Tax agency makes enhancements to digital platforms in a bid to speed up the process of joining a sector facing major staff shortages
To help expedite recruitment in an aviation sector facing significant staff shortages, HM Revenue and Customs is launching a new and improved version of its digital employment-records service.
As of the beginning of this week, the tax agency has made upgrades to the online platform through which citizens can access the history of employment section of their personal tax account. The purpose of these improvements is to help support airlines and airports hire new staff, according to Lucy Frazer, financial secretary to the Treasury.
Earlier this month, the government announced that measures it has implemented over the past four months – including permitting the use of HMRC data in reference checks – have reduced the average length of time taken to complete mandatory security vetting for new staff from 20 days to just five.
Frazer, who was answering a parliamentary question from Labour MP Louise Haigh, added that HMRC was engaging with the aviation industry and officials from the Department for Transport to help meet its current staffing challenges.
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“HMRC has received representation from the industry and is working closely with the DfT,” she said. “HMRC has provided support and guidance to the industry that allows employees to present their employment history to prospective employers and, on Monday 25 July, will enhance the employment history service within the Personal Tax Account to make the process easier. HMRC has an equivalent process for those customers unable to use the digital service.”
Having shed tens of thousands of staff during the pandemic, firms in the aviation and travel industry are now reporting a major shortfall of staff, including cabin crew, customer service, and technical posts. To help the sector meet its short- and long-term recruitment challenges – and “ensure the delivery of a realistic summer schedule”, at least – the government last week unveiled a funding package of £1.5m for industry recruitment initiatives.
“The government has also already provided flexibility for employers to begin training new staff on certain modules while their background checks are ongoing, further speeding up the on-boarding process,” it said.