Ciara’s blog: Working in industry, for industry

Ciara’s blog: Working in industry, for industry

Ciara writes:

At VGC we constantly work to improve the way we deliver our business, and ensure that we meet the needs of our clients and the people who work for us.

This is why we don’t just focus on the job we are delivering. We also want to be at the forefront of our industry, and ready for changes that inevitably come. A business’s success lies in its ability to adapt and evolve, remaining flexible to changes in market conditions. This is why we encourage our people to become involved in activities with various bodies, including the Institution of Civil Engineers, Cross-industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force and the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

In 2016 I was appointed as the chairperson of the construction sector at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), having served on the executive committee for a few years before that.

Constantly adapting to change

One of the things that fascinates me about the recruitment industry is the way it constantly adapts to change – be this political, legislative, social and economic changes. In the last few years we have navigated our way through agency workers regulations, intermediaries’ legislation, pensions, skills shortages, apprenticeship levy, and we are still managing how Brexit and changes to immigration policy will affect us. This is all in a day’s job when you are in the business of people.

Ciara speaking at REC meetingIn my role as chairperson, I work closely with the fantastic executive committee – Darin Burrows (Rullion), Simon Noakes (Bespoke Recruitment), Graeme Wolfe (Hexa Services), and Phil Andrews (Daniel Owen) to ensure the group’s agenda reflects the interests of the sector. By bringing together like-minded people and organisations, we are able to work with Phillip Campbell, policy advisor at the REC, to lobby, champion best practice, network, share knowledge and develop the reputation and professionalism of our specialist markets. This collaborative approach helps ensure that we truly promote the needs of our industry.

Over the last two years we have held numerous sector meetings to provide legal and market updates, and facilitated roundtable discussions to share information and expertise. The range of subjects has included CITB membership, changes in tax legislation, equality and diversity, GDPR, IR35 and immigration policy.

Collective strength

By using the collective strength of our diverse sector group we gain the access to those making decisions about the markets in which we operate. In my role as chairperson for the sector and on behalf of the VGC Group, I have had the opportunity to meet various influencers including Secretary of State Esther McVey MP, Sir David Metcalfe, director of labour market enforcement, and Matthew Taylor, to discuss matters affecting our industry.

As a business VGC Group wants to ensure that we continually protect our clients’ interests and deliver a service which goes beyond expectations. We can only do this by being experts in our fields and fully understanding the markets in which we operate. As an added bonus the knowledge gained through being chairperson of REC has helped us improve our service offering in other divisions of the VGC Group.

We will continue to work at the forefront of industry to provide our clients with access to market-leading services.

Ciara Pryce
Author: Ciara Pryce, group services director