2017 Review of the Year

2017 Review of the Year


2017 came and went in a bit of a blur, although the year saw numerous events that few people could have predicted. Most of the year’s events will no doubt stick in the memory for some time, but just in case you need a refresher, here’s our look back at what happened over the past 12 months.


We started the year with a prediction from CIPD that Brexit, the gig economy and pay would define the labour market in 2017. Certainly, research by Korn Ferry raised that EMEA recruiters were to face a talent drought in the year to come, whilst Adzuna revealed advertised vacancies were ‘at their lowest point for a year’. And whilst young people worried about job prospects, we also read that graduate employers struggled to fill roles last year. Apprenticeships didn’t fair much better with the government’s strategy coming under fire for being poor value for money’. Meanwhile Blackridge was announced as the 2017 partner for GTI breakfast news, whilst Penna unveiled a new website and Tonic was the big winner at the RAD Awards.


The gig economy and hiring more gig workers remained in the press. And increasing speculation around Brexit leading to a workforce crisis, was backed by a fall in EU nationals and the readers of Ri5 who feared its impact on overseas talent. This was further substantiated with the international graduate pool set to shrink. But it was tough on all levels with a general decrease in candidate availability. As for the upcoming apprenticeship levy, a third of eligible employers didn’t even know it existed and yet the Department for Education predicted 200,000 apprentices would be recruited. Over to the agency / media world – WDAD expanded its diversity portfolio and Indeed launched app to crowdsource local jobs. Popular events included Milkround’s one on post-school optionsThirtyThree’s US grad market breakfast session and Havas People’s event on the changing media landscape.


The see-saw attitudes to Brexit continued with many employers saying it wouldn’t affect their hiring plans and they were more concerned about retaining staff and looking to schools to close the skills gap. Not ideal when employers claimed young people ‘lack basic skills for work.’ Meanwhile permanent recruitment reached a one-year high. With confusion still rife, both Prospects and Jobsgopublic put out guides to apprenticeship recruitment. Big news, with new recruits for both Blackbridge and Graduate Prospects and HECSU, and HodesUK went global. And there was more to celebrate, with winners being announced for the National Undergraduate Employability Awards, AGR Development Awards and TARGETJobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards. The Guardian did their bit for social workers, hosting an event to explore what makes them tick.


A quiet month on the news front, but busy, busy, busy for agencies and media alike. Harnessing technology to best effect, Penna put VR at the heart of immersive assessment and Monster gave us their views on programmatic. IET shared how they think employers can address skills shortages, whilst Milkround and UpRising hosted an employability event and the New Scientist was up for sale. Champagne to the ready, more winners announced at the PPMA Awards and Employer Brand Management Awards. Then it’s time for hellos and goodbyes. Firstly, UCAS names new Chief Executive. And finally, who could forget that the legend that is Ray Coking retired?


News-wise, we saw that pay expectations were weakened, whilst demand for labour remained robust. We learnt from Indeed.com which age groups were searching for which jobs online and Havas People hosted an event on marketing to Generation Z, whilst we gleaned valuable diversity and inclusion insights at the Bright Network breakfast. Students voted for the Guardian UK 300 for 2017 and Prospects shared their research on the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy. As for TMP, they explained why they’re backing Google for jobs. Winners were announced for the 2017 Recruiter Awards, whilst ThirtyThree celebrated Martin Rimmer joining them as Creative Director


Summer arrived. And it was time to vote. Ahead of Brexit, HR professionals expected a ‘leave’ vote to increase the war on talent. The AGR reported that apprenticeships were set to grow, as did the number of applicants for the cyber sector. The much-hyped Google for Jobs partners with Madgex and the Guardian is all set to go tabloid in 2018, whilst CV-Library launched in Ireland. Meanwhile Amberjack proudly announced driving digital disruption for Unilever. Events backing women, equality and career progression were hosted by Breakfast News and Prospects. And the AGR Awards winners were celebrated in style. ThirtyThree did their bit, by hosting their annual charity quiz for Ronald McDonald House Charity.


