Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

REC response to the Spending Review

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), commented:

“Supporting people back into work is a highly specialised task and the UK's recruitment industry are the jobs experts that can get this done. We’ve made a robust case for this to the Treasury and DWP, and our members have been on standby to help since day one. Now we need to see action, and quickly.

“We're already working with government to support businesses and workers in navigating the recovery, including through the Kickstart scheme which the REC is facilitating to get more workers into the employment industry. A close partnership with government to ensure jobseekers can access the expertise of professional recruiters through Job Centres will allow the Restart scheme to make a big difference.

“The Chancellor is right that the apprenticeship levy needs to  work better for businesses, so making it more flexible is a step we have long campaigned for. But we have had promises before. Now it is time for action. The levy must be broadened so temporary workers can access high-quality, shorter training courses – the kind that are needed now to help people transition into growing industries and support the government's ambitions for regional infrastructure. Local recruiters who know the labour market will be essential to these plans.

“Reducing employers’ National Insurance would also have incentivised job creation, in the same way it's used to promote hiring among veterans, as well as minimising further redundancies. There is more to do on this – though the balanced approach to a minimum wage rise for 2021 is a welcome step to helping hard-hit firms preserve employment.

“Unemployment is high but there are opportunities out there. As our JobsOutlook report today shows, businesses are planning to hire and are relying more on temporary workers to get them through the current uncertainty. Recruiters are ready to play there part and make this recovery happen.”