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Contracting a key part of UK economy

Published 3rd August 2015

If employees are looking for an opportunity to extend their work/life balance, there are few better choices than to start contracting. With the ability to apply their skills between businesses and add value across the industry, these individuals are beginning to become an important part of the UK economy.

In a recently released report from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce’s (RSA), the organisation noted the rise of so-called microbusinesses?, which includes the self-employed and contractors.

According to the report, there are now five million microbusinesses in the UK – up from the 3.5 million recorded in 2000. In fact, 96 per cent of private-sector firms in the UK are made up of between 0 and nine employees.

This fact is confirmed by ContractorCalculator?, which explained that contractor numbers have steadily increased over the last 30 years. At the same time, the number of large and medium-sized businesses have declined – highlighting the impact that contractors are having on the economy.

ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin explained the importance of working productively with contractors.

“Contractors have swelled in numbers since the recession and are now a mainstay of our economy,” he said.

“It is important that those contingent workers who deliver vital strategic skills, often making up for the shortfall in available skilled permanent staff, are recognised and rewarded for the support they provide.”

Contractors – skilled and talented

Based on the RSA report, employees are getting themselves more qualified and as a result are more desirable as a contracting option. In 2001, 20 per cent of the self-employed workforce had a degree or equivalent qualification – compared to the 28 per cent recorded today.

Mr Chaplin added that this meant contractors can be useful strategically, not just technically. 

“It is hard to discard the positive impact made by those who are self-employed, when highly regarded contractors are being placed into senior positions, including change management and corporate governance,” he summarised.

Will contractor numbers continue to rise?

According to both the RSA and Mr Chaplin, contracting numbers across all industries will continue to increase moving forward. Highlighting its autonomy and management potential, it is described as a “positive career choice”.

As such, businesses and recruiters will need to ensure they have the systems in place to help meet the needs of contractors. Contact the expert team at Oncore Services to learn about our software packages and the associated benefits.

Contracting a key part of UK economy