27 Jun, 2013

Recruiters can make a difference

Yesterday’s REC Skills Summit saw leading business figures from across the UK come together to discuss the challenges of equipping both current workforces, and the next generation, with the skills they need to flourish in the jobs market and the role recruiters can play in making this happen.

A number of key themes emerged:

– How better to match supply and demand:  While unemployment has risen over the last few years, some industries are struggling to fill vacancies due to the ‘skills deficit’.  Michael Davis noted that 16 per cent of all UK job vacancies were difficult to fill for skills related reasons. REC CEO Kevin Green added to this when he spoke about a two speed labour market where 433,000 jobs have been created since 2008 and there remains a persistent skills shortage to fill these and existing roles.

– Career guidance for young people needs to improve – Shadow Minister for Employment Stephen Timms MP said that views from the recruitment industry on future skills initiatives are highly valued and that there was a need for a more effective career advice to help young people plan for the future. It was noted that many young people leave school without any direction and this was one of the reasons for high youth unemployment.

– The launch of the REC apprenticeship in recruitment – With 500,000 people of all ages doing apprenticeships in the UK every year, the REC launched its brand new apprenticeship in recruitment to provide quality training for those already working in recruitment but also for those looking to take their first steps into the industry.

– The need for a long-term strategy to help solve the skills shortages in many industries  – part of the summit saw the technology, creative, life sciences and engineering industries split up into workshops to discuss the specific skills problems being faced in their respective industries. The need for a long-term strategy was highlighted as an essential issue.

Overall, the REC Skills Summit was a hugely productive event where many creative ideas were discussed. The REC knows that the recruitment industry has a significant role to play in making sure the UK has a workforce which is equipped with the skills it needs to succeed in a modern economy.

Some clear actions emerged from the day:

• REC members can make a difference by signing up to the Youth Employment Charter and Inspiring the Future to provide careers guidance to young people

• The REC will continue to feed in to policy reviews on skills and careers guidance, and highlight how recruiters can make a difference, so please continue to share with us your case studies

• REC and member labour market data can better inform the overall picture and members are encouraged to use LMI for All on the UKCES website

• Apprenticeships are a great way of building a skilled workforce, find out more about the REC Apprenticeship in Recruitment
Credit: Rhys Evans rec.uk.com

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