Careers Wales: CareersCraft on Minecraft

CareersCraft is an exciting and innovative new education resource available on Minecraft Education Edition.

The CareersCraft world enables players to develop their future career skills through a series of inspiring lesson plans, all linked to the new Curriculum for Wales. Players will explore some of Wales’ iconic landmarks and discover more about Welsh heritage while they learn.

Players will be asked to complete a range of different challenges and activities at each landmark including: 

  • Learning about a wide range of different types of jobs in the creative industries as they organise a performance at the Millennium Centre 
  • Discovering jobs of the past, present and future while organising an event at Caernarfon Castle 
  • Developing their health and wellbeing by exploring their strengths and interests on a trip to Tenby
  • Mining for the jobs of the future underground at Big Pit, Blaenavon 

Welsh Government has made Minecraft Education Edition available to all schools and learners in Wales. CareersCraft is available on all devices on Minecraft Education Edition.

Where to find CareersCraft

Download our CareersCraft world for Minecraft Education Edition.

Please note: You will need Minecraft Education Edition installed on your device in order to be able to open the CareersCraft world download file.

The game allows students to prepare for the future workplace, building skills like collaboration, teamwork, communication and critical thinking. It also gives players freedom to experiment and encourages creativity. 

Downloadable lesson plans will also be available on both Minecraft Education and Hwb

Images from CareersCraft
CareersCraft: Tenby in a Minecraft world

Tenby in CareersCraft on Minecraft 

CareersCraft: Caernarfon Castle in a Minecraft world

Caernarfon Castle in CareersCraft on Minecraft 


CareersCraft on other systems and consoles

The CareersCraft world will soon be available publicly on an Xbox, Playstation, Switch, and Windows 10.

A demo edition is also available on the Minecraft Java Edition. The demo edition of CareersCraft is available on desktop only (Windows, Mac and Linux)

How to Explain Gaps on a Resume

By the Australian Careers Service

logo

Many people will experience a gap on their resume at some point or other, and with every single industry being impacted in some way by COVID-19 this year, it’s going to be even more common in the years ahead. 

Life happens. It might feel awkward having a gap on your resume, but you’re not alone. The good news is, many employers know and understand this. A gap is no longer the ‘big deal’ it used to be — as long as you explain why it’s there positively. 

Here are four ways to do just that: 

1. Prepare your answer 

The best way to explain any gap on your resume is to assume you’ll be asked about it and make sure you prepare your answer. 

Time out of the workforce can often make us feel less competitive and cagey about our reasons for taking time off. Spend some time thinking about why you were out of work, how long for, and what you did with that time — what did you learn and how will it benefit you in this role? Keep answers concise and confident.  

2. Just be honest 

Employers will question longer gaps because they want to make sure you’re committed to the job you’re up for — if you’ve taken time out for medical or family reasons, they’re seeking reassurance you can do the job. 

This is your chance to demonstrate your professional honesty. Make sure answers don’t come across as ‘confessional’ but focus on the confidently reassuring the employer you’re ready, motivated and committed to take on the job at hand. 

3. Put a professional spin on it 

Think about any transferable skills you may have developed. If you took time out following a redundancy to travel, you could share what you’ve learnt and how travelling has helped you improve as a professional (though time management, organisation or adaptability for example). 

If you were let go, make sure you don’t bad-mouth your last employer. Stay positive and focus on what you’ve gained from the experience, not what you’ve lost. 

4. Don’t panic 

Remember: the employer isn’t seeking to catch you out, they’re just curious. Don’t get defensive or anxious if asked about a gap on your resume.

Bring the focus back to why you’re in the room and what makes you the ideal candidate. You don’t have to go into in-depth detail during the interview if the gap was for personal reasons. Advise the employer you took time out for personal/family reasons and it allowed you to refocus on what you’re looking for now in your career. Then launch into how that led you to apply for the job you’re interviewing for and the unique skills you have for the role. 

Speaking as someone who’s sat on interview panels numerous times and observed how candidates responded to being asked about employment gaps, I can assure you it’s those who don’t treat the gap as an ‘issue’ that reassures all of us in the room that it isn’t. 

Jobcentre Guidance on New National Covid Restrictions
November 11, 2020
0

DWP PRESS RELEASE 9 November 2020: On 31 October 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will be introducing new national COVID-19 measures in England to protect the NHS and save lives.

