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Employment: Seven Ways the Young Have Been Hit by Covid

By Eleanor Lawrie & Ben Butcher
BBC News

Young people have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic’s disruption to the jobs market.

The under-25s saw the biggest rise in unemployment during lockdown, and some graduate or entry-level roles attracted thousands more applications than usual.

1. Young people left the workplace first

Under-25s were more likely to be furloughed than any other age group.In the first three months of lockdown, half of eligible 16 to 24-year-olds were placed on the scheme, which supports people unable to work because of the pandemic, compared with one in four 45-year-olds. Hannah Slaughter, economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank, says hard-hit sectors like retail and hospitality – where many jobs cannot be done from home – have a disproportionately young workforce.

Chart showing furloughing

They were also the age group also most likely to lose their job, with the youth unemployment rate rising to 13.1%, compared with 4.1% for the whole UK. About 7% of 18-24 year-olds reported they had been made redundant because of the pandemic, compared with 4% of 50-65 year-olds. The government hopes to address this with its Kickstart scheme, which will pay employers £1,500 for every 16 to 24-year-old to whom they offer a ”high quality” work placement.

young people unemployment

2. Under-25s now make up a third of new universal credit claims

As youth unemployment rose, so too did the number of young people claiming universal credit. By July, just under one in three first-time universal credit claimants was under 25, up from one in five in March.

Chart showing the number of people claiming universal credit

But Ms Slaughter expects youth unemployment to get worse when the furlough scheme ends in October.”Young people are more likely to be in sectors which still aren’t up to the levels of activity before the pandemic” she said.”When businesses start making difficult decisions about redundancies, young people are likely to be disproportionately affected.”

3. Young adults in northern England were worst affected

These changes have not been evenly felt across the country, with more deprived areas seeing a quicker uptake in work-related benefits by young people. Using data on the uptake of universal credit and jobseeker’s allowance, BBC analysis found that the proportion of young people on the benefits had doubled between March and June.

A map of the UK shows where the highest proportion of out-of-work benefit claimants are.

The worst-hit areas were generally in the north of England, with parts of Liverpool and Blackpool most affected. In Liverpool’s Walton area, for example, one in five 16-24 year olds is now claiming universal credit or jobseeker’s allowance – up from 7% in January 2020. In total, 50 constituencies across the UK now have more than 15% of young adults claiming one of the benefits.

4. Online graduate job vacancies fell by 60%

Those looking for a job fresh from university are facing a tough timeThe number of graduate jobs advertised fell 60.3% in the first half of 2020 on one online recruitment website, compared with a 35.5% overall fall in adverts.About 5,000 jobs were listed on the CV-Library platform in January-July in the ”graduate” jobs category, compared with 2,000 a year earlier.

Chart showing competition for grad places

Within that, graduate jobs advertised in marketing fell by 84%, while roles in construction and administration both dropped by more than 70%. Applications only fell by 33%, meaning considerable extra competition for many roles. Twice as many people applied for public sector roles than the year before, and five times as many for IT vacancies. One positive was the average graduate salary on the platform increased by 7.1% year-on-year to £24,626.The fall in vacancies is borne out across the UK. Positions on online platform Adzuna were 45% lower in mid-September than in 2019, according to Office for National Statistics analysis.

5. Apprenticeships have stalled

Companies have taken on fewer apprenticeships over lockdown. From 23 March to 30 June, apprenticeship starts halved compared with the previous year, but this fall was not evenly split between age groups.

Chart showing monthly apprenticeship starts

Unsurprisingly, the sectors which saw the sharpest drop across all age groups were retail and tourism, which both declined by 75%. However, education placements only declined by a quarter.

6. Young people’s pay could be lower for three years after the pandemic

The UK’s financial watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates unemployment will hit 10% by the end of 2020, up from 4.1% last year .If this happens, young people who do find employment will face lower average wages for several years, Resolution Foundation analysis suggests, as they ”trade down” to the best job available.

Chart showing pay

Two years after leaving full-time education, it expects new education leavers’ hourly pay, after inflation, compared with pre-pandemic times, to be:

  • 8% lower for highly qualified leavers (degree and above)
  • 6% lower for mid-qualified leavers (A-level or equivalent)
  • 13% lower for lower-qualified leavers (GCSE and below)

As happened after the 2008 recession, lower-skilled workers are likely to take the biggest hit. But the effect will last longer for mid and high-skilled workers, who may end up in sectors with less opportunity for a pay rise than offered by traditional graduate jobs. That assumes lower-skilled workers can actually get a job. The think tank predicts they are a third less likely to be in employment three years after entering the jobs market, than if the pandemic had never happened.

