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February 2, 2017updated 29 Jul 2022 5:57am

Uncertain times force UK businesses to hire gig economy workers – but who should train them?

UK businesses say more gig economy workers to be hired by 2020.


Trump, Article 50 and Brexit – uncertain times lay ahead, with UK businesses responding to this economic uncertainty by turning to the gig economy.

Those turning to the gig economy are doing so out of need for flexibility and specialist skills, with those hiring temporary talent on a ‘gig’ basis set to hire even more temps on a project basis by 2020.

According to an EMEA-wide survey by Oracle, nearly 40% of UK companies already hire most of their new staff on a temporary or project basis, with half planning to hire even more temporary workers by 2020.

Although HR professionals unanimously agree in the benefits provided by gig workers, they are divided on who should foot the bill for training.

40% believe employees hired on a gig basis should be held responsible for the management and payment of their own training, while on the other side of the fence sits another 40% who argue that training should be the responsibility of employers.

The workers themselves sided with the latter 40%, with just 11% believing contract workers are responsible for their own training and development.

Andy Campbell, HCM Strategy Director at Oracle said: “The way we develop talent needs a rethink if UK businesses are to stay on top of their project and recruit skilled candidates on shorter notice.

“HR leaders who are already playing a more strategic role in the boardroom will now be tasked with finding new ways to match the right people to the right jobs at the right time.”

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Although UK businesses may remain divided on their obligation to train contract workers, it is essential that they adapt their approach to the realities of the gig economy. One potential solution could be found in the availability of resources. 56% of HR leaders believe training materials should be made publically available to freelancers so they can develop the specific skills required to fill open roles.

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