By Amanda Vigar, Managing Partner, V&A Bell Brown LLP
As the economy starts to emerge from the downturn, the value of professional contractors to the recovery is becoming more vital.
Accountants, lawyers, web designers, IT professionals are making a vital contribution to the economy by providing flexible and expert service.
It is these individuals and smaller firms that are helping to get UK business back on its feet. Over 21,000 of these are PCG members;PCG is the largest association of independent professionals in the EU and is showing year on year growth. My firm was awarded PCG Accredited Accountant status in 2007 and has retained that status ever since.As a result we are seeing more and more of our clients winning contracts in both the public and private sectors.
The numbers of the professional consultants and freelancers is growing year on year. The number of self-employed people – often involving those who’ve launched their own enterprise following redundancy – has soared by 367,000 between 2008 and 2012 with the number of employees falling by 434,000 over the same period, according to the latest research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Companies are engaging experts to take them through the minefield of new developments in technology, practice and legislation. Getting the right advice can be crucial to the survival of a company and the maintenance of its good reputation.
Contractors look after their own tax, National Insurance and pensions.They don’t get paid for the time they’re not working because of holiday, sickness or indeed quiet periods. They know they have to perform every single day of their working lives and bring specialist skills. All in all they are higher performing and don’t cost as much as an equivalent employee.
Businesses that engage PCG members also have that added confidence that the contractors are not blinkered and working in their own silos. They share ideas and knowledge in forums and at regular events.
The key lies in raising the profile of professional contractors as they become an even more vital part of the economy, particularly as we move towards a sustainable recovery.
Amanda was the proud sponsor of The Huddersfield Examiner’s Community Award for courage, which was received by Theo Carnie, who suffers from a rare bowl condition.