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Help and Support for Returning to Work
October 22, 2019
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Government Equalities Office has published guidance for those looking to return to work following a career break for caring responsibilities, and information for employers wanting to implement a returners programme at their organisation.

Businesses and organisations across the UK face the same issues around addressing the gender pay gap, accessing talented staff, reducing training costs and improving diversity.

There are currently over 1.2 million people in the UK who are out of work for caring responsibilities but would like to return to employment.

Recruiting experienced returners could help employers respond to these business challenges and help people back into work.

Returner programmes are a key priority of the government. The Government Equalities Office has awarded in the region of £1.5 million to sixteen organisations supporting returners in the private sector. They have also launched returner programmes that target key workforces in the public sector, including social workers, health professionals, and police investigators.

Applying for a returner programme

Returning to work after a career break can be challenging. There are a number of dedicated returner programmes that provide training and support to help people back into the workforce in a way that makes sense for them. Individual criteria for each programme will differ but most programmes ask for applicants that have been out of work for a year or more, either on a career break or for caring responsibilities.

Read our Returners Toolkit for advice, tips and support on returning to work.

Share your story

We are interested in hearing from returners who are currently on, or who have completed returner programmes. To share your own story, please email geo.strategiccomms@geo.gov.uk.

Read Returner Yemi’s experience of a returner programme.

Setting up a returner programme

Research shows that setting up a returner programme can have significant benefits for businesses, helping to increase the diversity of staff and expanding the level of experience within an organisation. There are two main routes for employing returners into your organisation:

  • Returnships: fixed-term contracts that cover competitive pay and extra support like training, coaching and mentoring.
  • Supported hires: permanent roles for returners, offering the same additional support such as training, coaching and mentoring.

Guidance on setting up a returners programme

Returner programmes: best practice guide for employers 
This guidance provides a framework for organisations to develop effective returner programmes. It applies to organisations in all sectors and of all sizes.

Returners: an introductory toolkit for employers 
This toolkit describes the benefits of returner programmes, top tips for developing a returner programme, how to attract recruits and case studies.

Returners: The Benefits of Implementing a Returners Programme 
This infographic provides an overview of the benefits of Returner programmes and employment methods.

Adapting your current employment practices

Our evidence shows that making small adjustments to a business’s employment practices can have a significant impact on the number of returners applying to your vacancies. Best practice includes:

  • Advertising your job vacancy as suitable for returners
  • Enhancing and promoting your flexible working policies – including flexible working opportunities to job advertisements

Find further guidance on flexible working practices and the 100 ways to work flexibly campaign.

New unionlearn Partnership to Offer Funded Qualifications
October 22, 2019
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Unionlearn has launched a new training partnership with The Skills Network, offering funded qualifications via distance learning.

Unionlearn has signed an agreement to work with The Skills Network, to give union members, friends and colleagues access to a wide range of free, fully accredited, courses.

The Skills Network is one of the most successful providers of online courses and qualifications in the UK, and their distance learning platform is a way of learning remotely without needing to attend classroom lessons.

This allows learners to study at their own pace, in their own home or workplace learning centre, at a time that fits around people’s busy lives. Learners have the freedom to revisit areas of the course as little or as much as they need without having to keep the same pace as others. There is also full support from tutors via email.

There are over 30 fully funded courses to choose from including:

  • Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills
  • Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning
  • Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems
  • Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Retail Operations

Unionlearn Director Kevin Rowan said:

Workers consistently tell us that time and money are two big barriers to training and gaining new skills. Union Learning Reps work with employers to negotiate time and our new learning partnership with The Skills Network is a fantastic opportunity for workplace learners to access a range of courses.

The courses are fully accredited at Level 2 and can be studied at the learner’s own pace – allowing working people to build up skills they need to help with both professional and personal development.

To find out more about what courses are available and how you can sign up to start your online learning journey go to the unionlearn microsite at: 

https://unionlearn.theskillsnetwork.com/

Hints & Tips on Copyright Law
October 21, 2019
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Why do I need to know about it?

In a 24/7, interconnected online world, where we have the ability to share almost anything at a click or swipe, it can be hard to discern the original creator of something. 

This has actually been a problem since 1710, when the first copyright legislation was created. But as the way we create and consume content changes, new challenges are cropping up and the area is arguably more important than ever. 

