Super Contractors takes part in Wear a Hat Day

Today, we took part in Wear a Hat Day for Brain Tumour Research!  Wear a Hat Day takes place all over the UK. We, at Super Contractors, took part to help raise awareness and vital funds for this pioneering charity.

Gordon Hunter, Managing Director at Super Contractors, said: “The diagnosis of a brain tumour is devastating news to receive. Not only for the individual, but their family and friends as well. We are proud to help fund the fight against this disease which takes children from their parents and parents from their children before their time.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer! We felt we had to do something to make a difference. It is vital to have the support for research and funding for such a critical illness. It’s also why we are so passionate about Critical Illness Cover.

Critical illness cover pays out a lump sum if the worst was to happen to you and you were diagnosed with a serious illness. Having a Critical Illness Cover in place can help ease your recovery by paying out the money you need for your care and treatment, your recuperation, help pay off your mortgage or make up for lost income.”

Crispin Zeeman, Head of Marketing for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful to Super Contractors and are impressed by their commitment to helping our cause. Such support is vital in order to help us to fund the fight as we work to improve the lives of patients and, ultimately, find a cure for brain tumours.”

Brain Tumour Research helps fund an annual £1 million programme of research at its Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth. Further partnerships announced last year with Plymouth University, Queen Mary University of London, and Imperial College pave the way for a £20 million investment in brain tumour research over the next five years.

For more information about critical illness cover, freephone 0800 211 8700 or fill in our online enquiry form.

For more information about Brain Tumour Research visit www.braintumourresearch.org

 

Notes to Editors

Fundraising in its own right, Brain Tumour Research is also an umbrella charity, working in collaboration with Member Charities around the UK. Together with this network and supported by the fundraising achievements of our Umbrella Groups and fundraisers across the UK, over £4 million was raised during 2015 to fund both brain tumour research and to provide support for patients and families.

Brain Tumour Research’s Invest In a Cure manifesto calls on the Government and the larger cancer charities to increase national investment in brain tumour research to between £30 million and £35 million, in line with other cancers. This issue was taken up by the Petitions Committee as the subject of their first-ever inquiry, resulting in their report “Funding for research into brain tumours”. This led to a debate in the House of Commons in April 2016 where then Health Minister George Freeman MP formally acknowledged more must be done for brain tumour patients and their families and announced measures to begin to address the issue. Brain Tumour Research will be playing a key role in the Government Task and Finish group convened to take the issue forward.

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer…
  • Yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
  • 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour.
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.
  • Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.

Spring Budget 2017 – What Does It Mean For Contractors?

8 Gadgets Every Tech Loving Contractor Needs

Who doesn’t love a good gadget? Whether it’s the latest mobile phone technology, or the next big fitness wearable – we look at 8 gadgets every tech lovin’ contractor needs.

  1. Tablet computer

There are so many to pick from – iPad, Surface, Kindle, Note, Pad – spoiled for choice. Tablet computers are a must for those looking to work in a dynamic way.

They are a lightweight option that you can easily fit it into your day-to-day life as a contractor. They can easily be slipped into a bag or briefcase and won’t weigh you down like previous bulky heavy laptops.

With the ability to store files with online storage files with online storage such as the Cloud, OneDrive or Dropbox, and you’re able to sync all your apps across multiple devices – it’s even easier to manage your schedule and work remotely.

  1. GoPro HERO5 Black 4k Ultra HD – priced £349

GoPro’s newest model now features voice control, GPS and video stabilisation. The perfect action camera for recording extreme stunts, adventure holidays or if you’re on the slopes this Christmas.

IMAGE: GoPro http://shop.gopro.com/cameras/hero5-black/CHDHX-501-master.html

  1. Fitness Wearable Technology

With a busy work life, it can be difficult to stay active. With, what seems to be, the invasion of fitness wearables – you can monitor almost anything.

These devices can let you count steps, calories, workout minutes and more. Some have a vibrating reminder to tell you to move when you’ve been inactive for too long. They can also keep you connected with notifications for email, text, calls and more.

