REC Blog

Getting practical, not political, on Brexit
Getting practical, not political, on Brexit
Business Advice 16th Apr 2019

The REC is a powerful champion for recruiters all over the UK. That’s why the business support we offer hits the road around the country so regularly. Alongside speaking up for recruiters and setting standards, helping recruitment businesses grow is a huge priority.

Later in the year, we’ll be all over the country with support on IR35, and separately on strategies for business growth. Our training packages go deeper on key issues like GDPR or recruitment law. But another series started last week in Cardiff – Navigating Brexit.

Importantly, this isn’t Brexit as we so often see it discussed – political, imprecise. This is a much more practical series – sharing what is really happening now in the jobs market, the key steps businesses can take to get ready for changes to come, and content for discussions with clients about how they will adapt. Substance that will be helpful whatever political outcome we end up with.

In Cardiff, I was able to share the latest REC data on economic and labour market trends, but also the substantial optimism we can have as a sector about growth, with many firms turning to the sector as traditional methods like word of mouth or local advertising become less effective.

We were joined by some key guests who shared their insight on the practical issues firms need to get ready for. Ruth Bacigalupo of the Welsh Government set out the support packages they have in place to underpin Welsh firms, both in terms any no deal outcome – but also when it comes to the kinds of skills funding that will help recruiters whatever happens.

Following on from Ruth, Gemma Hyslop from Fragomen LLP gave members a fantastic insight into likely changes to immigration and right-to-work checks under different Brexit scenarios. A lot is changing here that firms will need to get familiar with – that is why Fragomen and REC have collaborated on a new guide for members. It’s not all hard work though – some of the innovations that Home Office are developing for the new system may well save time and effort for recruiters in years to come, delivering on a long-time REC ask.

Finally, David Slater from REC partners KPMG gave us an insight into the discussions that they are supporting in major client businesses – and therefore the questions that clients will be coming to recruiters with over the next few months.

Exploring client thinking also gave us the opportunity to explore the questions we should be asking ourselves as recruiters. How robust are our banking arrangements if the pound dives and interest rates rise? Do we have contracts that imply membership of the EU or service times that may be difficult to meet? These are reviews that firms can undertake now to be ready for anything in the unpredictable world we face.

The REC is all about helping you grow – the Navigating Brexit series is one part of that, as a practical and non-political guide to the path ahead and it enjoyed strong positive feedback from members who joined us. Like to come to a future edition? The full schedule of our Brexit events is here

Neil Carberry
Neil Carberry - chief executive, REC

Neil Carberry was appointed as chief executive of the REC in March 2018. He was previously managing director at the CBI, where he led the work of the UK’s leading business organisation on employment, the labour market, skills, energy, climate and infrastructure. He is a member of the Council of Acas and the Low Pay Commission and a Fellow of the CIPD.

View More articles by Neil Carberry >

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