Category Archives: Contracting News

CWJobs.co.uk survey reveals IT professionals support apprenticeships

Key points from the survey:

  • 84% of respondents believe that apprenticeships are a good alternative to further education
  • 83% of respondents believe that not enough businesses offer apprenticeships in Information Technology
  • The majority believe that the Government should offer support to encourage apprenticeships
  • 55% of graduates will either be unemployed or will work in a non graduate job for six months after completing their studies
  • 80% believe that apprenticeships benefit businesses significantly
  • 47% of IT professionals say that their company currently offers apprenticeship schemes

The Website Director for CWJobs.co.uk, Richard Nott, said that “Further education isn’t for everyone. Rising tuition fees and challenging graduate employment conditions have paved the way for alternative routes. IT professionals evidently recognise the importance of apprenticeship schemes. For young jobseekers they’re an excellent way of gaining qualifications and valuable workplace experience while still earning. Businesses benefit too through harnessing fresh talent, filling core skills gaps and critically, improving their bottom line.”

Many believe that professional IT apprenticeships will be a great way to starve off predicted future IT skill shortages. Recently a Director of Hays, one of the largest recruitment agencies in the United Kingdom, said that ‘talent shortages will become one of the biggest challenges facing organisations over the next two decades’. At the moment certain IT skills are becoming harder and harder to find in the UK due to the fact that the Government recently tightened up the UK Immigration system and scrapped the highly popular Tier 1 General route for highly skilled migrants (formerly the HSMP) therefore apprenticeships are viewed as a great way to alleviate the problem.

Director of Hays, Charles Logan, said that “Talent shortages will become one of the biggest challenges facing organisations over the next two decades. So while organisations can attract and recruit from a much wider geography than ever before, which has obvious advantages when skills are in short supply, the global talent pipeline will also create serious new challenges for HR to navigate. Hiring managers will need to understand the flow of their talent pipeline, knowing why people move and what drives this movement of talent around the globe.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Institute of Recruiters (IOR) launched on the 1st June

The Director of Member Services at the IOR, Dave Barber, said that “We have been thrilled with the volume of activity that has taken place in the IOR’s LinkedIn Group in the lead-up to the launch, which has shown there’s a real need for a body like the IOR within the sector. The organisation will be a hub of best practice, where members can share knowledge, collaborate and connect with peers from across the world. We are excited to start welcoming members into the organisation.”

The Director of ICT and Operations at the IOR, Azmat Mohammed, went on to say that “One important aim for the IOR is to provide a platform to further professionalise the recruitment and HR industries, creating international standards in vocational education for the sector. We look forward to working with our partners and our members to continue on this journey.”

Mohammad also went on to say that the IOR plans to lobby in Brussels on behalf of the recruitment industry in the near future, however at the moment plans were the ‘lowest item on the agenda’. He told the Recruiter that “As an international organisation, we will have a network of people that will get involved in the committees in Brussels. AWR (Agency Workers Regulations) hasn’t come out of the UK. It is better to be involved at the ground level rather than trying to change what already exists. Primarily, we will work to support members within the current framework of legislation.”

Membership of the Institute of Recruiters (IOR) starts at a free affiliate level and increases to £49 as a fellow and £249 for a corporate membership.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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REC praises final Agency Worker guidance document

Mrs Econopouly said in a statement on the REC website that “Whilst we did not get all the improvements we had hoped for, several issues have been clarified within the guidance and we are pleased that BIS has taken into account some of the critical questions raised by REC members. These include further clarification about in-house banks, which explains the impact of the Conduct Regulations; asserting that the 12-week clock is only re-set by breaks of more than six  weeks (rather than six weeks or more); and a clear statement on workers placed in a permanent job being completely out of scope.”

“However the REC cautioned that concerns still remain, in particular about the \’Pay Between Assignments\’ or \’Swedish\’ derogation. The latest guidance indicates that workers on a Pay Between Assignments contract are entitled to equal treatment in relation to working time and annual leave, after the 12 week qualifying period. This means that under such a model, the worker\’s entitlement to leave over and above the statutory minimum is entitlement to the leave only and not to payment for the leave. The clarification on annual leave entitlements under the Pay Between Assignments (Swedish Derogation) model could make those who considered this as a possible option think again about the commercial impact. Whilst in one way this helps make the rules clearer, the requirement for such contracts to be subject to a minimum of one hour per week remains muddy, and could have been much more explicit.”

