Demand for engineering, construction and IT contractors was strongest in June, according to a new report from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
Contractor availability is currently at its lowest level since March 1998.
Engineering contractors enjoyed the highest demand of all professionals, while construction and IT freelancers took the third and fifth places, respectively, the report showed. Sixth place was held by accounting and financial contractors. The report also noted that the availability of freelancers has decreased due to high demand. Contractor availability is currently at its lowest level since March 1998.
The search for freelancers was described as "widespread" by the report. Furthermore, demand rates for contractors in both the public and private sector exceeded the demand for permanent workers.
REC's policy director Tom Hadley highlighted the drop in the number of workers available to fill vacancies in June, especially in business development and sales roles, which are crucial for improving bottom lines. In addition, the IT and engineering sectors are subject to persistent staff shortages, which creates hurdles for further economic growth.
Recruiters have expressed similar concerns, pointing to issues related to hiring developers, e-commerce professionals and freelancers with Java and SQL proficiency.
Freelancers are the driving force behind UK's economic recovery, said ContractorCalculator's CEO Dave Chaplin. In particular, contractors are very successful in executing projects related to building infrastructure and improving efficiency. Their can-do approach and their flexibility are major pillars for the UK's economic recovery, Chaplin concluded.