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December 30, 2019

ARTICLE BY Kirstin Furber

Why is it important we keep learning?  Whether we like it or not, we are learning every day:  it might be a new way of buying a product or using a phone that has updated technology. All this change and innovation means we need to embrace learning.  

The world we are living in is complex, competitive, fast and busy. In such an environment, it’s critical organisations focus on learning and constantly develop their capability. Many organisations have adapted their learning model from one of traditional classroom teaching to a blended learning approach including face to face presentations, coaching and learning whilst doing. These methods embed learning quickly and fit better in busy work days. There are also some skills we can’t go on a course to learn, especially in digital space, as the work has not been done before and therefore the learning is very much on the job, through trial and error.

With the ability to learn its critical for organisations to remain competitive, adapt and stay ahead of the competition, how do we create a learning environment that supports individuals being their best? With the five characters of a human culture as a foundation, I believe companies need to focus on the following five areas:

1.Purpose: Purpose provides organisations with a direction, a mission to get behind, and the opportunity to communicate how each employee’s role contributes to that purpose.  A clear purpose also provides ‘guard rails’ and focus.  When everyone is learning, creating new ideas, and developing as individuals and as a group, it’s easy to get off track. Having a clear purpose that everyone understands and buys into means that ideas can flourish ‘on strategy’ and be translated into action.

2.Authentic Leaders: We know leaders are important role models, in everything they do and I have blogged before about the importance of authentic leadership.  Leaders have an opportunity to create an environment of learning through ‘bringing the external in’ and by ensuring the organisation does not get too internalised. Reading and sharing, participating at conferences, bringing speakers in to contribute new ideas and perspective, and by creating an environment of curiosity where it is safe to ask questions, is the perfect environment for learning to take place.  Remembering that they should always be open to learning also enables leaders to learn from their teams. After all, one of the best ways to learn is to have your thinking challenged. It’s important to be open to doing things differently and to update your perspective as the world changes. Authentic and vulnerable leaders who admit they don’t know everything, keep learning. 

3.Telling your story: Learning is about sharing and translating lessons learned into every day operational best practice.  Organisations that provide ways for individuals to share their learning with others both informally, e.g. at team meetings, and formally (through films, podcasts, or via company intranets) allow this translation of learning into the organisation to happen in the most organic way possible. This helps learning embed in the organisation.

4.Diversity: We all learn differently, and its critical organisations taken this into account. Some of us like to read about a subject in-depth, form views and then debate, others like a planned learning approach with many different forms of content: video, discussions, face to face sessions. The reflectors among us can get annoyed with a discussion group full of extroverts’ whist the extroverts are feeling very much in their comfort zone. Companies should enable time for reflection and processing as part of learning as well.  Cultures, physical and mental health, and learnings styles all need to be considered alongside how best to use technology to customise learning so it lands well enabling people to engage with it for maximum impact.

5.Workplace: Finally, where do you learn best?  Traditional learning used to always be offsite, but with budget cuts and because of people’s productivity suffering if they’re out of the office for long periods of time, this has changed. Training has moved to ‘bite-sized’ learning with different views on timing, ideally no more than 90 minute learning sessions, for individuals to learn best, as outlined in this article.  Some of us like to learn at home, in the cafe, with others, in the office.  With learning being produced, delivered and customised through a variety of learning platforms, opportunities for where and when employees can learn are expanding. Some of us are better at learning in the morning, others in the evening, we should factor that into our learning approach. What is the best period of time to learn? To brainstorm? To make a decision?  To create an environment where employees can learn, all of these factors need to be considered when developing a curriculum.

A learning environment does a number of things: it builds capability to drive performance and helps attract the best because of an attractive development offering. It also helps retain the best because they grow and develop by utilising new found skills in a number of ways, especially when promotions or pay rises aren’t an option.

Creating an environment where it is easy to learn goes a long way to creating an environment where people can be their best selves at work because an environment where everyone can learn is one where everyone can flourish.

