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Many UK firms believe contractors are vital to the economy

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Contractors will be interested to learn that a new survey has shown more companies are expecting to create new jobs over the following year, and almost all firms surveyed believe that flexible workers are important to the UK economy.

The recent CBI/Accenture Employment Trends Survey, which questioned over 300 respondents from UK firms employing over one million people, found that 51% of firms expect their workforce to be larger in 12 months’ time, with private sector workforces anticipated to grow across all regions, with Yorkshire and Humberside and the east midlands the most buoyant.

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said, “We’re starting to see the recovery have an impact on business plans to hire, with more than half of firms boosting staff numbers next year and more opportunities for young people. 

“It’s good to see jobs being created across most regions, not just London and the south-east. Our labour market performed well throughout the recession and pay caution and flexible contracts will continue to underpin growth.

“For the UK to remain an attractive place to do business, as the recovery takes hold, wage growth must go hand-in-hand with growth in productivity.”

The Employment Trends Survey also revealed positive attitudes with regards to contractors and other flexible workers, as almost all firms (97%) see flexible employment, such as use of agency workers and zero-hour contracts, as either vital or important to the UK economy.

Respondents said that they enable companies to cope with fluctuating demand (87%), respond rapidly to growth opportunities (81%) and provide a stepping stone into work for those vulnerable to long-term unemployment (58%), as well as offering choice to those who don’t want full-time work (65%).

Katja Hall added, “Most businesses believe that flexible employment patterns, including agency and zero-hours work, are a critical tool when demand fluctuates and a firm needs to react quickly. These contracts create opportunities for people looking for work that might not otherwise exist, and also attract investment to the UK.”

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