The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Inside Right is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
47INSIDE RIGHT |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Founders Ben Jones and
Based in Wolverhampton, Inside Right offers recruitment
services to the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
After working in the industry for 20 years, partners
Ben Jones and Luke Walton founded the company in 2015.
With significant links to the automotive sector in the West
Midlands, they place candidates for a range of different roles.
Co-founder and Director Ben explains how a lack of vocational
experience amongst younger generations is impacting the
Providing a personal service
Luke and I founded Inside Right after working successfully in the recruitment
industry for the best part of 20 years for both smaller independent companies
and global market leaders. The knowledge and experience gained helped us to
identify a number of common weaknesses and encouraged us to establish our
The key issue we identified elsewhere was how the industry’s most important
assets, its candidates, were being poorly engaged. Often, the overarching messages
and strategies that were disseminated from senior positions would be difficult to
realise consistently at branch or consultant level. As a result, the lack of focus on
worker communication and engagement caused their relationships with candidates
to suffer. This often led applicants to feel like they were merely numbers, rather
»Founders: Ben Jones and
»Established in 2015
»Based in Wolverhampton
»Services: Recruitment for
the manufacturing and
»No. of employees: 6
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | INSIDE RIGHT
than valued workers. There was
also a great deal of incorrect or
misleading communication, including
misinformation about the length of
roles in which they were being placed.
This led to large numbers of candidates
becoming disaffected with their agency
At Inside Right, we offer a more
personal service. We strive to be more
open and transparent, seeking to
spend more time with our candidates
to understand better their skills and
the type of work they are looking for.
Beyond this, we also try to support
them with targeted advice, something
larger companies often fail to do.
Although we mainly recruit within
the manufacturing and engineering
sectors, we cover a wide range of
roles and skillsets. For an individual
company, we can place candidates
in a variety of positions, from low-
skilled manual roles up to highly
qualified engineering and managerial
As we are based in Wolverhampton,
we work closely with the automotive
industry across the West Midlands.
It is crucial that these companies
are able to attract and recruit highly
skilled candidates, and we are
able to support them by sourcing
the right candidates in a tight,
A lack of vocational
One of the main challenges we face
is the lack of vocational experience
of many young candidates. There is a
large skills gap between generations,
as successive governments have sought
to massage unemployment figures by
encouraging the pursuit of further,
largely academic, education. While this
has its advantages, it is a significant
issue for the industrial sectors.
The specific requirements of
automotive companies are hard to
meet when younger generations are
not being taught industry-specific
skills. We exist to aid companies in
finding skilled employees, but this
is becoming increasingly difficult as
emphasis shifts away from vocational
study in favour of academia, despite
the significant earning potential in this
sector. There is a significant disparity
between what specialised companies
require and what many potential and
actual applicants have been taught.
Raising the age at which young
people can leave full-time education
only exacerbated this issue, and
other pieces of recent legislation
have often had good intentions
but caused unforeseen negative
consequences. These issues are even
more pronounced in our local area, as
the need for skilled workers is more
immediate; companies require manual
workers and employees who are
happy to work varied shift patterns,
something that increased legislation
has made more difficult.
Jade and Chloe in the
We strive to be
more open and
time with our
skills and the
type of work
49INSIDE RIGHT |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Alongside these legislative concerns,
we also see a general lack of focus
and attention on what people can
achieve in vocational roles. More
must be done, by employers as
well, to emphasise the potential
for personal development, more
varied working time options and
impressive remuneration that can be
attained in many roles. An obsession
with academic qualifications can
distract potential candidates from
the advantages of working in the
industrial and manufacturing sectors.
There simply aren’t enough people,
presently, with the skills and attitudes
that local companies require.
Working with local training
We have developed a number of
different potential solutions to try
to combat these growing issues.
Chief among these is our desire to
begin working with external training
providers who can upskill certain
elements of the workforce. Whether
these companies are linked directly
to the government or simply have
access to government funding, they
are essential if we are to develop the
vocational skills of potential candidates
who have so far only received
academic education. Schemes such
as these could help to develop those
workers who have good attitudes
and work ethics but who lack sector-
By working with these external training
providers, we could pool our skillsets.
Instead of just providing a single skilled
candidate, we would be able to offer
a group of recruits who, at lower or
no cost to the company, could train
and develop on the job, assisted by
these training providers. As these
problems have accelerated over recent
years, it is essential that wenow
entertain different solutions that
were not necessary or available ten to
It is also critical to the sector’s future
success that the government works
collaboratively with those in the
sector when developing any further
legislation. Unnecessary restrictions,
even if designed with the benefit of
the worker in mind, can often end
up being damaging. Stifling health
and safety regulations or caps on
working hours can do more harm than
good, as they prevent willing workers
from maximising their output and
We hope that with increased
collaboration with recruiters, new
legislation will be developed that
benefits both workers and employers.
At the moment, these agencies are
often viewed somewhat negatively,
rather than receiving appreciation for
what they are: a highly useful and
beneficial vehicle and facilitator for
people who are trying to find work.
There is a large
skills gap between
have sought to
pursuit of further,
We work with external
training providers to
upskill elements of the
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.