The North East has the UK’s second highest concentration of workers considering their main work to be non-permanent (15%) after London, as candidates in the region chase better work-life balance and variety, according to research released today (Tuesday 3 December 2019).
The research, carried out by recruitment experts Reed Specialist Recruitment for its Temporary isn’t temporary campaign, surveyed 5,000 workers and looked at their experience of, and attitude to, temporary and multiple career roles.
As well as finding that a significant percentage of North East workers considered their main role to be in non-permanent work, the research also discovered that one in 10 workers in the region held down more than one temporary role at a time, showing the opportunity for flexible hours.
When asked about the positive benefits of temporary or short-term working contracts, more than a third (36%) of people living in the North East cited work-life balance as the key reason why they have followed this career structure.
Access to a variety of work was mentioned as the next favoured reason at 33%, and a quarter (25%) believed a flexible and varied approach to gaining work experience would help boost their CV.
However, the research also identified the reasons that workers are being deterred from temporary working with more than half (52%) of workers saying they prefer the security of a permanent role with a further 46% identifying that the benefits of a permanent role, such a pensions and sick pay, were important in their preference for permanent roles.
Despite these reasons of income and financial security being of great concern, two thirds (66%) indicated that they were not worried about the disadvantages of non-permanent work when applying for mortgages or loans.
Across the UK, temporary contracts also seem to be regularly used by those in the information technology sector with 13% of tech workers holding three or more temporary roles at one time. Temporary working is also popular with the new generation of workers at the beginning of their careers with 17% of 25-34 year olds considering temporary employment to be their main role.
Whilst a significant number of this age group work permanently, there is also greater than a fifth (21%) of 25-34 year olds holding more than one temporary role and 11% holding more than four temporary roles at one time.
Mike Harrison, regional managing director of Reed North East, said: “In the North East there are a large percentage of workers choosing temporary work for its flexibility and the boost to their CVs for future work. With the local economy being well known for its automotive and engineering talent as well as a growing digital games and technology sector the region is well suited to highly skilled temporary workers.
“Also, with 80% of people saying they are not concerned about having to work as and when called upon, the choice for North East workers to hold down multiple temporary roles is borne from a desire for greater variety. The only barrier to greater numbers of temporary working seems to be concerns around benefits and pensions. Fortunately, Reed Specialist Recruitment already has this covered with its own pension scheme for PAYE temporary workers.
“With this barrier removed there isn’t much preventing everyone from embracing flexible working. The good news is that a market with a healthy amount of temporary work can benefit both business and the individual.
“If employers can deliver variety and quality work with added flexibility in a role candidates really want then they will capture the best temporary workers. At Reed Specialist Recruitment we have seen the benefits this can bring to businesses who can’t employ a talented employee on a permanent basis, but can benefit from their knowledge and expertise through a short-term contract. It’s safe to say the traditional Monday – Friday, 9-5 is slowly diminishing and temporary could be the next big thing.”