An eBay-style recruitment service where employers can book workers by the hour launches in Liverpool next week after the completion of a successful pilot project.
More than 400 workers have already signed up to the ‘Slivers-of-Time’ programme, which is backed by a £500,000 government grant. A further 5,000 workers are waiting to take part.
A trial scheme for catering and cleaning roles took place at Newham Council in East London this summer.
Slivers-of-Time could give employers access to millions of additional people across the country, including carers, students and the newly retired, who are unable to commit to regular part-time work.
A study by Oxford Economic Forecasters showed that, with just 5% take-up among target groups, it could save the taxpayer £400m a year in benefits claims.
Nick Hughes, managing director of South Liverpool Recruitment, a social enterprise firm, said: “It’s an eBay for the workplace where people can sell and buy time. Companies can tap into the local workforce and access a much wider pool of candidates.”
Workers are also rated on their reliability, and employers are encouraged to provide feedback after each booking.
Wingham Rowan, programme director for Slivers-of-Time, estimated that the scheme could shave more than a third off employers’ recruitment costs.
“This is the leading edge of flexible working,” he said. “The main advantages are its immediacy and precision. It allows companies to book people as and when they need them,” he added.