The Association of Professional Staffing Companies has been chuffed to bits lately on the back of new research that says everyone loves using contract workers.
Of course it’s not quite as simple as I make it sound, but the end result is more or less the same: new research conducted by ASPCo has found that the use of freelancers, umbrella company contractors, and other self-employed Brits has been growing like wildfire across more or less every professional sector out there. The trade industry body says it’s proof positive that these firms and organisations are incredibly keen to use interim workers to plug the gap in terms of the skills shortage; the fact that the tax burden on an employer is less for using a contract worker likely plays an important role as well, of course!
At any rate, the figures don’t lie. ASPCo says that temporary billing placements are up by ten per cent and that vacancies are up by almost the exact same amount. That might not sound like much to a normal person but when it comes to economists and employment experts, ten per cent is a huge, impressive change.
Really though, is anyone surprised? I’m not, honestly. For what it’s worth the freelancing way of life has come and it’s here to stay, especially considering how much flexibility it offers contractors in their day to day lives. Combine that with the fact that the self-employed are the perfect cure for the skills shortage blues by providing short-term coverage to any companies finding it a challenge to take on permanent employees with the requisite experience and talent for a particular role and it’s fairly obvious that contract workers are more or less the unsung heroes of the economic recovery.
Then again, what else is new? Freelancers, contractors and other self-employed Brits are almost never given the credit they deserve when it comes to their contributions. Then again, most interim workers aren’t really interested in recognition, as they would be much happier to simply be given steady work to support their happy lifestyles. I know I’d rather just have plenty of projects to work on in lieu of a parade in my honour!
Well, maybe not. Parades are pretty cool after all.