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UK -- Hays calls on the next government to freeze NIC

29 March 2010

Hays plc, the specialist recruiting group, today publishes its first Manifesto for Employment detailing the shortcomings it sees in Britain's jobs market and proposing a 9-point plan, which it believes any incoming Government should adopt.

Hays has undertaken a wide ranging review of the employment market in Britain, which concludes that Britain has been steadily losing its competitive position as a centre of employment.

Employers face numerous disincentives in terms of hiring new staff, including rising taxes, increasing red tape and serious skill shortages at many levels in the workplace.
Working with Reform, the independent think tank, the group has produced a set of proposals and will present them to politicians and policy leaders at a keynote forum in London this morning.
The nine points are:
  1. Commit to freezing and then reducing employers' National Insurance Contributions (NIC)
  2. Limit the impact of the European Union's Agency Workers Directive (AWD)
  3. Call a moratorium on new employment legislation
  4. Provide a first-class education system, which equips all school leavers with basic skills and a commercial understanding
  5. Realign further education with the strategic focus of the economy. Give the business community an advisory role in university course and curriculum provision
  6. Increase government funding for apprenticeships, raising their status with employers and improving uptake from school leavers wishing to pursue a vocational route into employment
  7. Introduce commercial disciplines and improve management in the public sector to cope effectively with imminent budget cuts and the likely significant scale of change required
  8. Reconfigure Jobcentre Plus to suit job seekers' needs
  9. Tie immigration quotas more closely to skill needs
Hays's Chief Executive Alistair Cox said, "Britain needs to change its attitudes and support for employment to secure a more prosperous future. The statistics say it all: there are more than 8 million non-working adults in this country and yet many of the employers we speak to daily are suffering severe shortages of staff with the appropriate skills. This cannot be the foundation for a vibrant and competitive economy."

"We look forward to seeing the elected Government make employment its number one priority as it sets out its policies."



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