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    Crystal News

    Outlook for contractors remains healthy but talent shortages threaten business prospects, says REC

    October 22nd, 2014

    The latest JobsOutlook report from the REC reveals that demand for temporary/contracting staff remains securely in positive territory, with 45 per cent of the 600 employers polled reporting that they plan to increase their shorter-term headcounts over the next three months and 38 per cent plan to do so in the coming year. Umbrella Company employees and other professional contractors are being used by a majority of employers: 65 per cent reported that they are turning to agency staff to gain access to key skills. The outlook for permanent role seekers was also impressive, with 89 per cent of the respondents planning to expand permanent headcounts over the next three […]

    New digital curriculum is too narrow to equip students for the tech sector

    October 21st, 2014

    Umbrella Company employees contracting as IT professionals can rest assured that demand for their talents will remain strong for the foreseeable future if they possess knowledge of Google Analytics, PhotoShop, and CMS platforms such as WordPress. This information comes from the niche digital jobs board Bubble Jobs. Bubble claims that the UK’s digital curriculum is too narrow to equip students with the full repertoire of skills most in demand in the tech industry. The UK this month became the first country to introduce computer programming as a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools with the aim of tackling the growing digital skills shortage; however, according to Bubble, while the […]

    Lion’s share of money lost to Treasury is due to illegal tax dodging, says CIOT

    October 20th, 2014

    New figures from HMRC suggest that illegal tax dodging costs the Treasury five times more than the amount lost due to tax avoidance. The ‘tax gap’ ‒ the difference between the amount of tax due and the amount actually collected ‒ stood at 6.8% or £34bn in 2012-13, up slightly from the 6.6% of the previous year but, according to the Revenue, continuing a broadly downward trend. The tax gap was 8.5% in 2005-6. On closer inspection by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), however, the figures reveal that the lion’s share of money lost to the Treasury comes as a result of frankly nefarious practises. £5.4bn was lost to […]

    Engineering skills shortages drive major rise in the number of non-EU engineers coming to UK

    October 17th, 2014

    Rising demand for engineers has driven a 36% leap in the number of engineers coming to the UK from outside the EU over the last year, official Home Office figures reveal While businesses often turn to skilled Umbrella Company employees and others from the professional contracting community to plug skills gaps when permanent talent is unavailable, home-grown engineers are now in such short supply that demand is outstripping their availability. As a result, 1,171 engineers from non-EU countries came to the UK in 2013, rising from 859 in the previous year and representing the biggest rise since the global downturn struck in 2008. Commenting on the figures, Simon Curry, CEO […]

    Risk and compliance professionals to see surge in demand in payday loans market

    October 16th, 2014

    Financial services Umbrella Company employees contracting as risk and compliance specialists are poised to see an explosion in demand from the payday loans market after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) forced Wonga to write off £220m in debts owed by customers who could not afford repayments. Recruitment experts have already seen a 30% increase in senior level instructions compared to this time last year and are confidently predicting a further 30% leap. The FCA ruled that 330,000 Wonga customers in arrears for 30 days or over should have their debts written off. A further 45,000 customers will not be required to pay interest on their outstanding loans and will be […]

    Will new Contracts Finder tool open government contracts up to sole IT contractors?

    October 15th, 2014

    Umbrella Company employees and other independent freelancers contracting as IT professionals may stand a significantly better chance of securing government contracts thanks to the Cabinet Office’s newly revamped Contracts Finder online tool. Originally introduced in 2011, the tool rapidly became a central focus point for suppliers, receiving around 166,000 page views every week. Work has since been undertaken to enhance the tool’s intuitiveness and make it simpler for end users to navigate, as well as to provide more open information on government process. The latter was specifically intended to encourage sole contractors and SMEs to become more involved in government contracts. Currently in alpha phase, Contracts Finder is expected to […]

    London sees massive post-summer hike in recruitment activity

    October 14th, 2014

    Umbrella Company employees living in or near the capital are enjoying bountiful times as far as new contracting opportunities are concerned. A new study by CV-Library reveals that the number of jobs and contracts posted or renewed in the London area has rocketed by 52% over the last 12 months, with a 20% increase occurring in the last month alone. Industries such as accounting, finance, insurance and construction saw the most significant growth in posted jobs and contracts. It also seems that job- and contract-hunters in the area have been seeking new work opportunities more actively, as applications rose by 6% between August and September, representing a year-on-year rise of […]

    Freelancers can no longer be politically ignored

    October 13th, 2014

    The electoral impact of the UK’s self-employed and professional contracting community has been highlighted by a new poll revealing that nearly nine out of ten freelancers intend to vote at the next general election. The survey of Umbrella Company employees, contractors and other freelancers was commissioned by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, and it found that 88% of the respondents are likely to vote. A 4.6 million-strong army of voters should, IPSE claims, become a key area of interest for campaigning politicians as the May 2015 general election approaches. Commenting on the research, IPSE’s director of policy and external affairs, Simon McVicker, said that politicians should […]

    ATT calls for RTI review after HMRC sends thousands of incorrect liabilities summaries

    October 10th, 2014

    A leaked copy of an HMRC email reported in the Daily Telegraph has led for calls for a review of the Revenue’s flagship Real Time Information (RTI) system after error-riddled liabilities summaries were distributed to thousands of employees. The new system requires all employers, including Umbrella Companies with their professional contracting employees, to submit pay and tax calculations every time a payment is made to an employee; however, the system has been beset by difficulties. In the light of this latest debacle, the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has called for the involvement of independent tax experts in a review of RTI. ATT president Natalie Miller described the latest revelation […]

    Thousands of job losses at Lloyds will not dent buoyant financial services hiring

    October 9th, 2014

    Umbrella Company employees looking for new contracting assignments in the financial services sector have felt a frisson of anxiety over reports in the Times that Lloyds Banking Group intends to slash thousands of jobs and shut more branches; however, a leading recruitment firm insists that this will not undermine the newly rising confidence and buoyancy in the sector. The original newspaper report claimed that Lloyds Banking Group’s digitisation strategy lay behind the cuts, which will drive greater automation of its business. Jobs in mortgage processing and new account opening would be amongst those falling under the axe, the Times reported. According to Andrew Breach, Page Executive’s global banking and asset […]