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Thinking of making that first move into Contracting?

It all seems to be too complicated, it doesn’t have to be, it is actually much easier than you think!

The job sectors offering the most job opportunities in contracting seem to be Quality Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, IT and Aerospace.

So why do people contract? It could be down to various reasons, redundancy, looking to have more control over where and who you work with, to broaden your project experience or simply to secure more financial benefits.

Like everything contracting has its pros and cons, it is not always for everyone and can be quite daunting at first especially if you are leaving a permanent job.  Let’s take a look…

Pros of Contracting

  • Increased Earnings – Contracting gives you a higher hourly or daily rate than an equivalent PAYE
  • Variety – working with different clients, companies and on various different projects
  • Flexibility – You are your own Manager, you are in control of what projects you take on
  • Keeping a healthy work life balance – You can take time out in-between projects
  • No Office Politics – You are in and out, get the job done and move on.

Challenges of Contracting

Staying in Contract – You need to be proactive, register to recruitment agencies (ie CCP Recruitment) who specialise in your area of employment, keep an eye on job boards and get talking to contractors on site who may be able to point you in the right direction for the next upcoming project – build your  network and get repeat business.

  • Downtime between contract – If you are not in a contract you won’t get paid! However with the higher earning potential the downtime and loss of earnings can be kept minimal.
  • Holidays and sick days – You are not entitled to get paid for holidays or sick leave, given that your earnings will be much higher contracting you will find you are able to take time off unpaid.
  • Personal Development or Training – you are responsible for your own training and development so you will need to make sure your skills and current and marketable to the industry you are working in.

Now do I choose a Limited company or an Umbrella company?

These are the 2 main types on contracting which can be set up after you secure your contract.

Limited Company

·        Setting up your own Limited company yourself. Which will require a business bank account, Insurance such as Employers Liability and Professional Indemnity and a good accountant.

·       Alternatively you can use an organisation that offers Ltd company contractor services and can set up everything for you, you can choose the level of service you require and you will pay a fee after you invoice.

Umbrella Company

·        If you are looking at contracting short term this is a good way to go, the ‘Umbrella Company’ takes care of all the taxation, accountancy, administration and pays you a net salary after deducting national insurance contributions and income tax on your earnings.

“It is interesting that 36% of those surveyed who are in permanent positions are currently considering a move to contracting” (Yvonne Brick, Contracting Plus)


The jobs market is changing and there is no doubt of the clear trends appearing in people choosing contracting job above permanent jobs.

I’m a specialist senior recruiter within the technical engineering sector of CCP Recruitment and I’d be delighted to provide any market advice you may be seeking or indeed assist you in transitioning into you next permanent or contract job in Ireland.

Our offices are located in Galway , Cork and Dublin.


Anna McGowan – Senior Recruitment Consultant – CCP Recruitment, Ireland

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