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Post-Autumn Statement comment from Hays

5 December 2013

Nigel Heap, Managing Director of Hays UK & Ireland, the leading recruiting expert, comments:

Apprenticeship scheme
“The apprenticeship scheme announced by the Chancellor shows he is serious about reforming Britain’s education system to ensure it delivers the skills businesses need. But government needs to ensure it encourages students to learn the right skills. This means reducing or even scrapping university tuition fees to end the chronic shortage of graduates in STEM subjects in the UK.

“In this country, there are 2.5m people unemployed at the same time as there are 1m unfilled vacancies. This is one of the worst talent mismatches in Europe. It’s essential the government acts decisively to incentivise the study of key subjects to ensure the UK’s workforce has the skills it needs to attract investment for years to come.”

National insurance cut
“The removal of employer National Insurance contributions for under 21s will allow businesses, particularly SMEs, to invest in growing their workforces. SMEs provide six in ten private sector jobs and are essential to the health of the UK’s labour market. Reducing the financial risks they take when bringing in new staff will create new opportunities for thousands of people currently looking for employment.

“Businesses in the UK have been struggling under a growing regulatory burden in recent years, which for many has made it impossible to create new jobs. Cutting National Insurance will go some way to redressing the balance, but the government must continue to implement changes to employment regulation to make it easier for businesses to hire new people and thus create employment opportunities.”

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