The local and European elections provide a perfect opportunity for policy makers to get behind the growing number of self-employed workers and ‘unlock the potential’ of this fast growing sector, says freelancing body PCG.

PCG, the representative body for freelancers and independent professionals, has highlighted a variety of ways in which the elected local Councillors and Members of European Parliament  can help the sector, referred to by Prime Minister David Cameron as ‘the engine of our economy.

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics in April show that there are now 4.5 million self-employed workers in the UK.

Of those self-employed, 1.72 million are freelancers, contributing around £95 billion to the economy, according to a report released in November 2013 by Professor John Kitching.

Commenting on the upcoming local elections, Simon McVicker, PCG’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs said:

“By supporting self-employment locally, Councillors will boost businesses in their constituencies just when they need it most. For example, by working to improve local connectivity such as broadband internet and local transport infrastructure, Councils will ensure self-employed professionals can remain in touch with clients at all times – a vitally important part of 21st Century business.

“Councillors could also boost self-employment by turning unused council properties into community work spaces to provide those starting a business with somewhere to do business.”

Mr McVicker also believes that more support for independent professionals would ensure Europe’s economic recovery continues. Furthermore, he says, ‘appointing  an Envoy for independent professionals would ensure the fastest growing sector of the European Labour Market is properly represented in Brussels.”

Photo by Eoghan Lionnain