Small and medium-sized companies are set to expand in 2016, increasing their workforce – and increasing their need for contractors and freelancers.
The new report has some fantastic news for anyone looking to work as an umbrella company contractor, an agency worker, or on their own as a sole trader. Analysis by Close Brothers Asset Finance found that more than 1.3 million British SMEs have plans to expand their businesses over the coming 12 months. In other words, around one out of every four small businesses in the UK feel they’re in an advantageous enough position that they can take on additional workers. On top of that, around 20 per cent of SMEs polled by the research study feel that their firms are flourishing in the current economic landscape and a majority of those surveyed – more than 50 per cent – think that the economy has weathered the worst and is poised to recover slowly but surely.
This is just brilliant as far as I’m concerned, especially since freelancers and contract workers have not only been going at it hammer-and-tongs to improve the British economy but have also been increasing in numbers steadily over the years. It seems that the more time and energy contractors pour into the economy the better things get, and the more opportunities materialise in the employment sector. SMEs might be keen to hire on more workers in the coming year, but they’re likely to focus on short-term temporary workers, and not just because they’re so effective but because the number of permanent workers available for these new positions just aren’t high enough to fill these roles. It’s called the skills shortage, and it’s been rather prevalent for several years.
Of course, the self-employment sector has responded to the skills shortage in a major way. While some economists were saying that the sky is falling because there’s no way the freelancer community could sustain the high levels of demand of the employment sector, the truth is that the contractor population has not just been steady and stable but positively burgeoning. More and more Brits have left their workaday traditional jobs to go into business for themselves, throwing off the shackles of working for a boss and enjoying the flexibility of making your own hours, picking your own clients, and actually enjoying your life. Or at least enjoying it as much as you can. I mean you’ve got to do something to earn a living; you might as well take control of your life while you’re at it, don’t you think?