Kirstin Furber – Chief People Director of ClearScore

Five Podcasts Every Recruiter Should Listen To
December 30, 2019

Podcasts are getting pretty popular: more than one in three Americans listen to one, and more than one in five tune in regularly—an audience that’s almost doubled in just a few years, according to Pew.

A lot of this is due to the fact that there are podcasts for just about everyone. whether you’re interested in comedy, history, politics, quirky fiction, or guided meditation, there’s a podcast for you—and yes, there’s even podcasts just for recruiters.

With that in mind, we did some searching and came up with a list of the best podcasts for recruiters, including specific episodes to get started on. While only a couple are explicitly about recruiting, all are packed with insights that’ll come in handy when you’re talking to candidates, sourcing recruits, and making hiring decisions. They’re also free and make a boring commute a billion times better.

1. HBR Ideacast

“A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review,” this show offers awesome insights from one of the most respected business magazines.

With almost 600 episodes to choose from, there’s a ton of shows on hiring and HR—like how Google manages talentfixing the college grad hiring process, and the era of agile (i.e., freelance) talent.

But you shouldn’t limit yourself to the episodes explicitly about recruiting: you have just as much to gain from other episodes that just happen to apply to recruiting—like how to negotiate betterhow to conduct great interviewshow to give constructive feedback, and how to take control of your time.

Recommended episode for recruiters: Our Delusions About Talent, with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of business psychology, on the myths and misconceptions that still run rampant in talent acquisition.

2. Slate’s Working

“A podcast about what people do all day,” Slate’s Working podcast is just that: an in-depth, deep-dive interview that explores the ins and outs of various jobs.

With almost 100 episodes on everything from “How Does a Google Coder Work?” to “How Does An Appliance Repairman Work” and even “How Does a Clown Work,” this show offers intimate explorations of every kind of job imaginable—including positions you’re probably recruiting for.

As a recruiter, the reality is you’ve probably hired people for jobs with only a fuzzy idea of what their day-to-day work will actually entail. Instead of a high-level overview, Working gets into the nitty-gritty details: what’s the first thing a retail manager does in the morning, what a CIA analyst’s cubicle looks like and so on.

It’s a fascinating way to look at work—and one that recruiters will find especially enlightening as it will help you better understand and engage with the people you are recruiting.

Recommended episode for recruiters: The “How Does the Head of HR Work” Edition, an interview with Kevin Fanning, VP of Talent & Culture at the startup incubator Cogo Labs.

3. The Best Part of My Job

A podcast created by a recruiter, Lars SchmidtBest Part of My Job has a similar premise as Slate’s Working with a decidedly more recruiter-y slant.

Inspired by Lars’ favorite interview question, the show features interesting discussions with people like Josh Narva, Global Head of Talent at Sonos, and Victor Nyugen-Long, former General Manager of Experience Innovation at Audi of America.

While it’s more focused on the traditional business world than the quirkier occupations featured in Working, it’s no less interesting, with friendly conversations about people’s favorite parts of their jobs (and the parts that suck).

Recommended episode for recruiters: These 4 Things Will Transform Your Candidate Experience, with Gerry Crispin, Co-Founder of CareerXroads.

4. Freakonomics Radio

A weekly podcast exploring “the hidden side of everything,” this uber-popular podcast from Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt (authors of the also-popular Freakonomics book) looks at the world through the lens of behavioral economics.

If you slept through Econ 101, don’t worry—it’s much more about the hidden parts of human nature than dull things like inflation. This podcast is anything but boring, as it investigates everything from the gender gap and cheeseburgers to crime preventionand the secret to being more productive.

As a recruiter, you know how important it is to understand how people make decisions and what fuels our inner desires. And that’s exactly what Freakonomics is all about, from the upside of quitting (which you could use to convince a passive candidate to jump ship) to how ads manipulate our emotions (which can help you write a better job description).

Recommended episode for recruiters: How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future, which looks at why we’re usually so off-base with our predictions (e.g., whether this person will be a good employee), and how to get a little bit better at forecasting the future.

