New research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has revealed that UK businesses are increasingly relying on the help of skilled contractors to ride through the recession.

The APSCo survey found that limited company contractors and freelancers are providing companies – particularly in the banking and law sectors – with flexible resources to help them to overcome spikes in workload.

According to the findings, there has been a four per cent rise in temporary roles in the past 12 months, with permanent jobs falling by two per cent.

The research also revealed that law firms are looking to temporary workers for when they have additional projects, so that they don’t have to take on permanent employees.  The UK Marketing and media industries are doing the same, mainly due to the fact that they have suffered falling advertising revenues because of the current economy.

APSCo chief executive Ann Swain is quoted by the news provider as saying: “Businesses still don’t have the confidence to make permanent hires when they can use temporary staff instead.

“Hopefully, the UK’s recent positive GDP figures will prove to be a shot in the arm for UK professional service firms and lead to more confident permanent hiring of staff.”

These findings are very similar to the latest Venn Index, a quarterly survey of hiring trends, which revealed that there was an overall rise in temporary recruitment (3%) during the last quarter.

Robert Bowyer, director of Venn Group, said of their findings, “As predicted in the last edition of the Venn Index, the economy is showing positive signs of recovery and temporary employment levels in the UK are once again on the up.”