7. Young people are more likely to stay in education

One positive outcome of the crisis is that younger people may remain in education. This would shield them from the worst of the downturn, and lead to higher productivity and a better-skilled workforce.

Young people are keen to stay on in education.   [ 40.5% of 18 year-olds applied to university by June, a record high ],[ 17% spike in new applications between March and June ],[ 1 year extra study could halve a low-skilled worker's unemployment chances ],[ 10% rise in postgraduate applications in the 2008-9 recession  ], Source: Source: UCAS, Resolution Foundation, Image: Woman in library

To an extent, this happened in the 2008 recession. The effect may be much larger this time around, says Xiaowei Xu of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, as sectors like hospitality and retail are also where many people first start working. ”There’s an incentive to staying on in education because of how terrible the economy is, which means that people may receive more and better education.”She adds that this year’s A-Level grade inflation means some students will go to a better university than they would have done.

Major Expansion of Post-18 Education and Training
September 30, 2020
0

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP

The Prime Minister has set out plans to transform the training and skills system, making it fit for the 21st century economy, and helping the country build back better from coronavirus.

Adults without an A-Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course – providing them with skills valued by employers, and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them.

This offer will be available from April in England, and will be paid for through the National Skills Fund. A full list of available courses will be set out shortly.

Higher education loans will also be made more flexible, allowing adults and young people to space out their study across their lifetimes, take more high-quality vocational courses in further education colleges and universities, and to support people to retrain for jobs of the future.

These reforms will be backed by continued investment in college buildings and facilities – including over £1.5 billion in capital funding. More details will be set out in a further education white paper later this year.

The coronavirus pandemic and changing economy is why the Prime Minister is developing a long-term plan to ensure that, as work changes, people can retrain, upskill and find new well-paid jobs.

In a speech on Tuesday, the Prime Minister is expected to announce a new Lifetime Skill Guarantee. He will say:

As the Chancellor has said, we cannot, alas, save every job. What we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.

So my message today is that at every stage of your life, this government will help you get the skills you need.

He will add:

We’re transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain.

Apprenticeship opportunities will also be increased, with more funding for SMEs taking on apprentices, and greater flexibility in how their training is structured – especially in sectors such as construction and creative industries where there are more varied employment patterns.

In 2000, over 100,000 people were doing Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, but that has reduced to fewer than 35,000 now. Those doing foundation degrees has declined from 81,000 to 30,000.

As a result, only 10% of adults hold a Higher Technical Qualification as their highest qualification, compared to 20% in Germany and 34% in Canada.

This is despite the fact that five years after completion, the average Higher Technical Apprentice earns more than the average graduate.

That is why the government is committed to making higher education more flexible to facilitate lifelong learning, and to make it easy for adults and young people to break up their study into segments, transfer credits between colleges and universities, and enable more part-time study.

This new arrangement will provide finance for shorter term studies, rather than having to study in one three or four year block.

The government is also committing £8 million for digital skills boot camps; expanding successful pilots in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands and introducing programmes in four new locations.

From next year, boot camps will be extended to sectors like construction and engineering, helping the country build back better and support our refreshed Industrial Strategy.

Earlier this year the government launched its free online Skills Toolkit, helping people train in digital and numeracy skills. This is being expanded today to include 62 additional courses.

£2.5 billion is also being made available through the National Skills Fund to help get people working again after COVID, as well as giving those in work the chance to train for higher-skilled, better-paid jobs.

Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer, BT, said:

BT welcomes the Prime Minister’s commitment to put skills at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery plan, and particularly the emphasis on digital skills. BT is already heavily invested in this area through Skills for Tomorrow which aims to empower 10 million people by giving them the skills they need to make the most of life in a digital world. Our Work Ready programme, and our support for the new Fast Futures digital courses for young adults, focus on the jobseeker groups that most need new skills. Ensuring that the nation’s workforce is ready for a digital future has never been more urgent – and partnership is key. That’s why BT is a founding partner of FutureDotNow, a coalition which aims to motivate people and businesses across the UK to address the growing skills gap and empower everyone to thrive in a digital UK.

Doug Gurr, Amazon’s U.K. Country Manager, said:

We welcome this initiative to help the country recover from the impact of the pandemic by equipping people with the skills needed to find new jobs and retrain for new opportunities. At Amazon, we continue to provide opportunities for people of all ages to gain new skills with apprenticeships and university bursaries, free computer science and engineering resources through our Amazon Future Engineer and Maths4All programmes, and free training for small businesses through the Amazon Small Business Accelerator. Amazon also offers employees a programme called Career Choice that provides funding for skills development through nationally recognised courses of up to £8,000 over four years.

Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO, UK and Europeat Sky said:

Given the pace of change in business and in workplaces today, and the economic challenges of COVID, we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcements today to not just rebuild, but to turbo charge skills training in England. The new Skills and Productivity Board has a key role to play in developing our skills economy for current and future generations. It is a privilege to contribute, and I’m looking forward to working with the panel and the government to drive this important agenda. The Skills Productivity Board will provide important advice to government on how to tackle the nation’s skills challenges to help rebuild our economy post-COVID-19 and deliver the bold skills agenda outlined by the Prime Minister today. I look forward to working with government to level up opportunity across the country ensuring people have the skills they need to progress.

Clare Barclay, CEO, Microsoft UK, said:

As a country we face multiple challenges, but we believe that learning unlocks opportunity. Today, more than ever, individuals, businesses and government must build the skills we need for tomorrow. Because if we fail to act now, the UK could easily be left behind in the global economy. There are no better investments in our future than the kinds of accessible, lifelong and flexible programmes that the Prime Minister has announced this morning.

Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said:

It’s more important than ever that government and industry work together to help young people and adults gain the skills needed to work in sectors which will support our nation’s economic recovery. As a major employer of graduates and apprentices, BAE Systems’ investment in skills provides an essential pipeline of talent that enables us to continue to deliver cutting-edge defence and security capabilities, essential to our national security.

Nick Mackenzie, CEO Greene King, said:

We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of increased funding for skills and further education. As a business we are passionate about improving social mobility and developing the skills of the nation’s young people to ensure they are ready for work. That is why we invest heavily in apprenticeships, supporting over 12,500 since 2011.

David Livingstone, CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Citi, said:

With digitisation accelerating throughout the economy, the UK needs to continue to develop a highly skilled and innovative workforce. Banks can play a critical role, and Citi looks forward to expanding the reach of its current apprenticeship programmes, including our recently-launched Data Academy and efforts to encourage former employees back into the workforce. Citi stands ready to play its part in delivering on the UK Government’s ambition to increase employability and transform the country’s training and skills system.

Anthony Impey MBE, Founder, Optimity, said:

The Prime Minister’s announcement today to transform the training and skills system is crucial to helping businesses get back on their feet and start to realise future opportunities. These are tough times for small businesses and skills are a vital part of the recovery process.

Steve Murrells, CEO of the Co-op, said:

The Co-op Group is pleased to work in partnership with the government to create opportunities for adults to gain the skills they need to move into sustainable employment. We are already an industry leader in providing apprenticeships and we are proud of the work our 1,200 current apprentices have done as key workers during the pandemic to support the nation.

We believe that opportunities need to be created where they are most needed and offered to those who most need them. So we have already committed to ensure that groups that have previously been under-represented in our apprenticeship programme receive fair access in the future so we are seeking partnerships focussed on benefitting Black, Asian and ethnic minority candidates. We also know there is more to do to ensure opportunities to develop new skills are made available in the communities that most need them. That’s why we have committed to offer up to 150 kickstarter placements – combining skills and paid employment – in communities where we know the need is greatest.

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesperson said:

We welcome today’s announcement by the Prime Minister. As future technologies increase the need for digital and electrical skills in the automotive industry, Jaguar Land Rover supports any measures aimed at up-skilling and re-skilling our employees as a part of a lifelong approach to learning.

As the largest UK automotive apprenticeship provider, we invest heavily in the training and development of our people throughout their careers. We look forward now to working with government and industry to develop fit for purpose technical courses and qualifications to support future high value job creation and maintain the UK’s global manufacturing competitiveness.

Covid Will Change Future of Work and Skills Say Business Leaders

By The Careers and Enterprise Company

#FutureofWork Survey – Working from home is here to stay: Skills such as communication, self-motivation and reliability will now be essential.

Britain’s business leaders believe the workplace transformations brought on by Covid-19 will now become a permanent feature of the way we work and change demand for skills, according to new research released today.

The research indicates that business leaders believe the profound impact the pandemic has had on work-life will have lasting effects. Moves towards fewer people in offices, more home and virtual working are set to stay.

More than three-quarters of business leaders (77%) agree that fewer people in the workplace and office and more working from home will now become a permanent feature of working life.

More than four in five (83%) agree that on-line and virtual working will now remain a significant feature of the way we work.

The poll of 250 medium & large business leaders by Savanta ComRes for the Careers & Enterprise Company comes as NatWest boss Alison Rose recently predicted a hybrid flexible future combining home and office working as the new normal, with many businesses announcing they will continue to maintain a mix of home and office working.

