Women’s Work/life Balance Stalled due to Coronavirus
December 16, 2020
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COVID-19 and national lockdowns have stalled progress for working women as they have had to adapt their working lives more than men. 

Research by the Women’s Budget Group (WBG) and Nottingham University Business School found that working class women and female small employers and self-employed workers are doing more unpaid work throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thirty-three per cent of employed women with children at home adapted their working patterns, while 16% reduced their hours in order to spend time on childcare and home-schooling during the first lockdown. 

This compares with 25% of similar men who adapted working patterns and 9% who reduced hours. 

The research also found that small employers and self-employed women were more likely to do most routine housework than any other social group. 

Clare Lyonette, professor at Warwick Institute for Employment Research presented the new report, Carrying the work burden of Covid-19 : working class women in the UK, at a WBG webinar (14 December). 

She said: “We found that 19% of working-class women carried out over 21 hours a week worth of household chores such as ironing, washing up and cleaning.” 

The findings are part of a new report which looks at the difficulties experienced by working class women throughout the pandemic. 

A further 23% of small employers/self-employed women carried out household chores, compared to 9% of managerial/professional women. 

“We found that 73% were always or usually doing the cooking, 76% the laundry, 68% the grocery shopping and 71% the cleaning,” added Lyonette. 

In September, employed women in a couple were always or usually responsible for laundry in 68% of couples, cleaning in 62%, cooking in 57% and food shopping in 54%. 

Report co-author Tracey Warren added: “It has been working-class women who have had to become adaptable during times of crisis. Very few working-class women had access to good quality flexible working arrangements.” 

Angela O’Hagan, senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences in the Glasgow School for Business and Society WBG member said inequality in unpaid work is at the heart of the inequality that women face in the labour market. 

She said: “This reduces the amount of time that women have for paid work which means that women work fewer hours and as a result, earn less.” 

The research surveyed employed women in heterosexual relationships aged between 18 and 65.

Online Research Library Marks Ten-Year Anniversary
November 20, 2020
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The online library provides a comprehensive repository of the different and effective approaches to employer engagement and careers education. It brings together the latest thinking with selected research published over the past 40 years.

Education and Employers logo

Free to access and searchable by keyword, it features summaries of a wide range of studies with abstracts and links to the full reports. Over the last decade the library has become a valuable asset for researchers, academics and policy makers. With research articles and reports from leading figures and education bodies, visitors can examine issues such as employer-led learning, youth employment, career related learning in primary schools, and social mobility, as well as information on gender, ethnicity, and specific subject study such as STEM.

The main library is complemented by an extensive on-line video collection and a physical library. The video collection comprises over 150 videos of researchers discussing their work and its implications for policy and practice, together with conference presentations and seminars.

The physical library located in the Charity’s offices just off Fleet Street, London contains many out-of-print reports, including material from the former Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick, and is accessible by appointment.

Online research library marks ten-year anniversary

The library plays an important role in shaping future direction in the field and driving positive change, explains Dr Anthony Mann, Senior Policy Analyst (Education and Skills) at the OECD:

To understand the impacts of employer engagement in education on young people, employers and society and the characteristics of its most effective and equitable provision, it is essential to draw on high quality research and important to understand how schools and employers have sought to work together in the past.”

“Globally, I am aware of no better resource for accessing high quality materials than the Education and Employers library. Very well catalogued, it an essential resource for anyone interested in ensuring that today’s policy and practice is undertaken in light of existing knowledge.”

The online library can be accessed here.

Chris James, Emeritus Professor of Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Bath reflects on the value of the Research Library:

First things first, Education and Employers has a crucial role in connecting the worlds of education and employment. The links between those two worlds are very significant for society generally, and for young people in schools and colleges, the link between those two worlds is central to their future lives.

It’s easy to develop ideas and conclusions about the relationship between those two worlds on the basis of personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Important though those ideas are, insights from high quality research provide a much more secure and robust base on which to develop theory, make policy and to determine the best actions in practice. Having a secure research-based foundation on which to build thinking about the relationship between education and employment is essential. It informs and underpins high quality policymaking and practice. That’s why the Education and Employers research resources are so important. They provide that essential secure research-based foundation which serious researchers, policymakers and practitioners require. Developed over 10 years, the collection is an invaluable resource for all those who have a serious interest in employee engagement in education, youth employment, education pathways, careers education and all those places where the worlds of education and employment interact.

