Employment data released by the Office of National Statistics on 13th May 2015, contained some encouraging news about the UK jobs market. Naturally enough, the headline news was that adult employment has risen while unemployment has fallen.
A more detailed glance at the statistics, however, reveals other noteworthy items, including the fact that foreign nationals now make up approximately 1 in 6 of the UK workforce. In numerical terms that equates to about 4.8 million workers from overseas, working in the United Kingdom, of whom about 2 million originate from the European Union.
Rising Number of Overseas Workers
The rise in the number of workers from EU Member States is particularly interesting, their numbers have trebled since 2004. That, of course, is largely to do with the expansion of the EU to include many former Eastern Bloc countries. Indeed, more than half of EU migrant workers in the UK come from these newer Member States. And the figures continue to rise: the last year alone has seen a rise of 26% in the number of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals working in the UK, as well as a rise of 17% in the number of UK workers who originate from Poland and the seven other former Eastern Bloc States that are now EU Members.
What Might this Mean for Temporary Recruitment Agencies?
The obvious answer is that it increases the talent pool available to you and, hence, to your clients. And that’s got to be good news, especially when you take into account the current skills shortage in the UK.
Of course, with opportunity comes challenge. And for many migrant workers, one of the biggest challenges is opening a UK bank account. On the whole, banks require customers to provide them with a number of different pieces of information, such as proof of identity and proof of address, sometimes credit checks before they will permit a person to open an account.
But when you’ve just moved to a country, it can take time to accumulate the necessary paperwork, because the reality is that, as a newly arrived migrant, your first priority is going to be to find work. Other things, such as opening a bank account, tend to be relegated to the back burner.
The Fly in the Ointment
Of course, there’s also another reality to confront: not having a bank account can be a hindrance to finding a job. Many, if not most, employers now pay staff wages by direct transfer on account of it being a quick, secure and easy to operate system.
And that’s a problem if you’re a recruitment agency who has to shy away from employing potentially excellent employees simply because they don’t have the facility to accept electronic payment of wages.
Suits Me® – Alternative Banking Solution
Or, rather, it was a problem. Because our Suits Me® prepaid Mastercard® debit card offers a quick and easy way to ensure that workers from overseas can have the benefits of a bank account without having to go through the palaver of setting one up.
So what is Suits Me®? It’s a closed membership programme for temporary recruitment agencies, offering all of their workers access to a Mastercard® approved debit card, that facilitates making direct payments to workers. It’s quick and easy to set up and use, and, of course, it means that your agency can now choose from the widest possible talent pool.
It’s good for workers, too. Workers who sign up to Suits Me® get a Mastercard® debit card that’s accepted at over 24 million locations worldwide, as well as getting access to a whole range of benefits. For workers, their Suits Me® membership and account are live in less than ten minutes, and their prepaid Mastercard® card arrives just a few days later. And there are no credit checks or hidden fees.
Want to know more? Simply e-mail us for further details.