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Episode 1

Millions of people are reinventing their world of work. Ruth Barnes presents the first in a new series exploring these changes and the effect on people's lives.

What do we want from work? Millions of people are now reinventing their working lives. Ruth Barnes presents the first in a new series exploring the changing world of work.

There are now five million self-employed people in the UK, it’s the fastest-growing group of workers. Sometimes it's a case of "needs must" as conventional industries collapse - but the evidence suggests that most are doing it because they want to, they see themselves as breaking free.

The internet is full of inspirational talks from the late Steve Jobs and others, exhorting us to take risks, set out on our own, make our fortune. But with the average freelancer earning only £240 a week - about half the earnings of the average employee - what is the price of freedom?

In this first programme, Breaking Free, Ruth hears from people who have reinvented their working lives, becoming taxi drivers, brewers or cleaners. She talks to David Graeber, an anthropology professor who tapped into something really big when he published his book Bullshit Jobs.

Ruth Barnes spent ten years as a producer and presenter at the BBC, covering music and culture across the national radio. She’s written and presented music documentaries for Radio 4, reported live from the Glastonbury Festival for BBC Radio 5 Live and the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for BBC Radio 2. In 2006, Ruth started her own online radio show The Other Woman, to showcase new music from female artists. She is three years into running her own podcast production company Chalk & Blade, an independent start-up based in East London.

Producers: Susan Marling and Elizabeth Burke
A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Fri 5 Apr 2019 11:00