“Copyright law is important for businesses and individuals because it is a mechanism to help protect individuals’ and businesses’ creative output. If you invest time and effort in creating intellectual property [IP] it is right that you should be able to benefit financially,” states Martyn Freeman, general counsel, BBC Studios. 

“Copyright law, along with trademark law, design law and patent law, protects people and entities who create something,” says Kieron Sharp, CEO of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). “The purpose of the law is to enable a person to make a profit from a creation – although the creator is entitled to give it away. It is also there to protect the product of a company where its profitability and the livelihoods of the workers depend on selling a unique product.” 

What do I need to know?

Copyright law in the UK is governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The act has eight fixed categories of ‘works’ that content must fall into to be covered. These are: literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, sound recordings, films, broadcasts, and typographical arrangements. 

While you may think only ‘creative’ organisations need to worry about copyright, these categories actually cover a broad spectrum. “A literary work could be an instruction manual. An artistic work could be a company logo,” says Joshua Marshall, a senior associate in the intellectual property and technology protection and enforcement team at Fieldfisher. 

The law can be a little grey over when something is copied and when it’s been inspired by another work, Marshall adds: “Existing copyright works can be used as inspiration, provided a qualitatively substantial part of the work is not taken. Just because a part of something has been copied, that does not mean copyright has been infringed.” 

The law could soon change, however. The EU’s Copyright Directive, passed in April 2019, is an effort to modernise copyright legislation, prevent piracy and ensure that original creators are paid properly. The UK has two years to comply, so depending on whether Brexit happens as planned we will need to update our laws. 

Regarding proper pay, Time calculated in 2014 how much artists earned from their songs being streamed on Spotify. Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’ earned between $280,000 and $390,000 (£228,397 and £318,125), which sounds substantial. But considering the song was streamed 46.3 million times, that makes each play worth less than a penny. This money could then be split further, depending on whether Swift owns the full copyright to the song (unlikely). 

Regarding illegal content sharing, video hosting platform YouTube is currently embroiled in talks over whether it will be obliged to roll out an upload filter that will catch and block copyright violations. 

When might I be in breach of the law?

You could be creating copyrighted material without knowing it. Written a staff handbook? That’s copyrighted. Designed a poster campaign? Also copyrighted. Unfortunately you probably don’t own that copyright. 

“Copyright law provides that an employer owns the copyright in works produced by its employees during the normal course of their employment. Where this is not the case – for freelancers and contractors for example – the company would usually take an assignment of the copyright in any work produced by those individuals while working under contract,” explains Freeman. 

“Unlike some other IP rights, copyright is an unregistered right meaning it arises automatically on creation of the ‘work’. As a result businesses and individuals create copyright works every day without realising it,” Marshall adds. 

If you work in a creative or innovation-orientated sector competition (and copying) could be rife. “It may be the case that employees within companies rip each other off,” says Sharp. Which could lead to workplace conflict over who actually created something. 

Anything else?

Copyright law will continue to be topical. The Intellectual Property Office is investing in educating the public, including school children, on copyright issues. 

“There are many threats from people who believe copyright is unnecessary and certainly politicians across Europe would like to see copyright law simplified or abandoned,” explains Sharp. “All of us who work in this world would love to see it simplified but it’s difficult to know how to achieve that – by its very nature its bureaucratic. Protection of creations is an absolute necessity and as yet no-one has come up with a better system.”

The article first appeared in HR Magazine News

Young People NEET or Activity Unknown: Comparative Data scorecard
October 21, 2019
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Data about young people’s education, employment or training status in each local authority in England.

This scorecard provides information about young people’s participation and attainment in education, employment or training in a single publication.

The scorecard:

  • allows local authorities and their partners to monitor their own performance and compare it with that of others
  • puts into context local authorities’ figures on the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (‘NEET’) and those with unknown education, employment or training status
Documents

NEET scorecard

NEET scorecard – metadata

Neet scorecard – underlying data

NEET scorecard – underlying data

Published October 2019

Only Half of 16-18 Year-Olds Plan on Going to University
October 21, 2019
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New research from jobs board, Monster.co.uk shows that today’s 16-18 year-olds no longer see a university degree as the only route to a good career. Just 53% say they are considering going to university, whilst 22% plan on completing an apprenticeship.

