Jobcentre Plus and Recruitment and Employment Confederation join forces

Recruitment during the economic downturn has received a boost with a memorandum of understanding between Jobcentre Plus and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Mel Groves, Jobcentre Plus’ acting chief executive, and Kevin Green, REC’s CEO, were joined by employment minister Tony McNulty to pledge co-operation in helping fill the UK’s half a million job openings.

REC members, including Reed Employment, Blue Arrow, Pertemps and Adecco, were also on hand to support the plan, which will encourage open communication and assistance by consultancies from both sectors.

McNulty said the partnership would be beneficial for all involved.

“No question, the sum has to be better than the parts,” he told Personnel Today. “It’s a good thing to do, and in a period of economic downturn it makes even more sense.”

He added that specialist REC members would be able to help Jobcentre Plus fill higher-level vacancies. Currently, about 40% of positions filled by Jobcentre Plus are passed to them by recruitment companies.

“The notion that Jobcentre Plus is only about low-skilled and low-end work is absurd,” McNulty said.

Groves said that a spirit of competition was being left behind as it tried to stem the growing flood of jobless.

“Ten years ago, the agencies and network service used to see themselves as competitors, rather than working in partnership to get people back to work, which was silly,” he said. “This co-operation is bound to be good for helping people back to work and employers fill vacancies.”

Figures out last week revealed the number of unemployed people had jumped in the third quarter of 2008 to 1.82 million.

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