Highly-skilled Umbrella Company Employees and other freelancers in the UK’s professional contracting community are enjoying a significant rise in demand for their talents in the public sector, according to the latest Government Index (GI) study from Comensura.

During the financial year from April 2103 to March 2014, public sector departments increasingly turned to temporary/contracting staff, whose numbers rose by 2.7% on the previous year. The likely causes are ongoing freezes on permanent recruitment, continued budgetary restraints and stubborn difficulties in filling vacancies. By turning to temporary/contracting staff, public sector employers have found an immediate solution to acute resourcing problems and benefited from high levels of flexibility and access to sought-after expertise and skills as and when needed.

The study also reveals a consistent trend toward hiring highly-skilled temporary staff, which will be of particular interest to professional contractors, with IT contracting roles soaring by 11.2% and professional white collar contracting roles by 10.5%. Such impressive increases strongly indicate that public sector departments are reaching out to independent professionals as never before to source much-needed skills, experience and expertise that may not exist in their existing permanent workforces.

Comensura’s managing director, Jamie Horton, said: “The growth in professional white collar temporary workers, especially in information technology, is indicative of a rapidly changing public sector, which needs to access specialist skills and expertise on a short-term or project basis. As the economy continues to improve, we could see a talent tug of war between the private and public sector for highly-specialist temporary and contractor labour.”

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