Freelancers are filling skills gaps, new report reveals

Freelance Workshop at Manchester Freelance Fair, Feb 2011

A new report has revealed the extent to which businesses recovering from the recession are turning to the UK’s estimated 1.4 million freelancers to fill their identified skills gap, and cut costs normally associated with permanent staff.

The 2011 Freelancers Trends Report, published by, surveyed 150 UK businesses.

The report shows that during the recession more businesses turned to freelancers; over the last three years UK businesses increased the use of freelancers by 76%.

And UK businesses are turning to freelancers particularly in digital and new media where the boom in social media and digital technology has fuelled desire among businesses to employ highly skilled freelancers to fill their identified skills gap.

Digital and new media is the sector where businesses are most hiring freelancers (91% of businesses surveyed) followed by marketing (77%) and media (69%).

As part of the report, it is estimated that UK businesses will save a staggering £2.1bn in 2011 by opting to hire a freelance workforce to fill these identified skill gaps.

The report also suggests that post-recession, the structure of the UK’s labour market will change as 84% of businesses will continue to use freelancers for years to come.

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Written by Alistair Beech on February 24, 2011 and filed in Freelancers, News , ,

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