Use more freelances engineering firms are told

Engineering firms of all sizes could make more and better use of freelance engineers if they knew how to integrate them effectively, a contractors’ support group has claimed.

The PCG (Professional Contractors Group) said that there are around 55,000 freelance engineers working in the UK, according to business researchers at Kingston University, and that they could offer companies the flexibility they need to grow in the current business climate and respond quickly to the evolving needs of business.

PCG managing director John Brazier said that the organisation has developed an interactive guide which would help bosses and contractors develop and maintain a successful working relationship and avoid pitfalls when planning a project.

An industrial engineer who has been freelancing for three years, Russell Watkins, agreed on the need both for freelances and for well-planned working relationships. “Confidence in the industry is slowly returning and those firms which had to make cutbacks to survive are now lacking the vital skills and resources they were forced to let go,” he said. “Now they are calling on freelancers to fill that gap and it is important that the process and communication is right for the projects we are briefed to undertake.”

John Brazier added: “The UK boasts many talented engineers who are offering flexibility to companies; helping them manage risk and unlock innovation and talent within their business. I believe that trend is set to grow as Britain will increasingly rely on freelance engineers to get the job done.

“I would say to every MD in the UK, while your competitor is thinking about it, you could have a team of freelancers delivering it but it’s important to understand how to effectively manage a freelance/client relationship and know how to get the best out of a freelance workforce.”

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