13 Jun 2024
by APSCo United Kingdom

APSCo responds to Labour Manifesto

Responding to the Labour Manifesto launched today, Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) commented:

The Labour Party’s manifesto may be focused on change and growth, but what is missing from the detail so far is where the workforce to deliver against these plans will come from.

With the education sector suffering from staff shortages, the commitment to hire more teachers is certainly welcome, but where these resources will come from is the key question. As we highlighted in our own manifesto, the UK is in dire need of a co-ordinated national strategy for skills that aligns education investment with regional economic strengths. The information currently shared by Labour doesn’t clarify how these additional roles will be filled or how future skills development will be sustained.

The plans to add 40,000 more NHS appointments weekly and recruit thousands of mental health staff is again welcome news for voters, but overlooks the significant resourcing crisis facing the national health service. There are simply not enough people entering the healthcare workforce to fill the current vacancies, let alone additional roles. There are a number of ways to create a sustainable workforce for the NHS, including standardising compliance standards across all NHS providers.

The plans to build 1.5 million homes is also missing the detail around where the workforce will come from. Since Brexit, sectors such as construction and infrastructure have lost a significant proportion of resources. The UK needs a Government that will look at a constructive and appropriate immigration approach to ensure international resources are tapped into.

APSCo is supportive of the growth and skills levy, but speed will be of the essence in relation to this. There needs to be a core emphasis on recognising that this is a critical component of building sustainable workforces and delays simply cannot be allowed.

There’s already been a lot of detail on Labour’s deal for working people, but it’s really important that the professional recruitment sector and highly skill contractor remits are appropriately recognised in legislation and differentiated from the gig workforce and other areas of the economy where zero-hour contracts are rife. Protections for those that would be impacted by zero-hour contracts won’t be relevant for highly skilled contractors, and that needs to be recognised by Government.”

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