Further evidence of the changing nature of work in the UK has emerged in a new survey of over 500 industries by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI): between 2011 and 2014, employers appointed temporary/contracting staff at a rate six times higher than permanent employees.

While total employment rose by just 2.5% during this period, temporary/contracting roles rose by 13.8%.  The sectors with the biggest rises in temporary/contracting staff between 2013 and 2014 were childcare and teaching (at 5% each), closely followed by health and welfare (at 4%).

The study mirrors findings from separate research by CareerBuilder, which indicates that over 50% of UK employers (56%) plan to hire temporary/contracting staff over the next 12 months. 44% said they hoped to transition some of these staff into permanent positions.

CareerBuilder’s MD, Scott Helmes, said that the recession is still influencing employers, who are taking a “soft approach” to hiring. He added: “A lot of employers are looking to try out hiring temporary workers before taking the bigger commitment of making permanent hires.”

Mr Helmes went on to say that the perception of previous generations that temporary work was inherently inferior no longer seems to apply. He added: “We’re seeing an increase in temporary staff in areas where traditionally they haven’t been widely used. The perception of temporary workers as low-skilled has certainly shifted. Now they’re seen as just as valuable as their colleagues on the permanent payroll.”

Many highly-skilled Umbrella Company Employees, all of whom have positively chosen temporary contracting as a way to improve their work-life balance and income, would agree.

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