Over 1/3 of Contractors are NOT updating their skills and accreditation's frequently enough - a recent Linked IN opinion Poll confirms. Jenrick IT recently ran an opinion poll within an exclusive Global IT Contractor Group on Linked IN. The Group has in excess of 550 members from a complete spectrum of IT roles and industries. The findings clearly showed that over 1/3 of contractors were not updating their skills and accreditation's frequently enough. These statistics mean that 1/3 of the contractor marketplace are limiting their contracting opportunities and were not maximising their potential pay rates. Philip Fanthom, MD of Jenrick IT, commented on why he was not surprised by the findings: "It is very easy for contractors to get 'sucked in' to the environments in which they operate. There can be an insular feel to the markets in which they operate due to the intensity of the projects they are involved in. This often means that self-development, in terms of skill enhancement and the gaining of accreditation's, is often neglected." He went on to explain why contractors do not place great importance upon this: "By their own admission, contractors are more interested in the here and now. As a result they show far less interest in planning for the future, especially if you compare them to how a permanent employee plans for the future. In addition, the contractor market of the past has been dominated by the use of referral and recommendation as a source for a new contract." Yet, Philip goes on to explain how the market has changed, warning contractors not to ignore the changing landscape: "Contractors need to be aware of the external environment in which they operate. More and more Clients are seeking skill validation, in the form of external recognition through accreditation's, as a core part of their initial candidate screening process. We had one such example last week when we presented two contractors yet the one with the accreditation's was chosen over the other. Why? Because HR departments play an important role in this process and are working from Job Specifications. Gaining accreditation's are not about trying to impress fellow contractors, they are about communicating your skills with greater effectiveness to those not familiar with your specific experience." Phil also confirmed why skill development was also so important: "Skill development is all about 'succession planning' for your business. The product (ie. your current core programming discipline) that is your current best-seller, may not be in 3, 5 or 10 years. As a contractor you are running a business and as such you need to consider how future market trends will impact upon your business success. Therefore, we always urge our contractors to expand and explore their skills plus keep one eye firmly on the future." For more details, please contact Jenrick IT