Debbie Walton
Debbie Walton

30% of young people don’t think they will ever be able to achieve their career ambitions

The outlook is bleak for young people’s futures, according to new research from City & Guilds. The research found that 13% of UK youth are currently unemployed (not in work or studying), and a further 3% are economically inactive. This equates to approximately 859,000 young adults.

The survey looked at a sample of  5,000 18 to 24-year-olds living in the UK, and the findings show that many young people feel completely excluded from the labour market. When looking at the young adults who are currently studying or out of work, 9% (227,000 people)  don’t intend to start working.

The findings show that the UK youth are rapidly losing hope in what is perceived as a hostile labour market with limited opportunities. This suggests that they are being let down by the education system, Government, as well as employers.

According to the research, 30% of young people don’t think they will ever be able to achieve their career ambitions. This sentiment is highest among those who are currently not working (35%). Youth who have faced challenges in their early lives – especially those who have been in the prison system (59%), been a refugee (54%), or been through the care system (44%) also share the negative sentiment.

 When looking at those who wish to work, there are real barriers to getting jobs.

  • 43% do not believe that their education has equipped them to get the job they want.
  • 64% say that it is not easy to get a good job these days
  • 29% say they have struggled to get interviews.
  • 19% say there simply aren’t jobs available in their location.

With these difficulties to face, most young people strongly believe both Government and employers must do more to support them. Only 26% of the respondents think the Government is doing enough to support young people entering the workforce. That number drops to just 19% among those that are unemployed.

The report, entitled Youth Misspent, set out key recommendations for employers, Government, and educators to help young people to enter the labour market. These recommendations include:

  • Employers to engage with the skills system and existing skills initiatives to provide better opportunities and progression for youngsters. This will also assist to fill critical skills shortages.
  • Employers are also to make it easier for young people (particularly the disadvantaged) to enter the job market and progress in their careers/
  • The Government is encouraged to work with educators and employers to optimise existing skills interventions and make full use of any funding available. They are also advised to improve careers guidance and education from early years onwards.
  • Educators are advised to help young people be more aware of the broader education and career opportunities available to them, as well as to ensure that curricula are inclusive, allowing everyone to achieve their best.

Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City and Guilds, said: “We can’t keep blaming the pandemic for the issues facing today’s youth. High youth unemployment has been an issue for more than a decade and the pandemic was just another challenge heaped onto an already creaking system that makes it incredibly difficult for young people to convert their aspirations into good jobs.

 “In addition, our research found that young people who have faced additional challenges, such as young carers, care and prison leavers and those who come from less affluent families, are falling way behind their peers in the labour market at the earliest stage of their careers. The current system is baking in inequality and preventing millions of young people from meeting their potential.”

“Young people should be a critical part of the UK’s recovery story and harnessing their potential will be essential if we are to come out of the other side of another recession with a brighter future ahead. Crucially, if we don’t fix this now, we risk storing up more problems for generations to come, exacerbating productivity shortfalls and social inequalities in the long term.”

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Employees will be allowed to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period

On Monday the government said it would introduce legislation giving employees the right to request flexible working arrangements from the moment they start a job. It also said about 1.5 million low-paid workers, including some gig economy employees, students and carers, would benefit from a new law ensuring they are free to boost their income by taking on a second job if they wished.

The move has been welcomed by unions, who urged ministers to go further in terms of making such arrangements the norm.

Joanne Frew, global head of Employment law at DWF, commented: “Employees will be allowed to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period (previously only one request could be made in any 12-month period) and employers will be required to respond to requests within two months (previously employers had three months to respond). Employees will no longer be required to set out how the effects of the request might be dealt with by the employer.

“The last two and a half years have seen an unprecedented increase in flexible working, with the pandemic acting as a catalyst for change. Despite the tightening up of the flexible working regime outlined by the Government; many employers are already offering increased flexibility.

“In order to retain top talent and promote a culture of diversity and inclusion, it is essential that employers take flexible working requests seriously and consider innovative ways to make requests work. Open communication between the employer and employee is key.

