Kiwi workers going solo
Page 1 of 2 .... 4:00AM Sunday May 10, 2009
Jonathan Milne

White-collar New Zealanders are preparing to sacrifice the security of nine-to-five salaries to head out on their own as private contractors - in unprecedented numbers.

Nearly two out of three professionals (63 per cent) say they would be happy to take on a contract role, a new survey shows. That is higher than anywhere in the world except in Britain.

Another 28 per cent would take on a contract role if there were no permanent options, according to the online survey conducted internationally by recruitment firm Robert Walters. Only eight per cent would rule out contract work entirely.

The figures may reflect the expectation that the public sector, in particular, will reduce staff numbers and rely more heavily on contractors and consultants. The Labour Opposition this week criticised the Government's reliance on "$1500-a-day consultants" while laying off 1000 public servants.

The private sector, too, is cutting back on permanent staff. Such changes appear to be encouraging salaried professionals to steel themselves for a new way of working.

More here.