This means from 5 November 2020 until 2 December 2020 in England, the following updated jobcentre guidance will apply to customers, and will ensure essential support is provided whilst keeping colleagues and customers safe.

  • Jobcentres will remain open, as they have throughout this pandemic, to provide essential services and support to those whom we cannot help in any other way.
  • We will ensure that this support continues to be delivered in line with the latest government and PHE guidance – such as maintaining social distancing and rigorous cleaning regimes – keeping our colleagues and customers safe.
  • Customers will continue to be supported by Work Coaches online and over the phone, with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.
  • Our Work Coaches will continue to deliver employment support programmes such as Kickstart and JETS, by phone or through online channels.
  • Face-to-face assessments for disability benefits remain suspended.
  • If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit, you should contact us as soon as possible to make a claim in the usual way.
  • For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact us immediately so we can ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

On 3 November 2020, we also confirmed that the suspension of the Minimum Income Floor – for self-employed customers claiming Universal Credit in England, Scotland, and Wales – has been extended to the end of April 2021. This means that self-employed customers on Universal Credit will receive a payment that reflects their earnings at this difficult time.

For Scotland:

On 2 November, the Scottish Government introduced a new five level tiered system. The following will therefore apply to jobcentres and customers in Scotland:

Levels 0, 1 and 2 guidance:

  • Customers will continue to be supported by Work Coaches online and over the phone, with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.
  • All jobcentres to remain open – maintaining social distancing and regular desk and communal space cleaning in line with current Covid-19 guidance.
  • If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit you should contact us as soon as possible to make a claim in the usual way.
  • For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact us immediately so we can ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

Levels 3 and 4:

  • For these levels, the jobcentre guidance in place for the new national restrictions in England until 2 December 2020 (above) will apply.

For Wales:

The Welsh Government introduced the two week ‘firebreak’ restrictions in Wales on 26 October 2020 that will last until 9 November 2020. The jobcentre guidance in place for the new national restrictions in England until 2 December 2020 (above) will apply during this period.

After 9 November 2020, the Welsh Government announced an easing of restrictions. From then, the following will apply to jobcentres and customers in Wales:

  • All jobcentres to remain open – maintaining social distancing and regular desk and communal space cleaning in line with current Covid-19 guidance.
  • Customers will continue to be supported by Work Coaches online and over the phone, with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.

For Northern Ireland:

Please contact the Department for Communities for more information on measures introduced in Northern Ireland – 028 9082 9000.

A DWP spokesperson said:

Jobcentres have remained open throughout this pandemic to provide vital support and essential services to those whom we cannot help remotely.

These new measures will ensure that we can continue this support while keeping our colleagues and customers safe, following the latest Government and PHE guidance.”

Regulator’s New “5-Minute Guides” for Charity Trustees

The Charity Commission has launched a new set of simple, easy to understand guides to help trustees.

The Charity Commission, the charity regulator for England and Wales, has launched a new set of simple, easy to understand guides, designed to help trustees run their charities in line with the law.

The new guides cover five key aspects of charity management – a ‘core syllabus’ covering the basics that the regulator expects all trustees to be aware of.

They explain the basics of:

This ‘gateway’ level guidance will make it easier and quicker for all trustees to check what is expected and to find more detailed information if needed, which is all the more important as charities respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Commission’s research and testing with trustees have helped shape their design and content.

The publications come as part of the Commission’s programme, outlined in its 2020/21 Business Plan, to deliver updated core guidance and an improved website, so that it is easier for trustees, who are overwhelmingly unpaid volunteers, to access the information they need. This is in line with the Commission’s strategic priority of ensuring trustees have the tools and understanding they need to succeed, and helping them maximise the difference they make.

The new tools have been launched to coincide with Trustees’ Week, the annual celebration of charity trustees and the contribution they make to society.

Australia’s Best Workplaces for 2020

Global workplace research and consulting firm, Great Place to Work Australia, has released the 2020 edition of its much-anticipated annual publication, 50 Best Places to Work.

logo

The report is based on research conducted by surveys and evaluation of a company’s policies and procedures.  

While the report always provides fascinating insights into what makes a company great to work for, this year’s report is especially interesting, given the disruption to all industries due to COVID-19. The organisations in this report have continued to demonstrate excellent leadership and care for their employees in the most trying of times. 

The report is sectioned into three different categories based on size: 1,000 or more employees, 100– 999 employees, and 100 or fewer employees. 

