How does the Spring 2017 Budget Affect Recruitment?

31st March 2017
Geoff Collings

The Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s 2017 Spring Budget will more than likely be remembered for his U-turn on the hike in National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed. But aside from this unusual turn of events, there are some key points that recruiters can take away from this year’s budget.

With employment at a record high of 31.8 million people, and predicted growth of the UK economy by 2% in 2017, the future for both recruiters and those seeking employment certainly looks bright. But what other aspects of the Budget will affect recruitment?

Rise in the National Living Wage 

One of the areas of positivity within this year’s budget was the rise in the National Living Wage from £7.20 to £7.50 an hour. Whilst this will be something that employers need to budget for, it has the potential to reduce staff turnover, boost employee engagement and reduce absenteeism. This in turn could increase company productivity.

Return to Work Support

The chancellor also expressed an interest in using a £5million fund for return to work support. Returnships are aimed at those that have been on long-term career breaks to give them a route back into employment.

This is potentially good news for recruiters, as it gives them a larger pool in order to match suitable job seekers with the right vacancy. However, many employers will need to be aware that those returning to the workplace after a career break may well need appropriate training in order to bring them in line with today’s highly fluid digital office.

New Working Parent Childcare Schemes

With proposed changes to childcare funding, the government is hoping to encourage more parents back into the workplace. A new tax-free childcare option will soon be available to parents, offering £2,000 a year in childcare support for each child under the age of 12.

Similarly, working parents in England will also be able to apply for an additional 15 hours of free childcare for three and four year olds. This will in theory create a total of 30 hours free childcare a week.

For those that are able to access these schemes, this could aid their return to the workplace. Recruiters may therefore be able to take advantage of often highly skilled employees who are taking a career break due to care for their young families.

Apprenticeship Levy

The apprenticeship levy, due to launch in April 2017, is designed to upskill the country’s workers, and support young people in further study. The government is aiming to use the levy applied to those businesses above the threshold to invest in technical education for 16 to 19 year olds. New, practical-based ‘T-level’ qualifications are being introduced in Autumn 2019.

It is hoped that an increase in highly trained young people across all sectors will help to promote growth across the country, which will be welcomed by recruiters and job seekers alike.

Although it is likely to be a while before these schemes will take hold and the benefits can be reaped, there are positives to take away from this year’s Spring Budget. With more people in the workforce, there are more opportunities to find the right people for all types of role within financial recruitment, Essex, Suffolk and Kent-wide.

If you’re looking to recruit or are thinking about your next career move within the finance sector, contact MacKenzie King. Our aim is to work with recruiters to place the right candidates in the right roles, as well as  having a wide range of financial recruitment positions readily available in Kent, Suffolk and Essex.