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BECTU Studies Freelance 'Co-Operative'

A report into the suitability of the co-operative model for freelances working in media and entertainment has been published by the broadcast union BECTU and Co-operatives UK.
The report covers work undertaken during 2010 to assess the needs of freelances and to examine whether the co-operative business model could improve support for the many thousands either trying to establish themselves or to build sustainable careers.
BECTU is not alone in its criticism of the current agency regime in the UK, which leaves many freelances open to exploitation.
Introducing the report, Spencer MacDonald, national official, said: "This research highlights the challenges and complexity of the freelance employment market and the role agencies play.
"Most freelances are completely reliant on a small number of the contacts; because of this, and the transient nature of the industry, we examined whether a co-operative agency would be a better option for our members.
"The assumption is it would, but this research shows that certain categories of member would benefit more than others."
The report concludes the first year of a two-year project part-funded by the Union Modernisation Fund.
In 2011, the union will continue its work with Co-operatives UK to support groups of members keen to set up co-operatives.
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