British contractors have become the low-cost option

Hold on to your hats, contract workers: new research has shown that it costs less to hire a Brit than many other European workers.

If you’re a freelancer or an umbrella company contract worker and you already think you’re about as busy as you can be at the moment, you’d best prepare yourself for an onslaught of recruitment offers rolling in from overseas soon. That’s because the latest research found that the average hourly rate for a British worker is only 20.90 euros – and this is under the European average by a wide margin.

The research, which took a look at the average pay rates for a whole spate of countries in the European Union, found that it’s a bloody bargain to hire on a Brit or two, especially when the other countries would cost a business owner an arm and a leg in comparison. To put it in plain terms, who’s going to hire a German or French worker when the average pay rate they command is over 30 euros an hour?

Other eurozone countries don’t fare much better when held up against the British average either. Ireland, Italy and Spain all pay on average more than Britain, and that means it’s almost a certainty that businesses based in these countries are going to look into outsourcing positions to British workers if they’re not run by complete pillocks with no business sense whatsoever.

It’s not a bad deal for Brits of course, having such a competitively priced workforce. However I wonder if this isn’t going to lead to problems here at home if all our best and brightest take jobs overseas and leave British industries high and dry as a result. I wouldn’t ever counsel someone to turn down a lucrative work opportunity out of a misplaced sense of patriotism of course, but there is a danger that if we have a mass exodus of British workers that the skills shortage in the UK might end up getting markedly worse, especially since British freelancers and contract workers are so integral in holding back the rising tide.

Still, there are other countries that charge on average even less than the UK. Bulgaria, for instance, has been holding at something mad like 3 euros an hour. I suppose we could always import some Bulgarians, right?

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