Flying in the face of endemic speculation that the Brexit vote of June would cause a jobs meltdown in the City, new evidence suggests that precisely the opposite has happened; at least as far as Umbrella Company Employees and other contracting professionals specialising in change and transformation are concerned.

A new market analysis from specialist recruiter Venquis revealed that contractors with these areas of expertise have never had it better: far from seeing their work opportunities evaporating following the Brexit vote, they have become hot property for City hirers, as businesses seek to manage significant change projects.

Even in the context of post-referendum market uncertainty, City companies are acutely aware that skills shortages in these particular areas of specialised expertise are extensive. As a result, contractors replete with the sought-after skills have seen unprecedented demand for their talents.

Venquis spokesman Sean Anderson said: “Our insurance team has seen a surge in demand for analytic specialists as firms seek to catch up with other sectors in improving and transforming the customer experience by developing more digitalised and agile business models.

“And as demand intensifies, contractors are commanding lucrative rates. A business analyst in the insurance sector for example, can earn between £400 and £600 per day depending on their level and area of expertise.”

Mr Anderson cited market consolidation as another big driver of change. Venquis has witnessed a growing number of mergers and acquisitions within the insurance sector, he said, which has necessitated the transformation and integration of technology systems and processes. These are major projects, he explained, and all of them needed resourcing.

Demand for change and transformation contractors has also been propelled by the ongoing evolution of the regulatory framework, Mr Anderson noted. He went on to explain that a major new revision of EU regulations in the form of post-financial crisis additions to the 2007 Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, known as MIFID II, is due to come into effect in 2018. This, in turn, is likely to drive demand for contracting professionals with relevant transformation and change skills even higher.

Mr Anderson said that with the approach of MIFID II, more change is the only certainty.

He concluded by noting that the impact of Brexit is likely to accumulate in magnitude with the passage of time and increase the need for major change projects, adding it would appear that the gig economy and financial services could go hand in hand.

Venquis’ findings concur with recent data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), which found that while permanent vacancies within financial services flatlined year-on-year, those for contracting professionals surged by eight per cent.

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