According to the latest research, contractor demand in the public sector has increased substantially, with the demand over permanent staff increasing.

The report, which comes from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, shows that public sector service providers are now hiring contractors in order to maintain service levels, which reflects “the ongoing funding cuts as part of the coalition government’s measures to reduce the budget deficit.”

Because of how contractors work, using their skills means that the public sector is able to reduce their permanent headcount whilst still maintaining their required commitments.

A fifth of all the organisations increased their use of contractors during 2012 when compared to the previous year, with a great deal of this growth coming from the public sector.

The highest demand in the sector was for a few main roles such as skilled managers, technicians and professionals – although many potential applicants did not possess “the necessary specialist or technical skills.”

Against a general backdrop of increased competition for the best qualified talent (there has been a sharp spike from 20 per cent in 2009 to 62 per cent in 2013), a great deal of the contractor demand is currently centred around larger organisations (i.e., those that have more than 5,000 employees) with smaller firms as a general rule not carrying the same demand.

Hayes HR director Barney Ely said:

“We are starting to see confidence slowly returning to the jobs market with interesting and challenging opportunities available for those highly skilled professionals who are looking to make their next move,”

“Employers are facing a competitive market when trying to attract people to fill skills gaps.”

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