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Sean Mbaeri
20th August, 2014

Thinking About Contract Work? There's Never Been a Better Time

Construction: Building highrise

For permanent employees thinking about making the move to contract work, now is the time. According to a report by Contractor Calculator, contractors are experiencing a rise in rates alongside increased demand; in fact, in some sectors, evidence suggests that demand is outstripping supply by a good margin.

In its market report for August, Contractor Calculator quotes research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) which confirms contracting and freelancing have become a mainstream element of the UK labour market.

The latest REC JobsOutlook shows that demand for skilled contractors is outstripping supply, while the organisation's Report on Jobs, its joint report with auditor KPMG, showed that the core contracting sectors topped the demand league table in June.

Scotland, too, is seeing growth in the contract market. According to Bank of Scotland's recent Report on Jobs, it has been especially buoyant. The country's contracting market reached an 11-and-a-half year high, confirmed the bank, with rates and contracts up.

Meanwhile, demand for interim management contractors increased by 15% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest Ipsos MORI survey for the Interim Management Association (IMA).

Engineering, construction and IT were all in the top five of the demand league table during June, taking first, third and fifth places respectively. The Report on Jobs showed that accounting and financial contractors came in sixth place; 'executive/professional' interims came last, in ninth place, although these sectors were still very much in growth territory, says Contractor Calculator.

Research by the REC shows that 41% of workers would consider contracting and freelancing and one in five have already tried it. Flexible working is now a mainstream element of the UK labour market.

Contractor Calculator CEO Dave Chaplin, a former IT contractor himself, said that the REC's findings confirm that contracting is a legitimate career choice and plays a huge part in supporting the UK's employment market.

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