Spring Budget 2017 – Challenges and Opportunities Aplenty

 9 Mar 2017

Tags:
    2017 spring budget,
    job seekers,
    Philip Hammond,
    recruitment advice,
    return to work,
    Swindon recruitment agency
by Matthew Hastie, Sales Director for C&D Group Ltd.
 
A return of an old-school budget. Substance over Style?  Matt Hastie reviews the 2017 Spring Budget from a recruitment perspective.
 
An investment of £300 million for 1,000 PHD and fellowships in STEM subjects is welcome news.  With ‘skills shortage’ set to be one of the buzzwords over the next 2 to 3 years, hopefully, this will go some way to alleviating the shortages.
 
The investment of £216 million into school maintenance is greatly welcomed, though in some areas more was probably needed. The jury is out on the building of 110 new free schools.
 
The boost to NHS and Social Care funding has been well covered previously and will be warmly received with our ageing population. The one big thing missing in this budget was the effect of Brexit on our staffing of NHS positions and carers. Something that needs to be closely monitored over the next 18 months as we trigger Article 50 and begin negotiations.
 
The vehicle excise duty rates for hauliers, and the HGV Road User Levy has been frozen for another year. A business rate increase cap and a £300 million fund for discretionary relief for local authorities are both good news for SME’s in the sector.
 
The £270 million investment to support disruptive technology such as; autonomous vehicles, robotics and artificial intelligence research, is also of interest to the recruitment sector as job seekers’ skills must adapt to this new technology.  We see parcel delivery by drone in Cambridgeshire, while droids are delivering packages in London and driverless vans are being trialled in Greenwich.  We can see huge opportunities in this new growth industry and can offer real solutions to the logistics industry in the intermediate period as this technology becomes widespread.
 
The chancellor and the PM have also expressed a willingness for Return to Work Support with £5million of new funding. Returnships give people who have been on long career breaks a clear route back to employment.
From C&D Group’s perspective, this could have been a substantially higher figure as lengthy career breaks mean steeper learning curves in today’s highly fluid digital office environment. That being said, this is an opportunity for the recruitment sector to stand by the REC’s ‘Jobs Transform Lives’ credo for 2017 and assist in bringing together suitable job seekers and clients.
 
Another big talking point is the chancellor’s endeavours to improve perceived unfairness in NIC between self-employed and PAYE workers. This will affect contractors and self-employed people throughout our industry as Mr Hammond looks to raise £145 million through this means.  Those businesses and self-employed contractors who will be affected by the increased NIC are welcome to contact C&D Group for up to date advice.
 
Of concern to our clients, there was no mention of the apprenticeship levy and the new IR35 changes due to come into effect in April. So, it will be all hands to the pump as these changes come into effect from April.
 
A promising start by Mr Hammond and cautious optimism as we move through March and into what lies beyond the triggering of Article 50.
 
See more helpful advice from C&D Group Ltd
 
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If you found this useful or have additional queries about effective recruitment, please email marketing@cdrecruitment.co.uk or call us on Tel. +44 (0) 1793 488057

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