Employment being driven by flexible working, says REC
The labour market in the UK is being driven by the implementation of flexible and mobile working, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
Its chief executive, Kevin Green, responded to recent unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by saying that these new working practices are helping to get more people into employment.
He said: “The truly amazing thing is that during the past year of a technical recession and in spite of austerity and public sector cuts, the UK has created half a million jobs.”
Mr Green went on to describe the fact that more people are in work than ever before and unemployment rates are the lowest for the year is a significant step forward for the country if it wants to recover.
More full time jobs are becoming available but the difference is even more noticeable when it comes to part time workers and this is something that Mr Green believes is of huge relevance to businesses.
He said that the perception of part time work can be negative but that 80 per cent of those who undertake it do so as a choice of their own.
Mr Green said: “The jobs numbers show that the first round of public sector job losses, in reality, have been absorbed by the private sector – which wasn’t a foregone conclusion and is a reassuring sign of the strength of the labour market.”
On the other hand youth unemployment is still at an unacceptable level and is something which needs to be addressed.
Mr Green suggested that the Youth Contract outlined by the government is not yet delivering what it needs to be in order to rectify the situation.
Flexible and mobile working is a good way to get people back into work as it allows them to balance their working lives with other aspects of their personal lives.
It can be beneficial for employers too, who may not need full time staff but are able to benefit from taking on flexible staff.