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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.”

Take Charge of Your Career, or Someone Else Will
October 2, 2019
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The link below will take you to a LinkedIn article written by Dave Ulrich.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/take-charge-your-career-someone-else-dave-ulrich/

Meet The MD: David Gallagher Of NCFE
September 23, 2019
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“It doesn’t matter what you want to be, it’s who you want to be that’s important.” David Gallagher of NCFE shares his advice on the importance of being the best version of yourself, but always being yourself. 

What is it the company does?

Meet the MD: David Gallagher of NCFE
David Galagher

NCFE is a national awarding organisation with a strong heritage going back over 170 years. Passionate about designing, developing and certificating diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards, NCFE is at the forefront of technical education and has contributed to the success of millions of learners at all levels.

A registered educational charity, NCFE is proud to be recognised for exceptional customer service and sector-leading expertise. NCFE offers an extensive portfolio of NCFE and CACHE branded qualifications covering a wide range of products and services for leaners of all ages across many subject areas and specialisms.

NCFE is also a registered Apprenticeship End-Point Assessment (EPA) Organisation, specialising in health, care, childcare and education programmes. The NCFE family of businesses also includes Skills Forward, which offers online diagnostics to support the successful delivery of Functional Skills, and Peer Tutor, a new platform offering high quality, on-demand, tech-enabled peer-to-peer tutoring support at low cost.

NCFE is committed to changing the lives of learners and supporting people to progress and achieve. The organisation’s purpose is to ‘advance and promote learning’ – with a particular focus on social mobility; supporting those who need it most to improve their career and life chances through learning.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words

I lead NCFE including NCFE Awarding, Apprenticeship Services, Skills Forward and Peer Tutor. My role involves me shaping the strategy and cultivating the culture of the organisation, developing the leadership and management team to be the very best they can be. I also play a leading role in the growth and continuous development of our business, balancing our social purpose and commercial objectives to ensure that we continue to make a significant impact on the lives of learners of all ages.

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I joined NCFE in 2018 as managing director of NCFE Apprenticeship Services, leading a new team to deliver End-Point Assessment (EPA) solutions across a range of subject areas. I have since moved into my new role as chief executive at NCFE.

I have enjoyed a successful career in education, apprenticeships and skills for over 15 years. This has included working in the public sector for the Learning and Skills Council (now ESFA), several private sector training providers and also through establishing several successful new business startups within the sector.

In a previous role, I held a board position as group commercial director at Babington, a professional training organisation based in the Midlands. I also led the reshaping of the organisation and its proposition in response to the Apprenticeship Reform Agenda and emerging market opportunities. I successfully oversaw significant growth of the business, primarily though securing a variety of major corporate accounts. I also held board level responsibly for the creation of Babington’s innovative ‘NextGen’ blended delivery apprenticeship programmes which has received hugely positive feedback from customers and key stakeholders.

What do you believe makes a great leader?

I think it’s so important to be the best version of yourself as much as you can at work and to lead by example. I believe in my actions being aligned to my words and being bold and courageous, whilst also being considered. I also think that great leaders focus on helping those around them to be the best they can be.

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

I’m naturally a ‘get things done’ person and prioritising tasks when there is so much to get stuck into is a big challenge. It’s exciting, though, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The pace of our sector really keeps me on my toes!

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Spending time with my family and finding that balance between work and home is what alleviates stress for me. Taking time on an evening to cook and spend time with my wife and my two boys helps me keep a good perspective and value what is most important in life.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An archaeologist – basically because I wanted to be Indiana Jones! Then an architect and a golf course designer; I think I’ve always liked creating things.

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?

Apathy is the enemy of energy and is something I really can’t stand. I strive to ensure that people are connected to what we’re trying to achieve and inspired to take action. We really believe in the power that learning has to change people’s lives and we’re a key part of powering education and training. So apathy is essentially our enemy because it means that power is sucked out of something that is so important.

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

I believe that learning will change radically over the next five to 10 years, so I would like to think that NCFE has played a major part in developing new ideas and approaches that will create more opportunities for learning, particularly for those who need it most. I also see us being able to leverage more investment in learning through clearly demonstrating the significant positive impact that we’ve had on the lives of millions of learners in terms of their life and career chances.

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

I would say to be yourself. Be the best version of yourself, but always be you. I occasionally see leaders ‘playing the role’ and it shows. Plus, it must be exhausting.

As a leader, you have such an important role in setting the tone, the mood and ultimately the culture within your organisation. So I think it’s hugely important to be optimistic, consistent, balanced and fair.

