Recruiters have mostly backed the Prime Minister’s early election call due to the anticipated clearer mandate it will give government to get on with Brexit.
PM Theresa May is pushing for a two-thirds majority in a Commons vote later today to get the general election go-ahead for 8 June.
This follows a statement made by the PM yesterday in which she announced plans to call a snap election.
Recruiters have largely backed the PM’s move, including John Hunter, CEO at multi-sector recruiter Argyll Scott. “Whatever the outcome, we hope that a clear mandate will enable the incoming administration to set out clear and deliverable negotiating objectives with our EU partners that will help create a business environment that encourages investment and promotes growth in employment.
“We look forward to an open, informative and constructive election campaign which we hope will also provide an opportunity to debate solutions to some of the ongoing shortcomings in the UK labour market particularly in respect key still shortages and poor levels of productivity growth."
Ford Garrard, Airswift’s senior vice-president – Europe & Africa at workforce solutions provider for energy, infrastructure and process sectors, agrees, adding the hope is that June’s election will strengthen May’s support for Brexit.
“What we don’t yet know is how it will impact the Brexit process, immigration and employment law. On the one hand any major changes in these areas could have huge implications for both UK and European companies, particularly in project-based industries such as energy, if they can’t get the right people, in the right place at the right time.
“On the other hand, the election could help promote a better understanding of what will happen to EU workers residing in the UK. The main question for many businesses is will these workers stay or leave? And if they do leave, how can UK industry upskill the local population to meet its workforce needs? There is a significant opportunity here for the UK government to influence skills and training programmes and determine if EU-influenced orders such as the working time directive will change.”
Meanwhile Gethin Roberts, managing director at Drivers Direct, told Recruiter: “It makes sense to go to Europe providing she wins the election and having a bigger majority makes her stronger and her therefore her negotiation with Europe will be stronger also.
“I think the fact that everybody including the European leaders are saying that the first thing should be the movement of people and people to be allowed to stay in the UK and vice versa, I think nothing has changed in that sense.”
But Barry Pactor, group managing director at ttm Healthcare, told Recruiter he did not think the timing of the election was “amazing” from a practical perspective. “There’s just so much uncertainty in the marketplace and it’s just another element to add on top of all the changes we are experiencing at the moment.
“Hopefully a clear mandate for the government will mean they can press ahead much more quickly and much more steadily with plans for Brexit and give us all some clarity on what the future looks like.
“I think from a healthcare recruiter’s perspective, I really hope it gives the government an opportunity to relook at the way the NHS is being funded and being staffed and to get a much clearer position and ensuring that the key and critical staff that we need in the UK are encouraged to come and work here and those that are already working in the healthcare sector and are invested in and supported.”
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