Recruitment by private sector companies is unlikely to provide the solution to public sector lay-offs that the government was hoping for, according to new figures from a new survey.

The Financial Times and Barclays Corporate survey of private sector employers showed that a worrying 52 per cent felt that former public sector employees would not be sufficiently equipped to fill posts at their firms. A mere 8 per cent said they were ‘very interested’ in hiring former government workers.

Barclays Corporate’s managing director, Kevin Wall, said the pigeon-holing was a worrying omen and that it could have unwanted effects on the recruitment process.

“It’s very dangerous as an employer to stick a label on someone,” he said. “It reflects a prejudice in people’s minds that risks them not hiring people who can actually give them a hell of a lot.”

Geoff Newman from online recruitment agency Recruitment Genius was a recent panel member at a meeting of large employers in Manchester. He observed “The mood was surprisingly negative towards unemployed civil servants. Certainly no one supported the employment of public sector workers or contradicted the stereotype.”

The survey gathered the opinions of 500 of Britain’s top employers. More than half said that they were planning to create jobs in 2011, but this positive news was countered by the statistic that more than 75 per cent said they would not be creating enough jobs to compensate for the public sector losses.

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