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18 September 2012
No group or country, no matter how well-educated, has been totally immune from the effects of a worldwide economic downturn. But new data from Education at a Glance also reveals the remarkable benefits that having a good education has for individuals, the economy, and society as a whole. More education helped people to keep or change their jobs during the recession. For instance, between the start of the downturn in 2008 and 2010, overall unemployment rates jumped from an already high 8.8% to 12.5% for people without an upper secondary education, and from 4.9% to 7.6% for people with an upper secondary education, on average across OECD countries. By contrast, unemployment rates for people with higher education remained much lower, rising from 3.3% to 4.7% during this same period. While the rate of change between the two groups may be similar, its impact on labour markets has been hugely different. For all OECD countries together, the unemployment rate in 2010 was roughly one-third le
14 September 2012
“The British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor”. This is one view of the UK labour market which is gaining ground among a growing number of politicians and think-tanks on the ‘de-regulating’ side of the debate on economic recovery. In their recent book, ‘Britannia Unchained’, the authors argue that employers are held back from creating wealth and new jobs by regulations which prevent them from sacking ‘coasting’ workers. In doing so they are echoing calls in the Beecroft Report that excessive employment regulation is strangling economic growth.
12 September 2012
The TUC was yesterday (11 Sept) reported to be moving towards backing co-ordinated industrial action to increase public sector pay. This is of course a perfectly legitimate goal for trade unions to pursue. Trade unions have also committed the TUC to campaign for maximising the number of jobs in the public sector in order to sustain quality public services. These are also legitimate goals. However, these objectives are not, under current circumstances, compatible. Unions can either campaign for higher pay for their members or keep as many of them as possible in jobs in order to preserve services, but not both.
Stephanie Bennion, Skills Strategy, Department for Work and Pensions
11 September 2012
In these times of economic uncertainty, the job market is challenging and jobseekers often do not have the skills sought by employers in demand sectors.
Dr Deirdre Hughes, Commissioner, UK Commission for Employment and Skills
High street franchises are making a strong impact in the world of skills. McDonald’s famously launched its foundation degree in 2010, and KFC recently unveiled a BA Hons ‘KFC degree’ delivered by De Montfort University. Employer-led qualifications are popular, not least because the business usually foots the bill. But how valuable are they for learners and the bottom line?
10 September 2012
In an ongoing Reuters’ series Lucy Marcus - an eloquent panellist from The Work Foundation’s annual debate on responsible capitalism – explores the questions pertinent in modern boardrooms, including the opportunities of social media, the gender divide, and the shareholder voice.
07 September 2012
The demands of a charity director are high, particularly in the current climate where people have less to give to good causes.
My role as Director of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) was my first in the charitable sector (I had 22 years in local government before this) and boy am I hooked already! I first developed a personal connection to NASS about 15 years ago when I was referred to them.
Dr Tyna Taskila
06 September 2012
Rethink’s recent survey reveals GP’s perceptions of how the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) impacts on their patients. The results are saddening to read.
31 August 2012
A feature in the HR Magazine yesterday (30 Aug) once again tackled the myth of a labour market overflowing with skills. In fact, ‘recruiting the best people [is] as challenging now as it was at the height of the boom’.
24 August 2012
Figures released this week show that 1 in 6 young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET). What is less well known is that the chances of young people to enter employment may be further exacerbated by the early onset of chronic and long-term conditions.
21 August 2012
Whilst there has been an undoubtedly positive change in the labour market movement in recent months, the unemployment rate remains largely unchanged from a year ago, and amongst young people is still showing an increase.
Government ministers have reportedly taken the BBC to task for being insufficiently enthusiastic about the employment figures – a charge hard to fathom given current levels of uncertainty about labour market prospects. At the risk of being officially denounced, it is perfectly legitimate to look beneath the totals – good as they are - and suggest things are not quite as robust as the official view suggests.
Dr Tyna Taskila
17 August 2012
Paul Jenkins recent article for the Huffington Post focused on the Government’s unredeemed promise to make real investments on mental health services. According to Jenkins, people with mental health conditions struggle to get access to basic services such as medication reviews or psychological therapies.
Recent media interest in zero hours contracts has shed some light into a largely forgotten corner of the UK’s flexible labour market. The zero hour contract, in effect, requires the individual to be available for work, but his or her employer are under no obligation to provide work. Some employers see zero hours contracts as a way of ensuring flexibility and remaining competitive in situations where work fluctuates unexpectedly from day to day or week to week. However, some of those on zero hours contracts see them as exploitative, where they bear all the risk and where the balance of interest lies almost entirely with the employer.
15 August 2012
New research carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Federation (WSFF) has found that 63% of British adults believe London 2012 has been the best ever Olympics for showcasing women’s athletic achievements.