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The number of self-employed contractors at director or senior manager level has increased by 47% in the last five years from 502,000 to 739,000, says Procorre, an international professional services consultancy that operates in all business sectors in over 100 countries.
Procorre says that this far outstrips the growth rate of 21% across all levels of self-employment since 2009, and the 32% growth in self-employment amongst all managers and professionals.
Senior professionals opting for self-employment enjoy the flexibility of working for themselves whilst gaining real job satisfaction as they use their experience to develop their business.
Some commentators have suggested that the rising level of self-employment in the UK is purely driven by lower-paid workers, many of whom would prefer a permanent role if it were available to them. However, Procorre says that further analysis reveals that there are many high-level, senior professionals who are actively choosing to become self-employed.
Lisa Mangan, Relationship Manager at Procorre, commented: “Self-employment is becoming an increasingly attractive option for staff in the most senior positions. Many directors are keen to take back control of their work-life balance and boost their earnings at the same time.
“There was a degree of nervousness about self-employment when businesses were struggling during the recession, with many seeing a permanent job as a safer option. The reality is that nowadays full-time employment gives you very little protection in an economic downturn. In fact, many contractors did very well during the financial crisis and now confidence is growing we’re seeing an unprecedented wave of highly-skilled workers becoming self-employed.”