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There was cause for cheer for our Scottish clients this week in light of the December Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs – which clearly shows that umbrella contractors working in IT and engineering have nothing to worry about this year. Contractors who operate through umbrella companies will be heartened by the figures, which show that Scotland is outperforming the UK – and as the report confirms, Scotland has ‘strong IT and robust engineering contractor demand’ which has kept it in positive growth during the last quarter of 2011.

We were especially interested to see that increased rates and higher contract billings were reported for Aberdeen – making it clear that activity in the UK offshore industries, such as renewables-led oil and gas and offshore – is increasing. This is great news for umbrella contractors in the oil and gas industries, whilst umbrella IT contractors were also given good news by the report. Apparently IT and computing were heading up the demand ‘league tables’ in December, showing a growth index of 62.6. The Bank of Scotland states that any index figure over 50 highlights growth, which means that this score shows Scottish demand for IT umbrella contractors is extremely high. Numerous IT ‘centres of excellence’ – for sectors such as financial IT and video games, and support for Scotland’ energy and offshore sectors – call the region home, and this is fuelling the demand which the report has identified.

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