Contractor Industry News

Contracting sector remains steady

Posted on 24th March 2016

A recent report has revealed a mixed bag for the contracting community, but overall, the sector remains steady.

The latest Markit / Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Report on Jobs provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.  

Findings reveal that contract billings rose at the same pace as January and the availability of contractors and other temporary workers continued to decline, although this eased to the slowest in two years.

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Temporary workers have become increasingly important to UK businesses

Posted on 18th March 2016

A recent survey has revealed that UK employers believe that contractors and other temporary workers are becoming increasingly important for the running of their business.

Research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) latest JobsOutlooksurvey has revealed that with fewer candidates on the market, UK firms are relying more on contractors, with 99% of businesses saying they turn to temporary workers to provide ‘ key strategic skills’ and 58% saying they need such workers to ‘respond to growth’.

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ContractorUmbrella review the Budget 2016

Posted on 17th March 2016

So, as expected, the Budget 2016 announced yesterday, did little to shed any light on the subject of Travel & Subsistence claims for contractors working through an umbrella company... No mention during the Chancellor's actual speech, shortly followed by the release of the Red Book, so did this go anyway to helping clairify the situation? In short... No!

So what did it say?

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Technology roles in high demand for 2016

Posted on 16th March 2016

IT contractors will be pleased to hear that the sector is continuing to show signs of high demand, with an industry expert predicting the top five trends that could potentially affect those in the technology field this year.

Robert Half Technology's latest report states: 'Technology will be a major driver in the UK's effort to rebuild productivity and boost growth, which in turn will create significant new opportunities for technology professionals’.

Here are the top five trends:

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Many UK businesses plan to create Chief ‘IoT’ officer role

Posted on 11th March 2016

IT contractors might be interested to hear that nearly half of UK businesses are planning on creating a Chief ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) Officer role during 2016.

Latest research carried out by cybersecurity specialist Webroot and data centre organisation IO, has revealed that 54% of employers plan to hire a Chief IoT Officer in the next year, especially in the education (63%), retail (63%) and telecomms (64%) industries.

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Self-employed need 'more support from the government'

Posted on 10th March 2016

Umbrella company contractors will be interested to hear that a recent review has revealed that those who are self-employed need more support from the UK government.

The review is calling for maternity pay in the first six weeks of leave to be raised and brought in line with Statutory Maternity Pay and for an Adoption Allowance to be made available to those who are self-employed.

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IT contractors could benefit from cyber attacks being top business threat

Posted on 7th March 2016

IT contractors may well benefit from a recent report revealing that UK businesses identify cyber attacks as their biggest threat, as increased concern could very well result in additional hiring of those with the right skillset.

Findings from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and British Standards Institution (BSI) have shown that 85% of business continuity managers fear the possibility of a cyber-attack, with 80% worried about the likelihood of a data breach similar to those suffered by Carphone Warehouse and Sony. 

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Contractors in high demand among internal communication teams

Posted on 4th March 2016

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to learn that a report has revealed high demand for those working within the self-employed sector.

According to findings from the fifth annual Internal Communications market survey carried out by the VMA Group, increasing pressure on internal communication has resulted in the growing demand for contractors and other temporary workers.

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UK government must support construction industry’s self-employed workforce, says IPSE

Posted on 26th February 2016

Umbrella company contractors working within the construction industry will be interested to hear that the ONS have released recent figures on the sector.

The latest report has shown that for 2015 as a whole, construction output grew by 3.4%, which is faster than the economy as a whole, but slightly slower than the 7.5% expansion recorded in 2014.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) have responded to the recent ONS figures.

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Number of financial services roles set to rise significantly

Posted on 24th February 2016

Results from a recent report have revealed that financial services roles are expected to rise considerably.

Findings from Robert Half’s latest 2016 Professional Hiring Index has revealed that senior C-suite executives across UK companies are planning to increase staff levels significantly over the first half of 2016.

An average 58% of senior executives leading finance teams across UK industries, as well as financial services executives, predict that they will create new jobs in the next six months.

