Rise predicted in interim public sector finance jobs
By Vivienne Russell | 5 November 2012
Short-term public sector finance contracts are set to rise in the coming year, freelance accountants believe.
In a survey of 376 accountancy and finance contractors, published today, almost half (43%) said they expected growth in temporary job opportunities. This is up from 38% in last year’s survey, carried out by employment provider Giant Group.
Matthew Brown, Giant’s managing director, said: ‘The coalition’s cost-cutting plans have created a lot of work for finance teams within the public sector, who are having to manage costs more effectively in order to cut public spending and reduce the deficit.
‘But with budgets still being squeezed, there is considerable pressure to keep permanent staff costs to a minimum. This should create some opportunities for accountancy and finance contractors as a way of delivering the skills needed without breaking limits on permanent staff numbers that have been in place.’
He added that contractors would be ‘relied upon’ to ensure public sector bodies were controlling their costs and making more efficient use of their resources.
But the expected growth in public sector opportunities is set against a perceived decline in prospects in the financial services sector. Ongoing problems in the banking sector and the effects of the lingering eurozone crisis have had a ‘knock-on effect on demand from other big users of accountancy and finance contractors in the City’, said Brown.
Just 17% of contractors expect more job opportunities in financial services over the next 12 months, down from 24% last year. Confidence in this sector has been declining steadily since 2009.
More accountancy contractors in this sector are seeking the security of long-term contracts rather than the higher pay rates offered by short-term contracts. More than two-thirds (69%) of the contractors surveyed said they would prefer the security of a long-term contract to higher hourly pay.