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<img title="Thinking of becoming a Freelancer in the UK? (Infographic)" src="https://ashburnham-insurance.co.uk/wordpress/media/freelancer-infographic.png" alt="Thinking of becoming a Freelancer in the UK? (Infographic)" />
Infographic by <a title="Ashburnham Insurance Services" href="https://www.ashburnham-insurance.co.uk">Ashburnham Insurance</a></p>

A freelancer is a self-employed contractor who is hired by clients for their specific skills and services, earning on a project basis. Being a freelancer offers a degree of flexibility that traditional employment doesn’t, as you can choose to seek short-term or long-term projects.

According to ONS (Office of National Statistics), from 2008 to 2017, the level of self-employment in the UK grew from 3.8 million to 4.8 million. The fastest growing segment of self employed workers are freelancers who in 2017 accounted for 42% of the 4.8 million, contracting their work by project. The IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed) reported that freelancers contributed £119 billion to the UK economy in 2016.

The same IPSE report states that 41% of freelancers are female, and 1 in 7 of all freelancers are working mothers. The number of mothers working as freelancers has increased by 79% between 2008 and 2016.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the number of millennials between the ages of 26 to 29 who are rejecting the “9 to 5” status quo to pursue careers as freelancers has risen by 66%. Only 1 in 8 freelancers surveyed said that they had a second job. According to research by PeoplePerHour, a freelancing portal, 87% of self-employed workers state that they would never be an employee again. Statistics generally show that the longer you freelance, the less likely you are to pursue traditional employment again in the future. 67% of those surveyed said they choose to freelance for the freedom. 3 in 4 freelancers chose self-employment as a career choice, whilst only 24% of freelancer stated that they had no option.

The founder of PeoplePerHour, Xenios Thrasyvoulou, has said:

We predict by 2020, 50 per cent of the workforce will be self-employed and contributing more than £51 billion to the UK economy.

More and more businesses are starting to opt for hiring freelancers rather than hiring part-time or full-time employees, as it enables them to take advantage of the specialist skills freelancers provide on a more flexible basis without long-term commitments. Self-employed workers are often responsible for purchasing their own public liability insurance and contract works cover.

According to the Upwork’s Skills Index, the last quarter of 2017 saw an incredibly interesting top 20 list of fastest-growing freelance skills:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Amazon DynamoDB
  3. React native
  4. Robotics
  5. Go development
  6. Forex trading
  7. 3D rigging
  8. Augmented reality
  9. Computer vision
  10. Penetration testing
  11. Media buying
  12. Chef.io
  13. Shopify development
  14. AngularJS development
  15. Swift development
  16. Video editing
  17. Influencer marketing
  18. Machine learning
  19. 3D modeling
  20. Motion graphics

This does seem to correlate with IPSE’s 4 largest occupational groups:

  1. Artistic, literary and media occupations
  2. Managers and proprietors in other services
  3. Teaching and education professors
  4. IT and telecommunication professions

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