Finally, I believe that feedback can be the single most important thing that can improve your performance as a leader. So, ask for feedback and ask people to be honest. Take the feedback with openness and humility, even when it stings.

What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?

I wish that someone had have told me that it doesn’t matter what you want to be, it’s who you want to be that’s important. We spend so much time asking children what they want to be when they grow up and that’s the wrong approach. Focusing on the kind of person they want to be should come first.

How To Attract, Motivate and Keep IT Staff – A Candidate’s View
August 29, 2019
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Every day, tens of thousands of people stream into some of the biggest offices in the country, wearing one of two coloured ID badges. One identifies the person as a permanent employee, while the other shows the person is a third-party contractor.

The following article is by Graham Smith, Head of Marketing at Microsoft recruitment partner – Curo Talent.

Curo Talent

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary. The cost of hiring a contractor can be equally high. Your hiring strategy needs to work; getting it wrong can be costly, and getting it right requires informed decisions.

In Curo Talent’s latest report: IT Talent Acquisition; the candidate’s view 2019, 875 IT contractors and IT permanent workers from across the United Kingdom gave their opinion on employment issues. There is some distinction between temporary and permanent staff viewpoints but also some common ground, enabling important conclusions to be drawn, backed up by data.

When asked what attracts them to a company, pay was the number one priority for both IT contractors and permanent staff.

Yet this was very closely followed by a desire for interesting work in both groups. 23 percent of IT contractors put interesting work as a close second, and 20 percent of permanent staff agreed.

The cerebral nature of IT work means that members of the IT Department need to be kept busy and engaged on projects. Too much downtime leads to boredom. This is underlined by numbers showing that 57 percent of non-IT staff have been in their current job for more than 5 years, compared to just 29 percent of IT workers.

So, while the salary and day rate may be the first thing a candidate looks at in your recruitment advertisement or job description, it’s equally important to make the job sound interesting and something that will look good on their CV. Invest time in crafting recruitment adverts that excite IT candidates, and maybe get your existing IT staff to critique the first draft.

For both permanent and contract staff the first port of call when seeking work is a recruitment agency, followed by job boards for contractors and company websites for permanent staff. What is revealing is that on average 30 percent of candidates have never applied to a job advertised on social media. While platforms such as LinkedIn may be valuable for hiring managers researching CVs, it would appear it’s not the first place candidates go to when hunting for new work.

So, what would push an IT worker to start job hunting? In both groups, poor management came out on top. 30 percent of IT contractors would leave due to poor management, compared with 19 percent of IT permanent workers. Without jumping to conclusions on the subtext of these responses, humans cannot help but draw on past experiences to answer questions like this.

Does this indicate that 30 percent of IT contractors have felt the effects of poor management in the past? Potentially. Clearly, it’s important for all staff to be onboarded at new companies effectively, before being supported and assessed fairly. It’s equally important that managers are trained to motivate their team and identify concerns in order to reduce staff churn.

When candidates were asked about their greatest challenge over the next 12 months there was a difference of opinion. Permanent staff stated increasing their salary and a better work life balance were the top of their list.

For IT contractors, concerns over IR35 and work life balance were the big challenges.

The extension of IR35 reforms into the private sector is due to take place in April 2020 and is already starting to cause confusion and chaos. Essentially, if any contracting work is classified as ‘inside’ the IR35, earnings will be taxed as if the contractor is a permanent employee.

For IT contractors, concerns over IR35 and work life balance were the big challenges. The extension of IR35 reforms into the private sector is due to take place in April 2020 and is already starting to cause confusion and chaos. Essentially, if any contracting work is classified as ‘inside’ the IR35, earnings will be taxed as if the contractor is a permanent employee.

So, do hiring managers have to make any changes in the present to accommodate for a mass exodus of contractors? Apparently not. IT contractors were also asked if IR35 will change their mind about doing contract work and only eight percent stated that it would. 

This underlines that IT experts choose contracting for a better lifestyle, not just for tax advantages. Working when and where they want, on projects they select, at negotiated rates, gives them the freedom and choice they value.

How to Develop a Learning Culture for Young Talent
August 19, 2019
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The following article is by Tristram Hooley. Institute of Student Employers

How can we best develop young employees? This new research on the development of early talent from the Institute of Student Employers shares key insights.

