Commenting on the labour market statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Mark Beatson, chief economist at CIPD, said “The last set of statistics before the General Election show jobs growth continues on its upwards trend. We need jobs growth on this scale to provide employment for our growing population and reduce unemployment further but our economy needs to be raising the productivity of those jobs too as this is the only way we are going to see sustainable growth in real earnings, which continue to disappoint.
“Now is the right time for business to invest in new equipment, processes and in developing the workforce – while interest rates remain low and before skill shortages become widespread. With stable growth, the next government will also need to focus on increasing productivity – which doesn’t just increase living standards but makes it easier to reduce the deficit.
“Business and government need to recognise that people drive workplace productivity and that the right training and skills development is key to unlocking business potential. Simply getting more people into work isn’t a long-term solution for individuals or for economic prosperity. We must focus on whether those people have the skills, training and clear direction to do their jobs well and where they haven’t, take urgent and lasting steps to plug those knowledge gaps.”
Full press release on www.cipd.co.uk