This is a significant drop since 2013 when 86% of young people said that a university education was important.[1]

With the average student graduating with over £50,000 of debt, 42% of school leavers are put off from going to university because of money.[2] And over a third (35%) believe that doing a degree doesn’t guarantee you a great job.

Monster.co.uk’s research shows that teenagers and their parents are broadly in agreement. When asked, 48% of parents and 60% of school leavers believe that getting a degree will get you a better job than completing an apprenticeship. Whilst 41% of parents think an apprenticeship is the best route for their child. 

Across the UK, parents and teenagers in the North East have the most positive outlook towards apprenticeships. 37% of teens in the region are considering an apprenticeship, compared to UK average of 22%. For parents in the North East, 69% believed apprenticeships stand you in better stead to get a good job than gaining a degree. With the North East currently home to the country’s highest unemployment rate, apprenticeships offer an immediate route into work, rather than going to university and graduating with huge debt and no job guarantee.[3]

Derek Jenkins, General Manager UK & Ireland, Monster.co.ukmonster.ie  comments: “With the cost of university tuition young people are moving away from the idea that degrees are essential to getting a good job. While it’s great to see more options available, making this huge decision at a young age is putting school leavers under a lot of pressure. At 16, 17 or 18 who honestly knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Instead of rushing into something, consider taking a year out to do internships and gain experience in different industries, or go travelling before making that decision.

“Whatever route you do decide to go down, if it doesn’t work out, don’t panic. You won’t be the first person to drop out of university or switch careers. Often it’s only through trial and error that you end up where you really want to be”

For anyone concerned that they won’t be able to get a good job without a degree, there are still a number of high paying and interesting jobs that you don’t need a degree for. Monster have created the top 10 highest paying jobs that you don’t need a degree for:

The top 10 highest paying jobs which you don’t need a degree for

1. Firefighter – Firefighters can earn up to £40,000 per year, depending on their rank. General managers can earn around the £30,000 mark, but if you become a station manager you may collect upwards of 40k. To start, you’ll need to pass written exams and aptitude tests. You must be fit too – a number of physical exams are included as part of the selection process.

2. Police constable – As a police officer, there’s a variety of different roles you can do, and it’s not all about being out on the streets fighting crime directly. Depending on where you are, salaries start at around £20,000 with the potential for growth of £45,000 and upwards for sergeants.  Once you get into inspector territory as your career progresses, you can expect up to £50,000.

3. Entrepreneur – You don’t technically need any qualifications to become a business owner – just a huge amount of drive, determination and a brilliant idea. With 1 in 10 Brits dreaming of owning their own businesses, what you earn will depend on how successful you are.[4]

4. Train and tram drivers – Newly-qualified drivers can earn up to £25,000, while experienced ones take home up to £50,000. There are some great benefits too, like free and discounted rail travel.

5. Training managers – Training managers conduct training programmes for employers in a variety of different sectors. The average national salary is £37,000, with the potential for more, depending on the company, industry experience and location.

6. Project manager – Project managers can work in a variety of different fields and are responsible for making sure the project is a success. Responsibilities include planning, budgeting, overseeing and documenting. The average salary is around £40,000 depending on the area and location.

7. Air traffic controllers – There’s no degree needed here, but you will need a calm nerve, 5 GCSEs and three years’ training to obtain your air traffic control licence from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). Starting salaries are £17,000 to £21,000, while experienced controllers can reach up to £50,000 depending on where you work and shift allowances.

8. Sales managers – Sales managers are responsible for leading their sales team to success. You’ll need excellent communication and management skills, as well as proficient IT knowledge. Basic salaries start at £18,000 and can reach a potential of £100,000 – and more thanks to commission.

9. Construction manager – Being a construction manager involves having good leadership and communication skills in order to coordinate and supervise projects. Although some of the work can be done from the office, this role also means working on-site – in all weather. On the plus side, Construction Managers can earn upwards of £50,000.

10. Hazardous-waste manager – It might not sound appealing at first, but managers in this field can expect to receive upwards of £36,000 to get rid of hazardous by-products produced by organisations such as hospitals and factories. The level of skill required to do this role makes it incredibly lucrative.

  1. Censuswide survey of 500 UK 16-18 year-olds
  2. Monster survey of 1100 UK parents
  3. Monster Jobs Confidence Index Q3 report
New Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund Delivered By In-Comm Training
October 18, 2019
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In-Comm Training has been named as one of the training providers for a new skills fund launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The Aldridge-based firm, which operates three technical academies in the Black Country and Shropshire, will be galvanising SMEs and larger firms to make the most of unspent Levy money currently available in the region.