The library charts developments in and changing attitudes to employee engagement in education and with articles covering a very broad range of issues including employer-led learning, the involvement of the world of work in school governing, careers education in primary schools and social mobility. Very usefully, the research is ‘open access’ – those with an interest in research reports and articles are free to access, which reflects Education and Employers values and charitable status.

The Education and Employers’ research collection has three sections, all of which inform a research-based understanding.

  1. The research library provides succinct and clear summaries of over 200 significant research articles and reports from the last 40 years. Importantly, the articles have been selected on the basis of their academic quality and relevance to careers education and matters that connect the realms and employment and education. The way the library’s structured enables those using it to search by key words – very helpful as any (serious) researcher will tell you. The library gives the abstract and the link to the full report/article. It is a comprehensive collection comprising academic papers and wider research reports from leading research and education bodies including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); The UCL Institute of Education; The International Labour Market; World Economic Forum; the Edge Foundation; the Sutton Trust; the Department for Education; Social Mobility Foundation, King’s College, London; the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD); Universities UK; and importantly, reports of the Education and Employers own research.
  2. The video library is a collection of over 150 videos where leading figures in the field talk about their research. This library also contains footage of conference presentations, symposia and seminars, which are often places where new ideas under development are shared and discussed. Many of these videos are particularly valuable for the way they bring research to life, give valuable summaries and syntheses different ideas.
  3. Education and Employers research blogs are an important source of research information. They provide insights into ongoing research and issues that are emerging in the research world about research projects, and syntheses of ideas. This part of the library contains over 50 blogs. It is a unique collection.

In addition to these e-resources, Education and Employers has a large collection of ‘hard copies’ of research reports of various kinds. They welcome visitors to peruse the collection in person. Make sure you book before you go, though. Just contact the Education and Employers via research@educationandemployers.org to arrange a visit.

All those who have an academic research interest in careers education and the relationship between the spheres of education and employment – academics and masters and doctoral students – will find the research library particularly valuable. It’s so useful to have the key articles and report gathered in one easily accessible place. The videos and the blogs will also give them valuable insights.

Policymakers (those who develop government policy) and practitioners (those at the chalk face as it were) will find the resources in the video library the blogs of particular interest. They may also find the research library resources useful and stimulating. Drawing on the high-quality research reported in the various articles/reports will enhance the authority of their work

Importantly, all those using the resources, both the e-resources and the ‘hard-copy resources’ will find them to be focused, organized and accessible.

In developing the research library, Education and Employers have put together a significant resource for researchers, policymakers and practitioners. I would urge all those who have a serious interest in the interplay between the education world and the employment world to explore the library in depth – it will enhance the quality of their work.

Chris James

November 2020

Being Selfish Won’t Help Your Career
September 15, 2020
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By Laura Counts

A new study finds that being manipulative and disagreeable isn’t the path to success. 

The researchers conducted two studies of people who had completed personality assessments as undergraduates or MBA students at three universities. They surveyed the same people more than a decade later, asking about their power and rank in their workplace hierarchies, as well as the culture of their organizations.

They also asked their coworkers about the study participants’ workplace behaviour and rank. Across the board, they found those who scored high on disagreeable traits were not more likely to have attained power than those who were generous, trustworthy, and generally nice.

Read More

Student Experience in the Time of COVID-19 – Survey Results
September 10, 2020
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By Tribal Group, 07-September-2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 was, in modern times, unprecedented. And it required an unprecedented response from education institutions around the world.

Now, over six months on from the emergence of the global pandemic and with many institutions preparing for the start of a new and potentially uncertain academic year, it is useful to gauge how students feel about their institution’s response to COVID-19 to date.

How have institutions performed on communicating key information to their students throughout the event? How successful was the – in most cases, very rapid – transition to online learning?

What should institutions be aware of in terms of student experience as they navigate through the COVID-19 era?

Read more »

Pandemic Forces Early Retirement in Over 50s
August 17, 2020
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An estimated 198,000 workers over the age of 50 dropped out of the workforce entirely between March and May this year, suggesting that economic pressure on employers is forcing many into an early retirement.

