New reports from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) say that demand for freelancers and contractors in the UK is still high.
File this one under “this isn’t surprising anyone,” APSCo says that UK vacancies have gone up by 2 per cent year on year, driven mostly by the skills shortage. What this means for both traditional employees and the self-employed alike is that there’s plenty of demand for skilled, experienced worker.
Of course the skills shortage means that despite these opportunities there just aren’t enough Brits seeking traditional employment to satisfy the demand of UK businesses. For freelancers, umbrella contractors, consultants, and other individuals going it alone, though, it’s a completely different story; with contract workers usually having the skills needed to satisfy these vacancies in ways that traditional workers simply can’t, it means that the employment landscape for freelancers is highly positive.
In fact, APSCo found that over the last 12 months, the financial services industry in particular saw an 85 per cent increase in opportunities for temporary workers. Of course that figure wasn’t standard across the entirety of the British economy – overall that figure was closer to 7 per cent, which is still mightily impressive.
So yes, freelancing and contracting is where it’s at, especially since demand is almost ludicrously high at the moment and is unlikely to fade any time soon. Of course this isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially in the long run. The problem is the skills shortage – ironically the same thing that is making freelancing such an excellent field at the moment. See, if this thing goes on for a considerable length of time, even the considerable forces of the UK’s 4.6 million contractors and freelance workers won’t be enough when it comes to the amount of staff needed to run the British economy. Eventually things could get so bad that firms won’t be able to keep up with demand for their own goods and services because of their diminished capacity to produce, and that could send the economy backsliding towards recession once again.
So while that particularly gruesome fate isn’t exactly around the corner, let’s hope the nation’s traditional workers start getting hired in greater numbers. Until then, our stalwart contractor population will do its best to stave off this terrible fate. It doesn’t hurt that they’ll be making shedloads of money at the same time. Keep the gears of the economy greased, lads – we’re all counting on you!