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Temporary Staffing

Team Work makes the dream work!

Posted on: 15/11/2017

Last Week Tom Green and James Ritchie went to visit Regency Hampers in

Tewksbury, a visit booked off the back of a recommendation from FedEx Kidderminster who are so happy with the service they receive from WF they recommend us to their own customers!

The visit went really well, at peak they use in excess of 40 temporary staff across

logistic and commercial sectors. Tom and James came away with 5 bookings to start the following day. Back in the Worcester Branch Roza and Oli quickly found great candidates and got the account off to a flying start! In just a few days Roza and Oli have increased the account to 8 temps out.

UK industrial output jumps in September

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The UK’s industrial output grew at its fastest pace so far this year in September, according to official figures.

Production rose by 0.7% compared with the month before, the Office forNational Statistics (ONS) said, boosted by machinery and equipment output.

Separate data showed the UK’s trade deficit in goods and services narrowed by more than expected in September.

However, construction output fell by 1.6% in the month, the ONS said.

‘Mixed’ outlook

The increase in industrial production was better than analysts’ forecasts, and the fastest growth seen since December last year.

Manufacturing output – a subset of industrial output – also rose by 0.7% in September.

“Industrial production has risen for six consecutive months, a feat last achieved 23 years ago,” said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

However, he added that the recovery in manufacturing output could be hit by recent rises in the oil price.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said the outlook for manufacturing appeared “mixed”.

Domestic conditions looked “challenging despite recent decent demand”, he said.

“Increased prices for capital goods and big-ticket consumer durable goods, weakened consumer purchasing power, and economic and political uncertainty threaten to hamper manufacturers.

“On the export side, a very competitive pound and healthy global demand are helping UK manufacturers competing in foreign markets. The weakened pound also appears to be encouraging some companies to switch to domestic sources for supplies.”

The UK’s trade deficit in goods and services narrowed by £0.7bn between August and September 2017 to £2.75bn, mainly due to trade in goods exports increasing by £1.3bn.

Despite this, the UK’s trade performance during the third quarter as a whole worsened, according to the ONS data.

In the three months to September 2017, the total UK trade deficit widened by £3bn to £9.5bn, mainly due to a increased imports, including of machinery, non-monetary gold and fuels.

The construction output data was much weaker than expected. As well as the sharp fall in September from August, output was only up 1.1% from a year earlier – the weakest annual rate since March last year.

The ONS said the latest economic data did not suggest there would be any change to its initial estimate that the UK economy grew 0.4% in the third quarter of the year.

Voluntary living wage rate rise to boost 150,000 UK staff

Posted on: 06/11/2017

More than 150,000 workers whose firms are signed up to the voluntary living wage rate are set to get a pay rise.

The voluntary rate, promoted by the Living Wage Foundation campaign group, is to rise by 30p an hour to £8.75. For those living in London, the rate will rise by 45p to £10.20 an hour.

About 3,600 firms are signed up to the scheme, including Ikea and Google.

It is separate from the government’s compulsory National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW).

The National Living Wage, which was introduced in April last year for workers aged 25 and above, is currently set at £7.50 an hour. Those under 25, are still paid the lower National Minimum Wage.

Living Wage Foundation director Katherine Chapman urged more employers to sign up to the scheme.

“In-work poverty is today’s story,” she said. “The new living wage rates will bring relief for thousands of UK workers being squeezed by stagnant wages and rising inflation.”

‘Right thing to do’

On Monday, a number of new companies announced their commitment to pay the living wage, including Heathrow Airport, the National Gallery and professional services firm JLL.

Heathrow is the first airport to sign up to the scheme. Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said paying the living wage was “the right thing to do as a responsible employer”.

Minimum wage rates

The National Living Wage (over 25s): £7.50 an hour

21-24 year old rate: £7.05

18-20: £5.60

16-17 £4.05

Apprentice rate: £3.50

Research from accountancy firm KPMG on Sunday estimated around one in five UK workers were paid below the voluntary living wage.

The level of the voluntary living wage is calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation, a not-for-profit research and policy organisation.