In analysis of the latest ONS data, recruitment firm Rest Less found that the over 50s, of all other age groups, experienced the sharpest rise in economic inactivity for this period.

This means that rather than being unemployed, people had left and were no longer seeking work due to leaving to care for someone, studying, illness or retiring.

For December 2019 to February 2020, 13.9 million people over 50 were regarded as economically inactive by the ONS. Between March and May this year, this number rose by 1.4% to 14.1 million.

By comparison, the economic inactivity level of those aged 25 to 34 declined by 1% to 1.6 million in March to May 2020, and inactivity in 18 to 24-year-olds declined 0.8% to 1.6 million.

The data adds to concerns that the government’s support schemes are overlooking other key areas of the workforce. ONS analysis from May this year also showed an increase in the number of over 50s making Universal Credit (UC) claims.

Over 50s that have left the workforce will be unable to claim their state pension until the age of 66, and an unstable job market may leave them with little options for employment, so UC or independent savings may be the only options available to them.

According to other recent findings from the Aegon Center for Longevity, 73% of UK employees are offered a retirement plan by their employer yet just 30% have a backup plan.

Rest Less founder Stuart Lewis said: “In the wake of the toughest job market in decades, there has been a significant rise in the number of workers over 50 who have lost hope in finding a job and feel forced into an early retirement that many simply cannot afford.”

He warned that, with the furlough scheme ending in October, the situation for the over 50s could be worsened in months to come.

He added: “Sadly, these numbers are simply the canary in the coal mine, we expect this to leave a permanent scar on this generation and their employment prospects.”

Speaking to HR magazine, Lewis urged people leaders to consider the benefits of employing diverse age groups.

He said: “Workers in their 50s and 60s bring a huge amount to the workforce, such as knowledge, experience and great people skills. We see tremendous benefit in having age diverse teams of both young and old working together. This leads to great diversity of thought and experience, but also improves overall workplace happiness.

“Over the last 10 years, the over 50s have been the driving force of economic growth, responsible for nearly 80% of all of the UK’s employment growth. Losing them early from the workforce means we risk losing essential skills and a key growth dynamo to help drive us out of this recession.”

Jamie Mackenzie, director at Sodexo Engage Topic, said it’s important that employers do not forget the value over 50s bring to the workplace.

He said: “They’ve had the years to build knowledge and expertise that can support both the leadership and wider team – particularly at a time when companies need to stand out in a challenging market.

“They are known to be more committed and loyal, so from a business continuity standpoint, it makes sense to not overlook this age group when recruiting. It’s also important to take a look at any biases currently in the system, meaning that older employees are at a disadvantage.”

The Centre for Better Ageing found in 2018 that nearly a quarter of businesses (24%) are under-prepared for the challenges of an ageing workforce, and only about one in five employers are actually discussing their strategies for managing these workers.

Mackenzie added: “To unlock the potential of employees regardless of their age, businesses must look at understanding how their current policies are meeting the needs of staff, so that everyone can come to work as their best self and be as productive as possible.”

Report: WHERE DO I GO FOR CAREERS SUPPORT?
June 5, 2020
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In April 2020, Careers England and the Career Development Institute (CDI) in partnership with dmh associates, conducted an online survey to identify how careers companies and careers professionals in England were responding to the impact of Covid-19 and the social distancing lockdown measures.

View the full report here

The main purpose was to investigate how careers companies and practitioners were responding to customer needs and to identify current trends and recommendations to inform public policy.

The survey took place between 24th April 2020 to 10th May 2020. This was primarily aimed at careers companies and practitioners in England1 . The findings highlight a key question for citizens during and after the pandemic is where do I go to for careers support?

Main recommendations include the urgent need for:

 a national Youth Employment Taskforce with cross-departmental ‘buy in’ and joint action plan. Government departments to adopt a more joined up approach, particularly between DWP and DfE, including the National Retraining Service, to clearly signpost individuals to quality-assured career development professionals’ support services.

• every young person in school or college aged 16 -19 (in Years 11-13) to be immediately guaranteed a careers interview with a trained and qualified career development professional to ameliorate the effects of exams cancelled and to ensure young people’s progress is not impeded. This would ensure young people would have as a minimum careers support contact worker and a personalised plan. The Department for Education (DfE) has a duty of care to these young people.

