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Hays manifesto calls for Northern Ireland to prioritise employment

Hays plc, the world's leading specialist recruiting group, recently published its first Manifesto for Employment detailing the serious shortcomings it sees in the UK and Ireland's jobs market and detailing a 9-point plan that it believes any incoming Government should adopt to tackle them.

From its unrivalled position as the UK's largest recruiting group that last year placed 50,000 professional people in permanent jobs and a further 300,000 in temporary assignments, Hays has undertaken a wide-ranging review of the employment market.

It concludes that the UK has been steadily losing its competitive position as a centre of employment. Consequently, employment in the UK now sits at a 13-year low and employers face numerous disincentives in terms of hiring new staff, including rising taxes, ever-increasing red tape and serious skill shortages at many levels in the workplace.

Working with Reform, the independent think tank, the group has produced a set of proposals based on client feedback at all levels and sectors.

The nine point proposals are:

  1. Commit to freezing and then reducing employers' National Insurance Contributions
  2. Limit the impact of the EU's Agency Workers Directive
  3. Call a moratorium on new employment legislation
  4. Provide a first-class education system, which equips all school leavers with basic skills and a commercial understanding
  5. Realign further education with the strategic focus of the economy. Give the business community an advisory role in university courses and curriculum provision
  6. Increase government funding for apprenticeships, raising their status with employers and improving uptake from school leavers wishing to pursue a vocational route into employment
  7. Introduce commercial disciplines and improve management in the public sector to cope effectively with imminent budget cuts and the likely significant scale of change required
  8. Reconfigure Jobcentre Plus to suit real job seeker needs
  9. Tie immigration quotas more closely to skill needs

John Moore, Director of Hays in Northern Ireland, confirmed that the recruiter was more than happy to share their insight into the jobs market and employers' needs with the Northern Ireland Assembly using feedback and data from their many clients across Northern Ireland.

He said: "At Hays we have a panoramic view of what is happening at the sharp end of the employment market and we felt it was important to set out what our clients are calling for to help them in getting the country back to work. Some of the employers we speak to across Northern Ireland are still suffering from skill shortages in specific areas. Matching these specialist skills to jobs is a challenge we must all meet in order to create a more prosperous economy. We need to ensure that investment in skills and employment is a priority so that we can sustain a strong future for employees, employers and future generations in Northern Ireland."

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

The Group employs over 6,700 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2009:

  • the Group had revenues of £2.4 billion, net fees of £670.8 million and operating profit of £158.0 million;

  • the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;

  • the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;

  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:

Simon King
M. 07593352109