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Five takeaways from the RECs new manifesto for jobs.

Manifesto season is nigh, with the UK heading to the polls next May. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation has released a four-point plan for growing jobs which it hopes will spark discussion in Westminster.

Here are five key takeaways from the manifesto for jobs.

1) Jobs for everybody

There will be a big push on youth employment. The REC is calling for jobseeking to become part of the school curriculum by promoting apprenticeships and vocational qualifications. It also wants work experience back for students. But it’s more than arming youth workers; the manifesto highlights areas it hopes will remove job barriers for jobseekers of all ages.

2) Bringing the best in from home and abroad

Recommendations include re-introducing two-year post-study work visas for all science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates and streamlining cheaper Tier 2 visa applications for small and medium-sized businesses.

More importantly, it calls for businesses to find the right talent wherever they can, including business-led training programmes here at home.

3) Dear MPs: Let’s be friends

The REC wants MPs to champion building a strong jobs market. It’s asking local MPs to host job fairs in their constituencies, bringing jobseekers, businesses, and agencies together.

The REC is also using the Good Recruitment Campaign as a lynchpin, encouraging local employers to consider diversity and social mobility when hiring.

4) Get the best out of Europe

The UK’s relationship with Europe could be bolstered, the REC says. It wants private employment businesses to have unrestricted access to the EU jobs portal (EURES), and to end labour restrictions in other EU member states.

It’s also big on building upon the European Commission’s PARES initiative.

5) The right to stay flexible

Flexible working is going to be another big thing come May. The REC is adamant jobs with flexible hours are perfect for some people, and wants to keep that up.

It’s calling on MPs to commission an independent body to review income protection and financial products. This will give contractors, temp workers, and the self-employed access to benefits currently restricted to permanent employees.

Expanding the range of job data collected by the Office for National Statistics, and ensuring the independence of the Low Pay Commission are also high on the list.

The REC hopes its manifesto gets chins wagging in MP offices nationwide. To read it for yourself, click here.

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