REC calls for a Budget for Jobs

The Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), Kevin Green, said that “Businesses around the country are anxiously awaiting this year\’s Budget, which must do all it can to create an environment where companies find it easy to grow and create jobs. While we have seen some good progress in the last year on the action points in the REC Manifesto, there is still much to do. Recruiters and businesses of all sizes are now looking for tangible signs that the Government is delivering its promised pro-enterprise, pro-growth agenda. Our members report that many private sector employers are hoping to take on additional staff, but the Government must take action to support this job creation. Initiatives such as avoiding tax increases on business, including the planned NICs increase, stimulating direct employment of young people via a National Insurance holiday for SMEs, and avoiding further gold plating of the Agency Worker Regulations will help deliver on the Government\’s promises, and set the scene for a strong private sector-led recovery.”

Recently the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a £100 million job initiative centred around ten new Enterprise Zones, intended to spur job creation. However public figures and organisations such as the Work Foundation criticised the plans and said they see no reason why they should work this time around (Enterprise Zones were used during the 80s). According to the Work Foundation the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone (now known as Canary Wharf) had only 7,000 people employed in the area at the expiry of the zone compared with 90,000 today. The key to success it says is investment in infrastructures and not the enterprise zones themselves.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederations Director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley, said that “This latest policy initiative certainly has a retro feel to it. The true test will be whether the new generation of Enterprise Zones can achieve more than their predecessors. Specific action in areas where economic growth has traditionally lagged may well enhance the outlook for recruitment activity in these regions. However, the Government must demonstrate that these new Zones build on the lessons from the past and can really deliver investment and new jobs. In addition, we will need to monitor any ‘side-effects’ for employers and recruiters in adjoining areas that do not fall within an ‘Enterprise Zone’. Incentives to help employers and boost job creation, such as reducing business rates, will be welcomed by entrepreneurs and established businesses around the country. However, there is now a real impatience within the recruitment industry and the business community as a whole for Government announcements to translate into tangible progress on the ground.”

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