1,000+ employees 

The average company with over 1,000 employees is around 35 years old, with majority being in the public sector (80%), and 20% private. Around 90% off staff are employed on a full-time basis. Revenue growth for these smaller companies is 36%.   

With a staff of 1,330, first place goes to worldwide technology leader Cisco Systems Australia, who develop tech equipment for consumers and other businesses. Cisco takes pride in a culture that promotes and encourages personal and professional development.  

Here are the top 5 for companies with 1,000 or more employees: 

  1. Cisco Systems Australia (IT)
  2. Salesforce (IT/software)
  3. SAP Australia (IT/software)
  4. MARS Australia (manufacturing and production)
  5. DHL express (transport and logistics)

100–999 employees 

The average company with 100–999 employees is around 23 years old. 72% of them are in the private sector, 24% public and 4% are not-for-profit. Around 85% off staff are employed on a full-time basis. Revenue growth for these mid-sized companies is 47%, and job growth is 15%. 

First place goes to multi-service IT provider, Interactive — Australia’s largest privately owned IT company. The report says that during COVID-19, Interactive were dedicated to replicating people’s experiences in a physical office in a way that translates to remote working.   

Here are the top 5 for companies with 100–999 employees: 

  1. Interactive (IT)
  2. AbbVie (biotechnology and pharmaceuticals)
  3. Canva (IT/software)
  4. SafetyCulture (IT/software)
  5. BPAY Group (financial services/banking and finance)

100 or fewer employees 

The average company with fewer than 100 employees is around 21 years old — 80% of these are in the private sector and around 85% off staff are employed on a full-time basis. Revenue growth for these smaller companies is a whopping 71%.  

The top spot went to SC Johnson & Son, an American company with an Australian team of just 54 people. Their mission is ‘to develop and market products that are environmentally sound and do not endanger the health and safety of consumers and users’.  

Here are the top 5 companies with 100 or fewer employees: 

  1. SC Johnson & Son (manufacturing and production)
  2. Insentra (IT/IT consulting)
  3. Morgan McKinley (professional services/staffing and recruitment)
  4. Beaumont People (professional services/staffing and recruitment)
  5. LogMeIn Australia (IT/software)

You can view the full top 100 here or download the full report

9 Tips for Choosing the Right Professional Referees
November 5, 2020
0

By Helen Green 

Referees are key to job search success. In a competitive job market adversely impacted by COVID-19, it pays to ensure the referees you’re putting forward are the most appropriate for the job you are applying for.

Be strategic when putting forward someone to speak about your work, achievements, skills, and cultural fit for the job you are in the running for. Here are just a few tips that may help. 

 1. Choose your referees carefully  

Referees need to know your character and your work contributions. How well do they know you? Your referees should be able to speak about your achievements, strengths, and areas in which you may need further developing — in the context of their work relationship with you. If they cannot speak about these adequately, the referee phone call may become uncomfortable for them, which ultimately reflects poorly on you as the candidate. 

When putting forward a former manager, you should be very confident they would respond positively to the question ‘would you rehire this person?’ If you have any concerns about this, think carefully about asking them to be a referee. 

2. Compiling your referee list 

Aim for at least three people who might be able to support your job application. This helps you match the referee to the job and avoids over-reliance on the same person, which can be challenging if you are on the shortlist for several positions. Some recruiters now want to speak to your referees before starting the recruiting process, which is a practice proving difficult for many candidates and their well-meaning referees. Referee fatigue is real. 

3. Other people you could consider as a referee 

The challenge is made more difficult for young people with limited work experience, those who have lost contact with their former referees or their referees are long retired, people who have been out of the workforce for an extended period, the self-employed, or those whose last job/relationship with their manager did not end well. Think broadly.  

Some of the following suggestions may work for you: 

  • Current supervisor (if appropriate)
  • Former supervisor with current employer or previous employer
  • Manager of an adjoining internal division who knows your work well
  • Long-standing former client(s) or external stakeholder you maintained a strong relationship with and provided a service relevant to the job you are applying for
  • Person you mentored or managed who really benefited from your leadership
  • Former colleague with whom you worked closely who has now been promoted internally or externally
  • Colleague in another section of your company who you helped/provided specialist advice to on several occasions, resulting in a specific outcome
  • Chair of a committee or internal working group you contributed to substantially
  • Representative of an organisation you volunteered with who knows you well
  • Chair of the school council when you were an active parent representative
  • Sporting coach, teacher, academic, trainer – particularly for young job candidates

4. Match the referee to the job 

This is important. Consider the key selection criteria for the job and the organisation’s profile. A recent client was shortlisted for a position as a senior client relationship manager. She included a supervisor and we discussed the possibility of adding a former long-term client she had collaborated closely with on a key project, to give his perspective as a client. He was delighted to help — this impressed the recruiter and she was successful. 

