As businesses feel their way foreword after the pandemic, many are turning to contingency staff to plug essential skills gaps while they restructure their operations. The uncertainty of the marketplace, particularly with the Brexit transition period ending by January, means that businesses will require access to temporary talent without committing to long term costs. This is a good time for contractors to watch out for spaces in the marketplace that align with their skill – here we take a look at some of the sectors where contractor opportunities are opening up.
IT Opportunities for Contractors
While the IT sector took a hit during lockdown as many businesses put their projects on hold, demand in ICT is now rising as some mobility returns to the UK. With technology forming the business ‘lynch pin’ of the ‘new normal’, IT remains the dominant area of all agency hiring, accounting for 35% of all vacancies over the period since the shutdown. ‘Software Engineer’ experienced the biggest demand in recruitment, with Cyber Security and DevOps expected to experience significant uplift the in the coming months as businesses switch their business models.
Contractor Opportunities Within Hospitality
With hospitality businesses expected to start reopening from July, June saw a 10% increase in hiring for this sector. It’s estimated that after lockdown the British public is looking to spend £3.8bn on hospitality in the first week of reopening. However, it’s not just ‘hands on’ staff that are needed. The massive restructuring that will be needed in this sector to ensure that businesses operations remain viable is calling for professional interims with backgrounds in organisational change & development, finance, HR and operational roles such as general manager.
Contractor Opportunities Within Financial Services
As people turn their attention to financial matters that they’ve side-lined during lockdown, the finance industry is experiencing and unprecedented demand for advisors, negotiators and handlers. As many as 30,000 additional contingent customer support staff could be needed by banks, insurers and credit card firms to help deal with customers’ financial issues. The emphasis here is on human skills as well as financial expertise, as the ability to relate and empathise with customers is key.
Contractor opportunities in Construction & Home Improvement
While building projects get back to business, increasing the permanent skills shortage in this area for engineers, builders etc, there’ also a need for skilled tradespeople such as plasterers and joiners as the public turn their attention to home improvements. While lockdown meant that the industry ground to a halt without access to properties, more than a third of respondents reported that they were comfortable letting tradespeople into their home to carry out work. One in eight UK adults plan to spend money on their homes and gardens in the next six months. It could be that the increased amounts of time that people are spending in their homes is leading them to prioritise this environment.
Contractor Opportunities in Online Retail
Further evidence for a boost in the home improvement economy is news from B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher, which has announced it will recruit between 1,500 and 2,000 workers in the UK. Online sales at both brands more than tripled during April and May, creating temporary jobs during the summer with the possibility of longer-term extensions.
The BBC reports that delivery firm DPD plans to recruit 3,500 drivers and 2,500 support staff, such as mechanics and parcel sorters. Package delivery to consumers rose by an estimated 40% during lockdown. DPD’s Dwain McDonald was quoted by the BBC as describing that period as the “biggest boom in online retailing” ever experienced in the UK.
Moving to meet market demand will be key for contractors this year, allowing them to secure the best rates and increase their security. If you’re looking for contracting work, then a good place to start is our guide on how to win the best contracts post-Covid. ContractingWISE have access to a wide range of hassle-free services that can help you with setting up a limited company or finding the right umbrella company for you. To talk to a member of our team, call: 0203 642 8679