5. Recruiting Future

“A weekly podcast dedicated to innovation and futurology in recruitment and HR,” Recruiting Future is the definitive podcast by recruiters, for recruiters.

Hosted by talent consultant Matt Alder, this show takes a close, considered look at virtually every topic under the talent acquisition umbrella—from in-house recruiting, to global talent branding, to people analytics.

Featuring interviews with the industry’s brightest stars, making this podcast a regular listen is an effortless way to keep up on the latest trends and topics in recruiting on your morning commute.

Recommended episode for recruiters: How to Source the Very Best Talent, with Chris Shaw, Director of Talent at Meteor (and former recruiter at Twitter and Google), where they talk about that time Google hired 300 people in 11 months and how to turn passive candidates into active ones.

If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to enter the brave new world of podcasts. It’s a brand new medium, but one that’s catching fire for a reason: they’re free, easy to consume, informative, and entertaining. And if you’re looking to fit one more podcast into your life, allow us to recommend the LinkedIn Speaker Series, featuring inspiring speeches from all across the professional world.

Could Sharing Apprentices be the Answer for Businesses?
December 20, 2019

The apprenticeship levy isn’t working hard enough – it’s up to employers to look for creative solutions, writes Louise Doyle.

Apprentices: Why we should encourage businesses to share them

Employment has changed considerably in the past 10 years. Greater flexibility, more home working, a rise in self-employment, a decline in traditional retail sectors and the growth of digital have transformed the way we fulfil our working lives. It makes sense that we look at the current apprenticeship models, examine that pattern of change, consider whether our current system is future-proof and where it isn’t, look for creative solutions.

By way of an example, I’d like to share with you a little about the environment in which our own business operates.

As a software provider, we are part of an increasing number of businesses that co-locate in business hubs alongside other like-minded organisations. As business owners, one of our main challenges as we grow is access to skilled people. But taking on an apprentice in a small business can be risky. Perhaps you’ll go out of business – what if you can’t pay them? Have you got enough work to keep them busy? Have you got the time to support them effectively? These are the questions being asked by business owners with integrity: those who, when they take on new staff, see a long-term future for them in their company.

The apprenticeship sector needs to respond to these barriers comprehensively: we need young, dynamic businesses to develop a mindset of seeking apprentices to employ in the same way they seek graduates. We need to meet and work with them during their early stage growth period; we shouldn’t wait until traditional recruitment practices of looking to the nearest undergraduate programme become entrenched. The levy-payer of tomorrow is the small business grappling with the complexity of scaling-up their business today.

Flexible apprenticeships

Perhaps the answer in this circumstance is to revisit how we support employers to share apprentices, opening up access to much-needed capacity for the business while providing a rich programme of (diverse) learning for the apprentice. Presenting opportunities to not one but multiple businesses to have an apprentice is a very exciting and tangible possibility. We already have the basis of such models – apprenticeship training associations – which could be applied more fully to new and evolving sectors if we grasp the chance to reimagine how they can fit.

When coupled with the levy-payers who are often connected to such hubs through formal and informal arrangements, we can potentially unlock some of the cash sitting in some levy-payers’ accounts.

Why? Because the levy is not working hard enough to ensure that young people can fully access the employment market. This must be addressed if any of us are to lay claim to it providing a meaningful return on investment.

Commitment to apprentices

Apprenticeships must be front-of-mind for employers – whatever the size of the business – when they are looking to fill a vacancy. We need to lead the line manager making recruitment decisions more firmly towards apprenticeships as a viable option. In part, this should be through refocusing the levy to require a percentage of the spend to be used on entry recruitment but also through education of employers as to how the levy can be used successfully to bring a return on investment.

I’m often asked, as a business owner, what my most valuable customer type is. I think this is an interesting question from an apprenticeship provider’s perspective. Let me try to answer it. A valuable customer is an employer who puts their money where their mouth is. A valuable employer, therefore, is one who doesn’t just sign a commitment statement but means it: from the beginning to the end of the apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are with the employer for around 80 per cent of the time. A valuable employer is someone who doesn’t forget it, working in partnership with their chosen training provider throughout.

