A study carried out by KPMG/Total Politics has shown that as a result of the recession and cuts of up to 15% in local authority budgets, major job cuts are likely in the next 18 months. HR recruiters have claimed that this will create opportunities for contractors and freelancers.
UK Head of Government at KPMG, Ian Hasdell said, “Reductions in Whitehall funding to local governments in England and Wales could be in the order of 15 per cent in real terms, the toughest squeeze on council finances in the post-war era.”
Director of Optimus Consultants Mike Henry, commented, “Clients will require an expertise in areas of change. Those councils that are experiencing change will be letting people go in certain areas.”
This was echoed by the Associate Director of Hudson HR, Anthony Pierce. He said, “Organisational change professionals will be in demand on short to medium term contracts. Employee relations staff will be in demand. They might need to up skill there. The big opportunity is in organisational development.”
The survey responses showed that 57% of local authority chief executives agreed that reductions in staffing levels were, “very likely”. They also admitted that they were uncertain how they would uphold service levels, with efficiency cited as one of their main concerns.
This is set to be a hot topic as the general election looms within the next twelve months with cuts in spending predicted whoever wins power. Professional contractors look set to benefit from these cuts as their expertise will be called on to fill gaps in services.