Two-thirds of workers taking on multiple jobs, study finds

Research by the Department for Education shows ‘portfolio’ careers are on the rise, with employees keen to expand their skills and gain broader experience

Two-thirds of workers are either taking on multiple jobs or are planning to do so, research by the Department of Education (DfE) has found, with the number of people having ‘portfolio’ careers growing during lockdown.

The study of 2,000 adults in England found that 63 per cent either already have multiple roles as part of a portfolio career, or plan to do so in the future.

Additionally, a quarter (26 per cent) of employed adults would consider a portfolio career either now or in the future.

The study, which was conducted in November by the government in partnership with OnePoll, found that 37 per cent more people have a portfolio career than before the pandemic.

Of those who took up a portfolio career, a fifth (22 per cent) said that the main driver was the desire to do something different, while 17 per cent said the desire to retrain was a factor in their decision.

It comes as the DfE called on professionals to take on a part-time or flexible further education role alongside their career in order to share their industry skills and expertise.

Get more HR and employment law news like this delivered straight to your inbox every day – sign up to People Management’s PM Daily newsletter

Through its Further Education Teacher Recruitment Campaign, the government is encouraging workers with ‘substantial industry experience’ to teach their skill or trade to further education colleges. 

According to the DfE, there was particular demand for skilled professionals in areas such as legal, manufacturing, health and social care, and IT.

Helen Tupper, co-founder and CEO of Amazing If, said teaching as part of a portfolio career was an “excellent way to make the most of existing expertise while trying something new, and can also increase people’s sense of purpose, increasing their happiness at work over the long term.”

She added: “Portfolio careers give people freedom and flexibility to try different careers to get what they need from work. They help people to develop and demonstrate skills in different settings, expand their network and accelerate their learning.”