By Maximilian Clarke

The UK’s largest recruitment body has written to Business Minister Mark Prisk, urging him to implement a National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday for one year after hiring young people, in a bid to address the worsening youth unemployment crisis.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s pleas mirror those of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), who have identified NICs as the key to incentivising businesses to hire from the UK’s million unemployed youth.

The NICs proposal was one of the key recommendations made in the REC’s Youth Employment Taskforce, which presented its initial findings to Government last year. The CBI has suggested the introduction of a ‘Young Britain Credit’ worth £1500 which would cover the employer’s first year of National Insurance. This would cost £150 million to implement and fall within the parameters of the Government’s deficit reduction plans.

“Following recent discussions with… Minister [Prisk], the REC was asked to draw up workable and practical proposals for stimulating job creation and enhancing opportunities for young job-seekers,” commented Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive. “Tangible measures are urgently needed and it is hugely encouraging that the NICs proposal is now supported by other leading business bodies.

“As well as pushing for Government action, we will continue to showcase the positive role that the recruitment industry is playing through our Youth Employment Charter. With almost a hundred REC members already signed up, the initiative is further proof the recruiters are up for making a difference by working with schools and colleges in raising awareness and aspirations amongst future generations of workers.”

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