  1. ZutaLabs Pocket Printeravailable for special pre-order price $299.00. Looking to be released in Q1 2017

This portable printer (at just 10.2 cm in diameter) moves across a sheet lying flat on a table and prints out the document. You can connect from your Mac, PC, iOS or Android using Wi-Fi and print on all sizes of paper. The battery lasts long enough for one hour of printing and is rechargeable via micro USB.

IMAGE: ZUTA LABS

  1. Parrot MKi9200 Bluetooth Car Kit – price £229

For contractors that are always on the move and never out of their car, this hands-free system that combines music and phone tools is for you. It’s compatible with all music sources – be it iPhone, Android, USB drive or via Bluetooth. It has user voice recognition, so that you can stay safe and not take your eyes off the road.

IMAGE: Parrot https://www.parrot.com/uk/car-kits/parrot-mki9200#parrot-mki9200-details

  1. Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT-D – priced £279

Another device perfect for the contractor on the move. The DriveAssist 50LMT-D incorporates a 1080p dash cam with the usual sat-nav features. It includes a smartphone companion app, hands-free calling support, detailed graphics and lane change notifications.

If your car insurance company provides discounts for having a dash cam, you could potentially even save money on your premiums too.

IMAGE: Garmin https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/on-the-road/in-car-sat-navs/garmin-driveassist-50lmt-d/prod545380.html#gallery-dialog

  1. Virtual Reality Goggles – PS4 Virtual Reality (pictured) price £349.95

All contractors need to “switch off” from the day job. After a long day, there would be nothing better than getting away from it all. Unfortunately, booking an immediate flight to another country isn’t really a viable option. But with virtual reality goggles, you can absorb yourself in a different location without leaving the house.

IMAGE: PS4 Virtual Reality Goggles http://www.techradar.com/news/wearables/the-best-vr-headsets-2015-1292087

  1. RIF6 Cube – priced £299

This tiny projector is made for contractor movie-fanatics on the go. Measured at 2-inches cubed, designed for mobile devices, it can project a vivid 120-inch image onto any surface. Don’t expect to be watching Lord of the Rings through it, it has a battery life of 90 minutes.

IMAGE: RIF6 https://rif6.com/

 

What tech items are on your wishlist this year? Let us know via Twitter @supercontractUK

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Super Contractors is a broker specialising in arranging mortgages and life insurance specifically for Contractors. We help contractors secure mortgages all over the UK from our offices in Glasgow and Greater London.

Super Contractors not only represents us, but also our clients. We treat contractors like first class citizens and have a strong belief in justice, starting with not charging a broker fee.

Our expert mortgage advisers are trained to understand contractor specific challenges and we only work with contractor friendly lenders. Contractors come to us because of our fee free mortgage advice, speedy turnaround and super friendly service designed wholly around the needs of contractors.

We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the provider.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

10 Highest Paid UK Contract Jobs in Finance

With the Fintech sector booming, finance specialists are well sought after. See the below table for the 10 Highest Paid Contract Jobs in Finance in the UK:

SAP Finance Consultant - £508
SAP Finance Lead - £513
Senior Finance Analyst- £513
SAP Finance Specialist - £525
SAP Finance Project Manager - £525
SAP Finance Architect - £539
Finance System Manager - £550
Quantitative Finance Specialist - £850
Computational Finance Specialist - £850
Head of Finance - £925

Source: Sonovate, Q4 2016, November 2016

7 Tech Items That Are Obsolete… Just Like Our Broker Fee

Technology comes and goes. It becomes smaller, faster and more powerful. These days it seems crazy to carry around a camera, video camera, MP3 player, laptop, paper maps, etc when it can all be done from your single smartphone.

Read on for our list of 7 Tech Items That Are Obsolete… Just Like Our Broker Fee.

  1. Dial-Up Internet

Aah the good ol’ days. Back when it took a lot of effort (and time) to connect to the internet. The excitement begun when you could hear the horrible screeching noise of a 56K modem trying to dial in. Then wait a good few minutes while Ask Jeeves loaded and you were ready to surf the web…slowly.

