Success of UK labour market requires next government to address range of challenges – REC

Aspire To Aspire

The scale of our challenge requires us to be much more creative about the way we think about work and skills. So says Sir Charlie Mayfield, chair of the John Lewis Partnership and UKCES in a new book on the future of the UK labour market published today.

What can be done to boost economic productivity? How do we strike the right balance between flexibility and security to benefit workers and businesses alike? What reforms to education and immigration policy can be used to address persistent skills shortages? How will technology change the way we work and think about work?

These are some of the pressing questions addressed by 24 expert economists, business leaders, trade unionists and policymakers in ‘Building the best jobs market in the world: the expert view’, published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

REC chief executive Kevin Green says:

“The UK labour market has undergone significant change in the last decade and we believe this will only accelerate over the next few years. We feel strongly that our dynamic labour market is a real competitive advantage and must be nurtured and protected.

“We know that not everyone agrees with us on every issue here at the REC, but I think we all appreciate that we have a shared ambition of making the UK the best jobs market in the world. So we have set out to collect the views of experts and provoke a debate about how we, as a nation, can achieve this.”

  • David Smith, Economics Editor, The Sunday Times
  • Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic Adviser, Centre for Economics & Business Research
  • Professor David Blanchflower CBE, Dartmouth College
  • Ian Brinkley, Chief Economist, Work Foundation
  • Brian Groom, Editorial consultant and writer
  • Jonathan Portes, Director, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
  • Dean Royles, Director of HR and OD, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Katja Hall, Deputy Director-General, CBI
  • Peter Cheese, Chief Executive, CIPD
  • Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman, John Lewis Partnership and UKCES
  • Sir Brendan Barber, Chair, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)
  • Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC
  • Steve Hughes, Head of Economic and Social Policy, Policy Exchange
  • Shaun Rafferty, Chief Operating Officer, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Paul Hackett, Director, Smith Institute
  • Baroness Margaret Prosser OBE, Labour peer
  • Charlotte Sweeney, Charlotte Sweeney Associates
  • Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, Liberal Democrat peer
  • Ros Altmann CBE, UK government’s business champion for older workers
  • Clive Memmott, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • Albert Bravo-Biosca, Senior Economist, Nesta
  • Duncan O’Leary, Research Director, Demos
  • Professor Danny Dorling, Oxford University
  • Matt Alder, Digital, Social and Mobile Marketing Strategist, Metashift

The book is free to download from the REC website at,39ADI,44H6K8,BNU8J,1

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