As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on job opportunities, with the government forecasting unemployment is likely to hit 2.6m (7.5% of the working population) by the summer of 2021, is now is a good time to consider temporary employment?
This is especially relevant if you are currently on furlough, unemployed or just fancy a career change.
Although temporary contracts were traditionally used to cover maternity leave, seasonal infill or short term project, it is clear that Covid-19 is having a longer term impact on the jobs market and in some cases creating severe skills shortages.
Also, despite an encouraging vaccine roll out, we are still seeing almost 10m people on furlough and around 2.6m claiming job seekers allowance or universal credit as they are searching for work. This compares with 1.4m in March 2020 – in a pre-pandemic UK.
The current pandemic and, for some, continuing economic pressures has encouraged many to consider temporary work as a way of supplementing their income. It has also encouraged others to evaluate a new role or skill before a possible change in career.
For example, a temporary position can help establish an improved work-life balance with its flexible approach to working. It also shows prospective employers that you are keen and motivated and not simply switching off and waiting for Homes under the Hammer to start.
A temporary job can last from one day a week, to weeks, or even months, depending on the needs of the employer. And while working more hours could possibly affect your benefits (check with us) there is little doubt that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
As we said earlier, taking a temporary position can be either an income generator, a way of honing existing skills, developing new ones, or testing out a new career move. It is also a good way to expand the skills section of a CV or LinkedIn profile.
In addition, temporary contracts, offered by us, in most cases provide the same legal protection as permanent employment. Naturally, this depends on the type of employment contract, such as agency work etc., but a fixed term employee has the legal right not to be treated less favourably than a comparable permanent employee.
If you are looking for a career change or wanting to upskill, certain sectors have constantly experienced skills shortages. For example, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industries, are constantly looking to strengthen their specialist staff pool. And this is without the increased pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another major benefit for taking a temporary job is the exposure it gives you in the employment market. Being able to experience a different, and possibly a previously unknown working environment, as well as an opportunity to network both physically (when we can) and virtually online via social media and LinkedIn is a considerable asset.
It is, therefore, important to retain and promote all positive feedback while at the same time adding it to an updated CV.
Employers are also more likely to be responsive to hiring someone on a full time basis if they already have some knowledge and / or an awareness of the person. Temporary employment is a valuable way of road testing a new industry or employer. It can also open doors to a permanent position via the ‘temp to perm’ process.
With the Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating just yet, temporary employment could be just the job to keep motivated, sharpen work skills and earn much need income. It’s also the chance to try something different and explore what other opportunities exist – possibly in a sector or industry that is unfamiliar.
This is another way to impress a future employer. Willing to have a go at working in an unfamiliar industry, rather than not work at all is a sure fire way to align yourself to a new hirer.
There is no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything. This has resulted in, probably for the first time in their working life, around 10m of the UK working population spending more time at home rather than at work. A situation that, when combined with the current employment situation, is, undoubtedly, causing high levels of stress, anxiety and worry – all leading to potential mental health issues.
For those who are used to working on a regular basis, especially with other people, this can result in a feeling of helplessness and isolation. In addition, there could be the possible fear of being made redundant, as we come out of furlough, and thus be unable to provide for the family and loved ones.
A bit over – dramatic, maybe, but in our current experience very real for many people. That’s why, we believe, temporary employment can be a saviour for combatting the current situation.
Businesses are now re-assessing their workforce requirements and skill sets as they respond to the ‘new normal’. This means temporary employment, on a managed basis, could be one of the ways we come out of the pandemic with dignity.