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Contract jobs in UK- Have some doubts

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Hi all
I am looking out for a contract job in the UK in West midlands area. I have started job hunting for last 2 weeks and have received many calls from recruitment agencies asking for my experience, availability etc. So looks like the job situation in the UK is getting good. However, I have not yet received any interview call.

I have many doubts regarding the contract work �
1.What is market rate for 4.5 years of Java/J2EE experience in the UK for a contract job? I searched through certain websites and came to know that its almost 250-300 GBP. Is this ok?
2.Can once take leave during the contract? Or it depends on the contract that you sign with the company and every company has a different type of contract?
3.Can one break the contract? i.e. typically in permanent job, u can anytime resign and leave the company. Is it possible to end the contract prematurely?
4.What tax regulations are applied for contract jobs?
5. Why do certain recruitment websites ask for ethnic origin i.e whether you are Indian, African etc?
6.And finally, how time it typically takes for one to get interview after you start applying? Is the process here works very slowly or I am not getting any response as I am an outsider i.e. non-local person?
7. Lastly, how do address your profile? I mean what is most used term here; CV, resume, biodata? Which one is the most used one in the UK?

I am eligible to work in the UK with a work permit (dependant).

Can somebody help me with these questions?

[ January 12, 2006: Message edited by: Tejal Pande ]
Tejal Pande
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Can anybody help me with these queries?
Ranch Hand
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Patience is the name of the game. Be it Javaranch or job hunting.

In contracting, it really helps if you have a prior UK work experience. The start is always slow. In my case, this was despite the fact that I worked with a UK company for about 4 months before that. I got my first contact through job sites after 3-4 months of job hunting. I did get a few interview calls before that. But they did not materialize into anything concrete even though the interviews were good. A friend of mine who made a switch from permanant to contracting sat at home for about 1.5 months. If you are lucky, the waiting time could be much less though.

The daily rate can be around 200-300/day or sometimes even more if you have recent UK experience. As for tax etc, you need to be registered with an umbrella company which does all these things for you. Basically the way the payment chain works is this: Company where u work -> Recruitment agency -> Umbrella company -> You.

Happy hunting!

[ January 14, 2006: Message edited by: Sara Jahan ]
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