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Why we want to change the part-time and flexible jobs market

 

LotteryThe Hire Me My Way campaign addresses a huge societal issue. The shortage of quality, part-time and flexible vacancies locks hundreds of thousands of people out of the jobs market, causing many social and economic problems.

This is why our campaign is being supported by the Big Lottery Fund. They believe in supporting innovative approaches that tackle inequality and achieve real, long term impact for families struggling to raise their living standards.

1.9 million people could benefit financially from getting a quality flexible job. Of these, over 1.5 million people are currently stuck in low-paid flexible jobs below their skill level, and a further 400,000 people are workless. For these people, the major block to higher wages is a lack of quality, part-time or flexible jobs, NOT a lack of skills. This is a significant barrier to the UK achieving full employment. What’s more, it’s disproportionately women who are getting ‘stuck’ in flexible jobs they are overqualified for, unable to progress up the pipeline and thereby preventing those with lower level skills from getting a foot in the door.

So, what needs to happen?

At the moment, only 8.7% of UK job adverts mention any form of flexible working, while more than half the UK workforce want to work flexibly in their next role. This imbalance needs to change. Employers have an opportunity to deliver on business need while contributing social value, by opening-up more quality roles to flexibility at the point of hire.

That is why the Big Lottery Fund is supporting our approach. Our campaign aims to tackle the disadvantage experienced by those trapped below their earning potential at all levels of the jobs market – but we are providing particular help to those at the bottom. Not by investing in more skills or employability training, but by changing the way jobs are designed. In doing so we aim to open up access to quality jobs for thousands more people, who are either locked out or locked down in the jobs market by their need to work flexibly.

We’re already making great progress – take a look at the range of leading UK employers who are backing our campaign, opening up their jobs to flexibility at the point of hire. At all levels.

How you can help

Increasing the number of part-time and flexible jobs will help so many people – parents and carers, people with disabilities, older workers, people with health issues, and many other groups. This is why we want you to sign-up and join the campaign. The more people who call for flexibility in their jobs, the more employers and recruiters will want to respond and change; and the more inclusive and fair the job market will become.

Emma Stewart, MBE, is Joint CEO of Timewise, and co-founder of the Hire Me My Way campaign.

 
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