The Office for National Statistics showed that unemployment across the UK fell by 51,000

It’s an interesting time in the recruitment industry, with the UK economy remaining on a knife edge.

I wanted to concentrate today’s blog on some of the news that has been coming out of The

Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) over the last couple of days.

For those who don’t know the REC is the body which represents the interests of the recruitment industry in Parliament.

Earlier this week the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that unemployment across the UK fell by 51,000 between February and April.

And the number in work saw its biggest increase since the quarter to August 2010 as the employment rate increased by 166,000 to almost 29.28million.

Any growth is welcomed, but the REC were cautious about these results.

Their chief executive Kevin Green was quick to stress that growth is slowing down and that ‘ultimately things are likely to get worse before we see them get consistently better’.

He was also quick to emphasise the trend of flexible working within the UK labour market as people look for different ways to work that suit their lives.

One of these ways is through temporary work – and Britain is certainly supplying plenty of that this year.

Recruiters of all types are taking on extra people to cope with the work brought in by the country’s Great British Summer.

I don’t mean the weather of course, which continues to be as drab as ever, but the large number of exciting events 2012 brings.

The Jubilee kicked things off, and the Olympic Games will certainly keep them going with a host of festival events and torch relay days across the country warming us all up for the main show.

And the European Championships football is also benefiting businesses across Britain.

In the midst of all this another piece of news coming out of the REC caught my eye.

The organisation’s director of professional services Tom Hadley was quick to criticise Labour leader Ed Miliband after he said he wants to ‘ban recruitment agencies which use only foreign workers at the expense of local talent’.

Quite aside from how such a move would work alongside equality laws, it is not the job of recruitment consultants to discriminate in any way based on a candidates’ ethnic background – it’s more a case of the best person for the job.

As Mr Hadley said: “Ed Miliband’s comments about recruitment agencies today show a fundamental lack of understanding of the labour market. Agencies are there to help employers find the best workers available and willing to take up the job vacancies they need to fill. Recruiters don’t drive demand, they respond to employers’ needs and do not exclude candidates from being put forward for a job on the basis of their nationality.”

More importantly, politicians from all parties need to start thinking beyond this year.

Unemployment is falling at the moment and our hectic summer will mean it’s going to be a busy few months for the recruitment industry. But what happens when it’s all over?

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