The latest Office for National Statistics retail numbers show online now accounting for a record £3 out of every £10 spent, with a 47 per cent surge in online and mail-order sales since February.

Such underlying forces, accelerated by the pandemic lockdown, are shifting thinking in Britain’s boardrooms about what the future of work looks like and shaping views on the skills needed to succeed.

The vast majority of business leaders agree that skills such as communication, self-motivation and the reliability to work remotely are now essential (83%) and that demand for digital and IT skills will increase due to the rise in online and virtual working (85%).

In what is a challenging and changing jobs market, business leaders recognise the need to support young people looking for jobs. Over three quarters say they have a responsibility to ensure those leaving school in the current environment do not become a lost generation (77%), and that there is now an increased need for employers to support young people entering the world of work (76%).

Business leaders believe certain key skills and qualities will be vital in improving young people’s job prospects.

They highlight skills needs driven by a changing workplace shaped by lockdown. More than three in five (63%) say self-motivation, preparedness and the skills to work remotely will be very important and nearly three in five (59%) say digital and IT skills will be very important.

Three in five (60%) say essential employability skills such as presenting, problem solving, creativity and teamwork are very important – 58 per cent say literacy and numeracy are very important.

New ways of working create new challenges, with nearly three in ten (29%) believing the new remote working environment creates barriers to induction, training and learning the business culture and values, which could constrain the recruitment of school leavers.

John Yarham, Interim CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company said:

The impact of the pandemic has forced business to adapt and adjust at pace. It has also accelerated many underlying changes in the economy and the way we work.

These changes in the nature and culture of the workplace are in turn shaping the skills and qualities employers look for in young people.

In such a landscape, careers education is critical in helping young people respond to change and matching their aspirations and ambitions with the opportunities in the jobs market.

The relationships and connections we create between schools, colleges and employers build a bridge between the worlds of education and employment and support young people in making informed choices about the next steps on their career journey.

The survey in numbers:

What impact do business leaders think the Covid-19 crisis will have on business?

  • 85% agree that online and virtual working will increase demand for digital and IT skills.
  • 83% agree that communication, self-motivation and reliability to work remotely will now be essential.
  • 83% agree that online and virtual working will remain a significant feature of the way they work.
  • 77% agree that fewer people in the workplace or office and more working from home will now become a permanent feature of working life.

How important do business leaders think the following qualities and skills are in improving young people’s employment prospects in the post-Covid jobs market?

  • 93% say essential employability skills such as listening, presenting, problem solving, creativity, leadership and teamwork are important – 60% say very important
  • 93% say literacy and numeracy are important – 58% say very important
  • 92% say self-motivation, preparedness and skills to work remotely are important – 63% say very important
  • 92% say digital and IT skills are important – 59% say very important
  • 89% say strong academic results and qualifications are important – 55% say very important
  • 89% say wider character behaviours like resilience and adaptability are important – 46% say very important
  • 86% say technical and vocational education qualifications are important – 41% say very important
  • 84% say relevant work experience is important – 46% very important 

Methodology: The Savanta ComRes poll for the Careers & Enterprise Company interviewed 251 business leaders from medium & large companies (i.e. with 250 employees or more) in the UK online between 26 June and 1 July 2020. 28% of business leaders interviewed were c-suite (MD, CEO, CFO), 23% director, 49% senior management. 25% of organisations employed 250-499 employees, 31% employed 500-1000 employees and 44% more than 1,000 employees. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables are available on the Savanta ComRes website.

Relieving the Pressure on Business Finances Will Enable Them to Grow and to Support and Create Jobs
September 25, 2020
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WINTER ECONOMY PLAN: LOANS SCHEMES FACTSHEET 

by HM Treasury

Through the extension of the government guaranteed loan schemes, and the launch of Pay As You Grow, the Chancellor is supporting all businesses by taking action to relieve the pressure on their finances in the coming months. This will enable them to grow and to support and create jobs.

Business Minister Lord Callanan said:

“It is vital that we continue to deliver certainty to businesses through this challenging time, which is why we are now extending these important and necessary measures to protect companies from insolvency.

Through this measure, we want to ensure businesses are able to not only come through this testing period, but also to plan, adapt and build back better.”

What are the changes?

  • The Government is extending Bounce Back Loans, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans and the Future Fund until 30 November.
  • The Chancellor is also launching a new Pay as You Grow system which gives flexibility to businesses in repaying Bounce Back Loans. All borrowers will now have the option to repay their loans over a period of up to 10 years, reducing their average monthly repayments on the average loan by almost half.
  • Businesses will also have the option to move temporarily to interest-only repayments for periods of up to six months, and to pause their repayments entirely for up to six months (after they have made their first six payments)

Who will this help?

