2016 is already looking like it’s going to be a big year for the self-employed. We’ve recently seen the publication of Julie Deane’s independent review into self-employment. Our policy team worked closely with Julie and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills ahead of the report’s publication and it’s a measure of our success that the final report has taken up so many of our policy suggestions. Going it alone can be hard work, and there are things Government can do to make it that little bit easier. It’s IPSE’s job to ensure that your voice is heard. The report is another authoritative independent voice making a case for our community, and Government know we want to see the report’s recommendations implemented.
This year we’ll see one of the most significant votes in our lifetime – whether to stay in or leave the EU. It’s a decision with huge implications. I joined other business leaders in Downing Street and told the Prime Minister what you, our members, wanted from his renegotiation. You told us you didn’t want regulation to hold your business back and that our own civil servants should stop gold plating European legislation and this was the message I delivered to the Prime Minister as I sat across from him at the Cabinet table. Through IPSE, our members are having their voice heard on the EU debate at the very highest level and we’ll endeavour to spell out what staying in or leaving could mean for your business, to help inform your referendum vote.
As an organisation we have had extraordinary success in putting your issues to the top of the political agenda. We can only do this with a large and active membership. Every time you email us about an issue, you help shape the message we deliver to the Government and Parties from across the political spectrum, in every corner of the UK. With every new member who joins IPSE, our voice grows stronger so whenever you’re working with other contractors and freelancers, tell them about IPSE. Our recently improved “Member get Member” offering means that you will benefit too – see our website to download your personalised intro leaflet to send to all your fellow contractors.
We’re looking to find new ways to support the freelance and self-employed community and we’re proud to let you know about the IPSE Academy. The IPSE Academy is our new training offering available to all our members. It provides access to discounted training courses in areas from business skills to industry specific training and IT courses. This comes on top of our existing service, which includes access to excellent virtual training courses from Ashridge Business School and a regular schedule of events up and down the country – watch the IPSE website for the launch of the IPSE Academy.
By the time the next edition of IPSE Magazine is issued, we will have hosted our inaugural policy conference and that event will have a large write-up covering several pages of the next issue. It’s a big moment for IPSE as we will be bringing together over 100 policy makers, business leaders and IPSE members in one room. It’s going to be an exciting event where we’ll be discussing practical policy ideas that can be introduced by government and others to make life easier for people like you, who are brave enough to be going it alone.