As the 2015 election soon approaches, recruiters and job-hunters alike are all asking themselves how the job market will be affected. The recruitment sector is now in a much stronger position than it was during the last election, with a 5.7% unemployment rate compared to 8% in 2010. Despite these improvements, major questions remain about the extent of the recovery and how issues such as youth unemployment and skills shortages will be dealt with by each party. The parties each have their own agenda – outlined in their individual manifestos. Here are some of the key points that will likely affect recruitment in the upcoming election.
The Conservative party has stated that its goal is to achieve full employment for all those willing to work; to create 3 million new apprenticeships; and to triple the number of start-up loans for new businesses, while scrapping zero hour contracts completely.
Labour has pledged to raise the minimum wage to more than £8 an hour by 2019; to find an apprenticeship for every school leaver with relevant grades; and to push schemes to encourage businesses to hire apprentices. The Labour party has also claimed that it will take a strong position on zero hour contracts, giving employees who work regular hours under these contracts the option to move to fixed hours.
The Liberal Democrat party is aiming to develop national vocational colleges and to extend paternity leave from 2 to 6 weeks, making parental leave fairer for both parents. It has also stated that it aims to do more to prevent discrimination against and the exploitation of young 16 to 17-year old workers.
Only time will tell how the election will truly affect recruitment, but whichever party (or coalition) ends up in power, it must be hoped that further progress will be made in driving buoyancy in the recruitment market as we continue to climb our way out of the recession.