The number of engineering contractors working on railway services has shot up as a result of government investment in projects such as Crossrail, according to new research by umbrella employment provider, Giant Group.

Results from the organisation’s latest survey of contractors working across the UK show that 16% of engineering professionals have reported working on rail service projects in the past year. This is up significantly from just 1% in 2013, and 2% in 2012, indicating the impact that government investment in infrastructure has had on the contracting market.

This is further supported by the latest trends report from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) which found that engineering contracting opportunities have risen by 22% year-on-year and 5.2% in the last month alone. The ongoing construction of Crossrail has led to an increase in opportunities available for contractors and this is set to continue with other projects such as HS2 and the expansion of Heathrow Airport being lined up.

Other results from Giant Group highlight the optimism currently being shown in the market. Currently 57% of contractors are expecting a rate increase in the next year, up 2% on statistics from 2013. Only 8% of contractors are expecting their pay to decrease over the next 12 months.

Matthew Brown, managing director of Giant Group commented on the findings, “The results from our latest survey highlight the impact infrastructure investment has had on the contracting market. And the good news is this should be sustainable in the longer term. At the moment the main demand is coming from the Crossrail project, however there’s also the planned development of HS2 and the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport in the pipeline. This means opportunities should be abundant for engineering contractors for the foreseeable future.”