Guide to Contractor Jobs During COVID-19: Which Industries are Hiring

Which industries are still hiring contractors? Guide to contractor jobs during COVID-19

The unfolding coronavirus crisis has had an impact on all aspects of daily life, including on the economy, businesses and workers.

For many of the 1.77 million independent contractors in the UK, contractor jobs will have been lost as a result, with certain industries being hit harder than others.

In light of the pandemic and the temporary booms and busts that have followed, many contractors will consider transferring and applying their skills to fill contractor jobs in other industries. After all, as skilled project workers, contractors are well equipped to adapt their skill sets to suit a range of requirements.

What’s more, with the IR35 legislation being suspended until April 2021, contractors can move freely between different industries without being caught out by the reforms.

In this article, Umbrella Supermarket look at which industries are continuing to hire during the COVID-19 crisis, helping contractors understand where they can transfer their skills and find contractor jobs at this time.

The Tech Industry 

Although some tech companies have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, there are still companies looking to hire, especially in the IT sector. For example, IT tech giants, including the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple are all currently hiring. In fact, in the second week of April alone there was a 31% increase in searches for IT roles.

Following the government’s announcement that they would be delaying the roll out of IR35 legislation, we have seen a surge of tech firms taking on the skills of contractors, with IT contract jobs increasing by 48.27% in Q1 of this year.

So, what areas of the tech industry are currently in highest demand?

  • Software program engineers
  • Data scientists
  • Online Logistics
  • Cybersecurity
  • AI and machine learning

This is great news for IT contractors whose skills continue to be in high demand during this difficult time, and is a valuable insight for contractors in other fields looking to develop competitive skill-sets to meet demand in this area.

The Healthcare sector

As demand for healthcare workers has spiked with the current crisis, the NHS are currently on a recruitment drive – having asked 65,000 former doctors and nurses to return to service. What’s more, the number of healthcare roles advertised in the last 2 weeks of March increased by 17%.

Pharmacies are also experiencing a strong demand for workers, with chains such as Lloyds pharmacy currently recruiting around 1500 staff, while the social care sector has experienced 20% higher demand for both permanent and temporary roles.

As well as healthcare contractors, the NHS is also seeking skilled workers in other fields, such as scientists and lab technicians, making this a great opportunity for tons of contractors with a wide range of skills and expertise in other areas.

Transport & Logistics Roles

To keep up with the current surge in food, retail and online orders, transportation and logistics roles are facing high-demand. In fact, transport and logistics jobs were the most in-demand of any jobs in March alone.

While many industries have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, transport and logistics have experienced growth as the UK economy adjusts to changes in lifestyle and demand during the pandemic.

What’s more, there are a range of highly transferable skills contractors can bring to logistics roles - whether you have experience in project management, data analysis or can prove you are a great problem solver, opportunities in the transport and logistics sector are currently ripe.

Food Retail 

The food retail sector has experienced huge growth amidst the crisis, with major supermarkets announcing significant hiring plans, offering thousands of permanent and temporary contract jobs. In fact, in March alone supermarket giants advertised 40,000 jobs as demand increased.

As well as requiring front line staff to work on the shop floors, supermarkets are also hiring for various roles in warehouses, delivery and IT - ideal roles to be filled by a range of contractor skills.


As many bricks and mortar shops have had to close their doors, businesses and shoppers have adapted to the world of online shopping.

It’s no surprise that companies such as Amazon have experienced a massive uplift in orders and are looking to hire around 75,000 workers in their distribution centres, warehouses and offices to cope with this demand.

Again, the ecommerce sector is well suited to a wide range of contractor skills, from marketing, web design to project management, and is currently in strong demand for more, temporary workers.

Customer Service 

There are currently over 5,000 vacancies in the UK for customer service roles. In fact, companies like Virgin Media are creating 500 new call centre jobs in the UK to meet increased demand.

With both permanent and fixed-term roles available, there are plenty of opportunities for contractors in this area. Whether a contractor has managerial experience or unrivalled problem solving skills, there’s plenty of temporary work to be found in customer service.

 Find the right umbrella company to make finding contractor jobs easier 

Contractors looking to find and secure their next role during the COVID-19 crisis may well be weighing up their options to find the easiest route going forward. From operating under a  limited company, umbrella or PAYE, there are several paths contractors can take, each with its own advantages and draw-backs.

For contractors that want to experience the freedom of choosing their next role, with the ease of having their tax returns, admin and paperwork sorted for them, choosing an umbrella company is the best option.

But, not all umbrella companies are the same, which is why Umbrella Supermarket’s super handy comparison tool is a quick and easy way for contractors to find the best umbrella company for their needs. Umbrella Supermarket lets contractors compare the best umbrella companies in just 2 minutes, meaning they can get on with the important stuff.

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