There is evidence that it is harder to deliver quality apprenticeships because of the number of providers of apprenticeship provision that receive a “good” Ofsted judgement for “overall provision”, but fall short for their “apprenticeship provision”. It isn’t too much of a stretch, therefore, to recognise the role a challenging employer may play in the latter.

Ultimately, we should be striving to design and operate an apprenticeship system that is of equal value to both employers and apprentices. The litmus test for me with apprentices, rather than focusing on my business, always relates to my own children: would I want them to do an apprenticeship? Ten years ago I’m afraid the answer would have been no.

Now, the answer is a very definite yes, but I have the benefit of knowing exactly how to find good apprentices and the best apprenticeships. My vision, which I suspect is the same as most of you reading this, is that all other business leaders, parents and prospective apprentices can say the same.

Louise Doyle is a director at quality assurance and improvement specialist Mesma

External Quality Assurance Charges Begin
December 20, 2019

The Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (previously IfA) reports that the new charging system comes in for external quality assurance #EQA) of end point assessments #EPA – The charge will allow @IFAteched to maintain the service on a sustainable basis.

The proposed change has caused a bit of a stir in the sector, and people have taken to social media and Government forums to voice their concerns. 

The Institute has started charging for the external quality assurance (EQA), where it is the provider.

EQA evaluates the quality of end-point assessment (EPA) for apprenticeships.

Apprentices must pass the EPA to complete their apprenticeship, proving they are able to do their job to the high standards required.

The Institute has launched a charge of £40 per apprentice. The first invoices have now been sent out.

Nikki Christie, the Institute’s Deputy Director for Apprenticeship Assessment and Quality, said:

“Our priority is making sure apprentices and employers receive the high standard with apprenticeships assessment they deserve. As we explained in June, if we are to do that on a sustainable basis, we need to charge for the EQAs carried out by the Institute.”

It had been the position of government from the outset that the Institute should charge for delivery of EQA, where employers have nominated it as the provider.

Ms Christie said: “We hadn’t charged previously to allow time for the system to bed in, but the time is now right to do this. We will make no profits from these charges, they will only recover our costs.”

EQA can be carried out by a professional body, employer group, Ofqual or the Institute.

The Institute officially announced its intention to start charging for EQA in June this year. A decision was made to begin doing this from November, to allow more time for employers and training providers to prepare. Invoices have now been sent out.

Since January 2018, legislation has enabled the Institute to charge anything up to £56 per apprentice for its EQA service. The charge is an eligible cost as part of the conditions of being on the Register of EPAOs and other providers already charge for their service.

EQA is also an eligible cost in the ESFA funding rules for EPA organisations.

The £40 charge will only apply where employers have chosen the Institute as their EQA provider.

Charitable organisation Open Awards delivers EQA on behalf of the Institute.

The proposed change has caused a bit of a stir in the sector, and people have taken to social media and Government forums to voice their concerns. 

Free Resources from DMH Associates
December 20, 2019
International Careers Development conference delegates were provided with access to our unique conference resources toolkit which contained copies of all presentation materials on the day and additional information provided by the many speakers and contributors.

This now available for you to download as your Christmas present from DMH Associates and gain the same material as the delegates.
Access your DMH Associates Toolkit Here
Spotlight on Super’s Self-Concept Theory

Applying Super’s theory of self-concept can help your clients at different stages of their career development.

Self-concept is the core of Super’s theory

Illustration showing people of different ages standing next to each other from youngest to oldest

The second career theory we’ll shine our spotlight on is Donald Super’s theory of how self-concept relates to career development. Our self-concept is created by our life and work experiences, abilities and personality.

Super thought who we are changes throughout life and this influences our long-term career decisions.

He also created the concept of career development stages. He first saw them as five stages of the lifecycle. But later they were used to understand a person’s experience at any stage of their career. 

