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Venn Group Contract Recruitment Index shows vacancies up despite upcoming election

Highlights include: 

• Employment in London up despite upcoming election

• Overall vacancies up 7% month-on-month

• Public sector opportunities up 21% amid health and social care integration

Integrated care initiatives drive demand within public sector 

The March 2015 London Recruitment Index registered a 7% month-on-month increase in job availability compared to February 2015.  This rise in demand for professional talent can largely be attributed to a surge in opportunities within the NHS as a series of ground breaking Government initiatives designed to integrate the health and social care sectors – as outlined in the NHS’ Five Year Forward View – look set to invariably transform the core structures of local authorities across the UK.

Tim Dixon, director of Venn Group’s healthcare division, commented, “The public sector is preparing itself for the introduction of new models of care involving acute hospitals and their local partners, including primary and acute care systems and multispecialty community providers (MCPs). This is creating a need for HR, communications, and finance professionals to help manage the transition on a local level as organisations aim to be fully implemented by the 1 April 2016 deadline. Hospitals of the future need to be more outward-facing to remain sustainable, but need to ensure that they do not push the integration too quickly without getting other local organisations and partners on board.”

Shortage of permanent professionals pushes rates up in certain areas

Rates for those securing new assignments in March 2015 remained level when compared to last month with contractors reporting average daily pay rate of &pound245. Within the public sector there are a number of positions for interim professionals with experience of financial analysis and management able to secure extremely lucrative rates, in particular. Elsewhere, there has been significant demand for legal contractors, especially those with foreign language skills who have been able to claim hourly rates nearly three times the national average.

Financial year-end boosts need for accounting and analytical specialists  

Across the private sector, the Recruitment Index reveals that employers are still somewhat cautious over hiring decisions in the run-up to the General Election. Despite this, however, there has been a notable rise in demand for accounting professionals as organisations bring in interims to help manage year-end accounts and budgets for 2015-16.  There has also been a marked increase in demand for business analysts, big data specialists and infrastructure engineers as decision makers invest in increasing efficiency and profitability.

This demand is mirrored in the rates that these professionals are currently commanding, with Senior Test Analysts receiving up to &pound300 a day, and experienced Business Analysts making in excess of &pound600 a day.  

Robert Bowyer, director of Venn Group, said, "After years of austerity, businesses are finally investing heavily in future-proofing their systems and processes. According to consulting group PwC, occupancy rates in London’s hotels will hit a 20-year high of 84 per cent which is indicative of the positivity surrounding commerce and industry within the Capital. The fact that overall vacancies are up, despite election uncertainty, indicates that senior interim appointments will continue to surge after May.”    

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