Positive future although UK Report on Jobs confirms fall in recruitment activity

The KPMG and REC ‘UK Report on Jobs’ was released last week and is available to download via links at the foot of this article. Unsurprisingly recruitment activity has fallen sharply as COVID-19 pandemic hits the UK. Demand for skills in some sectors has increased, most notably in Nursing/Medical/Care, Warehouse staff and Drivers.

Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said: “Firms are cancelling or postponing hiring decisions although, as you would expect, the demand for temporary healthcare professionals and manual labour workers saw a significant uptick.

Keeping the Railways Open

The government is supporting Network Rail and the train operators to make sure our railways stay open for key workers and freight during the coronavirus outbreak. The sector was initially affected by uncertainty and the need for clarification over safe working practices. We have worked with government, contractors and staff to agree on safe and workable guidelines we can all follow and maintain.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive at the REC, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has put the labour market on pause. It does mean massive disruption in the short term, but we need to remember that this has to be done in order to protect businesses and save lives.

Improving the Infrastructure

Planned maintenance and infrastructure work put on hold is now commencing or will be soon. All contractors are following guidance from the ORR to ‘prioritise inspection and reactive maintenance activities most critical to maintaining safe operation of the railway and the safety of passengers, public and workforce’.

Supplier of Key Workers

RSS Infrastructure’s position as a supplier of key workers puts us in a stronger position than many other businesses in the UK. The effects of self-isolation are causing a reduction in the availability of Network Rail and approved contractor’s staff and allow us an opportunity to support them and strengthen our relationships.

Preparing for the end of Lockdown

In anticipation of the end of lockdown, and the need to catch up lost time on several projects, we are still inviting applications from skilled workers with the appropriate certifications and experience. Currently, we are sharing the work we have amongst our workforce as we look to support as many of our contracted staff as possible. When the restrictions are lifted, and the volume of work increases, we need to be ready to respond and support Network Rail and the contractors.

As always stay safe, look after your loved ones and thank you for your support during these challenging times.

Here are the links to the two recently released reports in PDF format.