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APSCo to host national debate

APSCo to host national debate and vote on licensing for recruitment industry
24 June 2010

Simultaneously in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) will host the first ever nationwide debate on 24 June 2010 to decide whether the recruitment industry should be licensed. The event will be sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland and First Option, the accountancy specialists

The debate and vote will comprise a series of simultaneous events in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester. Hundreds of leading recruitment industry executives will vote on the motion: Should the recruitment industry be licensed?

The half-day event will incorporate state-of-the-art technology so that delegates and panelists can interact in live question and answer sessions and vote on key issues. Delegates will be able to put questions to panelists and vote via a range of electronic devices including mobile phones and PDAs. The results of votes will be displayed live at each venue.

The London debate will be hosted at the headquarters of the CBI. The panel will include a Minister from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), an equivalent Shadow Minister, a senior policy maker from the CBI, a senior policy adviser from the TUC, and a representative from the Gangmaster Licencing Authority. APSCo also plans to invite Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment Employment Confederation.

APSCo says that it will drive the issue of licensing with BIS if the majority of the recruitment industry votes in favour of the motion at the debates. The debate will take place after the general election and inform the agenda for the new government.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, comments: This will be one of the most important events in the recruitment industry calendar this year. The industry trade bodies have differing views on licensing, which is potentially a divisive issue. The best approach therefore is to let the industry decide for itself.

When the industry was previously licensed recruiters were required to do little more than pay a nominal fee to obtain a license. The license did not impose standards on recruiters or raise barriers to entry in any meaningful way. We will be considering something rather more substantial this time around.

She adds: The recruitment industry suffers from a poor reputation, which has contributed to the erosion of margins. A robust licensing regime should help improve the status of the industry and raise barriers to entry but it will be for the recruitment profession itself to decide if we want licensing and the form it should take.


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