The UK is still witnessing an increase in IT contractor and other contractor placements. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has published its Report on Jobs for May 2016, which shows that the demand for contract workers in the country has increased, and the upcoming EU referendum has not affected hiring even though the opinion is that exiting the EU would have an adverse effect on the economy.
The report shows that contract staff are still preferred by a large number of clients, whilst permanent placements have had the weakest growth rate in the last eight months.
The report also highlights that even though contractor agency billing growth has slowed down compared to the 13-month high in April, the rate of expansion has not been affected. There appears to be quite a demand for contractors.
REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said that increasing demand for contractors shows that there is a skill shortage in the country that will get worse should Britain leave the EU. Green stated that businesses in the UK were facing a shortage of candidates in practically every sector. He felt that the country needed more workers with the right skills to fill vacancies.
Green went on to state that regardless of what happens after 23rd June, it was important to have a prudent approach to immigration as it would allow employers to enjoy access to the talent and skill that they require. If the British economy is to continue growing, it will be necessary to keep sourcing workers from outside the UK.
Green’s opinion is reflected in the figures. In May, contractor availability reduced. Whilst the rate of reduction has decreased, there is a widening gap between supply and demand. This, in turn, has helped increase the average contractor rates, which have received a boost for 40 consecutive months. The strongest increase in rates was prevalent in the North.
IT contractor jobs are also increasing, with the IT sector witnessing growth. In the latest Purchase Manager’s Indexes, the IT sector has risen one place to eighth position.