New government must prioritise the UK jobs market – REC
The REC has called upon the new government to put skills and jobs at the heart of its priorities. Responding to the results of the UK general election, REC chief executive Kevin Green says:
“The nation has voted, however it remains unclear this morning who will be occupying Number 10 or forming our next government. Uncertainty creates a vacuum so we urge the politicians to reach an agreement quickly and to prioritise prosperity and jobs.
“Whatever the outcome, the REC will work hard over the coming days, weeks and months to build links with the new government and to make them aware of the positive contribution our industry makes to the UK economy and labour market.
“Whoever takes the reigns must front up quickly to challenges including the imminent Brexit negotiations which will shape the jobs market over the next decade. The UK has labour, skill and talent shortages and the evidence points to the situation getting worse before it gets better. Organisations are only as good as the people they hire. In hospitals, schools, start-ups or in larger businesses, employers are deeply concerned about the impact on their business of not being able to find people for the jobs they have available.
“Recruiters are jobs market experts, and we will urge policy-makers to collaborate with the REC and our members to build the best jobs market in the world.”
Ahead of the general election, the REC asked 201 employers what they thought should be the new government’s top priority for the labour market, and found:
- a third (33 per cent) said the new government should develop a strategy to make sure businesses have people with the skills they need
- one in five (20 per cent) said the new government should agree a post-Brexit immigration system that helps businesses find the people they need
- 11 per cent said the government must ensure that regulations reflect modern working practices.
The REC’s ‘manifesto for jobs’, published in May, set out the professional body’s recommendations for the next government. It called on policy-makers to:
- prepare young people for jobs of the future by embedding employability within the school curriculum and aligning the skills market with labour market needs
- introduce a new training levy to help people in non-permanent roles who are excluded from the Apprenticeship Levy
- build a pragmatic post-EU immigration system that reflects the needs of businesses in different sectors and regions.
As an industry training provider, the Recruitment Training Group feels passionately in the training and development of the recruitment industry training professionals as well as the UK’s workforce as a whole. Co-Founder, Ian Knowlson said:
“It is essential that we invest heavily in the training and development of workers in all sectors of our economy. As we move into towards the second decade of the 21st century it is increasingly likely that we are going to see major structural changes in the nature and types of employment. The arrival of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, the Internet of Things, Robots and 3D Printing are likely to massively changes the jobs people do, the skills they need and the whole nature of employment itself.”
“For the UK to remain competitive it is essential that we develop a culture of life-long-learning and education and the new government needs to ensure we have the structures, economic climate, incentives and institutions fit-for-purpose to deliver this. There are going to be tens of thousands of workers displaced and they will need retraining.”
“This new government needs to recognise this challenge today and take the necessary steps before 2020. The new Apprenticeship Levy has potential to be a part of this solution but much more is needed.”