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One in 10 workers in the North West consider their main role to be in non-permanent work. People in the region are choosing multiple jobs and the flexibility of temporary contracts to improve their work-life balance, access to variety of work and gain new challenges, according to research released today (Tuesday 3 December 2019).

The research, carried out by recruitment experts Reed 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.

When asked about the positive benefits of temporary or short-term working contracts, over a third of people (37%) living in the North West 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 31%, and nearly a quarter (23%) 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 (55%) of workers saying they prefer the security of a permanent role. With 45% 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. And more than three quarters (78%) said that they weren’t concerned about having to work whenever possible.

Across the UK, temporary contracts also seem to be most used by the next generation at the beginning of their careers with 17% of 25-34 year olds considering temporary employment to be their main role.

While 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.

Alexa Naylor, regional managing director of Reed North West, said: “For workers in the North West of the UK, temporary working is very appealing due to the balance between the personal and professional life it offers. The region’s strong economy with its wide range of industries, including those in technology and creative sectors, is well placed to support workers in their search for regular temporary work to deliver the balance they want.

“It’s a candidates market and the finding that 78% aren’t worried about having to work whenever possible in temporary work shows that workers feel they can afford to pick and choose which work they take. The only barrier seems to be concerns around benefits such as pensions and sick pay. At Reed Specialist Recruitment we have this covered offering PAYE temporary workers their own, holiday and sick cover. As such, businesses have to be prepared that there will be a battle for the best temporary talent.”

“With this perceived barrier removed there’s not a lot preventing workers from chasing their flexible working desires. The good news is that a market with a healthy amount of temporary work can benefit both employers and employees.

“If employers can deliver a variety of challenging roles that are flexible - which jobseekers are looking for - then they can capture the most talented pool of temporary workers. At Reed Specialist Recruitment we have seen the benefits this can bring to business – they may not be able to employ a specialist on a permanent contract, but certainly reap the benefits of a skilled temporary worker. It’s clear that temporary working is becoming the go-to for many.”

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