Minister for Self-Employment now crucial to supporting UK's independent professionals, says IPSE
Following this latest rise, IPSE, the association of Independent Professionals and Self Employed, has called for a Minister for Self-Employment to be appointed to ensure the needs of that flexible workforce are recognised and understood in Whitehall.
Chris Bryce, Chief Executive of IPSE, said:
"The UK's self-employed army is growing by the day and on current trends will outnumber those working in the public sector by the end of 2015. Whitehall simply must look after the interests of these people. Unfortunately, the traditional Government view of Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) simply doesn't work for independent professionals.
"Through our manifesto we have outlined a host of ground-breaking policies designed to unlock the potential of the 4.5 million people who have chosen to work for themselves. It is crucial that a dedicated Minister for Self-Employment who will champion this sector is appointed within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
"Such a Minister would be responsible for everything affecting Britain's smallest businesses, from flexible work-spaces which provide independent professionals with a place to work and collaborate with others, to promoting this way of working to young people as a viable career option."
Chris Bryce has also called upon the ONS to analyse self-employment more thoroughly so the importance of different forms of work can be properly understood:
"Given the sheer number of people now working for themselves, the ONS needs to begin collecting more specific data so we can truly understand the sub-sets of self-employed workers which now exist.
"Some of our most important emerging industries, such as digital technology, rely on independent professionals, to provide growth. It is vitally important that they are fully represented in official statistics."