Contractor vacancies grow whilst availability shrinks

While vacancies for freelancers and umbrella company contractors might be growing by leaps and bounds, contractor availability is starting to dwindle.

At least, that’s what the Association of Professional Staffing Companies says. APSCo’s latest research has found that there are shedloads of positions available for temporary workers out there – which is most of the time is bloody fantastic – but not when there don’t seem to be enough freelance workers to go around to fill all these positions!

In the short term this is great news for contract workers, since there’s plenty of work to be had wherever you look and you can pick and choose the project that appeals to you most. Many businesses looking to court freelancers are even beginning to offer more competitive day rates for temporary workers in order to entice them to take on these positions. However, if this situation continues into the longer term this could mean that businesses looking to grow might end up stagnating because they can’t access the number of skilled staff that they need to expand.

There is, I suppose, a tipping point out there somewhere that we have yet to reach. For now British firms are making do with whatever freelance workers they can take on whilst leaving no stone unturned for any permanent workers that are actually qualified to fill these positions. The skills shortage is most definitely at play here, as the current crop of British graduates just don’t seem to have the requisite skills needed to fill the shoes of an increasingly aging workforce that is retiring at record rates – and taking their precious knowledge with them.

So what’s the best way to safeguard our economic future when it comes to employment? Well contract workers need to continue plugging the gaps of course, at least for now. It’s freelancers and contractors alone that are standing at the dike wall, industriously plugging as many holes as they can, but eventually interim workers are going to run out of fingers. At that point the permanent employment marketplace better be ready to meet the demand of all these firms or we could easily see the economic recovery stall or even collapse under its own weight.

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