It is overseen by the Living Wage Commission, which is appointed by the Living Wage Foundation and includes representation from employers, trade unions, civil society and independent experts.

UK employers’ confidence in economic conditions falls for third consecutive month – REC

Posted on: 03/11/2017

Employer confidence in the economy has fallen for the third month in a row, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

An increasing number of businesses think that economic conditions are worsening, with the net balance falling from -3 in August to -7 in September and -9 in the latest report.

The net balance of employers planning to increase temporary agency worker headcount within the next three months has also fallen to -9 across all sectors. However, the demand for temporary workers within low-skilled occupations such as drivers and hospitality remains positive.

The latest JobsOutlook survey of 600 employers also shows:

  • almost seven in ten employers (69%) state that they are using agency workers to cover leave or absences, making it the number one reason to hire agency workers
  • two in five (42%) employers said they had no spare workforce capacity
  • in the health & social care sector, employers feared a shortage of temporary and permanent candidates

REC chief executive Kevin Green says: 

“It is very worrying that for the third month now, more employers feel that economic conditions are getting worse.

“Although the demand for temporary agency workers is declining, the demand for permanent staff remains strong – which is a positive sign. The jobs market’s unprecedented growth is at a tipping point. Clarity around trade, residency and immigration could prevent a rapid decline in the UK’s successful labour market. We’re looking for political leadership.

“Regarding workers’ availability, the anticipated shortage of candidates in the health & social care sector could have severe consequences. Non-UK nationals make up around ten per cent of the workforce in this sector. There have already been predictions that the NHS in England might suffer its worst winter in recent history as skills shortage start to bite and workers from the EU go home while fewer apply for roles.”

Unemployment remains at lowest rate since 1975

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Official employment figures released show that unemployment is at 4.3%, the lowest since 1975

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, also show that there are now 32.10 million people in work, 317,000 more than last year.

These figures have been driven by increases in full-time and permanent work, and in the last year there are 20,000 fewer people relying on zero hour contracts.

The female employment rate is also at a near record 70.7%, with over 15 million women in work. However, mothers aged between 16 and 49 are still less likely to be in employment than women without dependent children of the same age.

One area of focus for the government is therefore getting more women into work, and in the process boosting their pay income.

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds said:

“Our economy is helping to create full time, permanent jobs which are giving people across the UK the chance of securing a reliable income.

“We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the National Living Wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years.

“That’s great progress and we’re determined to help more people flourish in the world of work.

“For example we’ve launched our new returnship programme to help more women get into good jobs after taking time out, and to keep their career progressing.”

Nancy Wood, 34, is an Associate at BuroHappold who has returned to work after 10 months out. She helps to lead the BuroHappold Engineering Sustainability and Building Physics team in London.

She is looking to further her career in sustainability consultancy and has attended a returners course organised by WISE, an organisation set up to achieve a better gender balance in science, technology and engineering.

Nancy said:

“I went on the returnship programme to help reignite my career. I’m ambitious, and after 10 months out I have valued learning how to successfully balance work and home life.

“The course was extremely helpful and provided some really useful techniques. I already feel more confident in my ability and empowered to do my job well, and have set a clear career path to help me achieve my ambitions.”

Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that time out of the labour market has a substantial impact on women’s salaries. On returning to work, women earn around 2% less on average for every year spent out of paid work.

According to research by PwC, addressing the career break penalty could provide a £1.7 billion boost to our annual economic output.

In the 2017 Spring Budget £5 million was allocated to increase the number of schemes in the public and private sector for people returning to work after a career break caring for children or family members.

The employment figures also show:

  • There are a near record 783,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time
  • The number of people in employment has increased by over 3 million since 2010
  • The UK has the 3rd highest employment rate in the G7
  • The number of workers aged 50 and over has reached a record 9.97 million
  • Youth unemployment has fallen by over 40% since 2010
  • The proportion of young people who are unemployed and not in full time education remains below 5%

As part of the government’s response to the recent Race Disparity Audit, the Department for Work and Pensions will target 20 hotspots where ethnic minority people are more likely to be unemployed.

