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The Governments White Paper on Jobs (Building Britains Recovery: Achieving Full Employment) includes some positive suggestions for helping job-seekers and also focuses on enhancing co-operation between public sector employment services and private sector recruitment agencies.

Commenting on how measures announced this week might make a difference on the ground, Tom Hadley, the RECs Director of External Relations, says:

The feedback from professional recruiters confirms that the longer people are out of work, the harder it is to access the right opportunities. Bringing forward some of the practical support for job-seekers is therefore welcomed. However, much will depend on the quality of the support provided which is why it is essential for the Government to tap into the expertise and contacts of private sector recruitment agencies.

Employers and recruiters have a pivotal role to play in informing Government policy and the recently launched Youth Employment Taskforce will collate practical recommendations from those in the front line of the UK Jobs Market.

Recruitment agencies are already working in co-operation with local Jobcentres to provide additional support to higher-end jobseekers. Despite some of the positive announcements in the White Paper, there are concerns that more needs to be done to stimulate demand and address potential barriers to recruitment.

Commenting on this, Hadley concludes:

Enhancing the support and training options for job-seekers are all well and good but we need to stimulate demand in order to avoid a labour market bottle-neck. Golden hellos have had limited impact so far and are far outweighed by the additional recruitment costs linked to increased NIC contributions and new employment regulation in particular, the EU Agency Workers Directive.

The REC will be meeting with the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus early in the New Year to discuss some of the practical implications of the measures announced in the White Paper.

The REC will also be taking part in a round table discussion with Employment Minister Jim Knight on youth unemployment issues in January.


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