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Contractor Industry News

Cyber security skills in high demand

Posted on 5th April 2016

Umbrella company contractors with experience in cyber security will be pleased to learn that these skills are in high demand.

Findings from the latest Professional Recruitment Trends report, carried out by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), have revealed great news for IT professionals, revealing that demand for cyber security grew by almost 70% between 2012 and 2015.

This is 40% higher than the overall growth rate for IT professionals.

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Contractor vacancies on the rise, outstripping permanent roles

Posted on 4th April 2016

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to hear that latest findings have revealed contract vacancies outstrip those for permanent roles.

Recent survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) have revealed that both contract and temp vacancies have increased across the professional staffing market, with opportunities up by 6% year-on-year. 

In comparison, permanent vacancies increased by just 2% year-on-year.

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Umbrella Expense Changes from April 2016

Posted on 4th April 2016

From 6th April 2016 HMRC will assume that, if you provide your services through an agency, umbrella company or your own limited company, you are subject to supervision, direction or control, (SDC), or the right of SDC and:

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Contractor cyber security skills in high demand

Posted on 1st April 2016

IT contractors will be pleased to learn that those with cyber security skills are the most sought after within the UK’s growing jobs market.

Latest research from recruitment finance provider Sonovate has revealed that overall growth for contractor cyber security roles has reached a year-on-year high of 19%.

This level of demand is expected to grow even more by up to 30% over the next year.

According to the recent finings, the highest month-on-month demand is for consultants (52%), network security engineers (26%) and analysts (24%).

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REC calls for more women in engineering

Posted on 31st March 2016

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has called for more encouragement of female engineers, in order to prevent a skills shortage crisis within the sector.

Latest findings have revealed that 54% of engineering recruiters believe that skills shortages have become more apparent in the last 12 months, and a further 28% say shortages are just as bad as they were a year ago.

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Self-employed have higher job satisfaction than permanent workers

Posted on 29th March 2016

Findings from a recent survey have revealed that self-employed professionals across the UK have reported a much higher satisfaction in their job compared to those working in full-time roles.

The Bright Blue survey, which was based around those in self-employment who are on a low income, found that as many as 80% of contractors are happy with their working life, compared to just 74% of full-time employees.

A 'low income' refers to having an equivalised gross household income below 60% of median household income.

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ContractorUmbrella Contractors: Claiming expenses post April 2016.

Posted on 24th March 2016

Following a year of alleged “consultation” just one paragraph in the Budget 2016 Red Book that confirms the Government’s intention to restrict the availability of tax relief for travel and subsistence expenses where services are provided through an employment intermediary, generally regarded as recruitment agencies, umbrella companies and PSCs.  Here’s the solitary paragraph:

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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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