Charles Handy, a latter day British philospopher wrote in his book The Age of Unreason in the 1989 that we were turning into a “cloverleaf organisations”

Recent UK Government statistics out this week show that every day his predictions are becoming more and more true.

The “cloverleaf organisation” – later called the shamrock organisation – has a small core at the centre of a system who are the full time employees of corporations. Around this are “leaves” made up of outsourced work, contractors, consultants and temporary workers. Whilst is was revolutionary at the time, it turned out to be an accurate prediction of the future.

Government statistics out this week show that every recession forces more and more out of full time work through redundancy and layoffs. Many of them choose not to, or are unable to find full time work back in companies. So they join the growing group of self employed, sole traders or contractors who have ‘portfolio careers’ – which is code for “doing what ever they can to make ends meet”.

Last month the number of people in work increased by 105,000 to 30 million, but this was almost entirely due to a rise in part-time workers. Almost 8 million are in part time jobs which is an all time high, with the self employed reaching a peak of 4.1 million, up 89,000 since the last quarter.

Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, said this was a welcome step.

But all these new self-employed and entrepreneurs setting up small businesses which are the future workplace for the UK are still confronted with a barrage of Government red tape

“It’s not the government’s role to create jobs; that’s the role of small business and entrepreneurs. Government needs to get out of the way and let us do what we do best,” said James Caan, CEO of venture capital and investment firm Hamilton Bradshaw and former BBC Dragon.

In an interview for REALBusiness, James Caan’s comments echo sentiments felt by British business as a whole. A recent British Chambers of Commerce survey showed that the vast majority of SMEs feel “choked” by government regulations.

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