From education to employment

REC wins award for helping long-term unemployed into work


The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has won an award for its first-of-a-kind partnership to help people find work who may have lost or left their jobs in the pandemic.

The success in the Leadership in Social Innovation category at World Employment Confederation (WEC) awards last night (Tuesday) is all the more impressive after the global awards attracted a record-high number of applications this year.

Since 2021 REC has arranged for some of its recruiters in England to work with employability services provider Maximus to help place 255 long-termed unemployed people into either temporary or permanent employment in 2022, a project funded through the government’s Restart Scheme. This is double the target REC and Maximus set for 2022.

The Restart Scheme provides Universal Credit claimants who have been out of work for at least 9 months with enhanced employment support to help people into work. Maximus offers training and development that helps ready people for work, while REC members provide the matching service between candidates and clients.

Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said:

“The Restart Scheme is partly the result of us urging the government to bring public and private employment services together once the pandemic hit. We wanted to see more done to raise awareness of the opportunities in creating links between employers, recruiters and the welfare to work sector.

“Our partnership approach means that recruitment businesses are playing their part by helping to prepare people for work. This helps tackle the labour and skills shortages we were the first to identify in 2021, while supporting people back into the work. We are on target to help 1,000 long-term unemployed candidates back into work this way. We hope more members step up and get involved.”

The REC has operated this scheme at zero cost to its members and the candidates. This is by targeting funding from within our partnership with Maximus, which pays for two individuals who are employed by the REC – one for the North of England region and one for the South of England.

Gareth Parry, Programme Director for Employability at Maximus, said:

“We are delighted that our partnership with REC has been recognised by the World Employment Confederation. The Restart Scheme is making a real difference in communities around the country, and this award highlights the impact it is having in opening up opportunities in the labour market for everyone.”

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