in demand for contractors has been sustained for the past 18 months, and shows no signs of deteriorating, an article on Contractor Calculator reports. This is largely due to a shortage in contractor skills and rapidly falling candidate availability, the article notes, commenting on the results from October 2014's Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)/KPMG Report on Jobs. Respondents stated they are finding it difficult to employ adequately qualified contractors in a number of sectors - including accounts and transactional finance, developers and IT security, and general engineers. In fact, engineering and IT & computing came in at second and fourth place respectively in the demand league tables. Kevin Green, chief executive of REC, noted that it was good news that "the number of vacancies is continuing to rise, with businesses in all sectors of the economy looking to hire more staff." However, he warned that "ongoing candidate shortages are a major barrier to growth." Contractor Calculator's CEO Dave Chaplin, agrees, stating: "Contractor demand is being driven by clients covering talent gaps in their permanent workforce with contractors because they cannot hire employees with the right skills.

"This is contributing to an already buoyant contract market, but it is also worsening skills shortages particularly in the core contracting disciplines of engineering, IT, finance and interim management."

The article also highlights that, despite sustained demand and skills shortages, contractor pay growth slowed throughout October. The Midlands is purportedly the most desirable region for contractors seeking work, as it is seeing the most contract activity in the final quarter of 2014; with the highest level of contractor agency billings and the fastest rise in permanent employee placements.

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