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ATSCo to become APSCo from January 2009

ATSCo to expand beyond technology to include all professional staffing sectors

ATSCo to become APSCo from January 2009

The Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo), the trade body which represents the IT and engineering staffing industry, is to broaden its membership base and activities to include all staffing companies that provide business professionals. These will include recruiters in accountancy, law, finance, procurement and pharmaceuticals.*

The expanded trade body will be known as the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) from January 2009. ATSCo currently has 150 corporate members who operate in the IT and engineering staffing sectors.

Formally announcing the move today (date of release) ATSCo explained that the professional and high street recruitment markets are increasingly distinct, both in terms of the needs of candidates and end users and in the developing legislative landscape.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive, ATSCo, comments: Companies operating at the professional end of the recruitment market increasingly have more in common with each other than with high street recruiters. It makes sense, therefore, to open ATSCo to professional staffing companies outside the IT and engineering sectors.

According to ATSCo, a growing number of professional staffing companies, who would until now have been excluded from ATSCo membership because they do not operate in the IT or engineering sectors, have been asking if they can join. This process is being accelerated because of the way in which legislators are increasingly drawing a line between what they see as exploited temporary workers and highly-paid, highly-skilled contractors.

Since the last downturn, as professional recruiters have grown their businesses, theyve tended to expand into other professional staffing markets, says Swain. On top of this, legislators are beginning to view the two markets as distinct - as the recent agreement on the Temporary Workers Directive shows - and are framing regulation accordingly.

She adds: All of ATSCos work be it lobbying or events is as relevant to the wider professional staffing industry as it is to IT and engineering recruiters.

ATSCo was first formed nearly ten years ago, at a time when many IT recruiters felt that their interests were not being adequately represented either to employers, to candidates or to Government. Since then it has gone from strength to strength with the intake of new members during 2008 being at a record level.

A comparable situation has developed now, says Swain, particularly as legislators have recognised the clear difference between recruiting highly paid professionals and, at the other extreme, the problems of gang masters or contract cleaners.

We believe that our new broader-based membership will give us even more clout with Government, employers, and candidates. But at the same time we will still be very focussed and concentrate on the special needs of our members.

The UK recruitment industry adds fantastic value to the UK and we will continue to do all that we can to gain recognition for its role.

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