National Freelancers Day 2013 focusing on ‘Ability, Aptitude and Agility’

Tuesday 17 September 2013

National Freelancers Day 2013, which is aiming to celebrate the work of the UK’s 1.6 million contractors, freelancers and entrepreneurs, will take place on Thursday November 21st. 

The event is set to be held at LSO St Luke’s in Central London and will focus on the theme of ‘Ability, Aptitude and Agility’, and how central these terms are to what contractors do. 

Julie Stewart, chairman of PCG - the membership association for freelancers, noted that freelancers plough some £88 billion into the UK economy every year.

The expert also underlined that the number of people freelancing has soared by 82 per cent over the last ten years, as people step away from traditional career structures and place more importance on work-life balance. 

Due to this, “it is vitally important to understand, appreciate, protect and support the work that they do,” she said, adding that National Freelancers Day is “the perfect way to do just that”. 

Businesswoman and Apprentice star Karren Brady is the keynote speaker at the evening event. She will be joined by a high-profile expert panel, which will have a ‘Question Time’ style debate surrounding flexible working and its impact on the economy. 

Joining Karren on the panel will be Isabel Oakeshott, editor of the Sunday Times, along with parliamentary private secretary to the secretary of state for communities and local government John Glen MP, and LBC’s Nick Ferrari. BBC broadcaster Liz Barclay and life-long freelancing broadcaster Sue Lawley will round off the panel. 

After a subsequent question and answer session with the audience, attendees are invited to networking drinks and platters. 

A live internet broadcast will also be streamed throughout the day, featuring two City experts - Peter Ibbetson, former chairman of small business at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest, and Jayne Atherton, business editor of Metro.

The pair will field questions posed to them by viewers via Twitter, email and telephone. 

Meanwhile, Rachel Riley, Countdown star, will also take a look at the emergence of the freelance sector through a series of videos which will be made available to view online at in the next few weeks. 

This event comes at a good time for contractors, with new figures revealing that demand for freelancers shot up in August. 

Indeed, last month saw billings for contractors and other temporary staff grow at the fastest rate since July 1998, according to the Report on Jobs from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). 

What’s more, this trend is occurring nationwide, it seems, with billings rising in every English region. However, recruiters in the north reported the most impressive performance. 

According to figures, this increase in bookings has seen the availability of temporary and contract workers drop at its quickest pace for six years. This in turn could be contributing to the growing rates of pay for contractors. 

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, explained: "In the current marketplace, organisations seem increasingly willing to pay more for top talent.”

By Victoria McDonnell

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