  1. Stylus PDA’s

The personal digital assistant. A palmtop. A handheld device that combines computing, telephone, internet and networking features. These are the future, we won’t need anything else… Wait, what’s this Blackberry… oh a touch-screen smartphone with everything I need. See ya Stylus PDA.

  1.  Backing Up Your Data On Floppy Disk or CDs

No need for those physical devices anymore now that our heads are in the Cloud. If you’re not backing up or working online, you’re doing it wrong.

  1. Fax Machine

Who needs fax machines when we can do more things in a quicker and easier manner? Email an agreement with an electronic signature, share a file through WhatsApp or even upload documents to Dropbox. Fax machines, fax off.

  1. Buttons on Phones

Remember when your screen took up less than 50% of your screen. Then there was those bumpy things at the bottom of your device, called buttons. You used them to dial, you used them to text and you even used them to play Snake. They were simpler times – but would you go back?

  1. Dedicated MP3 Players

This isn’t so obsolete but just evolved and integrated within other technologies. The MP3 player is now a standard on any mobile device. Even having individual MP3 files are now becoming less common, with albums and playlists now available to be streamed from Spotify or Google Play.

  1. Pagers

Also referred to as a beepers. The text messaging of the past, that had an inability to reply to a page. Receiving a page came with a total panic of “OMG IT’S BEEPING! Quick where’s the nearest phone so I can call them?!” Thanks to mobile phones, pagers are dying off.

What have we missed? Can you think of tech items that have become irrelevant or unneeded? Comment below.

 

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At Super Contractors, we specialise in contractor mortgages. We understand the financial status of contractors and work alongside head office underwriters who are contractor friendly to get our clients the mortgage they need.

We treat contractors like first class citizens and have a strong belief in justice, starting with not charging a broker fee.

We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the provider.

For more information about getting a mortgage as a contractor, join us – call  0800 211 8700 or fill out our online enquiry form

 

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice.

 

5 Ways Brexit Won’t Impact Contractor Mortgages

A Super Contractor should be prepared for every eventuality. While many in the city may not have backed Brexit or even anticipated the result – I was busy calculating what a leave vote would mean for contractors like myself. No, my powers are not psychic in nature, but simply those I put into operation every day in my role as a (Super) IT contractor – foresight and planning.

Here are my five reasons why Brexit won’t impact negatively on UK contractor mortgages.

1. The BOE Contingency Plan

Like any super contractor worth his cape and day rate – Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, was quick (as The Flash) to announce that the Bank had prepared for every eventuality; duly unveiling a cunning contingency master-plan designed to protect the economy from negative effects in the the outcome of leaving the EU. In fact, since the last crash of 2008, the Banks have been simulating and stress testing far more severe scenarios than those we currently face to shape the battle plan. Are they ready? It’s worth noting that the money held by the biggest British banks is ten times what it was before the crisis of 2008; some £130 billion of capital and £600 billion of high quality liquid assets; something Carney says ‘gives banks the flexibility they need to continue to lend to UK businesses and households, even during challenging times.¹ In short, the UK banks are more stable – while ‘Fred The Shred’ could only lend from his piggy bank to close friends and family, Mark Carney has the resources of Lex Luthor, and a better head of hair besides.

2. Even Lower Interest Rates for Contractor Mortgages

Whatever way you voted, the fact is ‘we are where we are’. So, while the banks navigate a foreseen period of uncertainty and adjustment, the BOE is widely tipped to slash UK base interest rates from a record low of 0.5% to 0.25% by the end of 2016.² Gadzooks! If Interest rates stay this low, we’ll all be forming an orderly queue at our banks for (almost) free loans. Take that, Payday Loan Lenders!

So what does that mean for contractor mortgages? Well, with lower BOE interest rates in place, mortgage lenders could take a hatchet to mortgage rates to lure customers with new, cheaper deals. In short, not only could this mean lower contractor mortgage rates, but also lower asking prices for available property, while uncertainty abounds.

