It would seem that more people than ever are opting to form a Limited Company For Contractors with the help of an organisation like SAIL, as research has been published indicating that there are now 1.88 million independent professionals in the United Kingdom, with women especially well-represented. |
The Kingston University study, commissioned by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), shows that 35.1% more people have opted to work independently since 2008. While there was a 30.5% rise in men taking the plunge into contracting, the equivalent figure for women was even bigger, at 41.2%.
Almost 60% more mothers also decided to work independently, showing that there are plenty of individuals in today's labour market who are seeking to capitalise on increasingly pressing skills shortages in the permanent workforce by offering their time on a temporary basis.
Such rises in the proportion of independent workers have been seen at both ends of the age spectrum. While there are 26% more people aged between 16 and 29 years old taking the independent route, for example, the number of such workers over the age of 60 has also shot up - by 47%.
IPSE's Head of Research, Education and Training, Suneeta Johal, hailed the figures as further "evidence of a structural, rather than cyclical, change to the labour market." She pointed out that during the last year alone, 8.7% more people had decided to become independent professionals.
She added: "Breaking down the sectoral figures sheds light on how this growth has been achieved. Information Technology and Communications has seen a 71% increase in numbers, whilst health and the art and literary sectors have both seen an almost 100% increase."
The significantly heightened proportion of freelance mothers, meanwhile, was said by Johal to indicate the appeal of independent working to those seeking flexibility and a better work-life balance.
Nor does it seem that opportunities will be lacking for a long time to come for many of those now forming a Limited Company For Contractors, the most recent monthly JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) showing that 38% of recruiters intended to take on more contractors in the next three months.
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