Recruitment in the UK has developed into a ‘two-speed’ market, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), with a big division between the public and private sector.

New statistics released by the REC for February have shown that permanent staff placements increased by their greatest rate in ten months during the month, and for almost four years for temporary positions.

Chief executive of the REC, Kevin Green, said that the figures have increased optimism that buoyant recruitment in the private sector may compensate for the losses being experienced in the public sector.

“The UK now has a two-speed labour market. The private sector continues to hire in increasing numbers while the public sector is shedding jobs,” he explained.

“The nursing, medical and care sectors have significantly declined from a year ago. In comparison, the IT and computing sector saw accelerated growth over the same period.”

Mr Green pointed out, however, that younger people were currently losing out at the moment, as companies remain reluctant to invest money in bringing in and shaping new, young talent, in favour of the safer option of recruiting older, more experienced people.

“Young people seem to be excluded from the growing number of vacancies as employers remain conservative, favouring experience over potential,” he explained, calling on the government to use the forthcoming budget to encourage the job creation potential in small- and medium-sized businesses.

Recruitment expert Geoff Newman from online recruitment company Recruitment Genius agrees with Mr Green but believes “There has always been a disparity of different industries and sectors losing and shedding staff. The only difference is the economy has undertaken such a significant readjustment that change has become accelerated.”

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