Contrary to the recent Centre for Cities study suggesting that London was siphoning professional talent from the rest of the UK to the detriment of flagging regions, new figures suggest that Umbrella Company Employees and other independent pros in the UK’s contracting community have no need to head for the capital in search of work: the regions are doing just fine.
Data from the Venn Group confirms that London is doing well, with a 5% year-on-year increase in professional jobs and contracts; however, similar vacancies in the Thames Valley rose by 31% and by 25% in the Midlands, closely followed by a 24% rise in the North East and a 20% rise in the South West. The Central and Eastern region saw an 8% increase in openings.
The driving force behind these new jobs is undoubtedly the private sector, according to Venn’s statistics. With vacancies rising by 26% year-on-year, the private sector created over six times as many professional jobs as the public sector’s underwhelming 4%.
IT and finance contractors did particularly well in the Thames Valley, where the improving fortunes of FMCG and light manufacturing firms drove increasing demand for their skills. Legal professionals saw increased demand in the North East thanks to a positive property market in the region; in the South West, contractors specialising in project management in construction and building enjoyed a pronounced hike in demand.
Venn Group’s national account manager, Jodie Finn, cautioned against underestimating “the positive impact the regions are having on the nation’s economic recovery as a whole”.