Over the past ten years, the numbers of freelancers within the UK has steadily increased aligned with greater desires for flexibility within the workplace. Now contributing towards 41% of the self-employed sector (2018), it is clear freelancing as a career has been on the rise. However, with growth comes difficulties and with the great B(rexit) word on the horizon and increased freelancer demands for a work-life balance, we are asking the question, are the freelancers in danger?
Trouble on the horizon?
We are sure you have heard enough about the dreaded B(rexit) word, and regardless of which side of the fence you stand, it is undeniable that it is taking over our lives and contributing towards stress.
For freelancers, political indecisiveness has contributed towards greater levels of uncertainty and pessimism surrounding the stability of the self-employed sector. Reports indicate nearly half of self-employed workers believe Brexit will have a negative effect on their business, with younger workers holding greater levels of concern than older counterparts.
These figures are troubling for Freelancers for whom, levels of growth across the sector may stagnate in favour for more permanent or part-time roles. Though only speculation, the industry has already been hit by a 67% slump in sales for UK freelancers based in the EU, sparking concerns regarding the sector's stability in a post-Brexit environment.
However though across the EU the role of UK freelancers appears in question, domestically the picture is less glum.
Recent reports from The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, highlight creative industry employment is growing as fast as the UK economy, with a 1.6% increase on 2018 figures, positively boosting opportunities in Marketing, Visual Arts and Computer Services countrywide. The Midlands comes out top, followed by East Anglia and the North East and North West regions - meaning freelancers can hold confidence in the home market and the opportunities it provides for the immediate period.
We want it all!
It comes as no surprise the desire to work as a freelancer stems from the wish to escape the 9-5 career in favour for flexibility in employment.
However even here, significant developments are emerging, with freelancers globally demonstrating more favourability towards earning less money in favour for longer-term work, a consistent paycheck and holiday benefits.
As industry competition is intensifying whilst creative industries grow, the ability for firms to recognise and adapt to candidate expectations is pivotal now more than ever in order to ensure the continued attraction of freelancers in an ever changing market.
It is evident the freelance industry is undergoing a significant period of change and development. Though Brexit uncertainty holds the potential to dampen corporate investment, if firms are willing to be adaptable to changing market dynamics, adapting their processes to suit market conditions and candidate needs, the outlook of the freelance industry appears positive for the immediate term.
Looking to enter a freelance role or require coverage? Our dedicated Temp & Contract team are able to support all roles across marketing, commercial and FMCG sectors. Whether, maternity cover, fixed contract or last-minute support for a few days, we have a vast network of clients and skilled contractors across the UK with key talent based in Birmingham and Manchester. Visit us today.
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