Umbrella Company employees and other freelancers in Scotland’s professional contracting community have nothing to fear from the upcoming independence vote, and their recruiters have every reason to feel optimistic, APSCo chief executive Ann Swain has claimed.

Ms Swain conceded that public sector-related business among recruiters specialising in the professional jobs and contracts market would be likely to face some funding constraints, as a ‘yes’ vote would inevitably mean the replacement and funding of a large number of UK-supplied services. Even if there was a ‘no’ vote, the referendum outcome is still likely to have a “subduing effect” on spending, she added.

Ms Swain was upbeat about the outlook for the Scottish recruitment market, however, despite the uncertainty surrounding the vote. Figures from Agile Intelligence shared at APSCo’s recent Scottish members’ meeting revealed a buoyant and profitable recruitment market, which is currently worth more than £2.5bn.

“Scottish firms on aggregate have seen average or above-average net fees growth in 2014 and the outlook should remain positive as economic recovery broadens geographically and across more industry sectors,” says Sue Dodd of Agile Intelligence. “Despite the slowdown in North Sea production, there is continued strength in the energy job market, together with some recovery in the financial services sector. We are also seeing signs of a wider upturn in business support services and construction.”

APSCo will support the Scottish professional recruitment industry all the way, irrespective of the vote. An independent Scotland, Ms Swain insisted, would make no difference “to the support and representation we provide.”

It appears that demand for contract and permanent professionals will hold up well north of the border.


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