Record High Employment Rates

Record high for employment rates. The new figures published by the Office for National Statistics published today show that the Unemployment figure fell by 53,000 in the three months to March 2017.

There is still a growing skills crisis in the UK and this was commented on by Recruitment and Employment CEO Kevin Green as it backs up the REC data which shows that there are not enough Candidates to fill all of the posts.

One of the only ways to secure a pay rise these days is to change jobs as real wages are falling now which is never a good thing. The one good thing for Candidates is that Companies are offering higher starting salaries to attract them and changing of jobs is made easier with the skills shortage. The issue is that people are a little reluctant to change jobs right now as the economy is being put under strain.

This issue will have to be handle by Government as it will be a huge challenge to keep the job market on course and address the skills shortage. Of course Brexit will be another challenge to negotiate to allow foreign workers to come and work in the UK to fill the skills shortage.

There is an increase in Permanent Employment which is a good sign that business confidence is growing. This comment was made after Self Employment figures fell slightly. We are starting to see difficulties ahead, the CIPD’s survey results which were issued recently  suggest that there will be a wage freeze announce by approximately 19% of companies or organisations and wages will stagnate or only rise by around 1% for this year.

The Job Market is very robust as the UK’s unemployment falls. This was commented on by John Salt from Totaljobs. Brexit and other Global issues have not caused the job market to falter and we are sure that after the elections on June the 8th things will continue to improve.

Lloyds Bank announces locations of 100 branch closures and 325 job losses

Lloyds Bank has announced the locations of 100 branch closures that will lead to 325 job losses.

The announcement affects 54 LBG branches, 22 Halifax branches and 24 Bank of Scotland branches.

The job losses form part of a wider cost-cutting programme that will see 12,000 jobs go by the time it is complete.

A spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group said the latest closures formed part of a plan first announced in June 2016, adding that branches would continue to play a “vital role” in meeting its customer needs.

“We will further expand the mobile branch fleet across Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank, with the addition of nine new mobile branches,” the spokesperson added.

“This will provide continuity of services in some of those areas affected by branch closures, alongside other ways to access banking locally.”

Unite the union, which represents Lloyds staff, expressed anger over the decision to close the branches.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer said: “The continuous stream of branch closures announced by the UK’s retail bank branches appears to show no signs of ending. The loss of a further 100 local banks will be painful for high streets across the country to absorb.

“Lloyds Banking Group’s rationale for branch closures is the claimed customer preference towards the use of technology across banking. However this simply doesn’t ring true when it’s clear that many customers still value the face to face engagement with experienced and knowledgeable bank staff.

“The industry must halt these endless branch closure programs and open their eyes to what these closures are doing to rural communities, their disabled customers and the small business customers who depend on access to a local branch.”

Last month the Royal Bank of Scotland announced it would close over 150 bank branches and cut 470 jobs in response to changing consumer behaviour and a surge in the popularity of online and mobile banking.

Citing similar reasons, HSBC said in January that it plans to close 62 branches this year, resulting in up to 180 job losses.

Thousands of jobs at risk as Tesco announces plan to cut shifts and opening hours

Thousands of jobs at Tesco are at risk after the supermarket announced plans to cut back on night shifts and trading hours at its UK branches.

The retail giant said the move was part of “further improvements” to customer service.

Around 3,000 staff will be affected by the changes, which will see restocking shifts at 69 of its shops change from overnight to daytime hours, and trading hours at eight of its 24-hour stores cut back to 6am to midnight.

It will also merge different services desks, “so that customers can get everything they need in one place”.

A consultation will be launched over the coming weeks, and the supermarket expects the majority of staff will stay on with Tesco in some capacity.

The changes are expected to come into force by summer 2017.

Tesco’s UK chief executive Matt Davies said: “We’re committed to improving the way we serve our customers and this week have discussed making further changes in a number of UK stores with our colleagues.

“These changes will help us run these stores more simply and deliver the best possible service for customers.

“We appreciate these changes will impact the roles of some of our colleagues and we will work with them to ensure they are fully supported throughout this period.”