“Having a blanket policy of not allowing employees to work flexibly can be incredibly detrimental to organisations, from the risk of discrimination claims to a reduced talent pool. However, it is also important that employers retain the right to refuse certain requests when there is an insurmountable clash with business needs – the response to the consultation makes it clear that the current list of business reasons for refusing a flexible working request will be retained.

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Recruitment company now has eight offices across five countries

International recruitment company, Gravitas Group, has just announced the acquisition of R2 Group, a Rotterdam-based recruitment company.  The R2 Group is a provider of specialist Technology permanent and contract recruitment services across The Netherlands. They have a turnover of €8 million.

This follows Gravitas Group’s announcement in September 2022 of the appointment of a Chief Revenue Officer, Kurt Schreurs. They also expanded into Germany by opening a new office in Munich.

Their latest acquisition will help to strengthen their European presence, bringing their global footprint to eight offices across five countries.

The Gravitas Groups’ leadership team now includes Rick van Eeden, R2 Group Founder and Managing Partners, Jurriaan van Leeuwen and Mark Priems.

Jonathan Ellerbeck, Gravitas Group Co-Founder and CEO, commented:  “We are thrilled to welcome everyone in the R2 Group to the Gravitas Group.  We believe that Rick, Julian, Mark and the team will bring invaluable experience, strength of proven management, and a unique knowledge of The Netherlands Technology recruitment market, further deepening our international presence and helping fulfil our purpose to create solutions to empower our clients and candidates’ ambitions, across more countries”.

Rick van Eeden, Founder of R2 Group, commented: “I am delighted that R2 Group has been given the opportunity to become part of the Gravitas Group and to be representing the group in The Netherlands.  It’s such a key period in R2 Groups’ history and it’s incredibly exciting that we will be part of the incredible journey Gravitas Group are on.  The infrastructure, support and reputation that comes with being part of an organisation such as the Gravitas Group, will provide R2 Group with solid foundations, enabling us to grow more quickly and continue to deliver best in-class Technology recruitment solutions to our customers.

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Sector plays a crucial role in financial recovery in UK

According to The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s latest Recruitment Industry Status report,  recruitment and staffing, as an industry, contributed £42.9 billion of direct Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy last year. This is an increase of 21.7% compared to the previous year (2020) and a rise in pre-pandemic levels.

The results indicate the important role that recruitment and staffing firms have played in driving the recovery for firms and workers. The report revealed that 22.4 million temporary or contract placements and 540,000 permanent placements were made in 2021.

Other findings include that the recruitment sector and its related industries employed over 200,000 people in more than 30,000 businesses (+6.5%)

The RISR report uses its data to forecast the outlook for the industry for the rest of the year and beyond. According to this forecast, the number of staff employed in recruitment activities is likely to grow by 6.9% in 2022 compared to 2021. We can expect roughly 6% growth after 2022

Similarly, client volumes are set to grow by 14.3%, and fees are also set to increase by 7.4% compared to 2021. By 2025 the recruitment sector is set to contribute more than £51.3 billion by 2025.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive at the REC commented: “The robust recovery that recruitment and staffing has enjoyed since the pandemic has been driven by meeting client and candidate needs. With an unpredictable economic outlook, and severe shortages of labour, it has never been more important for businesses to work with recruiters who are able to offer the advice they need to shape a winning offer.”

“In addition to the almost £43 billion of direct value added to the economy, getting the ‘people stuff’ right helps employers to unlock additional productivity and growth, as the REC’s work has shown. Looking forward, recruiters with the right product mix, ability to supply good candidates well, and advisory capacity can expect to have a positive year in 2023.”

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Language, mechanical, and marketing skills in demand for side hustles

With the massive increase in cost of living in the UK, many workers are looking to side hustles as a way to earn extra cash. New research from the job search engine Adzuna has revealed that the most lucrative side hustles offer extra income of up to £48,000 a year. According to the official ONS data, the number of workers with second jobs increased to 1,252,000 between July and September this year. This is the highest number in 10 years.

Adzuna’s research looked at nearly 1.1 million open roles listed on the website during November 2022, analysing UK job openings that would be ideal as a second job. Twenty-five roles were analysed, and 479,111 job vacancies were found among these roles. This equals 44% of the UK jobs currently available.