Recently research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) suggested that more and more companies in the United Kingdom are beginning to plan for the upcoming Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) which are set to be introduced this October. According to new research conducted by the recruitment industry body ‘awareness levels’ of the new regulations are now at 70%, far higher than they were some 18 months ago. However the REC warned that only 10% of UK employers were planning to make specific changes to their businesses now to combat the changes, with a further 42% weighing up their options.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Birmingham City Council planning to offshore up to 100 jobs to India

The dispute concerns roles within Service Birmingham, a joint venture between Capita and BCC, which provides IT & HR services to the local authority. The aim of the Service Birmingham joint venture is to save an estimated £1 billion in modernisation and efficiency savings over 10 years.

Sir Albert Bore, who is opposing the plans said that “Birmingham City Council has a responsibility to protect the potential growth of technology companies within the city. It is not doing so. Offshoring jobs to India undermines the future of Birmingham. At no time have the council said what savings are to be made, but it is obvious that is what they intended by this action. I am calling, once again, for greater transparency from the council leaders.”

However, Liberal Democrat Paul Tilsley, who is the councils deputy leader defended the move by saying that “We have a contract with Capita which brings jobs to Birmingham. They were to create 520 new jobs by March this year, they created 528 and under this contract are expected to increase this by a further 200 by April 2013. The current offshoring proposal involves 17 vacant jobs and a possible 38 jobs which are either vacant or filled by temps. We are conscious of the employment situation in Birmingham, and are doing everything we can to ensure Capita delivers the jobs promised in its contract.”

Peter Allenson, of the trade union Unite, also said that “It beggars belief that council workers will be forced to train workers from overseas to do their jobs so Capita and Birmingham council can lift and shift them abroad. This is an outrageous decision and Unite is demanding that Birmingham City Council halts its plans. We fear this could be just the tip of the iceberg and other councils could follow suit. Thousands of public-sector jobs could go, and once these jobs go they will not come back.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Randstad says organisations need to embrace AWR changes

Mr Naylor told the Recruiter that “With 70% of employers still stating that they are experiencing a skills shortage, employers will need to be aware that candidates are also far more likely to be attracted to organisations that embrace the spirit of these regulations.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Barclay Meade report says there is a growing sense of confidence and optimism among UK employers

The ‘Tracking UK Recruitment’ report found that:

  • The proportion of medium and large employers recruiting at a similar level to the pre-recession period increased for the third consecutive quarter, reaching 50% in Q1 of this year compared to just 39% in Q3 last year
  • The proportion of firms with recruitment freezes fell from 24% in the final quarter of last year to just 13% in the first quarter of 2011.
  • 22% of employers believe that the rising price of fuel is likely to have the biggest negative impact on their recruitment strategies over the coming twelve months
  • The proportion of employers concerned about skills shortages has fallen slightly, from 27% to 20%

The Managing Director of Barclay Meade, Nigel Lynn, said that “With the latest ‘Tracking UK Recruitment’ report revealing improvements in the jobs market for the third consecutive quarter, it appears the restructuring of companies is reflecting a growing sense of confidence and optimism among employers. As we move further through this post-recession climate, there has been a shift towards more firms implementing and fulfilling growth strategies rather than focusing on stability and survival.  This has changed the mindset of employers who realise that, in order to achieve their ambitions, they will need to re-align the structure of their organisation by upskilling their workforce and recruiting leaders who are able to deliver results.”

“All in all, we are seeing confidence return to many markets, and as a result hiring strategies are changing.  The permanent jobs market is very strong at the moment and there is hope that this will continue throughout 2011, helping the private sector to offset the job losses that will be ongoing in the public sector.”

The report comes at the same time as many industry bodies are reporting increased recruitment activity in the private sector however a great deal of decline in the public sector. The REC has labelled the current situation a ‘two speed labour market’.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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REC warns IT recruiters not to become complacent over AWR implementation

After the meeting the Recruitment and Employment Confederations Technology Chair, Jeff Brooks, said that “Many IT recruiters have assumed that, as their candidates are self-employed and better paid than their permanent equivalents, AWR would simply not affect them. However, areas have been highlighted where trouble could arise, and underlined how important it is that members fully prepare themselves. Recruiters who talk to their clients well in advance and make the transition as smooth as possible can in fact enjoy an advantage over their competitors. To help members to do this effectively, there is an excellent support package available through the REC’s website, and we are also developing specific guidance for recruiters dealing with self-employed workers and limited company contractors.”

