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UK – Flexible working arrangements buoying job marking

05 August 2013

The remarkable performance by the UK’s job market during the recession is as a direct result of the widespread adoption of flexible working practices, according to Mark Cahill, managing director of ManpowerGroup UK, in an interview with the Express.

The buoyancy of employment figures during the recession has confounded economic experts, something Mark Cahill attributes to staff working part-time so they can keep their jobs.

Mr Cahill commented: “There has been a seismic shift in the nature of employment with many of the new roles created being temporary or part-time positions. While workers can expect a lower risk of losing their job, the flipside is that there is now a higher risk of having to work reduced hours or seeing a wage cut in real terms. The message to jobseekers is clear: if you want to get ahead, you need to accept this as the new realist of the jobs market.”

Such flexibility is key to getting more women and older people into the workplace, Mr Cahill advised. However, there is stronger evidence that companies are now more confident about planning for the long-term as the economy improves, with a shift from part-time to permanent appointments. For example, engineering group Babcock has charged Manpower with recruiting approximately 1,000 highly skilled permanent staff next year.

A building recovery is providing the construction industry with its strongest outlook for jobs in five years. The improvement has spread throughout most of the regions but is most marked in London, where a construction boom is adding to employment prospects.

Supermarket group Morrisons has recruited Manpower to supply 1,500 ‘team members’ to support its plans to open 100 convenience stores around the country. Cahill sees such stores as the new face of the British High Street.

“Where once stood a Blockbuster or HMV, will now stand a convenience store from a supermarket giant,” Mark Cahill predicted. 

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