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30 May 2012
To illustrate why I ask, consider this set of questions: How's your house price doing? Where would your 401K be, if central banks withdrew life support for banks?
A public letter to the Prime Minister sent today and signed by 68 chancellors, governors and university presidents warns the government that its approach towards student visas is damaging the financial wellbeing of universities in the UK.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind
No-one likes Red Tape. The very thought of being wrapped up in it induces a sense of frustration at the ‘bureaucrats’ who force this nonsense upon us. It is seen by many as stifling innovation and holding back businesses who need to grow to create economic growth for the country.
Prof Stephen Bevan
How often do HR professionals in the UK get asked to brief their senior teams about the impact of the European social model on their business? Unless they have operations in the EU, or have European Works Councils, my guess would be not very often.
29 May 2012
Fewer than a third of the UK's most influential jobs are held by women, figures compiled by BBC News demonstrate today.
Disappointing indeed but sadly, not a new story.
28 May 2012
Today (28 May) Barclays, Ideo and The Work Foundation, will launch an exciting new web-based initiative to come up with some ideas. The OpenIDEO challenge will run for three months and will see thousands collaborating globally to address the challenge of ‘How can we equip young people with the skills, information and opportunities to succeed in the world of work’.
David Cameron has today announced StartUp Loans, a £2,500 loan to help young people start their own business. Schemes like this aim to address economic problems (the double dip recession) and social ones (high youth unemployment) simultaneously.
24 May 2012
One of the biggest public health challenges we face in the UK is that of physical exercise. Sedentary lifestyles mean that too many of us take little or no regular or strenuous physical exercise. As a result, rates of obesity, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and depression are higher than they should be.
For some years staff engagement has been a magic fad for employers, seen to be a reliable route to productivity improvement. While the same organisations that report high engagement levels often see wellbeing, job satisfaction and organisational loyalty figures to be alarmingly low, they seem to continue investing in this elusive concept, swayed by the promise of outstanding bottom line outcomes.
The large numbers of young people who are NEET- not in employment, education or training- is a serious social and economic problem. The latest NEET figures released today show that there are still huge numbers of young people struggling to get into the labour market. The 2012 quarter 1 figures are the highest first quarter figures since the start of the recession. Around one million young people in England are NEET – that’s almost one in every six 16-24 year olds. Our new report ‘Lost in Transition: The changing labour market and young people not in employment, education or training’ considers the changing economy and characteristics of the NEET group and how this has impacted on the ability of young people to make successful transitions from school to work.
23 May 2012
Today’s retail figures present a mixed picture, with significant monthly falls in some areas and rises elsewhere. But aside from arguments about the poor weather and a somewhat artificial drop in fuel consumption after Easter panic buying, it is clear over the longer term that consumers are buying less, with a fall of 1.1% in the volume of sales since April last year. How worried should we be by this?
Skills transform lives and drive economies. Without the right skills, people are kept on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into economic growth, and countries can’t compete in today’s economies. But the toxic co-existence of unemployed graduates and employers who say that they cannot find the people with the skills they need, shows that skills don't automatically translate into better economic and social outcomes. With this in mind, the OECD has put together a strategy that aims to help countries transform skills into better jobs and better lives.
22 May 2012
It is a bitter irony that, while I was waiting for the Beecroft Report to be published yesterday, my son – who has learning difficulties – was dismissed by his employer.
Paul Sissons and Nye Cominetti
21 May 2012
The OECD is today (21 May) publishing its Skills Strategy following a UK launch last week at The Work Foundation. We welcome the analysis, in particular because of its attention to the need for both supply side and demand side measures.
Philippa Newis, Policy Officer , Gingerbread
From today (21 May), single parents whose youngest child is five are no longer entitled to receive income support (IS). Instead, they will need to claim jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) or another benefit. This is one of the first provisions of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 to come into force.