Super’s five life stages:

  1. Growth (birth to age 14): You develop a self-concept, become aware of your future goals, or think about changing your career.
  2. Exploration (ages 15 to 24): You find the right career through courses, work experience and hobbies. You may develop and plan a career goal and complete relevant training.
  3. Establishment (ages 25 to 44): You secure a job in your chosen field and develop skills, build relationships with co-workers, and look for chances to advance your career.
  4. Maintenance (ages 45 to 64): You adjust and update your skills.
  5. Decline (ages 65 and up): You may start planning retirement, or you may be losing energy or interest in a job and getting ready to change your career.

Use Super’s theory to help clients at all stages of their careers

Clients starting a career

You can help clients who are uncertain about their first role or want to return to work by:

  • encouraging them to be curious and explore different hobbies and work experience 
  • helping them find information about areas of work they’re interested in 
  • getting them to look at training options, including bridging, free or short courses
  • supporting them with their decision making 
  • building their confidence for interviews, for example, by showing them informational interviewing skills
  • emphasising how personal skills are useful on their CV
  • showing them opportunities to learn from role models, for example, through job shadowing.

Clients who need a new challenge

Encourage clients who feel stuck in their job to have a career discussion with their manager. Suggest they:

  • explore options in their current workplace, such as moving into another area within the organisation
  • find ways to update or broaden their skills.

Clients who want to change careers

For some clients, their self-concept may have changed to the point where they no longer feel connected to their work. You can help these clients toward a change of career by:

  • helping them understand that career change is a normal part of career development
  • explaining how they’re at the decline stage of Super’s cycle and returning to the beginning of the cycle
  • encouraging them to explore new career ideas, identify other interests, or take courses to develop new skills.

Download a copy of Super’s model (PDF – 256B) (Word – 251KB)

UK Unemployment Falls to Lowest Level Since 1975
December 19, 2019

UK unemployment fell to its lowest level since January 1975 in the three months to October this year.

The number of people out of work fell by 13,000 to 1.281 million, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

Office block with workers visible through the windows

The employment rate rose to an all-time high of 76.2%, with an increase of 24,000 taking the number of people in work up to a total of 32.8 million.

However, annual wage growth, excluding bonuses, slowed to 3.5% from 3.6% from July to September.

ONS head of labour market David Freeman said: “While the estimate of the employment rate nudged up in the most recent quarter, the longer-term picture has seen it broadly flat over the last few quarters. However, unemployment among women has reached a new record low.

“Vacancies have fallen for 10 months in a row and are now below 800,000 for the first time in over two years.

“Pay is still increasing in real terms, but its growth rate has slowed in the last few months.” 

Unemployment graph

There were an estimated 794,000 vacancies in the UK for September to November 2019. That is 20,000 fewer than in the last quarter and 59,000 fewer than a year earlier.

The estimated employment rate for men was 80.4% and for women was 72%.

The increase in women’s employment in recent years is partly a result of changes to their State Pension age, which has meant fewer retiring between the ages of 60 and 65.

The slight slowdown in wage growth is party caused by the fact that in October 2018, some unusually high bonuses were paid to some workers. Bonuses given this October returned to more expected levels.

For October 2019, average regular pay, before tax and other deductions, was estimated at £509.68 per week.

Real wages graph

Chancellor Sajid Javid said: “There’s talent up and down this country – three-quarters of employment growth in the last year has been outside London and the South East.

“I’m looking forward to getting Brexit done and unleashing Britain’s potential, levelling up opportunity across the country.”

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “The UK’s jobs boom continues to be a big plus point for the economy, but it is slowly losing momentum. 

“Businesses have shown a strong appetite to take on staff in recent years, and climbing employment levels have boosted household incomes, adding buoyancy to the economy. However, firms are now cutting back on new hires as it becomes harder to find the skills they need. 

“Uncertainty and slowing global growth have also made businesses a bit more cautious in their recruitment plans, and vacancies are expected to continue falling into 2020.”

Presentational grey line
Analysis box by Robert Cuffe, Head of statistics

Employment is at a record high and unemployment at a record low in October’s figures, but the Office for National Statistics says that both are broadly flat. 

How can that be true? 

These records involve the kind of tiny changes we’re used to seeing with new records in the 100-metre sprint. 