Measures in these areas could include mentoring schemes to help those in ethnic minorities into work, and traineeships for 16 to 24 year olds, offering English, maths and vocational training alongside work placements.

Work Happy Week

Posted on: 23/10/2017

Employers have been shown the secrets to a happy and productive workforce in a week-long event run by a Worcester recruitment provider.

Work Happy Week was set up by jobs experts Workforce Staffing to encourage staff, businesses and candidates to enjoy what they do and understand the benefits of an enjoyable working environment.

Staff at the firm’s Foregate Street branch ran a variety of competitions, candidate workshops, and group activities on happiness and combatting stress.

Workforce CEO Paul Alekna, said: “It’s no secret that a happy workforce is a productive workforce but it’s very easy to forget this and for all of us to sometimes neglect the need to not only have a job, but to enjoy it as well.

“Everything from stress at home to lacking the right training to progress at work can all play its part.

“Getting the right help and knowing where to go is essential and we were very keen to play our part in helping our own staff, customers and candidates take the right approach to happiness at work. It helped people understand that it’s important to strike the right balance.”

Workforce employs over 100 people and has branches and training centres Birmingham, Dudley, Solihull, Redditch, Worcester, Kidderminster, Coventry, Rugby and Northampton

Post-Brexit immigration system must allow for EU workers of all skill levels

Posted on: 18/10/2017

There is insufficient volume of UK nationals willing and able to fill the low-skill roles currently done by EU nationals, and changing recruitment strategies and automation won’t be able to compensate for this, says a new report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation called Ready, willing and able? Can the UK labour force meet demand after Brexit?   Although EU nationals make up 7 per cent of the UK labour market overall they account for 15 per cent of workers in low-skilled roles (elementary occupations). EU nationals are also concentrated in certain sectors, with 33 per cent in food manufacturing, 18 per cent in warehousing and logistics and 14 per cent in hospitality.

With record high employment already, recruiters warn that it will be impossible to replace EU workers with British substitutes. Some British jobseekers will be overqualified to perform low-skill roles, while others will be unable to do physically demanding roles because of pre-existing conditions.

Employers also warn against over-estimating the extent to which automation is a solution to reduced access to EU labour. Some tasks are still too complex to be automated and even for jobs where it might be possible, full automation will be too expensive an investment for SMEs.

The REC is recommending that: 

  • There should be no blanket salary threshold for EU migrants wishing to work in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
  • Provisions for both temporary workers, and a seasonal workers scheme, must be included in any new immigration system.
  • Employers should be allowed to recruit from the EU for any role that cannot be filled domestically.
  • In its planning for future workforce needs, the government should not overestimate the potential for either automation or UK nationals to fill the labour gap caused by a reduction in EU migration.

REC chief executive Kevin Green says:

“Low-skilled work is too often talked about as if it’s not vital to our economy, but we need people to pick fruit and veg, sort and pack deliveries to supermarkets, and to cook and serve food once it reaches hotels, school canteens, and restaurants.   “Employers in these sectors are already talking about downscaling, closing or moving operations overseas if they can’t get people to fill jobs post-Brexit.   “The government needs to engage with business and ensure that any new immigration system is agile, pragmatic and based on a proper understanding of labour market data.”

Softer increase in staff placements as candidate availability drops markedly

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Key points: 

  • Permanent placements rise at weakest pace for five months…
  • …while growth in temp billings also moderates slightly
  • Candidate shortages continue to drive up pay rates


The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

Permanent placements growth weakens to five-month low…

Permanent staff placements rose at the softest pace since April at the end of the third quarter. That said, the rate of growth remained marked overall. Temp billings meanwhile rose sharply, despite also seeing pace of expansion moderate from the previous month.

…as availability of candidates continues to fall sharply

 A key factor weighing on growth in staff appointments was a further steep decline in candidate availability. For permanent candidates, the latest fall was the sharpest for four months, while the availability of temporary workers also fell at a historically marked pace.

Further steep increase in demand for staff

The number of job vacancies across the UK continued to rise sharply during September, with growth of staff demand edging down only slightly from August’s recent peak.

