My thoughts on the 2014 budget

I have said for a long while now that 2014 is shaping up to be a positive year for both the recruitment industry and the labour market and listening to the Chancellor deliver his Budget today, my feelings have not changed.

The 2.7% growth for the UK economy is higher than previously thought and this can only be a good thing for businesses.

However, as a recruiter, our priority is creating rewarding job opportunities for people throughout the UK as well as supplying our clients with the finest staff that are available.

The announcement, therefore, that employment rose by 459,000 to 30.19m – the highest figure since records began in 1971 – was music to our ears as I believe recruitment agencies such as Pertemps have made a telling contribution to these statistics.

The Chancellor announced today that the UK now has a higher employment rate than the USA for the first time in 35 years.  We see evidence of a continuing rise in job opportunities everyday in our nationwide network of branches.  Our clients also continue to benefit from a greater number of people who are available to work. However, there are still skills shortages in many sectors and we will continue to do all we can to address these areas to bridge any gaps that may exist.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast 1.5 million more jobs by 2017.  Clearly, employer confidence is returning but the government needs to support recovery by continuing to invest.  Its extension of a grant for small businesses to support apprentices is a positive start, and a move likely to support 100,000 more apprenticeships across the country.The Government now needs to ensure that tax regime supports businesses to invest and grow – the taxation regime shouldn’t discourage a flexible labour market.