Employment’s previous record high was January’s figure of 76.13%. 

October’s estimate is 76.15%: an improvement of 0.02 percentage points. 

Vacancies graph

For unemployment, the record has gone down from 3.797% in May to 3.757% in October’s figures – a change of 0.04 percentage points. 

So the estimates haven’t been better in a long time, but the improvements are tiny and certainly smaller than the margin of error in any figures like these. 

Coupled with the substantial fall in job vacancies and a hint of slowing wage growth, the emerging picture is less of rampaging record highs and more of decelerating demand for new workers.

ESFA Update: 18 December 2019

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.


ESFA Update further education: 18 December 2019

ESFA Update academies: 18 December 2019

ESFA Update local authorities: 18 January 2019

Christmas and New Year

This will be the last edition of ESFA Update for 2019. Season’s greetings to those celebrating the festive and new year period.

Items for further education
Informationhow to express an interest to deliver T Levels in 2022 to 2023 academic year, including the transition programme
Informationupdate on apprenticeship levy transfers
Informationnew Apprenticeship Service webinars in January 2020
Informationupdated provider data self-assessment toolkit (PDSAT)
InformationR04 funding monitoring reports published
Items for academies
Actionfinancial statements deadline Tuesday 31 December 2019
Informationaccounts return 2018 to 2019 maintenance and update
Informationhow to express an interest to deliver T Levels in 2022 to 2023 academic year, including the transition programme
Items for local authorities
Informationhow to express an interest to deliver T Levels in 2022 to 2023 academic year, including the transition programme
InformationR04 funding monitoring reports published

Published 18 December 2019

How Can Parents and Carers Support their Children with Career Decisions?
December 18, 2019

By Zoe Hendricks (RCDP MCDI, MA CEd & C) is a masters qualified career coach and an associate careers and employability practitioner at Ideas4Careers.

group of parents

As a parent, you are likely to be the first port of call for your child when they want to talk about careers. Naturally, you will want to give them the very best advice and support possible. However, it can be tricky to understand current options and choices. So, what can you do to help?

Will school do this for you?

Schools and colleges do their very best to help your child make good career choices. However, available resources may limit the extent of personal careers advice and guidance your child receives. Check if your child is given one-to-one, personal career guidance from a qualified career guidance professional. If so, discuss this with them and offer your support. For example, by taking your son or daughter to explore open days at colleges or universities or helping them to complete applications for courses or apprenticeships. Whether they receive effective careers support at school or not, you can still help them to take responsibility for making good career decisions.

Choosing a career

Some young people know exactly what career they are aiming for, but many do not. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t know what they want to do, this is normal! Even if they have some ideas, these may change as they get older. You can help them to start thinking about the type of work that might suit them through discussing their strengths and interests.

To help them do this, explore free tools and websites such as the iCould Buzz Quiz or Start Profile which offer quizzes and questionnaires that suggest career areas of interest based on their preferences. This can be a useful exercise to spark ideas and career discussions, but by no means should they feel they need to follow the suggestions. The National Careers Service ‘Explore Careers’ is also a trustworthy website for learning more about different jobs and what qualifications and skills are needed to get into them.

Work experiences 

Having personal experiences of different work environments can be a great way of discovering what kind of work may suit – or perhaps more importantly, rule out what doesn’t! As well as supporting your child with work experience placements organised through school, encourage your child to participate in opportunities or initiatives such as Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or the National Citizenship Service. Volunteering is also good experience and will help them to develop employability skills. Additionally, these types of activities can help your child to make effective applications for work, college or university, by incorporating them on their CV, on application forms or discussed during interviews. Find out more about volunteering in your area at Do-it.

What to study?

Broadly speaking, your child will have the opportunity to study towards academic qualifications such as A levels, or vocational qualifications such as a BTEC. Vocational study can keep the door open for university equally to A-Levels and can be undertaken through full-time education in sixth form, college or an apprenticeship. New qualifications – T-Levels which are being rolled out from September 2020 – are a mix of both and gradually becoming more available across the UK. Most importantly, your child should feel happy in what they do and have the best chance of success in their chosen route. For more information about choices after 16, visit Career Pilot.

