Building an inclusive jobs market

03 May 2017


The general election campaign is little more than a week old and we’ve already heard lots of rhetoric about fairness and opportunities for all.

Whether it’s announcements on grammar schools, free school meals or education policy, a key feature in all the major parties’ campaigns will be the need to build a more inclusive society. The REC’s priority is to continue showcasing the recruitment industry’s role within this hugely topical agenda.

Inclusion is a priority for government and business

Away from politics, inclusion is already a key issue for businesses, with escalating skills shortages, changing demographics and customer needs pushing it up the agenda.

This came through strongly during recent external events such as the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) Inclusive Workplaces Conference and a Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) Roundtable on inclusive apprenticeships.

Building a jobs market that works for everyone was also the overriding theme of the REC’s latest Inclusive Recruitment Forum, which provided a platform for recruiters to exchange views with employers as well as government representatives and influential organisations such as the Social Mobility Foundation.

Progress is being made bit by bit

It was clear from our Inclusive Recruitment Forum that we are starting to make real headway. The stories shared by Kelly Services, F1 Recruitment, Sodexo, Diversity Jobs, The West Ham United Foundation and Possibility People (to name a few) demonstrated the progress that can be made when employers, recruiters and inclusion experts play to their strengths and join forces.

We’ll be turning these great stories into case studies as part of our work to showcase examples of employers and recruiters moving beyond good intentions and making change happen.

We know the extent of the challenge, now it’s time to act

The Hampton-Alexander review into women in executive management, the Parker Review into ethnic diversity on boards and McGregor-Smith’s review into race in the workplace have identified the problems and remedies. Now it’s time to implement these recommendations and push ahead.

The need for action rather than talk was the key message from Baroness McGregor-Smith at CBI’s event last week. Encouraging more employers to review current hiring procedures is a key way forward and is at the heart of the REC’s wide-ranging Good Recruitment Campaign.

What’s next?

For our part, we’ll work with the new government and business community to build a more inclusive jobs market, put forward practical solutions and showcase the work of our members. If you’d like to contribute to this, please let us know.

We’ll be holding an Inclusive Recruitment webinar on 14 June with Business in the Community to build momentum. Join us then to play your part in building a more inclusive jobs market.

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