  • More than one million businesses have taken out a Bounce Back Loan, with an average loan size of £30,000.
  • These businesses can all benefit from the flexibilities available through Pay As You Grow, helping them to manage their cashflows and protect jobs.

How will it help?

  • A business which took out a £30,000 Bounce Back Loan would see their average monthly repayments fall from £532 to £309 (42% reduction) if they repaid the loan over 10 years rather than six. This will boost their cashflow, enabling them to support and protect jobs.
  • The same business could temporarily reduce their monthly repayments to just £63 if they switched to interest-only payments.
  • Finally, utilising a capital and repayment holiday would reduce monthly repayments to £0, allowing the business a six month period to get back on their feet before resuming repayments.
  • The deadlines for applications for the government-guaranteed loans are also being extended to 30 November, meaning that even more firms can benefit from loans to support their business and jobs.
  • In addition, the deadline for applications under the Future Fund, which provides convertible loans to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to coronavirus, is also being extended to 30 November. This means more of our most innovate businesses can grow and scale up.

How does it compare?

  • This extension brings the application deadline for the UK’s loan guarantee schemes into line with other European countries. Loan schemes in France and Germany – which are subject to the same State Aid rules as the UK – close in December.
  • Germany’s Schnellkredit loans scheme also allows repayments over 10 years, but at a more expensive rate of interest (3%) than BBLS (2.5%).

Scheme Usage to Date

  • More than 1 million Bounce Back Loans with a combined value of more than £38bn have been approved to date.
  • Meanwhile, over 66,000 CBILS loans with a combined value of £15.5bn have been approved to date.
  • For larger businesses, 566 CLBILS loans worth £3.84bn have been approved.
  • Under the Future Fund, over 700 convertible loans worth £720m have been approved.
  • British Business Bank data shows that the proportion of CBILS and Bounce Back Loans awarded closely match the respective share of businesses of each English region and devolved nation.

Government gives businesses much-needed breathing space with extension of insolvency measures 

Measures put in place to protect businesses from insolvency will be extended to continue giving them much-needed breathing space during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the government announced today (24 September).

A raft of changes to protect businesses from insolvency were introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act and were due to expire on 30 September 2020. The temporary measures include:

  • companies and other qualifying bodies with obligations to hold AGMs will continue to have the flexibility to hold these meetings virtually until 30 December 2020. This means that shareholders can continue to examine company papers and vote on important issues remotely
  • statutory demands and winding-up petitions will continue to be restricted until 31 December 2020 to protect companies from aggressive creditor enforcement action as a result of coronavirus related debts
  • termination clauses are still prohibited, stopping suppliers from ceasing their supply or asking for additional payments while a company is going through a rescue process. However, small suppliers will remain exempted from the obligation to supply until 30 March 2021 so that they can to protect their business if necessary
  • the modifications to the new moratorium procedure, which relax the entry requirements to it, will also be extended until 30 March 2021. A company may enter into a moratorium if they have been subject to an insolvency procedure in the previous 12 months. Measures will also ease access for companies subject to a winding up petition. The temporary moratorium rules will also be extended to 30 March 2021
  • businesses will be protected from the threat of eviction until the end of year following an extension to the commercial eviction ban announced on 16 September 2020
  • this extension will protect businesses that are struggling to pay their rent due to the impact of COVID-19 from being evicted and help the thousands of people working in these sectors feel more secure about their jobs
  • the government is clear that where businesses can pay their rent, they should do so, as this support is aimed at those struggling the most during the pandemic. This is set out in the Code of Practice which was published in June.
A Massive Shock to the Education and Careers Support System on its Way

By Dr Deirdre Hughes

The introduction of new restrictions set out by the Prime Minster has reminded us all of the serious consequences of further lockdown measures on the British economy and the nation’s health and wellbeing. For those working in hospitality, leisure, theatres, travel and tourism, Covid-19 has ravaged jobs in these sectors.

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH Associates & Associate Fellow, University of Warwick IER
Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH Associates & Associate Fellow, University of Warwick IER

There are serious concerns that unless there is some form of extension to or replacement of the furlough scheme, tens of thousands of job losses are inevitable. In this context, public pressure to create a fairer and more prosperous society is likely to increase.

This will bring about a paradigm shift in our thinking about schooling and its relevance to a changing world of work, home working and a sharp turn towards protecting jobs, livelihoods, health and wellbeing so often limited by structural inequalities in society.

