A new APPG (All Party-Parliamentary Group) has been created in Westminster with Parliamentarians, Peers, and industry experts striving to make the UK labour market the most attractive globally and resolve big strategic problems.
Following the trauma of the pandemic, the UK continues to carry high vacancy levels and low unemployment figures as many aspects of the UK labour market were fundamentally altered. As the country begins to tackle the significant challenges ahead, it is essential that a strategic and collaborative approach is taken to seize the opportunities that exist.
Never has it been more important to drive digital, flexible ways of working and hiring.
A Cross-party Commitment to Change
The APPG on Modernising Employment focuses on three important things: the future nature of jobs, digital hiring, and improving labour market standards for all, being both pro-growth and pro-worker.
The group aims to make UK hiring the fastest globally by harnessing technology and innovation to ensure people and companies can literally hire anywhere.
Within the APPG committee are ministers from both major political parties, along with a member of the House of Lords, alongside experts in UK employment.
The Global Hunt for Talent
Not only are companies competing for talent against their competitors, but industries are now competing against industries, and countries are competing against countries.
In our hybrid world of work, why should firms create jobs in the UK versus working from digital nomad villages globally?
The battle for talent has become far more global, and far more about the attractiveness overall of countries and their labour markets.
With a shortfall in available talent in the UK, companies want to maximise their hiring potential, with many offering work anytime, anywhere principles, but to truly do this it is essential the UK modernises hiring, making it the fastest globally but also reducing barriers and improving inclusion.
Better Hiring for Everyone
Behind the APPG is the Better Hiring Institute, a social enterprise developed between government and industry during the pandemic, which has been leading industry and government collaboration to support big changes to UK policy.
Their work on digital right-to-work policy has led to meetings with Ministers, appearances in House of Commons debates, and running large industry-led Parliamentary Briefings. They have championed vital changes to digital right-to-work and criminal record checks, to name just two initiatives.
Many barriers remain in hiring that could so easily be removed, such as the reported one in five job seekers who cannot utilise the digital right-to-work system as they don’t have an in-date British or Irish passport, in effect making them second-class work seekers.
The Better Hiring Institute has developed 10 Point Plans to make hiring faster, fairer, and safer. This includes reimagining hiring for young people, calling for changes to the way jobs are advertised to help over 50s, long-term unemployed, and many more groups get back into work, and hosting regular online events with the government.
HR Professionals can help drive change
The APPG is essential for any HR professional as it is an opportunity to be involved in shaping the future with the government but also with over 6000 other organisations to help transform the UK labour market.
Including physical meetings in Parliament, online events, and research and guidance, the APPG is a great way for HR professionals to broaden their knowledge and skills, build connections, and impact the future of the UK labour market.
It is an important way for HR professionals to stay ahead with the latest proposals and changes to hiring and working, to be first movers and influence change.
So much depends on how we shape the future UK labour market, how it has the potential to transform ailing high streets with new co-working space, and how it could provide the flexibility that so many desire, such as recent ONS figures has shown with the 50s who recently stated the main requirement to return to work is flexible and remote working.
A fair labour market for all
There are key questions to be answered such as how flexible work should be in future, how could work anywhere transform our regions and high streets, and how can so many people outside of the labour market be helped back.
The Chair of the APPG is Labour MP for Hull, Emma Hardy, who said: “Modernising employment and hiring is essential to maximising good job opportunities for all, to make best use of the available talent in the UK, and to promote regions of the UK as destinations for workers to work flexibly and remotely.
“This is essential to unlocking the full potential of the UK and of places such as Hull that can be transformed as innovative work locations for our new age of working.”
As well as the hiring and work revolution, building a fair labour market for all is critical. Based on the platformisation of work as we move to a new labour market, how do we ensure hiring and work are fair and inclusive for everyone, whilst making the UK labour market the most attractive globally?
The APPG is championing smarter regulatory systems, especially in the gig economy and company supply chains.
HR professionals have a key responsibility to ensure their supply chains are ethical and the workers within them are treated well. As digitisation drives changes to employment models and supply chain platforms it is important we balance innovation, boosting economic growth, with appropriate safeguards for workers.
What’s next? Joining the Better Hiring Institute and the APPG is free, and we welcome input from HR leaders who want to be part of a vital change in the way hiring is done here in the UK.