The aim is to encourage employers to take on more young people in advanced manufacturing, digital skills and STEM-related apprenticeships as the area looks to cement its position as a global leader in engineering.

In-Comm Training’s employer-led approach to skills was one of the main reasons it has been chosen, with its team of expert advisers and trainers now responsible for supporting potential users of the fund to meet the criteria and recruit the right young people.

Bekki Phillips, Managing Director at In-Comm Training, commented: “Any new programme that encourages greater adoption of vocational learning is welcomed, especially one that specifically targets STEM courses.

“We have to raise the region’s productivity and using unspent Levy money to offer apprenticeships to 16-18 year-olds is a great, long-term way of ensuring we are growing our workforces of the future.”

She continued: “More than 146 standards are available, covering science, technology, engineering, manufacturing, construction and digital – all the skills we are going to need if we are going to exploit the UK’s strengths.

“The new fund will essentially remove the 5% fee that SMEs normally have to pay to take on an apprentice, making it easier to invest in young people.”

The West Midlands Combined Authority covers a population of 4.2 million across Greater Birmingham and Solihull, the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire and the Marches LEPs.

In-Comm Training’s proven track record in delivering apprenticeships, combined with a £7m investment in its three academies in Aldridge, Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury, has given it the perfect platform to be a crucial partner to the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund.

Derby College Group Students Take Control of Mental #Wellbeing
October 18, 2019
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Derby College Group (DCG) has launched a special toolkit to help students recognise triggers to mental health issues and better manage their own well-being.

The SEEDS programme is available on the college’s intranet and stands for the key ingredients to mental wellbeing: sleep, exercise, eat healthy, discuss and self-help. It offers practical advice on these key aspects and students to the support available both at College and externally.

Activities for students at Broomfield Hall college included petting sessions with some of the resident small animals and creatures at the Animal Care centre, craft activities and fitness challenges.

Helen Jefferson is DCG director of services for students and designated senior lead for mental health.  She explained:

“We have wide-ranging support in place for students but were keen to offer practical advice so that they can better recognise the triggers and understand the link between a healthy lifestyle and mental well-being.

“SEEDS has been specially developed within the college and we look forward to the feedback from students as they make use of the toolkit in the coming weeks and months.”

Meanwhile staff and Business students from the Roundhouse college supported East Midlands Railway’s R U OK campaign at Derby Station – encouraging passengers to speak up about stress and anxiety.

Students gave out leaflets and manned an Act of Kindness wall where people posted positive comments.

mental wellbeing 1

Timmy the Tenvec was amongst the animals available for a cuddle by students at Broomfield Hall college on World Mental Health Day

What do Graduates do? Regional Edition
October 18, 2019
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A region-by-region guide to graduate destinations in the UK – with an introduction by AGCAS, insight and analysis by Charlie Ball, and commentary and data for every region of the UK

Key findings

This year’s edition of What do graduates do? takes a look at graduate destinations in the UK by region, revealing the top jobs, occupations and industries that graduates enter in each area – as well as the main occupational shortages.

  • There is no ‘UK graduate labour market’ as such. Instead, the UK is made up of a complex set of interlocking, sometimes overlapping local and regional labour markets.
  • Each region of the UK has its own character, issues of occupational supply and demand, and its own guidance and employability support challenges.
  • The picture is of an urbanised jobs market based around London and its environs, and the larger regional centres of the country.
  • Jobs are not evenly distributed throughout the UK, and tailoring careers advice can help students understand what opportunities are in their area.

Each section of the report contains a wealth of data, trends and analysis about the region in question. For example:

  • The North East has seen a 25% increase in graduates entering business, HR and finance professions.
  • 36.7% of new graduates in Yorkshire and the Humber’s business and finance sector work in Leeds.
  • 29.7% of new graduates in the East Midlands work for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • 12.2% of all new graduates starting their careers work in the South East.
  • More than half of graduates working in London six months after graduation were originally domiciled in the capital city.
  • 90.6% of graduates starting their careers in Scotland had studied there.
What’s inside
  • Introduction by Gabi Binnie, policy and research manager at AGCAS.
  • What do graduates do in the regions? by Charlie Ball, head of higher education intelligence at Prospects.
  • Commentary and data for every region of the UK: North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, South East, South West, London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • National averages.
Download the full report

What do graduates do? Regional edition

  • File typePDF
  • Number of pages in document44  pages
  • File size6.7MB

Download PDF file What do graduates do? Regional edition

About the report

What do graduates do? Regional edition 2019/20 was published in October 2019. It is a region-by-region guide to graduate destinations in the UK, six months after graduation.