Addressing widening educational inequalities

A new National Funding Formula for schools should ensure the funding system is more responsive to geographical areas of deprivation. However, a recent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report highlights “in the short run, the new formula will deliver funding increases of 3–4 percentage points less to schools in poorer areas than to those in more affluent areas up to 2021.” Government hopes a one-off payment of £80 per pupil aged 5-16 and a national tutoring programme targeted at more disadvantaged pupils will help address the widening of educational inequalities during lockdown. In this context, what messages will young people, teachers, parents/carers receive about the evolving education and careers landscape?

The launch of T levels

A recent FE News podcast with Minister Keegan highlighted the launch of T levels with discussion on the differences between this route and other pathways, including apprenticeships. I was struck by the reliance on a national campaign the ‘Next Level’ idea which shows students as they literally climb the floors of a building. Their rapid progression will dramatise how T Levels can help young people get further forward, faster – while also highlighting the qualification’s first three launch subjects of education and childcare, digital and construction. But the massive shock of Covid-19 and its effects on education and career opportunities requires more than this. The narrative of climbing upwards fast will need to shift more towards career adaptability, mental toughness, resilience and building a personal ‘safety net’ of support. In essence, having access to good career guidance (including highly skilled coaching techniques) addresses these basic fundamentals.

Career guidance in schools, colleges and local communities must be strengthened

The views and experiences of highly trained and qualified career development professionals in England have been overlooked by DfE, since May 2020 meetings with the professional body and the trade body has been promised but yet to materialise. Last year, a study commissioned by Careers England reported “less than a cup of coffee is being spent on careers advice for young people in our schools and colleges.”

To date, very little of the money the DfE are spending on careers actually goes to the schools and those working with and supporting young people in local communities, particularly those most in need. It is estimated that 1000 extra employment, training or education opportunities are needed each day to bring the number of young people not in education employment or training back to pre-crisis levels by October 2021.

Under the £2billion Kickstart Scheme, the Government will pay towards six months of wage costs of each 16 to 24-year-old hired by an employer. But this approach needs ‘feet on the ground’ (beyond DWP Work Coaches) to work directly with employers advocating on behalf of young people and gathering local labour market intelligence (LMI) to feedback into the education system. Adults too need to know where are the jobs and training opportunities?

The forthcoming FE White Paper should further shed light on the government’s thinking about evolving education and careers for young people and adults – aligned to a refresh of the Careers Strategy (2017). The shock to universities of a diminished international student population and uncertainty surrounding the 2020-2012 local student experience, brings a sharp focus on the availability of careers support, student placements, work experience and internships.

In our higher education landscape, those most privileged often have the best careers support made available to them delivered by highly trained professionals.

So, what’s the massive shock all about? 

In essence, we are talking about more individuals in our society being ‘unsettled’ and ‘uprooted’ from the normality of their so far lived experiences and expectations of education and work. At its core is the issue of identity, dignity, livelihood and sense of belonging and fulfilment.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Britain’s were forced to tighten their belts, contend with high inflation and increasing unemployment blighted their horizons. Fast forward fifty years, people’s expectations are higher today and in a modern society it should be an entitlement to have access to high quality careers support as part of a lifelong learning system that supports improved education, economic and social outcomes.

Interestingly, government responses back then saw the wisdom and realised the benefit of investing in careers services for young people to enable work programmes to operate effectively.[1]

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH Associates & Associate Fellow, University of Warwick IER

[1] Department of Employment – Careers Services Unemployment Strengthening Scheme.

ESFA Update: 23 September 2020

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

Documents

ESFA Update further education: 23 September 2020

ESFA Update academies: 23 September 2020

ESFA Update local authorities: 23 September 2020

Details

Items for further education

Informationonline portal for FE providers to order additional coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits
InformationNHS COVID-19 App
InformationR14 ILR return webinar
InformationProvider Relief Schemes – reconciliation returns
Informationhow T Levels are funded from 2021 to 2022 academic year
Information16 to 19 tuition fund opt-in template
Information2019 to 2020 Year End for grant funded providers with AEB and ALLB delivery
Informationapprenticeship standards – versioning
Informationnon-levy apprenticeships extension allocations review
InformationCapacity and Delivery Fund data returns
Informationnew college good practice guide on audit committees
Informationservice improvements to submit learner data
Informationnew high needs funding operational guidance

Items for academies

Actionbudget forecast return three-year (BFR3Y) – less than one week until the deadline
Informationhow T Levels are funded from 2021 to 2022 academic year
Informationupdated good practice guide for internal scrutiny in academy trusts
Information16 to 19 tuition fund opt-in template
Informationcoronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium allocations
Informationnew high needs funding operational guidance
InformationCapacity and Delivery Fund data returns

