Part-time-2

Over the same period, the projected growth in part-time female workers is 7%

The number of part-time male workers is set to increase by 20% by 2024, according to research from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The report found that this growth is particularly marked for men in professional or management roles, where an increase of 25% is projected, signalling a significant change in the working patterns of men in highly paid, highly skilled positions.

Over the same period the projected growth in part-time female workers is 7%, and a 7% rise is also predicted for the number of women working full time.

Overall, the number of jobs in the UK is projected to rise by about 1.8 million between 2014 and 2024 – an average growth of about 0.5% per year. Private services are forecast to be the main engine of employment growth, contributing more than 90% of the net additional jobs during this timescale.

Lesley Giles, deputy director at UKCES, said that while part-time work is most common in low-paid professions and is largely dominated by women this report shows signs of that trend changing.

“The increase in men working flexible hours has been catalysed by the right to shared parental leave,” she said. “Coupled with other changes, like the growth in jobs in sectors traditionally dominated by women, this could represent a real change in the way people work and the way we understand gender roles in the labour market.”

Simon Allport, North West senior partner at EY, who himself works flexibly, said that it is not hard to understand the reasons behind this trend. “Quite simply, flexible working is a source of competitive advantage to employers,” he said. “It helps companies to attract and retain talented individuals.

“I took the decision to work flexibly in 2013 to spend more time with my family. The firm’s leadership, colleagues and clients have been hugely supportive and it’s brought a number of benefits for the business.

“We need to recognise that the world of work is changing and that a mature, modern workforce is flexible,” he added.