Lots of meaty news around this month. Calls for skills to drive reform were backed by the UK skills gap costing £2.2bn a year. With employers largely backing the apprentice levy, Capgemini delivered the first degree apprentices. The top employers were released by RateMyApprenticeship and it was revealed by UCAS that applications were down. In other news, half of UK workers welcomed automation, but the BBC found itself under the gender pay inequality spotlight at the same time as female graduates showed they undervalue their worth. We also learned just what the Taylor Review is all about. Smart Resourcing Solutions updated us as to the growth in assessment centre simulations and a  new start-up looks to fill a need for mums and dads. Winners for the Recruitment Marketing Awards and Heist Awards were announced.


Top of this month’s news were the A Level and GCSE results having undergone significant reform. Other big news saw RBI sell some of its well-known titles to DVV. New research showed engineering is earning a cool reputation, whilst the apprenticeship levy and national living wage proved to be taking its toll on retailers and manufacturing was hit by Brexit. Other research included Prospects’ summer Graduate Market Trends and why EHRC supported flexible working. Campaign-wise, JCB stepped up its young talent programme and Network Rail turned up its dial on diversity. It also was the month that the Guardian launched its ‘Women in…’ networking series. Glad news saw Lee Nicholls appointed as Director of Employer Branding at Pink Squid. But the industry was rocked by the terribly sad passing of Mandy Eldridge. RIP.


With Autumn approaching, Brexit continued to be topical with the numbers of EU workers looking to work in the UK falling and fears that London’s status as best university city could be challenged. There was bad news as Teachers, GPs and armed forces struggle to recruit, whilst the interest in STEM jobs and public sector jobs was on the up. There’s more on gender pay gap reporting, whilst the apprenticeship debate was opened up by the Guardian and Open University. And the AGR changed its name as Trinity Mirror gets ready to sell its publishing assets. It was also the time of year to find out who’s won the Recruitment Business Awards and CIPD People Management Awards. 


London hit the press. It was reported that nearly 10,000 finance jobs are due to move out, Londoners are the poorest workers in Britain, and it’s also not necessarily the place where you earn the most. Advertised vacancies increased, as did the proportion of ethnic workers with degrees rise and graduate unemployment was low. Interestingly, university applications reached highest recorded levels at the same time that apprenticeships starts were down. And the top 20 best UK companies were revealed, which didn’t include Virgin despite their offer of unlimited holiday – which more may need as we’re a country that fails to switch off. Prospects hosted a couple of events to share the destinations of last year’s graduates


Despite political and economic uncertainty, the UK remained resilient, but we were told we’re an unhappy bunch of workers.  It was also a bad time for Scottish surgeries too. Apprenticeships continued to grab our attention as the earn while you learn’ principal comes under scrutiny, degree apprenticeship vacancies were announced and we found out which employers got the apprentice’s votes. UCAS updated us on unconscious bias and more women are needed in tech. We also heard from Havas People about how you prove your people are your biggest asset. And what a lot of shortlisted and award winners were announced. Workingmums, NORAs, RADs, Personnel Today, In-house Recruitment and Guardian Public Service all had good news to share! 


As the year draws to a close, we learnt what roles were set for the highest salary increase in 2018 and who we wanted to work for. In higher education news, young Londoners lead the way, nursing course acceptances remained high, but The NAO felt the higher education sector has work to do. Despite Brexit, the UK remained the top destination for European jobseekers. Meanwhile only 4% of employers offered returnships to mums. And finally, the great and good were celebrated at the Small Circle Christmas bash. What a year! Here’s to a happy, prosperous and healthy 2018 to you all. 

Monday, 18 December 2017

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Anonymous Date: Dec 19, 2017

Brilliant, thanks Ri5. Always good with the news and views