With support from our partner, Middlesex University, on Tuesday 19 March, we held The Perspective: Skills and the labour market. Skills shortages in the labour market, what is being done by employers to support their employees and how to attract a diverse and inclusive workforce in the future, were just some of the topics covered at the discussion.
Our panel was chaired by Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with expert knowledge and insights from:
- Councillor David Harvey, Westminster City Council, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Business
- Rebecca Lowe, Director at FREER and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs
- Carly Perry, Head of Recruitment at Metro Bank
- Andy Sellers, Co-Founder of 3Search
Westminster City Council business survey: Councillor David Harvey provided the results of the WCC business survey. This presented the council with crucial research in order to meet the needs of its residents, as well as an opportunity for businesses to indicate the problems they experience with recruitment and employment. Click here to read the results of the business survey here.
The future of apprenticeships: the current apprenticeship levy requires reforms so that it focuses more on skills and training. Over the past 40 years there has been too much focus on academic skills and many candidates lack the necessary soft skills. Additionally, apprenticeships need to be more inclusive and attract older candidates as well.
Making job roles more flexible: For Carly and Andy, having first-hand experience in the recruitment process has shown that candidates are no longer focusing purely on salary. Employees expectations have shifted towards the extra benefits the employer can offer. Whether this is extra training, unlimited holiday, child care vouchers or a four-day week for a better work life balance.
“We need greater flexibility as the labour market tightens.” – Rebecca Lowe
“it is more about flexibility and wellbeing rather than what they are going to earn.” – Carly Perry
Initiatives for employees: businesses need more initiatives to help their employees, particularly in London where the cost of living is so high. This is one key factor as to why people are being deterred from working in the Capital.
“Challenges include getting onto the property ladder, so we offer deposit schemes to help our employees get on the property ladder” – Andy Sellers
Heart of London free recruitment service: We will meet with you to understand your business and recruitment needs. We will then recruit on your behalf from the local community, provide a shortlist of candidates who are a great match for your vacancies and even arrange interviews for you. So far, we have saved a significant £430,000 in business recruitment costs.