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The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is calling on the government to be more “bold” and implement an “over-arching” growth agenda. A new half-term report by the organisation today gave the coalition government a mark of just five out of ten assessing its progress on creating opportunities and jobs.
“As we enter the second half of this parliament we are calling on the government to be brave, bold and confident,” said REC chief executive Kevin Green.
The REC wants the government to take action to improve labour market conditions, also for the recruitment industry. This includes creating a step change in HMRC enforcement of tax rules, improving SMEs’ access to public sector contracts and providing better support for young jobseekers through careers advice and apprenticeships.
Ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement, the REC has sent the Chancellor George Osborne an assessment of the government’s track record on jobs and growth. Of the eighteen priority areas identified in the REC’s Manifesto in 2010 the government is judged to be on course for delivery in seven areas, making some progress in a further six but having made no progress or taken the wrong action in five others.
“The good news is that in many areas, the government has listened. But there are also a few areas where government policy is going in the wrong direction,” said Mr Green.
“The decision to cut back on careers advice and work experience in schools risks damaging the prospects of young people attempting to join the world of work. Immigration policy is moving in the wrong direction by not reflecting the evolving needs of our labour market and creating a potential barrier to UK competitiveness. The rhetoric on the benefits of the UK’s flexible labour market is not always reflected in government policy,” he warned.