The top five best-paid side hustles jobs are:

  • Translator (£48,648)
  • Handyman (£36,980)
  • Content Writer (£36,635)
  • Influencer (£36,461)
  • Music Teacher (£36,441)

Also lucrative are roles are Proofreaders (£32,624), Graphic Designers (£36,145), and Photographers (£33,306). Virtual Assistants (£35,521) and Social Media Managers (£33,729) are also options.

For temporary roles, ideal for students, further opportunities are on offer. With the peak shopping season upon us, retailers are recruiting large numbers of temp workers to meet the spike in customer demand. Seasonal temp roles are the most sought after and workers can expect to earn an average of £32,058 pro rata. These jobs, however, often require shifts during evenings, weekends, and bank holidays. According to the research, over 156,900 temporary job vacancies remain unfilled.

Other popular side gig roles, despite offering incomes of under £31,000, include:

  • Drivers for companies like Uber and Evri
  • Grocery delivery workers
  • Pet Sitters
  • Cleaners
  • House sitters
  • Baby sitters
  • Gardeners

There are also many secondary job options available in the Hospitality sector, such as receptionists and waiter openings with pay in the region of £23,000. Data Entry Clerks and Mystery Shoppers can expect to earn an average of £25,380 and £20,166 each.

There are also more than 96,000 vacancies for Cleaners and Drivers.  The demand for Tutor and Translator roles is also fairly high, with 30,285 and 22,327 job openings, respectively.

Paul Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at job search engine Adzuna, commented: “Despite the tough macroeconomic environment, workers in the UK are finding new ways to increase their income and secure their living standards. Taking up a side gig on top of a 9-to-5 job has become a necessity to make ends meet for many households. For others, a side gig offers the chance to top up the Christmas coffers. Luckily, there’s currently a wide variety of second job options available. Jobseekers who are proficient in foreign languages, skilled at copywriting or fixing things, or who always stay on top of social media trends have a great chance of finding a side job with competitive pay. And for those simply looking for a festive role to earn some holiday cash, there are still thousands of delivery drivers and Christmas temp roles worth considering.”

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85% are more likely to apply for jobs that disclose that information

According to a survey by, a majority of workers would demand to know the salary ranges for their jobs, with 88% saying they would demand to know the salary range if allowed under new salary transparency laws being enacted in some states.

The survey also found that 85% of workers said they are more likely to apply to job ads that list salary ranges. However, workers were split when it comes to what companies should be allowed when listing salary ranges. More than half, 58%, said companies should be able to list any salary range, no matter how wide, while 42% said salary ranges should have limits.

Stacie Haller, Career Counselor and Executive Recruiter at commented: “While applicants tend to favor companies that provide salary ranges in their job descriptions, displaying a very wide salary range does not help anyone. Companies that provide realistic and reasonable salary ranges can build trust with potential employees and attract more qualified candidates.”

Overall, 92% percent of American workers support salary transparency laws, according to the survey. Of supporters, 61% believe these laws will improve wage gaps, 58% believe they will make it easier for job applicants and 47% say they will boost transparency. However, 63% of respondents fear it will be problematic to know how much money their co-workers make.

The survey included 1,200 workers and was conducted online on Nov. 2.


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Year over year, job openings are down 6.9%.

According to seasonally adjusted data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of US job openings fell 3.3% in October to 10.3 million. Year over year, job openings are down 6.9%.

However, Reuters noted that job openings remained significantly high in October, which points to continued labor market resilience despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool demand by aggressively raising interest rates and were in line with economists’ expectations.

Hires were down 1.4% in October from September and fell 6.9% year over year. The number of separations, which includes quits, layoffs and discharges, rose 0.3% month over month.

Quits, which are included in separations and are voluntarily initiated by employees, fell by a scant 0.8% in October compared to September. Layoffs and discharges, which come under involuntary separations, rose 4.4% in October from September.

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Mexican labor reform decreases agency work volume of business by 80%

The regulatory outlook for the staffing industry remains negative for the next six months in 13 countries, according to the World Employment Confederation’s recently released Staffing Executive Regulatory Outlook report. The impact changes in regulation are expected to be neutral in seven countries and positive in four.

