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Seb Anthony

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Freelance training market


Is anyone else finding the freelance IT Training market incredibly tough going at the moment? I came home last night to find all my courses for next week cancelled (hadn't received the confirmations yet of course, so I have no come back).

It's getting to the stage where I'm seriously going to have to look at trying to get a second job. Anyone else having problems?
Paula Jones

10 Responses

  1. options
    Hi Paula

    Sorry to hear about the current hard time.

    Our company, Now Training, is a managed training service company and clients use us to source public courses and arrange in-house training for them so maybe we can help.

    What training do you do and specialise in and what are your rates?

    Please feel free to send me your cv and rates via email ([email protected])or give me a call 01920 460218.

    Kind regards


  2. tough freelance market?
    Yes it is generally getting tougher for some – better for others – but the market does appear to be slowing – if you believe the surveys.

    One of the reasons (IMHO) is that as a supplier many of us just ‘deliver’ its about adding value. With decreasing day rates it is becoming increasingly difficult to go the extra mile for many clients.

    AS a profession we need to be proud of our price – charge a realistic price and seek to build relationships and added value.


  3. Price
    I’d love to agree, but it’s not always possible when your day rates are dictated to you by agencies…

  4. rates dictated by agencies??
    Hi Paula, I know that from your experience that day rates appear to be dictated by agencies BUT you do not have to accept what they are offering.

    While trainers accept low rates they will stay low – when trainers start to refuse to work at those rates the market will dictate what happens – if there are too many trainers the rate will stay low – as soon as suppliers cannot get the trainers the rates will go up!

    Remember that the agencies OFFER a rate, it is our decision to accept or reject that offer.

    Equally do you not have a cancellation clause in your agreement with your agencies? I do. 50% if cancelled within 2 weeks 100% if less than 5 working days.


  5. Just say no and educate them whilst you are at it
    I agree with Mike on cancellations. I’ve spent many a worthwhile conversation educating agency bookers to install a cancellation period. It helps the agency and me.
    Sadly once they get another contract, they change staff and you have to do it all over again but thats agencies for you.

    Just say NO. You’ll soon gain respect.

  6. Educating agencies..
    I think I still have so much to learn about surviving in this business. Thanks for the advice guys, I think I’m going to try out the efficacy of the word “no” to renegotiate some of my current rates.

  7. Throwing in the towel
    After a period of nearly a month without -any- work, I believe I’m going to have to concede defeat.

    It’s back to the joys of the permanent job search.

  8. Throwing in the…
    Hi Paula – sorry to hear this is the decision you have come to.

    There are many peaks & troughs in the freelance market – some can last as long as 6 months.

    What strategies have you tried? As I know that many IT training companies are looking for trainers? Its just down to day rate and location flexibility?

    Have you registered with the likes of or ?

    While these ar not agencies they do have providers looking for trainers. In addition do you use these (and other forums) to provide value to potential clients? Many people use these forums to how how much they know or to ask questions but they are also valuable marketing tools. I for one get most of my work as the result of my interactions on sites like this.

    Whatever you do next I wish you well.


  9. …the towel
    Hi Mike

    The agencies I use currently have nothing for me. I don’t have the funds to register on trainerbase, and things are pretty grim at the moment.

    This isn’t my first stint as a freelancer, but it’s by far the most difficult; I managed to build up some funds last time so I had money to fall back on. This time I don’t have enough to live on.

  10. the towel
    As I said in a prev message I wish you well – the freelance world can be harsh.

    All the best


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