Charles Russam, chairman of the specialist interim management recruiter Russam GMS, has challenged “triumphalist” Government rhetoric about employment going up in the light of recent ONS labour market statistics. The latter reveal that the number of “self-drive” workers, which includes independent professionals contracting as Umbrella Company Employees, has risen faster than the number of full-time jobs in the employment sector.

When full-time employees on a payroll are differentiated from the rest of the working population, ONS figures actually show that the former have diminished from 53.3 per cent to 53.0 per cent, while the latter,  Russam’s so called “self-drive workers”, have grown from 46.7 per cent to 47.0 per cent since the last ONS figures were published in November.

Russam said: “Government talks about jobs. They should really be talking about work. Assessing the detail is vital in understanding the significance of the change that is happening. Clearly in a mature and civilised economy, Government should help those who can’t help themselves but what the others want and need are level playing fields, an absence of interference and a busy economy. Self-drive workers want work – and the way to get work is to stimulate the whole economy.”

Russam Interim’s MD, Jason Atkinson, said that recent figures from his firm’s latest Snap Shot Survey show that skilled professional contractors, such as interim managers, have been experiencing a strong increase in demand since the beginning of the year, with more companies willing to “pay handsomely” for their talents.

He also noted that a war for talent was breaking out for senior specialists contracting in the fields of financial services, manufacturing and engineering.

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