City IT Contractors enjoy 13% rate rise as recovery continues
The 2014 edition of the Robert Walters Salary Survey shows that IT contractors working within the financial services sector are once again in high demand, following several tough years for the banking sector.
Contractors working in the City are earning, on average, 13% more than they did one year ago – significantly more than the 5% increase recorded across all industry sectors over the same period (excluding the public sector).
Following the credit crunch, the majority of new contract roles have been created to fulfil new regulatory requirements, however the demand for contractors since then has spread to new projects as the economy has recovered.
IT contractors have been increasingly sought to fill front office roles – another indicator of renewed business optimism – the most sought-after skills being Java, C++, C# and Python. Many e-commerce and investment banking firms have also increased their Scala requirements over the past year within the City. Android skills are also in demand – heralded by some as ‘the new Linux’.
According to the same report, pay rates for non-IT financial contractors are rising at around 6% per annum – twice that of traditional staff.
The report’s authors suggest that rate inflation is being driven by a number of factors – headcount restrictions (which have been in place since the recession), the need to fill specialist regulatory roles, and increased demand for specialist staff as the banking market returns to health.
Peter Milne from Robert Walters, said; “With many firms taking a risk-averse attitude to permanent hires, contractors are benefitting from significant increases in salary, as well as other advantages such as completion and retention bonuses.”
Security-cleared contractors warned over LinkedIn group
The Ministry of Defence has sent a circular to security cleared contractors, advising them on ‘sensible use’ of social media sites, as it has been revealed that 26,000 people have joined a LinkedIn group – SC or DV Cleared Professionals.
As the name suggests, the group has been formed specifically for individuals who have been security vetted to work on sensitive Government projects.
The MoD circular suggested that membership of this type of group calls into question a person’s “judgment and fitness to possess clearance.”
The problem appears to be that membership of this type of online group could identify individuals as potentially working with classified information… and this could pose a security risk.
You can read our guide to security clearance here.
New campaign to highlight freelancing across Europe
The PCG has backed a new campaign which aims to unite independent professionals who are working anywhere in Europe.
The ‘Freelancers Movement’ has been set up to enable individuals working for themselves to highlight the important role freelancers play in European economic life.
Freelancing has been growing at a rapid rate across the EU – there are 92% more freelancers in the Netherlands, for example, than ten years ago.
You can find out more on the campaign’s website, set up by Joel Dullroy, at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/eu-freelancers-movement.
Accountant highlights benefits of freelancing
Following on from the publication of the latest ONS workforce statistics, which show that over 300,000 more people are now working for themselves since the end of 2011, Easy Accountancy have highlighted the benefits of freelancing.
In a recent report highlighting the rise of freelancing in the UK, the firm says that the main benefits of going freelance include; “flexibility, making your own decisions, better pay and being able to work on projects you enjoy.”
Clients benefit too, as they need only pay for services they actually need – freelancers don’t come with the same baggage as permanent staff (including Employers’ National Insurance Contributions, sick pay, benefits and a whole range of employers’ duties and responsibilities).
Heather Dore, Regional Manager at the firm told us; “Freelancing has become the norm for many professionals who want to be in control of their careers, time and finances. Many decide that once they have tried working for themselves they never look back.”