Flexible working ‘driving public sector recruitment’

Paper Weaving

The need for flexible and temporary workers has driven public sector recruitment this quarter, according to a survey of employers.

It added that flexible working is becoming “an essential way of working” for the public sector.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey found that public sector net employment is positive, with a score of +6%, down slightly from +7% last quarter. This is based on surveying 2,101 UK employers about whether they intend to hire additional workers or reduce their workforce in the next three months.

Nick Heckscher, Manpower Group’s sector director for government, cited the use of controversial zero hours contracts – where a worker is put on standby without the guarantee of minimum hours or pay – as evidence of the move to flexible working.

He said: “The need for temporary and flexible workers has driven a lot of the public sector recruitment this quarter, as the sector’s employment models evolve to reflect those of the private sector. The usage of zero hours contracts by the government has been in the headlines recently and is more evidence that flexible working is becoming an essential way of working for the sector.”

The UK’s national employment outlook was +5%, which Manpower said demonstrates that the jobs market is showing no major sign of a let up. By sector, construction scored -4%, the highest level for more than a year. Retail, wholesale, restaurants and hotels continued to “bump along the bottom” at +1%, while manufacturing rose one percentage point from last quarter to +5%.

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