Overall, the staffing industry anticipates regulatory changes to have a positive impact in the Netherlands, Spain, UK and Italy.

The report noted following the Mexican labor reform implemented in September 2021, agency work is no longer allowed in Mexico, decreasing the volume of business by 80% compared to the situation before the reform. However, agency work can continue operating in “specialized services” falling outside the core activity of the user company.

In Europe, the expected negative regulatory changes include:

  • A new regulation on the maximum length of an assignment in Sweden.
  • A new regulation on statutory sick pay and pensions in Ireland.
  • Discussions and possible regulation on the overall protection of agency workers covered by collective labor agreements in Germany, linked to the EU Court of Justice proceeding.
  • Discussions on the use of agency work in the healthcare sector in both Denmark and France.
  • A new law entering into force in Norway on maximum length of assignment and a regional ban in the construction sector.

The biannual poll includes responses from executives of 24 different national staffing federations. It was conducted in October.

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81% are hosting a Christmas party this year

A recent study by Just Eat for Business has revealed that 1 in 3 businesses will not be providing staff with an end of year bonus this year. 

The Corporate Christmas Rewards Study asked key decision makers, such as CEOs and business managers at companies across the UK how they will be rewarding staff during the festive period. 

The findings show that the majority of businesses base the decision on whether or not to give staff a monetary-based Christmas bonus is based on meeting sales targets (31%), company profit (30%) and whether or not employees have met their personal goals (29%). 

However, the majority of businesses (81%) are choosing to give back to staff by hosting a Christmas party this year. Almost half (48%) said that this year’s Christmas party event will be bigger and better when compared to such events that took place pre-pandemic.

The study also found that 7% of UK-based businesses have decided not to host a Christmas party of any kind this year, and the remaining 12% have not yet decided if they will do so or not. 

For organisations that have chosen not to host a party, main reasons include; budget issues (57%), a lack of organisation (14%), as well as having a remote workforce (14%). 

When it comes to additional festive incentives and activities, other ways in which employers are planning to give back to staff this year include organising a secret santa (34%), funding a Christmas lunch (34%) and providing corporate gifts (27%).

The survey also shows that 1 in 5 businesses (20%) will be providing office catering as an end-of-year incentive, yet 41% of key decision makers at businesses admit they could be doing more to incentive staff all year round. 

Rosie Hyam, People Partner, at Just Eat for Business commented: “Rewarding employees is key to a good working atmosphere and ensuring that staff members feel appreciated. Giving back can also have a huge impact on staff morale and retention, especially going into the new year. 

“As many businesses have a higher number of remote workers than ever before, it’s now even more vital that businesses are doing all they can to try and make staff members feel appreciated. 

“Yet this can be easier said than done, especially considering that many businesses state the main reason for not incentivising staff this year is due to budget issues.

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49% of contractor work coming from clients outside of the UK

New research by Cool Company, the digital payroll solution for contractors, has revealed the overall outlook for the contractor workforce sector is positive, despite the UK heading into a recession. The research found that just over three-fifths (61%) of contractors are feeling positive about contracting as a whole, with many working with overseas clients hoping to avoid the UK’s economic contraction.

The data revealed that contractors are looking beyond the UK to shore up client worries with an average of 49% of contractor work coming from clients outside of the UK in the last 12 months. 42% of contractors surveyed said that just more than half (51%) or more of their work currently comes from non-UK clients, while 55% of contractors expect that figure to increase in 2023.

Despite the confusion of IR35 reforms and then potential Off-Payroll legislation repeal, most contractors are now feeling more positive about the industry at home. Almost two-thirds (64%) of contractors surveyed believe that all clients will increase their use of contractors over the next 12 months and more than a quarter (26%) of contractors use recruitment agencies to source new clients.

Kris Simpson, Country Manager UK at Cool Company, commented: ‘2022 has been difficult for most people, with considerable economic and political uncertainty and coming on the back of last year’s IR35 reforms, it could potentially have caused significant difficulties for contractors.

‘The fact that contractors have found new ways of working, using umbrella companies and recruiters to connect with both British and overseas clients, testifies to the versatility of our contract workforce. So, although the UK’s economic outlook may be grim, I think there is some justification for the positivity currently found amongst contractors.’

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