Demand for consultants grows in UK

16 September 2010

16 September 2010 | Natalia Da Silva

The UK consulting sector grew by 6 per cent in the first half of 2010, according to the Management Consultancies Association (MCA).

The increase is a significant improvement on the same period in 2009 when the sector contracted by 2 per cent, the MCA’s UK Consulting Industry Half Year Report 2010 found. Total income from fees grew by around £400 million in the first six months of 2010.

Consultancies reported increased demand from contintental Europe, up by 40 per cent, with companies in that region hiring a quarter of their consultants from the UK.

MCA chief executive Alan Leaman said: “This is a successful start to the year for the consulting industry, and anecdotally firms are reasonably confident that growth will continue through the second half.”

The market expansion shows buyers are not deterred from purchasing consultancy services, despite the uncertain economy. A similar trend has been reported in the market for temporary workers, where purchasers are responsible for contracting employment agencies.

Figures from temporary labour procurement advisers de Poel show a 27 per cent increase in the number of hours worked by agency staff during August compared with July.

De Poel CEO Matthew Sanders said: “The findings suggest organisations are expanding their workforces to accommodate increased business activity, but are seeking an alternative to permanent recruitment and ‘safe ways’ of responding to market growth while the economy remains unstable.”

The statistics showed UK businesses saw temporary workers as valuable assets when facing uncertain times and the fear of a double dip recession, he added.

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