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How Useful is The Concept of Skills Mismatch?
October 1, 2018
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The following blog was written and published by dmh Associates.DMH Associates

The term skill mismatch is very broad and can relate to many forms of labour market friction, including vertical mismatch, skill gaps, skill shortages, field of study (horizontal) mismatch and skill obsolescence.

This discussion paper  written by Seamus McGuinness ESRI and IZA, Konstantinos Pouliakas Cedefop, University of Aberdeen and IZA and  Paul Redmond ESRI and published by the  I Z A Institute of Labour Economics provides a clear overview of each concept and discusses the measurement and inter-relatedness of different
forms of mismatch.

It presents a comprehensive analysis of the current position of the literature on skills mismatch and highlight areas which are relatively underdeveloped and may warrant further research.

Using data from the European Skills and Jobs Survey, they assess the incidence of various combinations of skills mismatch across the EU.

Finally, the paper reviews the European Commission’s country-specific recommendations and find that skills mismatch, when referring to under-utilised human capital in the form of over education and skills underutilisation, receives little policy attention. Read more

Over-50s Plan to Work Longer
August 17, 2018
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Older workers feel unsupported by their employers, despite estimates that a third of the UK workforce will be aged over 50 by 2020

Almost two-thirds (63%) of workers aged over 50 in the UK are planning to retire later than they thought they would 10 years ago, according to research from Aviva.

Many of them are extending their working lives because of the rising cost of living (40%) and insufficient pension savings (38%

Despite these plans to carry on working longer, 44% feel unsupported by their employers when it comes to their career ambitions and objectives, compared to just 25% of 25- to 34-year-olds who feel this way.

Progress has also been slow in helping older employees adapt to a longer working life. Factors, such as the ability to work flexitime, have only increased slightly from 12% in 2012 to 14% in 2018. Meanwhile access to other forms of workplace support – including guidance on retirement finances – has remained static.

The research highlighted the benefits of supporting an ageing workforce. For older workers who do have access to support, three-quarters (75%) agree it was useful, with a fifth (21%) stating workplace support played an important role in their later-life planning.

When asked what form of support they would find useful from their employer, 14% said the ability to reduce working hours or flexitime; 9% said written literature on the financial issues surrounding retirement; 11% said free, independent financial advice; and 6% said a dedicated staff member to talk to about the issues. Read more

Education Policy Institute: Annual Report On The State Of Education In England
July 27, 2018
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The following was published by dmh associate.

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published its Annual Report on the state of education in England – including the progress made in closing the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers

The Education in England: Annual Report 2018 considers how the disadvantage gap has changed since 2011 and how it varies across the country.

The report also looks at how pupils from different backgrounds perform, and, for the first time, looks at the post-16 routes taken by disadvantaged students and their peers. The underlying causes of educational disadvantage are also examined – with several policy recommendations proposed.

Some of the key findings are :

  • Pupil attainment is rising but disadvantaged children are still behind at every stage.
  • On current trends, it will take over 100 years to close the gap in English and maths.
  • Overall, there is little change in the gap in school attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
  • On the best measure of the disadvantaged gap at the end of secondary education (the English Language and Maths gap), there has been a significant slowdown in the rate of gap closure over the last few years – threatening the ambition of significantly greater social mobility.
  • For the most persistently disadvantaged pupils, there has been no closure at all in the (English and Maths), disadvantaged gap since 2011.
  • At secondary level, the disadvantage gap across all GCSE subjects closed faster than in previous years.
  • However the apparent narrowing of the disadvantage gap is caused largely by more disadvantaged pupils entering more ‘academic’ subjects.

Read more

Researching Careers in Careers
July 23, 2018
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The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby, is undertaking research to find out why career changers choose to work in the career development sector.

Little is known about the Career Development workforce and we would like to better understand the enablers and barriers to attracting new people to our profession.

The Centre and the CDI are interested in the views of practitioners working with adults who have moved into the career development field. They are keen to find out about what attracted you and how you see your career progressing. We value your thoughts on this topic.

All information will be anonymised. Please complete the short survey which can be accessed here

The survey is open until 30th July 2018. 

For more information contact Dr Siobhan Neary, Head of iCeGS at s.neary@derby.ac.uk

 

Generation Poor
July 5, 2018
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The TUC published a new report as part of its 150th anniversary, highlighting the challenges faced by many young people at work whose pay has hardly improved over the years and where a generational pay gap has become increasingly evident.

According to their research, the ‘generational pay gap’ – the gap between the average earnings of 21-30 year-olds and 31-64 year-olds working an average 40-hour week – has increased in real terms from £3,140 in 1998 to £5,884 in 2017. That’s a total increase of £2,744 over the last two decades.

The report shows that the average young worker is only £42 a week better off than young workers were 20 years ago. The over-representation of today’s young workers in certain industries has also worsened the generational pay gap. Read more

Exploratory Research: The Impact the Shortening of Guidance Appointments is Having on Practice
June 7, 2018
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Dr Deirdre Huges OBE has extracted the key points from this HECSU funded Research Project report Ms. Emily Róisín Reid, Senior Careers Consultant, University of Warwick.

Background (Extract from the research report)

This project was borne out of a curious concern for the future of guidance. The instigation of new all powerful regulatory ‘Office for Students’, twinned with the impending impact of the Teaching Excellence Framework (and it’s weighting of performance indicators, such as DLHE/ Graduate Outcomes), are sizeable eruptions to the HE landscape. With HEI strategists rubbing their furrowed brows over executive boardroom-tables across the UK, the pressure and drive to results seems insurmountable. If graduate employment outcomes become the measure of the HEI throne, then ‘Employability’ becomes the Golden Fleece.

