- Nick Elvin
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) says it will take action following an edition of Watchdog in which an agency told candidates they could only be provided with recruitment services if they took paid training courses via its own business.
Last week, the BBC One programme aired footage featuring east London-based Age Enterprise (trading as Connect London), and in response to issues raised in the show REC chief executive Kevin Green said his organisation would be reporting the firm to the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate within the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and would also launch its own investigation.
“The agency inspectorate can prosecute and the courts have the power to both fine and ban individuals from running recruitment businesses,” he said.
“Industry regulations are very clear. A recruitment business cannot make it necessary for a work seeker to use them for training in order to access recruitment services. This is a breach of the conduct regulations and entirely unacceptable practice which exploits jobseekers in a situation where they are looking for professional advice and support.
“The behaviour shown on Watchdog risks tarnishing the reputation of the tens of thousands of honest hardworking recruiters around the UK who are dedicated to helping people find suitable jobs and get on in life.
“As you would expect, we are initiating our own investigation. To be an REC member an agency must adhere to all necessary laws and regulations and act in accordance with our code of professional practice. Serious breaches of the code lead to expulsion.
“We have also introduced a rigorous compliance test that all agencies must pass by the end of 2014 in order to remain in REC membership.”