Author: Daniel Waldron, Edited by: Simon Brewer
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has told a House of Lords subcommittee that a youth mobility scheme with Europe, similar to those that the UK has with Australia and New Zealand, could form part of a wider solution to the UK’s talent challenge for low-skilled jobs.
According to a document sent by the REC to the House of Lords subcommittee, the new UK immigration system and the end of freedom movement, which are outside of the new UK-EU Free Trade Agreement, represent key issues facing British businesses and the recruitment sector.
The document, seen by Recruiter, said: “By having no immigration route for roles deemed as low-skilled and requiring employer sponsorship for the vast majority of migrants, the REC does not believe the new UK immigration system will meet the needs of our labour market or economy.”
UK-EU Free Trade Agreement
The document sent by the REC was in response to a request for information issued by the House of Lords subcommittee in January, which sought feedback on the impact of the UK-EU Free Trade Agreement and Brexit on British businesses.
Speaking to Recruiter, the REC’s deputy CEO, Kate Shoesmith, said: “The biggest problem we have at the minute is… it’s way too early for us to be saying what the definitive impact is in terms of moving people around, recruiting, etc. Once the pandemic and the lockdowns start to shift in different countries, that’s when we’ll know exactly how the deal is unfolding.”
Shoesmith added the REC had recommended that the subcommittee delay moving forward with its enquiry until the summer, saying: “That’s when the subcommittee should get us in to talk to us about exactly what it’s feeling like on the ground.”
In addition to suggesting a youth mobility scheme with European countries, the REC document sent to the sub-committee also proposed a ‘comprehensive trade deal that facilitates the mobility of professionals that could help to address future talent challenges.’
Three key points
According to Recruiter, in its document to the subcommittee sent in February, the REC reiterated three key points that should be prioritised in future UK-EU relations:
- Minimising market access restrictions, including on establishment rules and ensuring UK professionals can still easily travel and conduct business within the EU
Ensuring mutual recognition of qualifications continues
- Ensuring data flows between the UK and EU through an adequacy agreement
Additionally, the document warned of potential challenges that small and medium-sized recruitment firms could face.
The document stated: “Ultimately, members trading in the EU are now faced with 27 new sets of regulations, with every member state to have their own set of reservations.
“This means SMEs – the vast majority of REC’s membership – will have to fully understand the requirements of each country… members are finding it difficult to comprehend that there is no longer ‘a one-size-fits-all’ when dealing with the EU.”
It’s understood that the House of Lords subcommittee is yet to respond to the document submitted by the REC.