Number of Self-Employed Increases Sharply in the UK

Self-employment increases in the UK

George Osborne announced his latest government budget for 2014 last week which revealed that the number of those unemployed has fallen by 63,000 to a total of 2.33 million. It was also unveiled that 211,000 more people are self-employed than last quarter, bringing the total of self-employed people to 4.46 million.

Why are people becoming self-employed?

There are several factors why people are choosing to work for themselves:

–    More people want to become entrepreneurs. They are encouraged by others’ success to start their own businesses and services

–    Being your own boss allows an amount of flexibility that being an employee wouldn’t. For example, if someone wanted to qualify as an electrician they can choose from a range of training routes to suit their schedule

–    Becoming successfully self-employed can provide a healthy income. For example, an experienced plumber could expect to earn up to £35,000 a year

–    People may be attracted to becoming self-employed if they have found it difficult to find a job elsewhere

What does this mean for the trades industry?

Those classed as “skilled workers” (including tradespeople) dominate self-employment, with a 30% market share. With the number of those in self-employment increasing, it could see this figure rise.

In fact the Office for National Statistics found that the most popular vocations for those entering into self-employment include trades or construction roles, so it would not be surprising to see a rise in the number of those training as a tradesperson.

This could strengthen the market and but also see competition stiffen.

The future of self-employment

With UK entrepreneurial spirit high, we could continue to see a rise in self-employment. Figures published by the Guardian show that in 2013 302,000 jobs were created via self-employment and 337,000 created by the economy for employees.

The gap between employed and self-employed is closing in, so we may be looking at a future employment market where the amount of those working for themselves is level to those working for others, or perhaps even overtakes it.

This could therefore see an increase in demand for training course providers as those looking to be their own boss seek further qualifications to make their dreams come true, as well as a shift in the market share. For example, skilled workers currently dominate but the amount of those in roles considered “non-skilled” (for example, administrators) are rising in the self-employment market as well as those at management level choosing to offer their services as consultants.

This growth could also prompt George Osborne and the government to consider further avenues to support start-ups and the self-employed as it becomes an ever-increasingly popular working choice for those in the UK. Only time will tell what the big red budget briefcase holds in the future for all electricians, plumbers, carpenters and many more!

Are you looking to become self employed? Then take a look at our Guide to Becoming Self Employed!

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