Wales is quickly becoming the UK hub of self employment, with 176,000 now working for themselves. That is 32% of new jobs in the country.
Many of these people are no doubt contractors, freelancers, and gig workers, while others have taken the route of starting a small business in order to make their own income.
Take Tom Maunder for example, a car body repairer from Wales who had been made redundant 3 times. After getting his P45 for a third time he decided enough was enough, and instead of looking for another job went the self employment route instead.
Actually, he ended up buying the small company from where he had been given his walking papers before, thanks to a loan from his parents and a bit of savings.
This is the type of entrepreneurship I like to see among workers in the UK. Many people in Tom’s position could have simply given up and spent the next few years signing on down the local job centre, and this is what many people do.
However, Tom decided that if employers were not prepared to give him a chance then he might as well make his own opportunities, and that is why he has gone on to be a success, with help from his family along the way.
It just goes to show that self employment in Wales is still going strong, and as long as there are people like the Maunder family then I don’t think anything is going to change soon.
Around 1 in 5 new jobs in Wales are to do with self employment, whether it be contractors, freelance professionals, or small business owners, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if in 10 years time this figure is 2 in 5 jobs…or even 50% of all new jobs.
The new figures do show that the area in Wales does matter when it comes to self employment, with towns that have historically been involved with industry having the lowest rate of people working for themselves, while areas that are more known for farming have the most.
In Powys it is said that 1 in 3 people are self employed farmers. Also, many of these rural communities in Wales have other businesses such as cafes, restaurants, and hotels, where the self employed do a great trade year after year.
Away from the town and villages we have the cities of Cardiff and Swansea, which are quickly making a name for themselves as the place to be in the UK if you want to work in freelance industries.
The cost of living in these cities in Wales is significantly lower than places like London and Birmingham, which means many gig workers are thinking about relocating to Wales.
So self employment in Wales is looking good, and things are only going to get better if you ask me.