As the UK prepares for a general election, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has today launched Let’s build the best jobs market in the world, a ‘manifesto for jobs’ urging policy-makers to prioritise the continued success of the labour market.
The REC is calling on recruiters to contact their local politicians and promote a series of policy recommendations, including:
- 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.
Almost 32 million people (31.95m) are currently in employment in the UK, the most since records began. Despite this success, the next government will face challenges including skills shortages, poor productivity, falling real wages, and uncertainty during Brexit negotiations. The REC’s manifesto outlines how the next government can mitigate these risks. Recommendations also include:
- Facilitate opportunities for older workers to return to work through an ‘all age’ careers advice network
- Create a new Skills Advisory Committee to review and respond to skills shortages
- Simplify the tax system and avoid extending IR35 rules to the private sector
- Ensure employment regulations reflect modern working practices
- Work with the recruitment industry to pre-empt how new working relationships with the EU might impact UK jobs
REC director of policy Tom Hadley said:
“From artificial intelligence to Brexit, there are huge issues which the next government must address to shore up the jobs market. Recruiters are thinking about these issues all the time, and their specialist insight and expertise can help prepare the UK for the future world of work. We want recruiters to use this manifesto to engage new and re-elected MPs and to help influence the debate.
“By working in collaboration with our industry and the wider business community, the next government can build the best jobs market in the world. We want policies designed to improve the employability and skills of our young people, and to boost inclusion for underrepresented groups. We also need an immigration system which will help not hinder employers as they seek the skills and talent they need.
“The REC will work with whoever forms the new government to deliver an aspirational vision for jobs. A dynamic and agile labour market will drive social well-being as well as economic success, because jobs transform lives and good people transform businesses.”