Now the economy is on the up, should your IT contracting game be on the up, too?

According to the latest economic surveys and data, the UK economy may grow by as much as 1.35% in the final quarter of 2013, which means potentially over 3% growth for the year. That’s better than the USA and Germany.

With so many elements of the UK economy firing on all pistons, could it be time for you to improve your IT contracting game? And if you’ve never tried contracting, or have retreated into a secure permanent IT role during the recession, maybe now is the time to consider starting/re-starting your career as an IT contractor.

Recent positive news on the economy includes:

·         The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)/Grant Thornton Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) confirms third quarter growth at 1.3%, predicts that firms will enjoy increased turnover and profits, and reckons the UK will be the fastest growing developed economy going into 2014

·         The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) JobsOutlook for October 2013 shows hiring intentions doubled compared to 12 months ago

·         The Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) UK Purchasing Managers Index for Manufacturing, Construction and Services all showed strong growth in their respective sectors, some at record levels, during October

·         The latest data from the Office for National Statistics confirms that industrial production output has increased by 2.2% over the last 12 months, led by mining, water utilities, pharmaceuticals, transport and electronics

And all that good news is before even considering the (REC)/KPMG Report on Jobs or Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor. Both confirmed that financial IT continued to perform well during September, and that the strong performance was likely to continue.

What was notable about both REC’s most recent Report on Jobs and the JobsOutlook was the emergence of skills shortages, particularly in IT, energy/oil and gas and engineering.

So, what does this mean for you and your contracting career?

·         If you are in contract, then when it comes up for renewal or you start seeking new work, then there is likely to be more choice and you may be able to negotiate a better rate – particularly if skills shortages start to bite.

·       If you are considering a return to contracting, then you may find work easier to come by as firms accelerate their hiring of contractors. You have a short window until mid-December, then your next opportunity to secure a new contract will most likely be from mid-January 2014. We would naturally be happy to assist if you need to incorporate a new limited company after your break from contracting.

·       If you are considering contracting for the first time, you will find a wealth of resources on this website, plus I would be delighted to spend some time with you to discuss the best trading option for your new contracting career.

Whatever your current status, seize this opportunity to up your contracting game as the economy recovers, with better paid and more interesting contracts.


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Shams Urrehman
MD SkyTax

Hi, I'm Shams Urrehman, Qualified accountant since 2005 and Director at SkyTax Ltd since 2009. I have been advising freelancers, management consultancies, IT contractors, SME’s and other businesses about accounts and tax planning.

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