Skills crisis ‘will boost contractor pay’

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Claims that recruiters are struggling to fill vacancies for “everything from software engineers to sales” have prompted one commentator to claim contractors are the answer.

Dave Chaplin, founder and CEO of Contractor Calculator, was responding to research by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

The report found that a lack of skilled candidates is stifling hiring activity, leaving the UK jobs market feeling “somewhat lethargic”.

“When (recruitment agency) billings fall at the same time as vacancies increase, you know that there are simply not enough suitably skilled candidates to go around”, said Dave, a former IT contractor in the Square Mile.

“Contractors are well placed to meet these skills shortages, with rates likely to increase in response to supply and demand mismatch.”

REC and KPMG found that demand rose across all nine core contracting disciplines in June, including IT and engineering. Many recruiters reported that a shortage of qualified candidates was an ongoing problem.

KPMG partner Bernard Brown said: “This growing skills shortage is cross sector and cross discipline.

“The lack of qualified candidates is also driving up salaries, with the right individual able to command a significant premium from businesses anxious to secure their skills and experience.

“The primary concern remains the impact this unwanted pause in recruitment will have on the performance and productivity of UK plc. Without the right staff it will be very difficult for businesses to keep pace with demand, let alone achieve their long-term growth potential.”

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