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Professional job vacancies rise in Ireland

Posted on 23rd February 2016

Umbrella company contractors carrying out work in Ireland will be interested to learn that professional job vacancies have seen a significant rise.

Findings from the latest January 2016 Morgan McKinley Ireland Employment Monitor have revealed that last month saw professional vacancies up by 37% compared to the previous month.

Morgan McKinley Ireland’s operations director, Bryan Hyland, explained, Both indigenous and multilingual organisations are seeing an uplift in business driven by general economic growth both internationally and domestically.

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Increased UK business confidence could benefit contractors

Posted on 19th February 2016

Latest findings from the Lloyds Bank’s Business Barometer have revealed that confidence levels remain resilient among UK businesses.

UK business confidence levels have shown a steady start to the year, with the net score of business confidence remaining at 45% in January, which is consistent with quarterly GDP growth of 0.5 – 0.6%.

Data has revealed that the net balance of firms expecting their business or trading prospects to improve throughout 2016 increased by 10 points to 55%, which is the first rise in three months.

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Online personas could be hindering new job opportunities

Posted on 18th February 2016

Whether a contractor, freelancer of permanent worker, those seeking employment need to be aware of the fact that their online personas may be letting them down when it comes to interviews.

According to Sellick Partnership, creating a strong online brand is vital when it comes to looking for new job opportunities, as latest findings have revealed that many employers are finding that candidates are not living up to their ‘impressive online profiles’.

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Engineering contractors in high demand

Posted on 16th February 2016

Contractors working within the engineering sector will be pleased to learn that their skills are highly sought after. 

Findings from Giant group have revealed that the public sector is becoming more and more reliant on engineering contractors, rather than their permanent counterparts.

According to the recent data, the number of contractors working within the public sector has grown significantly over the last 12 months.   

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IT contractor’s daily rates two times higher than annual salaries

Posted on 10th February 2016

A recent report has revealed positive news regarding IT contractor’s rates of pay.  

Findings from's Contractor Pay Reports have revealed that IT contractor's daily rates are currently two times higher than the average annual salaries of permanent workers within the same roles. 

The data revealed that the best paying sectors for IT contractors are: 

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HMRC issue guidance on Contractor Loan Scheme's

Posted on 8th February 2016

Finally, we appear to have some "useful guidance" from HMRC advising contractors who are tempted by Contractor Loan Scheme's...

Published on 5th February 2016


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Contractor confidence remained high at the end of 2015

Posted on 8th February 2016

Latest findings from a national survey have revealed that contractor confidence remained high at the end of last year

The survey, carried out by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), in association with the freelance talent marketplace Upwork, found that 35% of contractors had increased confidence in their business outlook for 2016.

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Amazon to create up to 2,500 new jobs

Posted on 3rd February 2016

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that Amazon is to create a significant number of new jobs across all areas.

The online retail giant has reported that it will be creating as many as 2,500 extra jobs in Britain, taking the company’s UK workforce to 14,000 in total.

Amazon has invested nearly £5 billion into the UK in the last six years, and is also adding thousands of other jobs across Europe.

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LinkedIn announce its most overused buzzwords

Posted on 2nd February 2016

Freelancers, permanent workers and umbrella company contractors alike using LinkedIn as a means to find new job opportunities, will be interested to hear that the social media networking tool have revealed its most commonly used buzzwords.

According to latest findings from the social media platform, businesses looking to take on highly skilled professionals risk failing to catch their attention by not making themselves ‘stand out from the crowd’.

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Supply teachers feeling more secure than ever

Posted on 27th January 2016

Umbrella company contractors working within the education sector might be interested to learn that supply teachers are feeling more secure than ever in their roles.

Findings from a recent Giant Group survey revealed that almost 70% of supply teachers feel more secure in their careers compared to this time last year.

Interestingly, the report also found that the number of those who would choose a permanent role if offered, has also continued to fall for the third year in a row.

