Is a Gig Job Becoming Inevitable for Young People?
It’s getting tougher and tougher for younger people to get a ‘proper job’, as their parents might say. Starting as a graduate trainee or apprentice in a company and working your way up over years and years isn’t the done thing anymore. Nowadays, people are spending less and less time working for the same company. More and more people are self-employed and/or freelance, and more and more people are on zero-hour contracts.
The Gig Economy is Only Getting Bigger
In 2021, the government reported that there are over 5 million workers registered as self-employed in the UK – a number that has risen considerably since the 2008 financial crash. Believe it or not, it represents almost a fifth of the entire UK workforce. There are now almost 3 million people directly involved the gig economy – and 56% of these people are under the age of 34. In 2020, 3.2% of the entire UK workforce were on zero hour contracts. That may not sound like a lot, but consider that that’s up from 0.4% in 2005. That’s a substantial increase, and in the US and other countries, the numbers are drastically higher, suggesting that we’re only moving one way.
That means that young people coming out of full time education are less and less likely to get a permanent job. But don’t worry – that’s not necessarily something to lament or try and avoid – the whole economy is changing, and there’s no point getting left behind. COVID has only sped up this change. In an uncertain world, employers in industries not traditionally part of the gig economy are looking to keep employees working remotely on shorter term contracts or as freelancers.
Some Places Are Trying to Fight Back
On the other hand, certain countries are trying to fight back against the gig economy. It was recently reported that the Singaporean government has placed a minimum age restriction on ride hailing platforms in the country, meaning that if you want to be a private-hire driver in Singapore, you now have to be over 30 years old. The Singaporean government in particular fear that a large proportion of young people are rejecting the 9-5 office jobs in favour of flexible and lucrative gig jobs in which they also don’t have to pay as much into the country’s social security scheme, but it is an issue which other countries may well consider attempting to restrain if the gig economy keep on growing.
Should I Get a Gig Job?
Gig jobs can provide a healthy income and flexibility, as well as important marketable skills. In the age of COVID, flexibility has become more important for both employee and employer. Gig jobs often require you to sell yourself more fervently than you might do in a cushy 9 to 5, so you might well gain an entrepreneurial attitude that can prove invaluable to anyone in any industry. You’ll also gain better organisational and time management skills from having a more unique work schedule.
Need a Job? Check out our article on How to Find a Gig Job in London.
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