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

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, The 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


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