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The self-employed are now a key part of the UK economy

Posted on 26th January 2016

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to hear that recent ONS figures show that the number of those in self-employment has risen significantly.

Latest findings reveal that the number of contractors and freelancers across the UK has risen by 98,000 in the three months leading up to November last year, compared to the same time in 2014.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), welcome these recent figures.

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UK tech sector continues to flourish

Posted on 20th January 2016

IT contractors will be pleased to hear that the sector has seen significant growth since the end of the recession.

Findings have revealed that the number of IT based companies has increased by eight per cent in the last 12 months, which has in turn resulted in the sector creating new jobs at nearly three times the rate of the rest of the economy, as demand for IT skills expands.

According to Nixon Williams' analysed data from a number of resources, there are now 154,765 active IT businesses in the UK.

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Hiring on the rise within manufacturing sector

Posted on 18th January 2016

Umbrella company contractors working within the UK's manufacturing sector will be pleased to learn that opportunities are on the rise.

Latest findings from the Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing employment index revealed that job opportunities in the sector increased at its fastest rate in five months during December last year.

According to the research, there was a particular rise in manufacturing jobs within consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.

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ContractorUmbrella MD, Lisa Keeble wins CUK Best Forum Advisor 2016 Award

Posted on 13th January 2016

Not only did we receive third place in the umbrella company category this year for the ContractorUK Reader Awards, but we are pleased to announce that our MD, Lisa Keeble, or as she is known on the forum ‘LisaContractorUmbrella’, has won Best Forum Adviser of 2015.

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UK’s self-employment contribution to the economy 'can’t be underestimated'

Posted on 11th January 2016

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to hear that official figures have shown that the number of self-employed people in the UK reached a record high in the three months to October.

Findings from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also found that unemployment reached its lowest since January 2006.

According to the findings, further increase in self-employment suggests that the downward trend experienced earlier in the year has now been reversed.

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Seven million workers plan to change jobs in 2016

Posted on 8th January 2016

If you're one of the seven million permanent UK workers who have admitted to being unhappy in your current job, then joining the contracting community might just be for you.

A recent report carried out by CV-Library revealed that over half of workers surveyed (54%) are planning to make changes next year with regards to their career.

Interestingly, almost a third (30%) of workers said that the thought of returning to work in January made them feel unhappy.

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UK one of the five top leaders in use of IT contractors

Posted on 6th January 2016

Umbrella company contractors working within the technology sector will be pleased to learn that latest findings have revealed the UK to be one of the top five leaders in the use of IT contractors – outpacing the US

These findings come from an international study carried out by IT resourcing specialist Experis, where executives with hiring responsibility for IT workers, across ten countries were surveyed.

According to the research, 76% of UK businesses make extensive use of IT contractors, which is higher than the national average.

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Contractors could benefit from small business confidence

Posted on 4th January 2016

Umbrella company contractors could very well benefit from a recent survey revealing that a quarter of smaller sized businesses are expecting to expand over the next 12 months.

Latest findings from Close Brothers Asset Finance revealed that around 1.35 million small and medium sized firms have predicted expansion in 2016, which could in turn create more job opportunities for umbrella company contractors and freelancers.

Of those surveyed, 54% said that they are confident about their future prospects and the economy, believing that the worst is behind them.

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Hospitality sector faces busiest festive season

Posted on 29th December 2015

Umbrella company contractors working within the hospitality sector will be pleased to hear that the industry is set to experience one of its busiest festive seasons.

Recruitment specialist TeamJobs is challenging the well-known saying 'Too many cooks spoil the broth' by launching a new campaign to fill a flood of festive vacancies.

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Cyber security contractors experience significant surge in demand

Posted on 23rd December 2015

IT contractors with the right skills will be pleased to learn that the demand for cyber security experts has grown significantly.

According to findings from the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, recent high profile data breaches such as those at TalkTalk and Sony, have created a surge in demand for cyber security experts.

ManpowerGroup has seen a record number of requests received for specialists with IT security expertise in 2015 – four times the demand compared to last year

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