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Employers hiring expectations continue to build, REC JobsOutlook reve

Employers hiring expectations continue to build, REC JobsOutlook reveals
Ahead of the latest ONS unemployment figures, a mood of confidence is returning to the jobs market with increasing numbers of employers saying they will be looking to grow or maintain both their temporary and permanent workforces over the next year.
The RECs June JobsOutlook reveals that one in three employers - one of the highest levels over the past year - are planning to grow their temporary workforce in the longer term at the same time as official data from the Office for National Statistics showed that 50,000 more temporary workers were employed in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 2009.
The increase in demand for temporary agency workers over the short-term has also been maintained with employers looking to make use of flexible resourcing as economic uncertainty continues.
Short-term demand for permanent staff seems also to be building with a net positive balance of nine per cent - significantly higher than last months figure.  The survey suggests that most employers are not predicting a real uptick in permanent staffing until the autumn at the earliest.
Commenting on the JobsOutlook findings, Roger Tweedy, the REC's Director of Research, said: There are increasingly positive signs of a gradual upturn in employers hiring intentions, probably linked to greater post-election stability and a feeling that a Conservative Government is likely to be best for future job creation. Recruiters should also take heart from the fact that greater fluidity seems to be returning to the jobs market with recent survey data from Gfk NOP suggesting that up to six million workers are now planning to move jobs.
These positive signs will be offset to some extent by what is happening in the public sector where the impact of the recession is only now starting to hit.  Unemployment is likely to increase over the next 12 months as significant cuts in public expenditure are implemented: however our analysis* suggests that demand for temporary agency workers, interim management and executive search is likely to grow to enable the significant change programmes being planned for the sector.
Charles Elderton, Director of Chadwick Nott Legal Recruitment, part of the Impellam Group, which is a member of the IRU steering committee, commented: "The increasing number of permanent and contract vacancies is lifting the confidence of candidates to now consider new opportunities and register with recruitment agencies. There's lots of activity and many interviews happening but closing the deal is still a real challenge.
A recent upturn in employees being counter-offered by their current employer and being 'bought back'  after resignation, along with being required to work their full notice period are sure signs of a strengthening candidate market."
The survey also showed a six per cent drop to 35 per cent in the number of employers planning a headcount freeze while there was a slight rise in those who were looking to make redundancies or introduce reduced hours.
JobsOutlook is based on a monthly survey of employers with results based on a sample of 200 on a three month rolling basis.
Network Rail job creation good news for the future of the industry, says REC Engineering & Technical
The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) Engineering and Technical sector group has welcomed the news that Network Rail is to create over 300 skilled engineering jobs. Network Rail announced the skilled job creation scheme in response to their need to help deliver vital rail infrastructure projects including Thameslink, Crossrail and other value for money schemes. Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher also called on the industry to attract more talented women to deliver these projects. Commenting on the news Philip Higgins, Chair of REC Engineering and Technical said: This is good news for the future of the professional engineering industry. During the downturn, we saw many skilled professionals leave the industry and we were concerned that when the time came we would be hit by severe skills shortages. We would also like to see skills development for those already in the industry, so that they are able to move into these new positions as while job creation is good,  promotions are even better in creating a professional workforce. Job creation schemes such as this and initiatives such as Engineering the future will be vital as we seek to create the diverse and professional engineering workforce of tomorrow. This is a workforce which will go on to work on other projects such as High Speed Two. REC Engineering & Technical members will do everything that we can to deliver that future.
REC Construction supports calls for new research institute
The call by the Association of Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) for the creation of a National Construction Research Institute has been welcomed by the Recruitment and Employment Confederations (REC) Construction Sector Group.
It is expected that the new research institute would highlight greater efficiencies that can be made in projects across the UK, which would significantly reduce the cost of construction in the UK compared to other European countries.
Commenting on the news, Simon Noakes, Chair of REC Construction, said: Any new research institute in our sector would need to look at the full construction process. The key to efficiency in many construction projects rest in large part on the flexible labour supply provided by REC Construction agencies.
But the issue is not just about cost we need to ensure that skills are developed across our sector to build the workforce of tomorrow. In the long run, this would create the greatest efficiencies in our sector.
REC responds to Vetting and Barring Scheme deferment
The REC has responded to Home Secretary Theresa Mays announcement today that the Government is putting the Vetting and Barring Scheme on hold while it carries out a review into its current provisions.
Registration was due to start on July 26 for those people working with children and vulnerable adults in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in what the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) which administers the scheme, describes as regulated activity. This covers those activities where there is greater interaction between workers and children or vulnerable adults.
Commenting on the Home Secretarys decision, Tom Hadley, the RECs Director of External Relations, said: We welcome the Government's comments that the scheme needs to be cut back to common-sense levels.  Safeguarding vulnerable groups is an absolute priority but any system must also be workable and proportionate.
The original premise of the scheme, following the Bichard Inquiry into the Soham murders, was welcomed but there were a number of practical concerns including the extra bureaucracy it would generate by duplicating the existing safeguarding measures for many roles where CRB checks are also required.
Additionally, there was a huge amount of confusion generated by the wide-reaching scope of the scheme because it would have extended to roles where it was questionable as to whether safeguarding concerns would arise. These issues we believed had not been properly addressed which is why we welcome the opportunity to take a step back and take stock of its contents.
Hadley added: In the short-term, we need to ensure the existing CRB system is as efficient as possible but in the longer term, there is need for a radical overhaul. The principle of a regularly updated list which employers can reference is sound, but this must be implemented in a way that replaces the existing CRB system rather than running alongside it.
Recruitment professionals in sectors such as care and education play a key role in making sure the correct checks have been made. The recruitment industry will continue to be at the forefront of the safe recruitment debate and is committed to working with the Government to get this right.


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