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Businesses Urged to Employ More Older Workers
July 3, 2019
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Council of advisers set up to help UK seize economic opportunities of ageing society, and Business Champion for the Ageing Society Grand Challenge announced.

A new council of specialists from across society, the UK Longevity Council, will advise how best to use innovations in technology, products and services to improve the lives of our ageing population.

With the number of people aged over 65 set to nearly double to more than 20 million in under 50 years, the government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge – a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy – is designed to harness the power of innovation to meet the changing needs of an older society.

It also aims to ensure that people across the UK enjoy an extra 5 years of healthy and independent living by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and the poorest.

The UK Longevity Council is a vital part of this. It will bring together business leaders, health experts and others from society to advise government on the steps we can take to help everyone lead healthier lives, while exploring how the UK can position itself to lead the world in the growing market for age-related products and services.

The council will act as a forum for interactions and discussions between policy makers, industry, researchers and the public in the area of ageing, and will advise on:

  • how we can think differently about work, finances, housing, communities and health, and explore new technologies, products and services that will benefit and enrich our older population
  • what the government’s high-level priorities should be in relation to demographic change
  • supporting both local and international work to ensure the UK is a global leader and UK businesses can capitalise on global opportunities

Andy Briggs, business leader and insurance industry expert, has been appointed as the government’s new Business Champion for the Ageing Society Grand Challenge and will co-chair the UK Longevity Council with Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock.

To support the Grand Challenge, the government will shortly open the competitions for the £98 million Healthy Ageing Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to develop attractive products and services that help people of all ages to live better and more independent lives as they grow older.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:

Keeping people healthy and independent is absolutely central to our vision for our healthcare system. Living longer should be celebrated but we need to think seriously about how we can adapt society more widely to meet older people’s needs. We must use our industry’s incredible abilities in technology, design and innovation in new, thoughtful ways to support everyone to age well.

Business has a vital role to play in providing inclusive products and services that are attractive to our older population and can enable everyone to stay living at home for longer and keep active. I look forward to working with Andy Briggs and the rest of the Longevity Council to help the UK lead the way in thinking creatively and originally about ageing.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

More than 10 million people in the UK today can expect to see their 100th birthday, compared to 15,000 current centenarians.

As more people live longer, we must ensure people can live independently, with dignity and a good quality of life for longer by harnessing the best technological innovation and advances to help.

Having a dedicated Business Champion in Andy Briggs, working with the new Longevity Council, will ensure that UK companies remain at the forefront of these developments. This is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy, ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of these new and emerging industries.

Andy Briggs, Ageing Society Business Champion, said:

Britain has an ageing society, along with many other developed countries, and this provides challenges as well as opportunities.

I encourage all businesses to embrace this excellent opportunity, both by developing world-leading products and services, and by employing more older workers.

Career Breaks Are the New Norm – So Why Are They Still Stigmatised?

When we think of career breaks, motherhood tends to spring to mind. But there are many other reasons why people take timeImage result for career breaks off work, and getting back in isn’t always easy.

Geoff was 44 when he found himself faced with a difficult decision: to leave his 30-year coal mining career behind him and retrain, or to continue doing what he knew best. He was at this crossroads because his 11-year-old daughter was concerned that he was putting himself in danger each day; she was scared of losing her dad. She didn’t know it, but her fear was very much grounded in reality. Mining has the third highest fatality rate of any industry. It now claims the lives of nine workers on average each year, and that number was even higher when Geoff was working in the industry.

With his daughter’s concerns front of mind, he decided to take a leap of faith and retrain as a teacher. Following two years of accelerated study, he found himself in a position where he was entering a new industry for the first time in over three decades. Read more

Only 5% of UK Train Drivers are Women
April 17, 2019
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Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express, has launched the UK’s biggest rail recruitment campaign to attract more women and young people to consider a rewarding career in rail.Image result for Govia Thameslink Railway

In the UK, just five percent of Britain’s 19,000 train drivers are women, but GTR is committed to changing this and has already taken steps to address the imbalance. Last year, 30 percent of Southern’s trainee driver roles were taken up by women, up from 18 percent in 2017. In addition, a class of new trainee drivers on both Great Northern and Southern had a 50:50 gender split in 2018. 

GTR now has over 2,000 qualified drivers across the Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express network, the first train operating company (TOC) ever to reach this milestone. 

Read more

The A to Z of Google Accessibility
March 11, 2019
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Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful to all. In a guest blog on our websiteGoogle sign on the top of a building Google’s Senior Programme Manager for Accessibility, Christopher Patnoe, shares how they make their products accessible and highlights a number of the accessibility features across their portfolio.

Google is able to conduct in-depth product research and gather valuable user feedback through a community that includes advocacy organisations, training centres, schools, companies and governments, to ultimately help shape the future of their products. Read more

100 Years Strong
February 19, 2019
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It’s been 100 years since Superintendent Sofia Stanley led the first all-female Met Women Patrols on the streets of London

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ESFA First Annual Report and Accounts Published

The following is a press release published by the ESFA.

The ESFA has a sound system of governance and internal control, in its first annual report, which the Comptroller and Auditor General has certified, receiving an unqualified audit opinion.

Since 1 April 2017, we have managed and distributed timely and accurately, just over £61 billion to fund all education and training for all 5 to 16 year-olds, and post-16 apprenticeships and skills in England.

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Equality, Diversity and Faith Events and Celebrations Calendars 2018
January 25, 2018
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Numerous organisations have created their own versions of equality, diversity and faith calendars for 2018 and three of them can be accessed below.

cipd diversity calendar 2018

UCL calendar 201717-18

Warwick Calendar2017 18

Seeking Disability Sector Champions for 2018
January 9, 2018
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The Office for Disability Issues is seeking business people to champion accessibility of products and services for disabled people.

The Office for Disability Issues is seeking disability sector champions in 6 new sectors.

In February 2017, 11 sector champions were announced who are using their influential status as leaders in their sectors to drive improvements to the accessibility, and quality, of services and facilities in their sector.

However, while these champions have all made great progress on this agenda in their respective sectors, there is much more to do to provide equal opportunities and choice for disabled people across the whole of society.

So, they are issuing a call for business people to become sector champions initially for a year, in each of the following sectors:

  • trains
  • technology
  • insurance
  • fashion
  • leisure – pubs, restaurants and so on
  • arts and culture – for example, theatre, cinema, museums

Read more

Iceland Becomes First Country To Legalise Equal Pay
January 4, 2018
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A new law making it illegal to pay men more than women has taken effect in Iceland. The legislation, which came into force on Monday, the first day of 2018, makes Iceland the first country in the world to legalise equal pay between men and women.

Under the new rules, companies and government agencies employing at least 25 people will have to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies. Those that fail to prove pay parity will face fines.

“The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally,” said Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association.

“It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally,” she said. “We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.”

Iceland, home to approximately 323,000 people, has a strong economy, based on tourism and fisheries.

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5 Apps to Help Students with Disabilities
October 13, 2017
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AbilityNet’s DSA assessors work with disabled students and those with mental health issues across the country to advise on the best assistive tech to support them in their studies and in managing their lives.

They have identified 5 apps to support students who are autistic, who have dyslexia and students who need help with processing and organisation.

Emergency Chat App
The Emergency Chat App is mainly designed for someone to use when they have an autisic meltdown. The person having the meltdown can bring up a pre-determined message on their phone for those around them. The message would explain what is happening and what they need.

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