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Round-up of the week

Posted on 6th November 2015

Permanent and temporary placement numbers grow at faster pace
The number of permanent and temporary job placements both went up in October at a faster pace than in previous months.

According to data from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG, this coincided with strong salary growth among both permanent and temporary workers.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said the findings suggest the "jobs-rich recovery" is set to continue, with "more people being placed into permanent positions last month and businesses across the UK creating more vacancies".

However, he acknowledged that whether or not this trend is sustainable remains uncertain, as both public and private sector employers are currently reporting skills shortages in many areas.

This, he said, is one reason why starting salaries are heading upwards, as businesses are battling to attract the people they require.

Mr Green has urged the government to take steps to alleviate the skills crisis, as this is putting economic growth under threat.

"Young people must be better incentivised to acquire the knowledge and skills that are needed most by hirers," he said. "A real commitment to delivering world-class careers advice and work experience would be a big step in the right direction.”
Young people actively thinking about future careers
The majority of young people are consciously thinking about which career option to pursue when they grow up, a new study has revealed.

According to Whitbread and the CBI, 81 per cent have "given considerable thought" to their future career, while 59 per cent have thought four or more years ahead.

Many were found to be particularly ambitious, with 58 per cent saying securing a management role is important to them.

Furthermore, 86 per cent revealed they would rather work for a company that offers a clear path of career progression.

Whitbread and the CBI have therefore called on businesses to do more to assist school leavers as they enter the world of work, such as open up work experience placements and provide more careers information.

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, commented: "Young people expect businesses to step up and show them the career opportunities on offer and a clear idea on how they can progress in their career. Employers are doing some great work on the ground, but we need to get more firms involved."

He stated that many young people are concerned about making their first steps outside the school gates. This, he said, means it is better for them if they get plenty of exposure to the world of work early on, with both advice and opportunities to gain experience on offer.

"The careers advice system is in a perilous state and letting young people down," Mr Cridland continued. "It’s vital that more firms engage but to achieve this we need a fresh approach to careers in schools."

Bank of England freezes interest rates
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has opted to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5 per cent for another month.

Interest rates have been at a record low since March 2009 and improving economic conditions have led to speculation that an increase may be imminent.

However, the MPC has chosen to maintain the status quo - a decision that has been welcomed by the British Chambers of Commerce.

David Kern, chief economist at the body, said: "British businesses need a prolonged period of stability and the present low level of interest rates should be maintained until well into 2016."

He said the decision to maintain the cost of borrowing at its current level was "unsurprising given the current economic backdrop". Indeed, he pointed out that while earnings are increasing slightly, they are not heading up at "a pace that should cause concern in the near future".

Mr Kern added that inflation has fallen into negative territory since the MPC's last meeting and is likely to stay below the official target of two per cent until "well into 2017".