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APSCo unveils panel for national debate

APSCo unveils panel for national debate and vote on licensing for recruitment industry
Should the recruitment industry be licensed?
Many recruiters in favour
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has unveiled the panel for 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. The recruitment industry will vote on a number of issues, including the motion: Should the recruitment industry be licensed?
The half-day event will showcase state-of-the-art technology, allowing delegates and panelists to 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. John Nurthen, General Manager Europe, of Staffing Industry Analysts, will give an introductory overview of how licensing operates in other Europe countries
The panel itself will comprise:
? Paul Whitehouse, Chairman of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority
? Sarah Veale, Head of Equality and Employment rights at the TUC
? Rosaleen Blair, CEO of Alexander Mann Solutions
? John Mortimer, Chief Executive of Angela Mortimer plc
? Gary Franklin, Founder of the Forum for In-House Recruitment Managers
? Kevin Barrow, Partner at Osborne Clarkes employment practice
? A senior spokesperson from the British Standards Institution.
The debate will be chaired by Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo.
APSCo says that it will drive the issue of licensing with the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), if the majority of the recruitment industry votes in favour of the motion at the debates.
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 is therefore 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 debating 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 help dissuade the here today, gone tomorrow type recruitment companies. 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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