A recent survey has shown that demand for freelancers among UK companies has increased, and that freelancers with digital and IT communications skills are among those most in demand.

According to the survey carried out by recruitment website Freelancer.co.uk, spend on outsourcing to freelancers by UK businesses rose by 134% over the course of a year.

Freelancer.co.uk claims that this increased outlay was largely down to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) trying to cope with the twin needs of keeping pace with new technological developments, and keeping their recruitment costs down to manageable levels.

Moreover, the survey reveals the search for these skilled freelancers was increasingly made outside the UK, leading to businesses in the UK becoming among the top hirers of freelance staff throughout the world.

Among the skills most in need by UK businesses, according to the survey, were those pertaining to:

• The development of apps and related mobile devices, with the availability of posts in this area rising by 226%, and Android-related jobs specifically increasing by over 146%

• HTML5, with jobs in this specialist field rising by 105% and, according to the survey, highly likely to increase further as more internet applications drop Adobe Flash in favour of HTML5

• Search engine optimisation, or SEO (which helps businesses to come to the attention of consumers visiting search engine websites, through the inclusion of strategically placed words and phrases in corporate material), with posts in this discipline increasing by 72%

• The building of links between websites, again to encourage consumers to visit a particular site – with jobs in this field rising by 89%

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