Items for local authorities

Information16 to 19 local authorities grant return and use of funds statement; process for 2019 to 2020
Informationhow T Levels are funded from 2021 to 2022 academic year
Information16 to 19 tuition fund opt-in template
Information2019 to 2020 Year End for grant funded providers with AEB and ALLB delivery
Informationnew high needs funding operational guidance
Informationnon-levy apprenticeships extension allocations review
Informationcoronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium allocations
InformationCapacity and Delivery Fund data returns

Published 23 September 2020

Covid-19 Changing employee Motivations

A recent study has revealed 96% of job seekers questioned would now not consider working for a company with a poor Covid-19 record.

The study, conducted by online job board Zoek and Neil Harrison from NH237 employment consultancy, looked at if Covid-19 was affecting employees’ opinion regarding their current and future employers.

Results revealed a significant change in the priorities of employees, with how a company treats its staff now much more of a concern. An overwhelming 93% of the 1,134 part and full-time workers surveyed said they would now choose a less successful company that supported employees over a more successful one that did not. The study also revealed that people are much more likely to conduct their own research into prospective employers, with issues such as remote working and workplace social distancing now important factors.

Regarding the findings, Diana Campbell, managing director at Zoek, said;

It is really interesting to see how motivations on moving jobs have changed since the job market has started opening back up. It is more important than ever to provide flexibility and confidence to candidates, which is something we have seen a high volume of searches for on Zoek.”

The survey also revealed that 57% of people felt their employers had communicated well during the lockdown. However, 17% said they had not heard anything from their employers, and only a third knew their employers’ plans for the next six months. The impact of covid-19 will change relations, and expectations, moving forward between employers and employees.

The behaviour of companies during the lockdown was a hot topic, with 55% admitting to sharing stories on social media, both good and bad, regarding their employers’ behaviour. Neil Harrison, lead consultant at NH237 Consulting, said the findings revealed the need for companies to communicate better the good things they have done during the shutdown. He said,

“I truly believe that what an organisation presents to the outside world in terms of candidate attraction has to be born out of the internal employee experience and prevailing culture. This report has further proved that even in the current climate, candidates aren’t willing to go just anywhere to take the next step in their career.”

European Employers Expecting to Shed Staff as Government Support Dries Up
September 22, 2020
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By Richard Stuart-Turner

More than half (59%) of European employers are expecting to make staff redundant once government support comes to an end, according to new research from employment and labour law practice Littler.

Only 17% of respondents to Littler’s European Employer COVID-19 Survey Report said they did not expect to reduce their workforce following the end of wage subsidies. 

Most employers are expecting job cuts to happen quickly, with 63% saying they would begin to implement reductions in staff as soon as the law allowed before the government schemes ended or within two weeks of their expiration. Just 10% said they would wait three months or longer.

Speaking to HR magazine, Stephan Swinkels, Littler’s coordinating partner international, said:

“As government support winds down, we do see so many companies restructuring their workforce in one way or another. It doesn’t always need to be terminations, it can also be restructuring them by terminating locations and asking people to work from other places.

“If we do end up with a second wave, my prediction is that there will be a second, third or even fourth batch of government support measures, there is no way around it.

“I think most governments have learnt from the first batches what worked and what didn’t work, and just pumping money and making it available is not the right thing. Governments are looking at strategic sectors or industries that they want to support, and they must also have some political clout.”

The report also looked at remote working practices and found that in the wake of the abrupt shift from the office to home working at the start of the pandemic, respondents expect the top long-term, positive implication on the workplace to be a greater acceptance of the benefits of remote work.

Forty-one per cent of employers surveyed said they are making or will make changes to their remote working policies to allow for more flexibility, as long as employees continue to demonstrate productivity while working from home.

An encouraging 80% of respondents said they are requiring or considering requiring more employees to work remotely either somewhat or to a great extent. 

The main reasons for considering this shift were allowing for greater productivity of employees (41%), addressing the difficulty and cost of implementing new safety measures (38%) and allowing for the closure of offices (25%).

Swinkels said:

“Productivity depends a bit on the sector, but people are working even harder sometimes than they used to in the office, they’re more efficient and willing to work longer and more flexible hours, so I do think that this will structurally change the way we work.

“But softer productivity is more difficult to duplicate from home – the social communication between employees, the DNA of a company and the loyalty and the identity that a company can have. It’s also more difficult for new people to onboard and integrate.”

Littler’s research also found that most employers are taking at least some action to address their employees’ mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. 