Tristram
Tristram Hooley

Young people can be one of the greatest resources for employers. When you bring young talent into your organisation you’re gaining access to new ideas, enthusiasm and the latest skills from the education system, but you need to think carefully about how to manage younger workers and organise training and development in a different way from established staff. 

Many young people will never have been in a workplace before and they will often have a lot to learn about how your organisation works.

Two of the key roles for learning and development professionals is to help line managers understand the skills that their new hires have (and do not have) and to provide them with a pathway to developing these staff. 

Strengths of new hires

In the Institute of Student Employers’ Student Development Survey 2019 we asked employers to reflect on what things graduates, apprentices and school leavers were good at (and not so good at). They reported that all entry level hires were typically good at the following things: 

  • IT and digital skills (including using Excel)
  • Numeracy
  • Presenting themselves effectively in the workplace
  • Staying positive and building effective relationships with others
  • Teamwork 
  • Writing

For learning and development professionals this is a really strong base to start from. New hires come out of the education system with some of the key building blocks that they will need for successful careers, but they are often less clear on how to make use of these skills within the workplace. 

Helping young hires to consider how to apply the skills and knowledge they have within your business is therefore a key objective of induction and early career development programmes. 

Weaknesses of new hires

The weaknesses that employers raised with the different types of young hires are also interesting (see table for full list). Key areas of weakness included: 

  • Business appropriate communications
  • Commercial awareness
  • Job-specific skills
  • Leadership
  • Resilience
  • The ability to manage up
Employer perspectives on what skills entry-level hires lack

All of these weaknesses are strongly related to transitioning into the workplace environment. Where young hires struggle is in learning how to operate successfully within the workplace, to work with others (including their managers) and to deliver what is expected of them.

This requires learning and development professionals to rethink induction processes and to view them as a process of cultural acclimatisation that may go on for an extended period of time – the focus of early career training

Given that early career hires have both strengths and weaknesses, an important issue is what employers can do to develop their hires and strengthen their skills. 

On average, firms reported that they were spending £3,850 a year on each of their entry level hires. Often using the apprenticeship levy to fund some or all of this. 

The available resources should be spent on both cultural acclimatisation and on developing specific skills and knowledge that is required to perform in role and progress in career.

Employers in our survey typically invested in the same areas that they reported young hires were weak in, although areas, like presentation skills and teamworking, continue to be important for training even though entry level hires arrive relatively strong in these things. 

How Employers Can Help Young Adults Integrate into the Workplace
July 5, 2019
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The following article is by Agapi Gessesse is Executive Director of CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, an organization dedicated to addressing economic issues affecting Black youth in Canada.

How many times have we heard that the next generation knows nothing about hard work? In reality, their version of hard work – and their expectations – just look different than that of their parents. With Millennials and Generation X making up most of the labour market, workplace culture is changing in many ways.

As I was preparing to write this article, I brought it up at one of our morning scrums (a scrum is a place where we solve problems, share ideas and current events or ask non-work-related questions). I asked our Millennial and Gen X employees and volunteers, what are three things that you think are the responsibility of an employer to help young adults integrate into the workplace? As a team, we came up with three main themes: career management, culture and engagement.

Career Management

Contractual work is increasingly common, which leaves workers uncertain of their employment status within organizations. To build trust and help young workers plan for their future, transparency is essential. Employers need to ensure workers are informed of organizational funding and the diverse changes that may occur in job requirements. Also, transparency builds loyalty; if you’re transparent around the decisions that you’re making as a leader or as an organization, professional and personal mutual respect can develop. It can also help build loyalty around a common goal. Millennials and Gen X employees may be eager to jump in on special projects or to develop new solutions, as they are unbelievably resourceful and like to problem-solve and learn new skills.

“To build trust and help young workers plan for their future, transparency is essential.”

At CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals, we experience how system navigation and social capital is a large barrier for young people moving upward in their careers. To help young people grow their career, organizations should have a culture of mentorship between senior-level leaders and more junior employees. Senior leadership should meet with employees at least once a year to discuss their goals and ways in which they intend to reach those goals. To be most effective in influencing career management, mentorship should lead to sponsorship; if an opportunity comes up that a young employee is ready for and has expressed interest in, a senior-level employee can extend an introduction and/or provide recommendations.

Culture/Engagement

Mental health and stress have become an epidemic among younger generations. This becomes costly for employers due to the fact that employees are taking time off work and, when they are at work, they feel overwhelmed and experience higher anxiety levels.

