At last – good news on the economy?

This morning I was pleased to read the latest Jobs Report from the recruitment industry body REC. They produce this report monthly with KPMG and this month there was good news with permanent jobs’ placements increasing for the first time in four months. This is the first positive indicator for some time that employers are looking to hire staff. It is particularly encouraging that six out of eight sectors surveyed show growth in demand, including engineering, IT and office professionals.
This Report can be seen to confirm the other good news last Friday with better-than-expected services’ data from the Purchasing Managers’ Index. This suggests strengthening confidence in the UK economy from consumers as well as businesses. I believe that it also ties in with ERSA’s figures showing a good early performance by the Coalition’s Work Programme in helping the long-term unemployed into work.
I have long been concerned that many vacancies are in skill areas where we do not have enough trained workers. The REC Report seems to suggest that this is still a challenge. I agree with Skills Minister John Hayes MP that increased use of apprenticeships to get young people into employment with vocational skills development is important. REC also comment that improved careers guidance is needed too.
The recent massive increase in apprenticeships in NE Herts is a good start, but we must all hope for the continuation of these signs of the Jobs’ Market looking up.

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