By Maximilian Clarke

As 2012 gets underway, the UK economy is again facing a year of transition, presenting numerous opportunities and challenges for businesses.

Anticipating the greatest challenges for 2012, The Recruitment and Employment Confederation have outlined their ‘hopes and wishes’ for the year that will help employers resume hiring and address the UK’s unemployment:

1. For European Heads of State to get it together and resolve the European sovereign debt crisis for the long term. Come on people, sort it!

2. For the global economy to improve in the second part of 2012. Let there be light...

3. For all of the above to result in businesses feeling more confident in the future and starting to invest in people on the back of returning demand.

4. For the UK's flexible labour market to emerge, re-energised, as a tool for accelerating growth and for any negative impact of the AWR to be limited.

5. For tangible progress on youth unemployment and broader employment issues to be made - for example by developing a careers guidance network that is fit for purpose.

6. For the Government to deliver on its positive rhetoric with regards to streamlining domestic employment regulations through its red-tape challenge. Let's make it happen!

7. For public sector employers to recognise temporary staffing arrangements as an intrinsic part of a cost-effective resourcing models rather than an unnecessary cost that needs to be slashed.

8. For businesses in general to recognise the value of investing in good recruitment practices and of using agencies that adhere to the REC’s Code of Professional Conduct.

9. For us to continue making real progress on industry perceptions and professionalisation through qualifications, robust compliance and the work of the IRP as well as by showcasing the positive contribution that recruiters make to clients and candidates on a daily basis.

10. For all REC and IRP members to enjoy a successful and rewarding year, despite the many challenges ahead.

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