Pay pressures remain sharp

Strong demand for staff and a further drop in candidate availability placed further upward pressure on pay during September. Permanent starting salaries rose at the second-steepest rate in 22 months (after August), while temp pay growth softened only slightly from August’s 16-month record.

Regional variation

On a regional basis, growth of permanent placements was the most marked in the Midlands and the South of England. London meanwhile signalled a renewed drop in permanent placements (albeit marginal).

The quickest rate of temp billings growth was seen in Scotland, closely followed by the North of England. The weakest upturn was registered in London.

Sector variation

Latest data signalled that demand growth remained considerably stronger in the private sector than the public sector.

The sharpest overall increase in demand for staff was recorded for permanent workers in the private sector, while the weakest rise in staff vacancies was seen for permanent public sector workers.

Accounting/Financial was the most sought-after category for permanent staff in September, followed by IT & Computing. The slowest (albeit still marked) increase in vacancies was reported for Construction.

Blue Collar achieved first place in the rankings for temporary/contract staff demand during September, while Nursing/Medical/Care scored second place. All remaining categories also saw steep increases in demand.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive says:

“Recruiters are finding it even harder to find people to fill vacancies. Candidate availability has been falling for the past four years and the record high UK employment rate plus a slowdown in the number of EU nationals coming to work here is exacerbating the situation, potentially leaving roles unfilled.

“Across the UK permanent placements are slowing, but London is faring worse with placements declining for the first time in eleven months and the financial sector in particular struggling to recruit for roles such as audit, payroll and risk.   “Low-skill roles are also hard to fill in areas like food processing, warehouses and catering – sectors that employ a higher proportion of people from the EU than others across the economy. We urge the government to ensure any new immigration system includes provisions for low-skilled and temporary workers so that warehouses, supermarkets and restaurants can access the people they desperately need.”

UK’s 7th Anti-Slavery Day

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Today is the UK’s 7th Anti-Slavery Day. It’s an opportunity to pause and remember what we are working together to achieve: the freedom of the 40.3 million people trapped in modern slavery around the world today. A stark reality and a motivation beyond our own business concerns of compliance and bottom-lines.

It’s a good time to reflect on progress made and where to go to next. Consider what has been achieved in your organisation to tackle modern slavery to date. Whatever you have achieved so far, today we want to challenge you to take the next step. It could be gaining a commitment from your organisation’s senior leadership, it could be rolling out further staff training, and it could be considering risk and vulnerability to exploitation in other areas of your business. For instance, have you extended your programme to tackle modern slavery to your sub-contractors and third-party providers – your company’s cleaners, caterers and construction companies? These sectors are often the last to be considered, yet they are high-risk as they are commonly characterised by a high proportion of migrant workers undertaking low-skilled irregular work.

In line with this, we have a new step to celebrate. Today, in partnership with the Charted Institute of Building (CIOB), we are pleased to announce the project sponsors to our new Construction Programme include Saint-Gobain, Westfield and Willmott Dixon. Find out more here.

The construction programme will be driving change within the sector, but also will reach businesses in many other industries that commission and sub-contract construction projects.

We hope you consider what today is about and accept the challenge to take your next step.

Drinks reception held to celebrate merger of two Worcestershire firms Workforce Staffing and Peach Recruitment

Posted on: 17/10/2017

A DRINKS reception was held recently to celebrate the merger of two county recruitment firms.

Redditch headquartered Workforce Staffing, which has nine branches across the region, announced the merger with Worcester’s Peach Recruitment.

As part of the deal Peach’s staff have moved into Workforce’s Worcester recruitment centre, and the merger will see them providing more specialist staff to firms across the West Midlands.

The event, held at Worcester’s Boleros Bar & Kitchen, saw over 40 guests treated to drinks and a tapas-style buffet which followed short speeches by Workforce CEO Paul Alekna and Sarah Mayo-Evans, managing director and founder of Peach Recruitment.

Mr Alekna said: “The merger with Peach Recruitment has been extremely smooth and the drinks reception was another opportunity for us to underline how we will work with candidates and local businesses in the future.”