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Employers’ view of long-term unemployed ‘more positive’

Employer attitudes to recruiting people classed as long-term unemployed has changed, according Informa’s HR director Emma Blaney reacting to the government’s latest welfare reforms.

Emma Blaney HR DirectorBlaney explained that there had been a shift in employers’ perception of candidates who had been unemployed for a year or longer.

She said that employers were open to recruiting people “with the right attitude” from this much derided group because many firms needed talented people to replenish their skills pool following workforce downsizing during the recession.

“There’s an acknowledgement that it’s been difficult to get a job in the last two years because we ourselves have seen talented people go. So we know that there are talented people we would want to employ,” said Blaney.

“Perception of long-term unemployed people among recruiters has shifted from people who don’t want to work to those who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. Not everybody who is long-term unemployed is unemployable,” she said.

Her comments came as the government reiterated its stance on getting people back into work with its welfare reforms under the Work Programme.

The policy will see people on incapacity benefit re-assessed over their fitness to work and other long-term unemployed given support from private providers to get a job.

Blaney added that what people had done while unemployed would be key to impressing employers.