The meeting comes at the same time as new research from the recruitment industry body suggests that ‘awareness levels’ of the new regulations are now at 70%, far higher than they were some 18 months ago. However the REC warned that only 10% of UK employers were planning to make specific changes to their businesses now to combat the changes, with a further 42% weighing up their options.

The Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Gillian Econopouly, said that \”The fact that over 40% of employers are still considering their response to the regulations underlines how important it is for recruiters to be engaging with clients. For some employers, the AWR has been a catalyst for a more fundamental review of how they use flexible staff. In some cases, this may lead to a slight reduction in overall numbers.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Employers beginning to plan for the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR)

The Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Gillian Econopouly, said that \”The fact that over 40% of employers are still considering their response to the regulations underlines how important it is for recruiters to be engaging with clients. For some employers, the AWR has been a catalyst for a more fundamental review of how they use flexible staff. In some cases, this may lead to a slight reduction in overall numbers. However, the latest data indicates that this will be counter-balanced by businesses who are planning to actually increase their use of agency staff over the next twelve months. Recent employer workshops have seen more businesses focusing on getting best value from the flexible workforce – rather than simply seeing it as a cost to be managed. There is also an employer brand issue at play when considering how to implement the regulations. These are positive messages that we will continue to amplify through our ongoing client campaign\”.

Recently the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) said that the temporary jobs market in the UK had slowed to its slowest pace so far in 2011 with the industry body attributing the slowdown to employer uncertainty over the new Agency Worker Regulations (AWR). The REC found in its monthly jobs market survey that permanent staff appointments ‘rose at a strong and accelerated rate in April’, temporary / contract billings reduced to the lowest level of 2011 so far and the rate of inflation for permanent staff salaries increase to its highest rate for 9 months.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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New EU Proposals could aid Limited Company Contractors & Fledgling Recruitment Agencies

EU Commissioner, Michel Barnier, said that \”Today\’s agreement means in practical terms that the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts for these micro-businesses will be pared down to the key elements only. Publication of information will be reduced and simplified to balance sheets only and a one-stop shop. I am confident that this agreement strikes the right balance between the need for simpler procedures and the need for transparency.\”

The Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Gillian Econopouly, said that “We welcome the acknowledgement that micro-companies and start ups often struggle to cope with the administrative and financial obligations attached to running a small company, which can detract from their ability to grow a viable business. Our economy needs those with the vision and drive to start their own companies, and the fact that these entrepreneurs may not be accounting experts should not be allowed to deter real innovation. We need to strike a balance between ensuring that companies account for their activities without fettering entrepreneurial spirit through excessive regulation.”

“Hopefully these proposed rules for the smallest companies will prove a positive step towards achieving this. Many recruiters have direct experience of starting their own businesses, and of helping young companies deal with employment regulations as they expand. The REC will be happy to share this expertise with BIS ministers as they work with the European Parliament to take this sensible step forward.\”

Limited Company Contractors and those considering opening a new recruitment agency will no doubt welcome any efforts to reduce red tape and boost productivity. If it is accepted, the directive will pass into law and be applicable to all member states at some point in the future.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Hays Director says 45% of Public Sector Workers face redundancy

Key Points from the report:

  • 45% of public sector workers face the prospect of redundancy
  • 80% of employers say that job security uncertainty is stopping people from looking for work in the sector
  • 51% of employers say that changes to benefits are stopping people from looking for work in the sector
  • 39% of employers say that scrutiny over pay is stopping people from looking for work in the sector
  • 60% of employers believe voluntary redundancy and retirement schemes are resulting in a loss of the best people

The Public Services Director of Hays, Andy Robling, said that “With such a widespread exodus of staff, it is highly likely that frontline services will be affected. Employers have to make cuts and drive cost savings, but they are also faced with increased demand for many frontline services, such as healthcare and education. The combination of pay scrutiny, fears around job security and critical media headlines means a stigma has started to develop around public sector careers. Many public sector workers are feeling de-motivated, devalued and stuck in less challenging careers. The public sector needs to act now to address this before it is too late.”

Earlier in the week Roger Tweedy, the Research Director at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said that “new research confirms the emergence of a two-tier jobs market, with 60% of public-sector employers predicting a significant impact on their workforces as cuts begin to bite. However, an unexpected surge in business confidence gives hope that private-sector employers can absorb further public-sector job losses.” The figures are backed up by reports from around the industry which illustrates that recruitment in the contract and permanent Information Technology sectors is well on the way to recovery.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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