3. Carpe Diem (I knew learning Latin in school would finally come in handy)

As Contractors, we have the ability to speculate and act fast. On 16th September 1992 George Soros made an estimated £1 Billion from short selling the GB Pound on Black Wednesday. Granted, he almost collapsed the UK economy in the process, at an estimated cost of £3.3 Billion³, but the point is, know your onions, be agile, and the opportunities are there.

UK Pound Devalued
Today, the value of Sterling is at a 30 year low against the USD, and other currencies. This is a positive for exported UK products and services who are currently enjoying renewed international demand as a result of buyers gaining more value for money.

Lower UK Corporation Tax Rates
With George Osborne proposing the lowering of UK Corporation Tax (CT) to 15%, the UK is being cited as a potential Tax Haven for Corporations.

Booming FinTech Market for Contractors
Despite all the uncertainty, what is certain is the fact that Financial Technology Contractors are in demand. Here’s a quick list of the highest-paid contract IT jobs in UK FinTech companies (figures refer to average daily rates):

Project Management: £425
System Administration: £450
Software Engineer: £464
Database Administration: £491
Database Developer: £495
Programme Management: £503
Unix Administration: £544
Technical Architect: £625
ERP: £700
IT Security: £700

Source: Sonovate 4

4. Brexit – Great for contractors

Ahead of the Brexit vote, many head honchos were putting big appointments on hold. According to a poll by Randstad, around a quarter of the professional firms surveyed were using contractors due to the uncertainty. The result is that many companies may continue to hire ‘contractors’ or temporary staff in the short term.5 So make hay while the sun shines!

5. Upheaval Means Transformation Projects

You heard it here first. I predict an increased demand for Super Contractors (like me) as the UK starts getting its own shiny new systems in place. Speaking with many recruitment agencies, they sense the UK leaving the EU could mean many high level transformation projects will be required, triggering substantial demand for fellow skilled contractors and freelancers in IT, Finance, Business Analysis, etc.

A key strength of being a Contractor is our flexibility. Employers and recruiters know this, and we’ll be the first workers called upon when the work requirements come in. So, if David Cameron, BOJO and Farage are considering their next moves – potentially retraining as Contractor Systems Analysts could be the smartest thing they’ve done this year!

In summary, despite all the uncertainty of the UK Brexit, I believe it will bring many opportunities for Super Contractors. What are your thoughts?

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Sources:

  1. Statement From The Governor Of The Bank Of England Following The EU Referendum Result | Bank Of England. Bankofengland.co.uk. N.p., 2016. Web. 1 July 2016.
  2. London South East News, Bank Of England Chief Hints At Interest Rate Cut After Brexit Shock
    Thu, 30th Jun 2016 18:04
  3. UK Government Papers released under 2005 Freedom of Information Act show that if the government had maintained $24 billion foreign currency reserves and the pound had fallen by the same amount, the UK would have made a £2.4 billion profit on sterling’s devaluation.
  4. Sourced by recruitment finance provider Sonovate, Q1, May 2016
  5. IQ Contracts, Brexit ‘may benefit contractors‘, 29 June 2016

Top 10 Web Dev Contractor Day Rates in Scotland

Research, compiled by Sonovate, for the last quarter using Innovantage uncovered 4,700 contract roles advertised in Q1 2016. The following list shows the average day rate for web development contractors in Scotland.

Analyst Developer - £245
Software Engineer - £277
Python Developer - £300
.NET Developer - £305
Drupal Developer - £350
Interface Developer - £389
Pega Developer - £390
UI Developer - £406
Informatica Developer - £427
DevOps Engineer - £454

Source: Sonovate, April 2016 – Average Day Rate Q1, 2016 for Web Development Contractors in Scotland

The 10 Highest-Paid Contract IT jobs in UK FinTech

FinTech is booming in the UK. With this boom, more and more of these companies are needing to hire the very best in IT. Below shows the highest-paid contract IT jobs in UK FinTech companies (figures refer to average daily rates):

 

Project Management: £425
System Administration: £450
Software Engineer: £464
Database Administration: £491
Database Developer: £495
Programme Management: £503
Unix Administration: £544
Technical Architect: £625
ERP: £700
IT Security: £700

Sourced by recruitment finance provider Sonovate, Q1, May 2016