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Recruitment industry hits the jackpot as turnover spirals

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Turnover in the recruitment industry has reached an all-time high of £26 billion, a leap of more than 7 per cent, and future profits look set to continue as large scale projects including CrossRail and the Olympic Games in 2012 fuel demand.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) Annual Industry Turnover and Key Volumes Survey 2006-07 shows that the 7.4 per cent growth from the previous year represents the highest increase since the report was first compiled in 2001/02. The report covers the period from April 2006 to March 2007.

The REC’s director of research Roger Tweedy said: “The findings undoubtedly reflect some of the big issues of the last year: a growing economy, increased levels of labour immigration and the intensifying issue of talent attraction and retention.”

The survey estimates that the recruitment industry places 1.377 million temporary and contract workers every week.

Of these temporary placements, 22 per cent were in industrial and blue collar posts, 18 per cent were secretarial/clerical and technical/engineering represented 11 per cent.

Offsetting this was the record level in the number of permanent placements, which increased a huge 11.5 per cent to a new record level of 787,280. The turnover from permanent business for the same period rose by 7.3 per cent to just over £3.5 billion, which represented 13.2 per cent of total industry turnover.

Of these increased numbers of permanent placements, 19 per cent were in secretarial and clerical, 12 per cent in computing and IT and 10 per cent in accounting and financial posts. There has also been a jump in the number of staff employed in the sector.

Paul Saunders, director of the recruitment finance division, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, associate publishers said: “Large scale projects such as CrossRail and the Olympic Games in 2012 will continue to fuel the recruitment industry’s future growth. Recent financial market turbulence has not been fully played out and will create opportunities as well as challenges over the next year.”

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Annie Hayes

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