UK Businesses Hiring More Freelancers than Ever


A report last month from freelancers’ website Upwork revealed that businesses are changing the way they hire. The online survey of over 1,000 hiring managers revealed that many businesses are increasing the number of freelancers they take on.

Upwork CEO, Stephanie Kasriel said: “Businesses are scrambling to adapt and keep up with the rapid pace of change in our world. In just a few years, a third of the skills needed in the workforce Report from Upwork will be brand new.

“Traditional models of hiring no longer provide the agility businesses must have to access in-demand skills when and where they’re needed. With 55 million Americans freelancing, businesses are thinking beyond archaic Industrial Era-approaches and turning towards flexible hiring to get work done.”

The Freelance Revolution goes Global

America is at the forefront of the charge of freelancers and independent workers on the labour force, with the rest of the world in hot pursuit. In the UK, there are almost 2 million self-employed workers who contributed in the region of £120bn to the British economy in 2016.

Freelancers, who tend to contract their work on a project basis, are actually the fasted growing segment of the self-employed industry, and make up 42% of the collective self-employed population.

Research from IPSE, the UK-based freelancer association also shows that more women are freelancing in the UK than before, with a 55% increase of female freelancers from 2008 and a 79% increase in freelancing mums.

Freelancing Numbers Boosted since Financial Crisis of 2008

IPSE also revealed that the number of Millennials aged 26 to 29 who are choosing freelancing careers over 9 to 5 office hours has risen 66% since the financial crisis in 2008. However, freelancing is still more popular with experienced pros between the ages of 40 and 59.

Meanwhile, a Government review of the gig economy was launched back in November to assess the impact on the economy of ‘gig-based’ businesses such as Uber and Deliveroo. The review focused on issues such as job security, pensions, holiday and parental leave rights for gig economy workers. The results of the review are yet to be published.

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