Employers have welcomed government initiatives unveiled last week as part of
the drive to full employment, saying they could ease staffing shortages in some
But the TUC has warned that the initiatives ignore major regional
differences in employment opportunities.
Last week Chancellor Gordon Brown revealed that unemployed people are to be
encouraged to travel to areas where there are unfilled job vacancies. Some will
also receive pagers or mobile phones to help them apply promptly for new job
opportunities. Brown said vacancies are at record levels of around one million
in the UK.
Miles Quest, of the British Hospitality Association, said, "If this
policy is implemented it will definitely help us. If people are encouraged to
move about it would certainly help deal with some of the staffing shortages in
the hotel and catering industry."
Brown said last week that he plans to use the forthcoming Budget on 21 March
to propose action teams to work in areas with high numbers of jobless people.
The teams will: identify suitable vacancies within travelling distance;
match these vacancies to the long-term unemployed; and tackle any specific
barriers which stop people taking these jobs.
The employment zone initiative, planned for 15 areas of the UK, is organised
by the DfEE.