Umbrella companies supplying the IT skills market north of the border enjoyed a sharp increase in demand during August, with contractors in engineering and construction also seeing an encouraging rise in vacancies.
This is the verdict of the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs, which reveals that a third of the recruiters contributing to the survey reported a significant increase in temporary billings – the fastest rate of growth in four months, in fact, and appreciably stronger than the UK average.
Candidates seeking permanent roles, however, suffered falling demand for a second consecutive month. This was the fastest decline recorded since December, although permanent placements fell throughout the UK. Scotland’s dip was the sharpest, however.
The survey shows that demand for temporary roles, which include PAYE umbrella contractor assignments, rose in seven Scottish employment sectors. Specialists in IT contracting enjoyed the greatest increase, although demand for engineering and construction contractors also rose modestly.
Donald MacRae, the Bank of Scotland’s chief economist, hailed the rise in temporary billings as a “welcome improvement” in the Scottish labour market, even though permanent roles fell. Acknowledging that there were still challenges to be faced in maintaining the trend toward increasing employment, he added: “The Scottish economy is showing resilience in the face of the global slowdown.”
The report confirms trends revealed in last week’s labour market statistics, which showed that employment continues to grow in Scotland and at a faster rate than the UK average.
A spokesman for the current Scottish administration said that the government and allied agencies were channelling “every penny we can” into infrastructure projects, building roads, schools and houses “to stimulate growth and create jobs.”