Hadley's comment: Show, don't just tell

Social innovation provides recruiters with the opportunity to lead, says Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services

We need new solutions to meet new employment challenges. AI and automation, political uncertainty, evolving skills needs and sectoral disruption are just some of the external forces at play. And a major part of the REC’s work over the coming months will be to showcase our industry’s solutions to 21st century labour market problems.

Campaigning priorities for 2019 include promoting flexibility and fairness (as part of our input into the government’s ‘Good Work’ plan), facilitating career transitions, driving inclusion and boosting progression for all by evolving the Apprenticeship Levy into a broader skills levy. We will also continue to focus on promoting good hiring practices through ongoing compliance activities and the wide-ranging Good Recruitment Campaign, which is now supported by over 400 leading employers, representing over 3 million employees.

Social innovation is also a major theme on the European and global level and we will be working with the World Employment Confederation (WEC) to highlight and learn from specific examples, such as the pioneering work of the Dutch federation (ABU) to help agency workers access mortgages. Our own Future of jobs ambassadors initiative – which focuses on harnessing the expertise of REC members to build better links between education and work – was recognised as a further positive example at the recent social innovation conference in Brussels. Speaking at the same event, the European Commission’s Manuela Geleng argued that “economic growth and fairness can go hand in hand” and that “boosting awareness, aspiration and skills is the cornerstone of an inclusive society”. We want to continue showcasing our industry’s role in making change happen.  

UK recruiters place over 1 million people a year into permanent jobs and ensure that 1.3 million workers are in temporary and contract work in any given week. On the European level, our industry helps 11 million people find work and 2.3 million employers find the right staff and skills. We need to shout about what we do and how we do it. In the words of WEC managing director Denis Pennel: “We cannot address 21st century jobs market challenges with 20th century solutions.” It’s why we’re keen to show rather than just tell as we take the innovation message forward on both the domestic and international stage.

You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment

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