What will 2017 hold for contractors? In the wake of the Brexit decision and the timescale and detail of Brexit still unknown we are in uncertain times. Add to this the global uncertainty that is currently being felt following the election of Donald Trump and making business predictions at the moment could feel as unreliable as gazing into a crystal ball.
There are some trends that we feel we are able to predict with some degree of certainty.
Things will be tough in some sectors
The economic climate is uncertain and this is likely to lead to some challenges. The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) recently downgraded its GDP growth prediction for 2017 to 1.3 per cent. Inflation is rising and fluctuating exchange rates could have a negative impact on the cost of fuel and materials all having a knock on effect on industry and contractors.
Investment and finance will be difficult to secure
When it is difficult for businesses to secure investment and loans then developments stall and demand for temporary workers and contractors can decline. However on a positive note times of uncertainty can lead to increased use of flexible workers and sub contractors because employers are reluctant to take on new, permanent staff. Using contractors on short term projects enables businesses to meet demand without committing to long term recruitment costs.
Demand for skilled contractors in IT is going to continue to grow
We will continue to see high demand for skilled contractors in the IT sector, particularly in areas such as big data, IT security, coding and development. Demand will be high and for specialists with demonstrable experience rates will too!
Construction workers will see high demand for their skills
The construction industry may not be feeling confident about 2017, uncertainty over Brexit and the fluctuating pound are denting confidence but the government has announced significant investment in infrastructure and house building. We predict that this investment combined with the current skills shortages in this area will mean plenty of opportunities for contractors in this sector as well as the potential to negotiate attractive rates.
At Sterling we are preparing for 2017 to be a very busy and productive year!