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents have offered their staff more flexible work schedules while 51% have asked for frequent feedback on their organisation’s pandemic response.

Littler’s European Employer Covid-19 Survey Report was completed by 758 HR professionals and in-house lawyers across Europe in late July and early August 2020.

Complimentary aelp Webinar
September 21, 2020
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OVERVIEW

The mental health training market has boomed in the last 5 years, with courses such as Mental Health First Aid now incredibly popular amongst employers. Job applicants and staff with recognised skills in this area are considered increasingly attractive to organisations.

But with that boom has come a plethora of different courses – from personal well-being to mental health advocacy, stress management to suicide prevention.

Organisations considering introducing such courses face a huge breadth of choice, and often some confusion as to which options might work best for them. Beyond selecting the “right” product, there’s staff competence in delivering the subject, safe recruitment of learners onto a course that may contain sensitive materials and a lack of clarification as to which qualifications are fully fundable and which aren’t.

This webinar will be delivered by an organisation that is very active in this market, but not looking to deliver Government-funded provision. You can be sure of an honest and thorough walk-through of options and hazards, to enable you to answer the question “what, if any, courses should we run?”

OBJECTIVES

This webinar will focus on:

  • Why mental well-being is high on the education agenda
  • What subjects the training might cover
  • The potential pitfalls of delivering mental health training
  • Qualification options
  • The role of unaccredited learning and pastoral support

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Managers and leaders from the skills sector considering mental health training for the 16+ market.

DELEGATE FEES

This webinar is sponsored by CACHE. Please register with your business email address for your complimentary place. 

THE PACKAGE

Access to the live webinar, recording, slides and Q&As after the webinar.

REGISTER HERE

Ofsted Seeks to Make Oversight of Subcontractors More Comprehensive and Transparent

Ofsted has published new research looking at subcontractors in the further education and skills sector.

New research by Ofsted finds that subcontractors in the further education and skills (FES) sector often have overall control of the day-to-day quality of a learner’s education and training. However, directly-funded providers do not always exert enough influence to manage the subcontracted provision well. For example, they might not have the necessary subject or industry expertise to review provision meaningfully.

The research also found that the current approach to inspection means that some subcontractors are visited more than once, while others are not visited at all.

While Ofsted is not funded to directly inspect subcontractors, the research proposes a more comprehensive and transparent approach to improve oversight.

The report, ‘Subcontracting in further education and skills’, recognises the acute economic challenges FES providers are facing as a result of COVID-19, as well as the broader decline in subcontracted provision over recent years. It explores what makes for high-quality FES provision delivered through subcontracting and asks how inspection and regulation might need to adapt as a result of a rapidly evolving landscape.

Ofsted is responsible for inspecting the quality of education offered by directly-funded FES providers, but inspectors do not report on all subcontracted provision. However, the inspectorate has increased its focus on subcontracting over the past 2 years, in response to concerns about the quality of some subcontractors.

Currently, Ofsted inspections give a rounded judgement of a directly- funded provider by sampling activities across the provision. The choice of subcontractors to sample is made within practical constraints, such as their location. These activities then inform the leadership and management judgement of the directly- funded provider and, where appropriate, the quality of education judgement.

The report suggests there are limitations to this approach and concludes that the oversight of subcontracted education could be improved by sampling more subcontracted provision. Therefore, Ofsted is seeking to make inspecting and reporting on subcontracted provision more comprehensive and transparent by:

  • working with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to improve access to timely and accurate data on the number and size of subcontracting arrangements held by a directly-funded provider
  • increasing awareness among inspectors of Ofsted’s available inspection resource, in order to investigate more subcontractors
  • changing the way evidence is recorded to systematically and consistently include information about all subcontractors visited
  • where appropriate, highlighting more subcontractors in inspection reports

In particular, more accurate data from the ESFA would allow Ofsted to arrange to visit subcontracted provision that was far away, because out-of-region resources could be factored into planning.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said:

The financial stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and ESFA’s tighter regulations around subcontracting make this an important and timely report. Over the past two years we have increased our focus on the management of subcontracted provision. However, this new research has highlighted the importance of reviewing subcontractors within our current model.

We are open to exploring how we could directly inspect subcontractors in the future, but that would need significantly more financial resource and better data. So, for now we will continue to inspect subcontractors as part of our inspections of directly-funded providers. But I’m confident that the changes set out in today’s report will make our oversight more meaningful and transparent.

The report is based on visits to 14 subcontractors in November and December last year; focus groups with 38 inspectors; and desk-based analysis of inspection reports and evidence bases, as well as other publicly available data on subcontracting.