Umbrella Company employees and other skilled freelancers are likely to find themselves in acute demand in London, with a new CBI/KPMG study revealing that almost half (45%) of London employers are struggling to find the talent they need.

IT and technology professionals are in especially short supply: one-fifth of the 115 London employers polled said they were struggling to source suitable candidates for these roles and two-thirds said they were facing significant challenges in filling highly-skilled roles.

Even so, well over half (59%) are optimistic about the economy and 47% are confident about their own firm’s business growth over the coming six months.

Lucy Haynes, the CBI’s London director, urged employers to work closely with schools and colleges to equip future professionals with the skills needed to drive the capital onwards. She also called on policymakers to make London an attractive option for skilled workers, stating: “To keep the capital internationally competitive, as well as attractive to skilled workers, policymakers need to look at further streamlining the visa system. We would also like to see the mayor take urgent action to free up land for house building and invest more in the city’s transport infrastructure.”

Richard Reid, KPMG’s London chairman, said that finding the right skills in the capital was becoming an “increasingly complex” challenge. He added: “Failure to act swiftly on the skills agenda will undoubtedly see London slip in its global reputation as a world-class business destination.”

In the meantime, skilled contractors may well find opportunities in abundance as companies strive to plug talent gaps.

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