Home | News and Blog

More needs to be done by local authorities to attract younger talent

Posted on 16/05/2014 by Jamie Horton in Category Local authorities
This week’s ONS labour market statistics​ show that the UK unemployment rate is now at 6.8% having fallen by 133,000. These figures are a welcome sign that UK businesses are benefiting from the continued economic recovery which in turn has led to the UK jobs market growing more quickly than expected. 

The results also highlighted that temporary labour has increased by 1.9% in the year, something we also found true in our recent Comensura Government Index​ ​which revealed that during the financial year April 2013 to March 2014, temporary labour usage in local authorities increased by 2.7%. 

The overall increases in temporary labour indicate that both the public and private sector are doing more to implement flexible workforce solutions in order to help hiring managers control their costs and make more efficient use of their resources. However this mustn’t be seen as a short term solution. In the long term, more planning is needed for a combination of both permanent and temporary workers who will provide highly flexible, cost effective solutions to the ongoing challenges.

Interestingly, the ONS youth unemployment figures revealed the number of unemployed between 16-24 years old fell by 48,000 to 868,000, the lowest figure for five years. In comparison, the Index revealed a continued and declining use of younger temporary workers with 16-24 and 25-34 year olds declining by 7.1% and 2.9% respectively.

Although local authorities continue to remain a significant temporary labour employer of young workers, with 34% of all workers still under the age of 34, the decline suggests that hiring managers in the local authorities are turning to more experienced workers to minimise impact on front line service as they can’t always afford the extra cost and time associated with hiring younger workers.