Other ways to address mental health and well-being in the workplace is by creating a physical space for employees to go and take a break that is pleasant to be in. At CEE, we incorporated a wellness room with a couch, a plant wall, soft colours and a relaxing environment. The colour schemes, plant life and leisure decor offer a zen environment. In some organizations, this area may be geared toward creating a game room or a staff lounge. Whatever it is, a place for employees to take moments to relax is of great importance.

A culture of acceptance can also help young adults feel more comfortable in the workplace. One of the things that was repeatedly spoken about during our scrum conversation was employers understanding younger generations and embracing them for who they are and what they bring to the table. For instance, if we look at CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, they were creatives, geniuses and business owners, but they dressed how they wanted. Youth have fresh ideas and perspectives to bring to the table, but if they are forced to conform to corporate ideologies of dress code and etiquette, they may feel their unorthodox perspectives are not welcome. This open-mindedness can be extended to allowing employees to take risks at work and ask questions without fear of retribution.

This generation wants to do things differently and, as employers, there are ways to make the most mundane things – like meetings – more engaging (i.e taking-walking meetings, having 1:1 mental health checks to see how things outside work are going, creating opportunities for employees to come together once a month and have a company-sponsored breakfast or lunch). All these things tell the next generation you, too, are willing to put effort in to meet their needs. Summer hours or flexible hours are also something this generation is looking for, which means employers need to create accountability practices for things like working from home or away from traditional work areas.

Making Change to Keep Talent

As our society changes and new generations dominate the workforce, we have to pivot and change our approach to retain talent. Practical, tangible changes need to take place, as loyalty is not gained so much by a paycheque any more, but by work culture, engagement and investment in employees’ professional growth inside or outside of the company.

Guide to Spotting the Stresses of Climbing the Career Ladder
May 30, 2019
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Landing a promotion, getting your first full-time job or returning to work after having a baby are all meant to be exciting milestonesgrayscale photography of hands under body of water in a person’s life. However, expectations of these events may leave employees feeling underwhelmed when they occur.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19th May), Bupa Health Clinics1 has released a new report which reveals Britons admit to feeling upset or down after comparing their experience of a milestone to someone else’s on social media. Eighty-five per cent of people said they felt this way when returning to work after having a baby; 70% said it happened when starting their first job and 64% said they felt low after getting a promotion and seeing someone celebrate the same occasion on social media. 

Bupa Health Clinics’ Medical Director, Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, says:

“This new research shows how important it is for business leaders to be aware of their employees’ highs, as well as lows. It is important for leaders to be aware of external pressure that employees can bring into work and not just recognising pressures of things at work. 

“It’s easy to assume that someone getting a promotion or returning to work after having a baby has good mental wellbeing, but that isn’t always the case.”

Read more

Unemployment Falls but Wage Inequality Rises Reports HR Magazine
May 16, 2019
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While UK unemployment hits another record low, the TUC warns of wage inequality between sector

UK unemployment dropped to 3.8% in the first quarter of 2019, marking the lowest rate since 1974, according to the latest labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, trade union the TUC has warned that wages and productivity remain low and wage inequality is on the rise. Its analysis of the latest ONS data found that wages in most sectors are still worth less than before the financial crisis, and overall real wages are still £17 a week lower than a decade ago.

Read more

5 Ways to Demonstrate Your College’s Positive Intent and Impact
May 8, 2019
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The following article is by  Anthony Horne – Emsi’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific.

One of the most common areas of discussion I am having with senior management in the Further Education sector right now is that Anthony Horneof “demonstrating positive intent and impact”.

This is perhaps unsurprising, since Ofsted have recently included sections on Intent and Impact in their proposed new Education Inspection Framework.

But with the spotlight on these themes, it is perhaps an opportune time to look at whether we can measure the outcomes of Intent and Impact in a tangible way.

The answer is we can, but what is particularly interesting is how many different angles of measuring Intent and Impact are highlighted by college leaders.

For example, here’s a sample of some of the comments I’ve heard over recent weeks from college principals, about what they would like to be able to measure: Read more

3 Women’s Scientific Contributions That Continue to Power Modern Society
April 7, 2019
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The following article published by www.here.com may be an inspiration to your clients considering a STEM-related career.

In honour of America’s Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a few of the technologies we rely on today that might not exist if it weren’t for the pioneering women who dared to dream…

three_women_in_tech_HERE

History may now look back on these women as innovators, though they seldom received acknowledgement for their work during their own times. But if it wasn’t for the brilliant and analytical minds of these three women, the likes of smartphones, cars, and computers might not operate as they do today. Read more