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Latest employment figures point to rise in self employment

“It’s time to wake up to the realities of what has changed and is continuing to change in the UK’s increasingly flexible employment market”, says Russam.  “These latest ONS figures show that the number of UK workers who are not full time on someone’s payroll is increasing at a faster rate than full time payroll workers and now represents very nearly 47% of the total UK workforce of 30 million.” 

Russam calls these people “Self Drive Workers” – because they are mainly dependent on themselves for their livelihoods – whatever that turns out to be – which, probably too often, is not enough – which is a different challenge.

“Government talks about jobs.  They should really be talking about work,” Russam claims – and submits his calculations for all to see.  “Assessing the detail is vital in understanding the significance of the change that is happening. Clearly in a mature and civilised economy, Government should help those who can’t help themselves but what the others want and need are level playing fields and to be left alone to get on with it”.

Self Drive Workers now constitute 46.7% of the entire UK working population - an increase of 1.7% since the last ONS figures were published. Out of 30.15 million workers, Russam includes all those not engaged in full time employment - the 4.1 million self-employed –full and part time, 1.6 million temporary workers, 6.7 million part time workers, 1 million unpaid workers engaged in apprenticeships or work schemes, the 1.5 million people who currently work as unpaid carers and 1.1m workers with second jobs.  

Russam says, “These latest figures reveal a growing band of self-drive, independent workers – many of whom are entrepreneurs. I am not certain that government is conscious of the true number of people in Britain turning their backs on traditional employment to work in a more flexible and independent way.”

“The ONS figures don’t tell the full story, there are more shade of grey than its statistics suggest. New patterns are emerging including more people with second jobs, zero hours workers, greater numbers of contractors and interim managers, independents teaming up with others and individuals trading through a myriad of business formats.  At the top end, of course – and which should not been seen as typical of this Self Drive Worker Market -  you also have the likes of BBC’s Jeremy Paxman and Emily Maitlis –  reported recently as examples of high profile workers who are not on the payroll, but may be forced to be soon by their employer. “

Jason Atkinson, Managing Director, Russam Interim says, “We have noted a strong rise in the number of people coming into interim management over the past few years and according to our latest Snap Shot Survey figures, companies are willing to pay handsomely for specialists – typical of an economy moving into better times. Daily rates are at an understandable high because there is a renewed war for talent going on, with a skills crunch at senior levels in many sectors including financial services, manufacturing and engineering.”  

Atkinson adds that government, financial institutions and the business community all have a role to play in adapting to and getting best value out of this new and growing workforce. 

Russam GMS and Modwenna Rees-Mogg’s Angel News are holding their second Great British Workforce Revolution Conference in London on 28.5.14.  Details will be available on the Workforce Revolution website soon.


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