What if it doesn’t work out?

Although you may want your child to make the right decision straight away, if it doesn’t work out – don’t stress. Learning resilience and overcoming difficulty are essential skills for your child to develop. This may mean working through their issues and staying with their chosen path, or maybe they need to explore something new and make an unplanned change. If you notice your son or daughter is not thriving or is unhappy, the sooner you address worry and concern, the better. There will always be other options available. Speak to your school or college or contact a careers adviser at the National Careers Service for advice.

A career is a journey full of twists and turns

Finally, it’s important to recognise that career choice is likely to change as your child develops. As careers advisers, we want the next generation to encounter meaningful, fulfilling and rewarding careers. We also know this is unlikely to be a straight-forward path! Every bump and obstacle your child encounters on their journey are opportunities for development. In turn, these experiences will help them to build the skills they need to positively manage future career decisions, as they move into adulthood.

For more information and resources visit Links4Careers

About the author

Zoe Hendricks

Zoe Hendricks (RCDP MCDI, MA CEd & C) is a masters qualified career coach and an associate careers and employability practitioner at Ideas4Careers. Zoe combines over 25 years of experience in training, coaching, recruitment and commerce with her drive to help individuals create fulfilling and rewarding careers. Her careers advice and guidance work in schools enable young people to make well-informed career and educational decisions at critical points in their life.

Workers Holding Multiple Temporary Roles
December 18, 2019

​More than one in 10 (12%) workers in the UK have multiple jobs and consider temporary work as their main role, according to research from Reed

The research, carried out as part of Reed’s ‘Temporary isn’t Temporary’ campaign, surveyed 5,000 workers and looked at their experiences of temporary and multiple-career roles.

When asked about the positive benefits of temporary or short-term contracts, more than a third (37%) cited work/life balance as the key reason they have followed this career structure. 

Access to a variety of work was the next-favoured reason at 34%, while 28% cited that a flexible and varied approach to gaining work experience would help boost their CV. Twenty-two per cent said seeing their family was a major benefit of temporary working. 

However, the research also found a variety of reasons some people are being deterred from temporary work. More than half (53%) of workers said they prefer the security of a permanent role, and 46% said the benefits of a permanent role (such as pensions and sick pay) are important in their preference for longer-term roles. 

Despite income and financial security being of great concern, two-thirds (66%) of workers indicated that they were not worried about the disadvantages of non-permanent work when applying for mortgages or loans. And more than three-quarters (77%) said they weren’t concerned about having to work whenever possible. 

The research also highlighted discrepancies in the views held by different demographics. 

Across the UK, multiple temporary contract roles seem to be favoured by men, with 21% viewing the increased hourly rate as an advantage compared to 17% of women. 

Temporary work appears to be favoured by the next generation and those at the beginning of their careers with 17% of 25- to 34-year-olds considering temporary employment to be their main role. More than a fifth (21%) of 25- to 34-year-olds hold more than one temporary role and 11% hold more than four temporary roles at one time. 

Claire Harvey, managing director of Reed UK & Ireland, said the research reveals that financial concerns can dissuade people from wanting to take up temporary work. 

“Having surveyed workers across the UK we know they want the flexibility of temporary work but are held back by financial concerns,” she said.

“When this barrier is removed there is little stopping workers from chasing their flexible working dream. And the good news is that a market with a healthy amount of temporary work can benefit both employers and employees.” 

Harvey added that employers can benefit from making sure temporary workers are given high-quality and varied work. 

“If employers can deliver the variety and quality of work at the same time as keeping the important flexibility in a role that candidate’s desire then they will capture the best temporary workers,” she said. 

“When they may not be able to employ a highly-skilled specialist on a permanent basis a client can benefit from their wisdom through a short-term contract. 

“With the progression of technology in the workplace it’s clear that the traditional nine to five is disappearing and, as a result, temporary or contract working is likely to become more and more common.”