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Workers in the West Midlands are looking to temporary work to improve their work-life balance, gain greater variety of work and find new challenges, 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.

When asked about the positive benefits of temporary or short-term working contracts, over a third (35%) of people living in the West Midlands cited work-life balance as the key reason why they choose temporary work.

Access to a variety of work was the next favoured reason at 33%, with more than a quarter (26%) saying a flexible and varied approach to gaining work experience would help boost their CV. A fifth cited that new challenges offered by temporary work are appealing.

However, the research also identified the reasons that are deterred workers from temporary employment. More than half (56%) of workers said they prefer the security of a permanent role, with 43% identifying that the benefits of a permanent role, such a pensions and sick pay, were important.

Despite income and financial security being of great concern, 69% indicated that they were not worried about the disadvantages of non-permanent work when applying for mortgages or loans. And four-fifths (80%) said that they weren’t concerned about having to work whenever possible.

Across the UK, temporary contracts are most used by those early in 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, more than a fifth (21%) hold more than one temporary role, while 11% hold more than four temporary roles at one time.

Rob Russell, regional managing director of Reed Midlands, said: “Having surveyed workers across the West Midlands, we know that more would seize the benefits of temporary work if they were not held back by financial concerns. However, with a number of industries promising job creation in the region, this could be the moment workers try the flexibility associated with temporary employment.

“For a long time, manufacturing and engineering skills have provided lucrative contracts for workers in the West Midlands, and that is continuing. But the creative industries and others are also opening up temporary working opportunities.

The good news for these workers is that a major concern, lack of pensions and sick pay, are now not an issue. Reed Specialist Recruitment already has this covered with its own pension scheme for its PAYE temporary workers.

“If employers can deliver the variety and quality of work, while maintaining flexibility in a role that candidates desire, then they can capture the best temporary workers. At Reed Specialist Recruitment, we have seen the benefits this can bring to businesses that may not be able to employ some talented workers on a permanent basis, but can benefit from their wisdom through a short term contract. The traditional 9-5 is disappearing. Temporary working is part of a more flexible future.”