PAYE umbrella contractors may do well to turn to small and medium sized enterprises in the search for new work placements in the coming months, especially if they specialise in IT contracting.  That is the conclusion to be drawn from the latest Manpower Employment Survey Outlook, at least, which reveals that the UK’s small firms are driving job creation well ahead of other employers.

The survey gathered responses from more than 2,100 employers across the UK, all of whom were asked about their recruitment intentions for the forthcoming quarter.  Overall, the trend is slightly upwards: the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook for Q3 (July to September) stand at +3 per cent.  But when looked at separately, SMEs declared hiring intentions of almost three times this level, with an outlook of +8 per cent.

UK Managing Director of Manpower, Mark Cahill, said: “SMEs were amongst the first to shed jobs during the recession, but we’re now seeing them build their workforce again and becoming an increasingly important source of job creation in the UK”.

He added, “It seems when it comes to job vacancies, small is beautiful.  Candidates sometimes assume that bigger is better when it comes to employers, but these statistics clearly point to the opposite.” He noted that demand for workers with expertise in the IT skills market in particular was soaring.

The Manpower Survey is in line with figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics, which showed that manufacturing output in April was 1.3 per cent higher than 12 months previously.

It may not quite be time to pop any champagne corks, but at least a return to economic growth of sorts appears to be underway.

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