Contractor accountancy and tax services provider Brookson have hosted a ‘Future of Freelancing’ Round Table debate which was attended by Director of APSCo Marilyn Davidson, managing director of PCG John Brazier and Andrew Miller MP amongst others and was chaired by Martin Hesketh, managing director of Brookson.
They looked at all manner of issues affecting freelancers including the impact of the recession, government not fully understanding the freelancer role, the role of freelancers in the recovery of the economy, sector comparisons, technology and the debate regarding definitions.
Mr Hesketh commented: “Despite a surge in the last 20 years or so, freelancing is still a relatively new model of working and as such, is changing and evolving with increasing speed. In light of the current unstable economic landscape and ongoing debate around existing and proposed legislation, we thought it was important to bring the industry together to review how the future of our industry is currently being affected and shaped.
He continued: “The future, it seems, does appear bright for self-employed professionals. Granted, there are some hurdles still to overcome, not least of which is the argument around categorisation of types of freelance worker and the one size fits all approach to industry imposed legislation. However, our discussion highlighted a number of promising developments which would indicate, that with the right support, the freelancing market will continue to recover, grow and expand in years to come. Perhaps surprisingly, engineering appears to be the most robust sector within the market place. In September this year, the number of contracts in this sector shot up by around 40 per cent, yet IT has not followed suit.
Hesketh concluded: “The discussion also highlighted some interesting points around age polarisation within the freelancing market, in terms of a greater number of freelancers from the graduate generation and older generations. For graduates, this was attributed to an increase in exposure to successful entrepreneurship. For the older generations, an increase in redundancies coupled with a desire to extend working life time-scales, has led to a growing number of freelancers from this age group.”