Self-drive workers are reshaping the traditional workforce - Business Works
BW brief

Self-drive workers are reshaping the traditional workforce

by Charles Russam, Chairman, Russam GMS The latest employment figures from Office of National Statistics (ONS) announced revealed that the number of independent or self-drive workers, who rely on themselves for their livelihood, is growing at a faster rate than the number jobs in the full time employment sector - driving a quiet workforce revolution in Britain. The Bank of England also said hat one of the 'most striking' features of the UK's economy has been the number of people entering self-employment and suggests that it could be due to the Government's benefit caps pushing people to find alternative sources of income.

Against the triumphalist rhetoric from Government about employment going up and unemployment going down, we see an equally important and strikingly different interpretation of the figures, says Charles Russam, Chairman of Russam GMS. If you look at the figures closely, the statistics not only reveal another strong rise in full-time employment, but - very significantly - a bigger rise in the number of people who are NOT working full time on someone's payroll.

If you separate out full-time employees on a payroll from everyone else who we call 'Self Drive Workers- and compare them with the same ONS figures at published last November, the percentage of the total UK working population represented by full time workers on a payroll has actually gone down from 53.3% to 53.0% and the percentage of the total UK working population represented by 'Self Drive Workers' has actually gone up from 46.7% to 47.0%.

Self-Drive Workers now constitute 47.0% of the entire UK working population - an increase of 1.3% (1.7%) since the last ONS figures were published. Out of 30.4 million workers, I include all those not engaged in full-time employment - the 4.4 (4.1) million self-employed full and part time, 1.6 (1.6) million temporary workers, 6.8 (6.7) million part time workers, and those workers engaged in apprenticeships or work schemes, unpaid carers and workers with second jobs.

These latest figures reveal a growing band of self-drive workers many of whom are entrepreneurs. I am not certain that government is conscious of the true number of people in Britain turning their backs on traditional employment to work in a more flexible and independent way.

Government should be talking about work

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.

The ONS figures don't tell the full story, there are more shades of grey than its statistics suggest. New patterns are emerging including more people with second jobs, zero hours workers, a greater number of contractors and interim managers, independents teaming up with others and individuals trading through a myriad of business formats.

"We have noted a strong rise in the number of people coming into interim management over the past few years," says Jason Atkinson, Managing Director at Russam Interim. "This is particularly since the beginning of this year - and according to our latest Snap-shot Survey figures, companies are willing to pay handsomely for specialists typical of an economy moving into better times. Daily rates are at an understandable high because there is a renewed war for talent going on, with a skills crunch at senior levels in many sectors including financial services, manufacturing and engineering."

Atkinson adds that government, financial institutions and the business community all have a role to play in adapting to and getting best value out of this new and growing workforce.

Russam GMS and Modwenna Rees-Mogg's Angel News are holding their second Great British Workforce Revolution Conference in London on Wednesday 4 June 2014. Speakers include Gerald Ratner, former CEO of Ratner's Jewellers and Simon Woodroffe, creative of YO! Sushi. Details are available on the Workforce Revolution website:

For more information, please visit:

Tweet article
BW on TwitterBW RSS feed