5. Is your most senior referee essential? 

Often, though not always. There is little point listing the company CEO, as opposed to your supervisor, unless they are briefed appropriately and it is clear they know you and your work. Putting forward both is ideal, as they can offer different perspectives. 

Context matters too. If you are a candidate for a senior leadership role, consider putting forward someone you have managed or professionally mentored as a referee, as evidence of your leadership style. 

6. Communication is key 

Maintain contact with your referees and brief them. Apart from reflecting poorly on you, you cannot expect your referee to do a good job selling you if they have not heard from you in years and have no idea what job you have applied for. Make sure to reconnect and aim to keep your referees as current and relevant as possible. 

Some suggestions: 

  • Provide your referee with an updated copy of your CV, highlighting anything important.
  • Brief them about the job you have been shortlisted for and why you have applied. Do not assume they will know why you are changing careers or jobs.
  • Remind them of your key contributions during the time you worked or volunteered together – especially as they relate to the job you are applying for.
  • Update them about anything significant that may have happened since you worked together; e.g. if you won an award, worked on a high-profile project, were absent from the workforce for several years.

7. Avoid listing referees on your CV 

It is widely understood that candidates will need to put forward referees, so it’s unnecessary to include them. It can also be counterproductive, as a recruiter may call your referees at any time during the recruitment process before you can brief them about the job. Better that you control the selection of your referees and put forward their contact details when requested. Of course, if you have a very high-profile and relevant referee you would love to flag on your CV, perhaps include a brief testimonial from them on page one of your CV. 

8. Make sure contact details for your referees are up to date 

Providing the wrong contact details or outdated information about your referee’s current position is a red flag for hiring managers. Ask your referees how they would like to be contacted and the best time to contact them saves time for the recruiter and makes you look efficient. 

9. If you left your last job on difficult terms 

This can be tricky. If asked, be honest, positive and provide alternatives. Most people have experienced a situation where, for various reasons, a working relationship does not work. A client had worked for an organisation for several years, and for the previous 12 months experienced a difficult working relationship with his line supervisor, who was new to supervising. His position was made redundant. Short-listed for a role, he had been asked for the contact details of his most recent supervisor. We discussed how best to present an appropriate and honest explanation as to why his former supervisor and a senior manager from another division would be able to provide more substantive information relevant to the position he was in consideration for. He was successful. 

Finally 

Check your referees are happy to remain on your list — this is crucial. Most importantly, thank them for their time and belief in you. 

Helen is a qualified careers practitioner and director of Career Confident in Melbourne. Previously, Helen worked in senior education and career program management roles, primarily at the University of Melbourne.

YOU can read the original version of this article here.

Money and Pensions Service – November News
Talk Money Week: 9-13 November

Download your Participation Pack using the link below

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Talk-Money-Week-2020-participation-pack.pdf

New Zealand: Jobs in Skill Shortage

Skill shortages happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills for the job. Knowing which jobs are in skill shortage can help you choose the best job option or decide what subjects to study. 

careers.govt.nz

Reasons for skill shortages

Skill shortages can happen because:

  • there aren’t enough workers with the right skills available
  • turnover is high because workers are unhappy with pay or working conditions 
  • there is a general labour shortage, such as during low unemployment.

Skill shortages can change due to:

  • changes in technology or the economy
  • skilled workers moving to another country
  • an ageing workforce.

Immigration New Zealand’s skill shortage lists 

When jobs appear on Immigration New Zealand’s skill shortage lists, this means the Government is actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in that role in New Zealand.

Find out what jobs are currently on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term, regional, and construction and infrastructure skill shortage lists within the following industries.

Want To Fail In Your Job? Here’s How!
October 29, 2020
0
How to fail gracefully

There are many ways to falter at work or in your job search, including taking setbacks personally, focusing on perfectionism and shunning advice from a friend or coworker.

“It’s important to have a mind of your own and march to your own drum, but don’t be a know-it-all,” writes workplace author Bryan Robinson. 

Full Story: Forbes

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.