The future of work – a flexible workforce?

23 Oct 2017


The most valuable asset that this country possesses is its people and the way that people want to work, and the work that they will do, is changing – and that change is coming quickly.  Creating the right work environment for people is of critical economic and social importance.

In the recently published Future of Jobs commission report produced by the REC, the recommendations are aimed at delivering this as well as the high level goal of ‘Creating the best jobs market in the world by 2025’.

The ongoing need for flexibility

Two of the most important themes within these recommendations are firstly, the ongoing need for flexibility in the work force, but delivered in a way that fairly balances the benefits between workers and the businesses that engage them, and secondly, the impact that technology will have in terms of how we work and what things we work on.

The commission, something that Brookson were pleased to be invited to participate in, covers these and other significant themes and delivers a range of important recommendations.

The report has produced a compelling set of recommendations and clearly articulated that a successful future jobs market is one where flexible working options are available and where people have genuine choice as to how they work. Something that Brookson has been passionate about for over 20 years.

A collaborative approach

It is incumbent on the government, employers, recruiters, service providers and individuals to each play their part in making the UK the best jobs market in the world and even with this collaborative approach, this will be a significant challenge, but it is one we must meet.

Helping individuals who want to work flexibly, assisting organisations wanting more access to this flexible workforce, or supporting entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business are all key to this.

The world of work is rapidly changing, and many of the jobs being undertaken today will simply not exist in seven years. At the same time, many new jobs are emerging – driven by the advancement of new technologies.

The rise of self-employment

‘Employability’ is no longer the right terminology to use, as many individuals will choose to work not as employees but as freelancers, independent professionals or contractors. The rise of self-employment and ‘gig’ working has been rapid; currently 4.8 million (15 per cent of people) choose to work in this way. The best jobs market in the world for individuals is one with opportunities to get into work and subsequently progress, and one where people have genuine choice in terms of ways of working. It is also one where flexible working options becomes the norm.

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