New report highlights disappointing trends in white-collar contractor recruitment
White-collar jobs fell in February indicating the UK’s economic climate continues to put pressure on the highly skilled labour market. But reports of potential mass job losses in London’s financial district following the UBS take-over of Credit Suisse could have wider impacts on anyone serving these banks.
The UK needs to “hold its own as a globally attractive destination for international contractors and the self-employed – a standing that hasn’t yet been achieved and won’t without immigration reform and a review of Off-Payroll.”
That’s a sentiment shared by the UK’s Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) – the trade body for the professional recruitment sector, which recently published statistics on recruitment trends of highly skilled workers.
White collar jobs fell in February as the economic climate continued to put pressure on the highly skilled labour market, with placements also dropping as employers continue to struggle to recruit, said the report.
“We need an attractive route of employment for global talent if economic growth is to be achieved,” said Ann Swain, Global CEO of APSCo.
Swain said the current Tier 5 and fast-track visa schemes are “too narrow in focus and funding” and should be increased for the Home Office. This change she said would support existing systems and drive new visa routes which are more viable for highly skilled, self-employed project workers.
“Off-Payroll is also continuing to impact the flexible labour market and needs to be amended to accommodate the different requirements of highly skilled contractors and the self-employed,” said Swain.
“With the OBR predicting that the UK will avoid entering a technical recession this year, the demand on the labour market is only going to increase over the course of the next few months,” she said.
She continued, “While the Chancellor’s Budget had a promising focus on removing barriers to encourage people into employment and upskill the country, these solutions are focused on the long-term, not the immediate need.”
How will the UBS-Credit Suisse merger impact contractors?
After negotiations that took place during last weekend leading up to the signing of the merger agreement, UBS and Credit Suisse concluded that it would be in the best interest of their shareholders and their stakeholders to enter into the merger.
This move comes after the Swiss Federal Department of Finance, the Swiss National Bank and FINMA asked both companies to conclude the transaction to restore necessary confidence in the stability of the Swiss economy and banking system.
Credit Suisse’s merger announcement stated that UBS has expressed its “confidence” that the employment of the staff of Credit Suisse will be continued.
However, reports have since been published indicating that thousands of jobs could be at risk. According to reports, there are 5,000 Credit Suisse and about 6,000 UBS staff based in London.
Credit Suisse staff in London are already looking for new jobs, according to Sky News. That’s not just investment bankers but back-office staff.
According to Australia’s News.com, Credit Suisse says all previous agreements with staff and contractors will be honoured, emphasising all is “business as usual”. That for now, includes contractors hoping to work out until their contract’s end date.
Headhunters are in a frenzy to broker deals though to attract in-demand Credit Suisse talent. Those in contractor roles would be wise to update their portfolio and get as much intel as they can. However, they should not be surprised if hiring senior managers rescind offers, delay sending contracts or do not react fast in general.
Everyone is looking out for themselves, so best of luck jumping the queue.