PAYE umbrella contractors who have worked chiefly in the public sector may have to learn a new language if they are to find work in the commercial world, a leading recruiter has warned.

This month the government’s public spending cuts will really start to take effect and a veritable exodus of former public sector workers is well-nigh inevitable. Amongst them will be people considering setting up as freelancers and seeking work through umbrella companies in the commercial sector. However, such a step may not be plain sailing, according to Mark Staniland, Managing Director of Career Transition at Hays Recruitment.

Mr Staniland believes that many refugees from the public sector could well find themselves in commercial environments where they will need to talk “a completely different language” if they are to succeed in finding new work.

The expert went on to say that in order to secure new jobs, ex-public sector workers (which will include contractors who have worked predominantly in that sector) will have to show that they “understand how the private sector works, make their experience relevant and demonstrate commercial acumen.”

He also pointed out there were actually more similarities between the two sectors than many people seem to assume but jobseekers “need to be able to work hard to show how this is the case.” They will, he added, need support from their current employer if they are to find work in a more commercial environment.

Gloomily, the New Economics Foundation has forecast that as many as 1.4 million people could remain unemployed upon leaving the public sector.

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