It is based on data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2016/17 survey, and the Employer Skills Survey 2017.

The report was produced by Prospects and AGCAS on behalf of HECSU. 

You can also read the regular What do graduates do? publication.

Written by
Photo: Laura Greaves

Laura Greaves Information analyst Prospects

Sky Betting and Gaming Tech Academy Graduate Programme Open​ for Applications
October 18, 2019
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The 2020 Sky Betting and Gaming Tech Academy Graduate Programme is now open for applications! The following is part of their promotional campaign.

If you’re passionate about Technology and want to work for one of the UK’s leading Tech companies on some of the country’s leading apps, websites and games, we want to hear from you!

Our unique Tech Academy Grad programme puts you on the path towards a company sponsored Master’s degree in Digital and Technology Solutions, accredited by Sheffield Hallam University.

We’re working to make a career in Tech more accessible and that’s why, whether you’re from a tech background or you’re completely new to the industry, our programme is open to all degree disciplines.

We’re also particularly excited to launch our programme on Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

We’re proud to announce that our 2019 cohort is 80% female increasing the diversity of future leaders in Tech. To find out more and to apply for our programme click the link below:

https://www.skybetcareers.com/tech-academy-graduate-programme

To view the promotional video following the link below:

Sky Betting & Gaming Tech Academy

Career Ambitions ‘Already Limited by Age of Seven’
October 17, 2019
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By Sean Coughlan BBC News family and education correspondent.

By the age of seven, children are already facing limits on their future aspirations in work, according to a report from the OECD international economics think tank.

Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s director of education and skills, says “talent is being wasted” because of ingrained stereotyping about social background, gender and race.

He is backing a project from the Education and Employers careers charity to give children a wider understanding of the range of jobs available.

Social mobility barriers

Mr Schleicher says children have begun making assumptions about what type of people will enter different types of work while they are still in primary school.

There are only “minimal changes” in attitudes towards career options between the ages of seven and 17, says the report produced jointly by the OECD and Education and Employers.

classroom

The report, warning of the barriers to social mobility, says too often young people consider only the jobs that are already familiar to them, from friends and family.

“You can’t be what you can’t see. We’re not saying seven-year-olds have to choose their careers now but we must fight to keep their horizons open,” says Mr Schleicher.

He is backing the Education and Employers’ efforts to bring people from the world of work into schools, with the aim of widening access to the jobs market and raising aspirations.

“It’s a question of social justice and common sense to tackle ingrained assumptions as early as possible or they will be very tough to unpick later on,” says Mr Schleicher.

Light-bulb moment

The OECD education chief will speak at an Education and Employers event in London on Tuesday, where the charity will announce plans to double to 100,000 the network of people who go into schools and talk about their jobs and career paths.

At present there are more than 50,000 volunteers, representing jobs from “app designers to zoologists”.

Jobs

The intention is to create “light-bulb moments” where young people can see a possible new direction and hear from role models.

Research for the careers report shows that young people often have very narrow ideas about potential job options.

The most common influences are the occupations of people in their family, the jobs they see in the media and the type of work they see as most likely for people of their gender and background.

‘Out of reach’

The findings show that in primary school, boys from wealthier homes are more likely to expect to become lawyers or managers while girls from deprived backgrounds are expecting to go into hairdressing or shop work.

Boys from deprived backgrounds were particularly likely to want to go into careers such as sport or entertainment.

Mr Schleicher warns of a mismatch between the limited range of aspirations and the changing demands of the jobs market.

“Too often young people’s ambitions are narrowed by an innate sense of what people from their background should aspire to and what’s out of reach,” says Nick Chambers, chief executive of Education and Employers.

“The importance of exposure to the world of work at primary age cannot be overstated,” says Paul Whiteman, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers. 

“The earlier children’s aspirations are raised and broadened, the better.”