To access the full report: CLICK HERE

‘Employability’ is seen (by some) as the panacea to the malaises that plague HE of late such as: ‘what do students gain from coming to University?’ and ‘what is value for money?’, without them necessarily questioning: to what extent should it be? Within this heightened drive to ‘graduate outcomes’, what of the guidance practitioners: the champions of graduate gateways? Purveyors of pathways, surveyors of horizons? They who remain to the end ‘impartial’ and ‘non-directive’ – how does this ‘impartiality’ square with the challenges facing HEIs in the current marketisation of the sector? Seemingly, guidance appointments have been made shorter to accommodate the increase in need and demand for the services (Frigerio, 2010; Nijjar, 2009). However, there is a distinct lack of research in existing literature that explores or testifies as to the impact this is having on practice, and indeed, on students. This project seeks to address this lack through an exploratory study, the aim of which was to develop understanding on the impact this shortening of guidance appointments is having on practice. This was perceived to be a useful addition to the wider guidance community knowledge-base.

Conclusions

Para 5.1 Students want guidance, strongly value it, and receive benefits from it Read more

City & Guilds Report Employers Unprepared for T-Levels
May 31, 2018
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Many employers feel they don’t have a good understanding of T-Levels, according to City & Guilds.

With two years to go until their introduction, just 17% of UK employers feel that they have a good understanding of T-Levels, with almost half (49%) rating their understanding as poor. Additionally, 54% of education providers rate their understanding as either middling or poor.

T-Levels were announced in the 2017 Spring Budget, with the aim to replace 15,000 technical qualifications with 15 vocational routes, including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, health, and science.

A key part of the T-Level programme is a mandatory 45-day work placement. Currently most employers (71%) and training providers (74%) offer work placements of one to two weeks for 16- to 19-year-olds. Only 8% of employers provide placements of the duration required for T-Levels, meaning a step change will be required to accommodate these placements in industry, the research stated.

In addition, there will need to be a significant increase in the number of work placement students employers take on, with an estimated 180,000 placements needed per year.

More encouragingly, most employers expressed support for this part of the new qualification, with almost three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed saying they are willing to play a greater role in helping students apply their learning in a workplace setting. However, both employers and training providers cited concerns around the implementation of the work placements.

Read more

Labour Market Outlook: Spring 2018

The quarterly Labour Market Outlook, produced in partnership with  The Adecco Group UK & Ireland provides a set of forward-looking labour market indicators highlighting employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions.

The survey is based on responses from 1,008 employers. Additionally, this report also considers the extent to which the tightening in the UK labour market is hampering employers’ ability to find staff and putting modest upward pressure on wages.

Executive Summary

Employment

This survey points to continued growth in demand for labour in Q2 2018, which will lead to a further tightening of the UK labour market for employers. This quarter’s net employment balance – which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staff levels and those who expect to decrease staff levels in the second quarter of 2018 – has increased to +26 from +16 over the past three months. The measure is at its highest level since it was introduced in the winter 2012/13 report.

The survey data is consistent with official labour market data, which shows that employment growth remains strong while the number of vacancies in the UK economy remains well above historical average levels. However, the positive employment picture contrasts with disappointing first quarter GDP growth estimates for 2018 of just 0.1%, which, alongside other economic indicators, point to lower economic activity.

In addition, the strong demand for labour is not being matched by labour supply, which has also been affected modestly by a relatively abrupt slowing in the growth rate of EU nationals coming to the UK over the last 12 months.

Read more

What Do Young People Really Think About Apprenticeships?
May 14, 2018
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The following article was published 11th May 2018 by Charlotte Smith.

 Apprenticeships have a huge amount to offer and the more we do to help young people see apprenticeships as relevant, the quicker the image problem will go away.

To do this, we need to understand what they think of them. In 2017, Investors in People conducted research into how young people perceive apprenticeships to find out just that.

Of 1000 young people surveyed, 47% had considered an apprenticeship, which is great. But 53% said they had never considered one. Read on to find out why.

Why don’t young people consider apprenticeships?

Well over half (62%) said that they wanted to do A Levels or go to university

This is not surprising: university seems to have become the most valuable route in the eyes of young people. This has been reinforced by careers advice and the popular media, which tend to lean on university as the ‘gold standard’ of post-secondary education.

In the knowledge economy, A Levels and university have been seen as more attractive routes than apprenticeships. In London, which is dominated by knowledge economy work, parents are 40% less likely to want their children to do apprenticeships than in other areas.

28% said the industry they want to work in doesn’t offer apprenticeships

Read more

EEF Research Report
May 10, 2018
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According to a survey by EEF, 95% of manufacturers want the apprenticeship levy changed in some form, with a quarter want the levy to turn into a training levy.

“Two-fifths of companies say colleges and training providers are either unable or unwilling to deliver the Apprenticeships that manufacturers want”.

EEF’s report – A Levy Price to Pay? explores the impact that the Apprenticeship Levy has had on manufacturers. It finds that manufacturers have not been able to afford to stop training apprentices as they are vital to their business, but that the Levy itself hasn’t spurred on further investment in, or recruitment of, apprentices. In fact, in some cases plans to offer apprenticeships have been scaled back.

It finds that just 7% of manufacturers have faced no challenges with the Levy. With the majority facing challenges in finding quality providers, relevant standards and meeting the various funding rule requirements. It is not a surprise then that manufacturers want to see change.

Read more

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