The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has today welcomed the pro-employment provisions in Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, but cautioned that more must be done to boost job creation. In his initial reactions to the Budget statement, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said:

“We are delighted that the Chancellor has listened to recruiters and the wider business community and taken faster action on dropping corporation tax, which will be welcomed by firms across the country. It is also promising to see that the Government has prioritised youth employment with a new £300 million package to help young people into work. Our Youth Employment Taskforce has urged the Government to take decisive action on the rising number of young people outside of education or employment, and it is good news that 40,000 new apprenticeships and 100,000 work experience opportunities are coming onboard.

“However, we urge the Chancellor to consider further fiscal incentives to help employers take on young people, such as a National Insurance holiday of at least one year for SMEs who take on additional young people.”

Kevin Green added: “Despite the positive direction of travel in this budget, there are areas where more must be done. We were disappointed to see the Chancellor has maintained the planned increase on National Insurance contributions, which drive up the cost of taking on new staff, and has failed to look at current barriers in the benefits system that prevent unemployed people from taking on short-term job opportunities.

“The Chancellor could also have provided assurances that Government will do all it can to limit any negative impact of the Agency Worker Regulations, and reject calls for further goldplating. It would also have been helpful to outline a full plan for the Employment Law review, to give businesses certainty on what areas will be looked at during this Parliament.”