· News

Business leaders are optimistic about the effect of a new government on the job market

Almost two thirds of business leaders agree a change in government will bring improvements to the job market.

With election polls pointing towards a change of government this week, a survey of senior executives by management careers site TheLadders.co.uk found the party that best represented the needs of the jobseeker was the Conservatives (37%), followed by Labour (30%) and the Liberal Democrats (19%).

Although the Liberal Democrats fared less well, their economic spokesperson, Vince Cable, certainly made an impression with business people - he was voted the politician most senior managers would like to hire for their business.

When asked which politicians executives would most like to see working in their business - based on their performance in the job - the current prime minister only came sixth. The top five were Vince Cable (45%), David Cameron (35%), Nick Clegg (32%), William Hague (31%) and Ken Clarke (29%).

The top reasons for choosing those above were because they were ‘strategic, a good thinker' (28%), exhibited ‘personality, dynamism and motivation' (19.5%), and had demonstrated a ‘good performance in their current position' (15.6%) - all attributes that are clearly valued by Britain's leading executives. And while 70% of those polled thought that business people would make good politicians, 76% do not rate politicians as business people, which perhaps explains Cable's popularity: with a solid business background, he was once a senior economist at Shell.

The specific policies related to improving the job market that managers would like to see in the winning party's manifesto are funding to business to recruit jobseekers over the age of 50 (47%), temporary tax relief for employers hiring to fill new roles (41%), action on retraining job hunters in transferable skills (39%), investments in schemes to help businesses employ the long-term unemployed (36%) and focusing on jobs for British nationals (30%).

Derek Pilcher, managing director of TheLadders.co.uk, said: "There's a great deal of expectation riding on the Election and particularly for the job market, which has taken a huge hit during the recession. With unemployment currently standing at 8% and the lowest it's been since 1996, it's really important for our politicians to also demonstrate their business skills in helping provide a more secure job market and - hopefully - a return to prosperity."