Record numbers of females entering the IT contractor market
A record number of females are now working at IT contractors, according to data obtained by the Office for National Statistics. Whilst females are still largely under-represented in the IT sector, females in IT Consultancy roles now represent 16.5% of the market in comparison to 9.3% in 2013. Growth in the IT Consultancy sector generally also grew by 4.5% in the past year.
Growth in the IT Consultancy market is seen as being beneficial for the UK economy as Contractors are not limited to working with just one business. Working across multiple businesses and sharing expertise across a number of industries, the reach of the IT Contractor can be far and wide. Improving IT systems and processes undoubtedly has a positive impact to those businesses the IT Contractor works alongside, in turn improving the British economy.
Growth in the tech sector in the UK has been harboured previously by talent shortages; businesses vying for the much sought-after skills of the IT specialist have seen drawn-out recruitment processes and a general lack of staff available to fulfil their requirements. By engaging with IT Contractors, businesses receive relevant and specific IT guidance, allowing IT strategies to be developed and rolled-out without delay.
Contracting has previously been seen as a high-risk approach to earning a living; contracts are not guaranteed and there is the potential for the Contractor to be out of work and therefore without earnings for unfixed periods of time. However, in sectors where skills-shortages are prevalent, the move to Contractor can be financially attractive for the industry specialist. Demand for skills in the IT sector inevitably increase the day-date the Contractor can charge, and also reduce the likelihood of periods of being out of work. This reduced level of risk may be a contributing factor in the growth of the sector in the UK.
Making the move to Contractor can often mean that specialists work as much, if not more, than when they were employed and charge much higher rates than an employee could charge. The ability to work across multiple businesses at the same time, doing days here-and-there can also be an attractive proposition; keeping the work fresh and interesting by working with new teams and across a number of objectives and also offering flexibility in terms of working days which suit those with families. From the perspective of the business engaging with the contractor there are a number of benefits; skills gaps are quickly filled, day-rates are paid as and when necessary negating the need to employ someone indefinitely, and down-time for sickness and annual leave is no longer a concern as Contractors are engaged for specific timeframes and to deliver identifiable targets. It would seem that the rapid levels of growth in the IT Contractor sector are because the role benefits businesses and industry professionals alike.
If you are considering making the move to Contractor, you may find these articles helpful:
If you’re a Contractor looking to engage with professional services firms to support the growth of your business, you may find our interactive Best Option Tool / Supplier Directory of interest to you.
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