• an enhancement of the existing September guarantee so that all young people, particularly those facing the likelihood of unemployment including apprentices and trainees, receive careers coaching, guidance and/or mentoring support.

 a highly visible national media campaign to promote careers support available to young people and adults, including telephone helpline, web resources and where to find local careers advice from trained and qualified careers advisers/ coaches.

 a broadening of the National Careers Service to include face-to-face careers support for all young people, similar to other parts of the UK i.e. a recognisable place to go for high quality careers support. The role and remit of the Careers and Enterprise Company should also be reviewed in this context and the DfE / Education and Skills Founding Agency (ESFA) should revisit and assess the efficacy of the current Payment-By-Results arrangement.

 a local careers support framework in each local authority/local enterprise partnership (LEP) area designed to champion young people to employers with a relentless focus on opportunities, particularly those with special educational needs (SEN) at risk of being pushed further away from the labour market.

 a minimum guaranteed income for those most vulnerable to assist and support their transition to learning, training and/or work.

• a system in place for career development professionals to track destinations and offer additional wrap around support for those most vulnerable and those not in education, employment and/or training (NEETs).Whilst this is a Local Authority responsibility, it is not carried out to the standard that was provided a decade ago given Local Authorities budget cuts – greater investment is needed at the present time.

The National Careers Service in England already works with Local Authorities, Community Groups, Colleges, Housing Associations, Voluntary organisations etc., serving the needs of adults. More recently, area-based contractors have a new responsibility for providing a telephone helpline service.

Prior to the pandemic, European and world organisations called on governments to invest in career guidance. Many employment support programmes start with CV writing or providing evidence of job search; however, the first challenge for many people who experience job loss or other barriers is to build their confidence, understand their own interests and skills, and identify opportunities that might fit them well.

Whilst many careers companies and careers professionals currently feel under-valued by government in England, they know for sure that in whatever scenario that lies ahead their services will be needed and they are poised and ready to respond.

Share your views with dmh associates here.

WYCA Adult Education Budget Strategy
May 28, 2020
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The Plan

In March 2020, West Yorkshire agreed an ambitious devolution deal with the Government, which will see our region have a directly-elected mayor from May 2021.

Your Voice

The agreement, which is the biggest ever of its kind, unlocks more than £1.8 billion in investment to drive up living standards through better transport, improved skills and stronger businesses, while tackling the climate emergency. This means that West Yorkshire will have control of the £63m annual Adult Education Budget (AEB) for the area enabling us to align spending on skills more closely with the opportunities and needs in the local economy.

The main purpose of the AEB is to provide adults with the skills needed for entering and sustaining employment, an apprenticeship, a traineeship, or other further learning. The funding pays specifically for learning programmes (predominantly qualifications) and provides an element of learner support funding for those with learning difficulties and disabilities.

The AEB Strategy has been developed in order to ensure that we are ready to deliver the Adult Education Budget by 1 August 2021. The plan builds on our existing strategies and the needs of our area, providing a clear foundation upon which we can build the skills of people and businesses within West Yorkshire. The timescales set out by the Government mean that it is necessary to develop the plan prior to the election of the West Yorkshire Mayor.

Click here to view the AEB Strategy.

Devolution of the Adult Education Budget will only proceed if the wider devolution deal is agreed and implemented. If you are interested in knowing more about the West Yorkshire devolution consultation, please 

Click here to visit our West Yorkshire Devolution webpage.

Have your say

As part of our engagement activity and transparency around devolution across West Yorkshire we would like to invite you to provide feedback on the AEB Strategy via an online survey using the link below.

This survey will be open from 25 May to midnight on 12 July 2020.

You can access the survey here.(External link)

Next steps

Following the consultation period, the survey results will be analysed and your feedback will be considered in the development of the final AEB Strategy. This plan will be considered by the Combined Authority to ensure that we are able to meet the required timelines for the delivery of the devolved AEB for the 2021/22 academic year.

Majority of UK Workers Say They Work Effectively from Home
May 22, 2020
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Over half (55%) said their industry as a whole can operate effectively based on remote work.

The LinkedIn study, which is run fortnightly, also showed that UK confidence about jobs, finances and careers sits at +13 on a scale of -100 to +100. This is more positive than negative, but only slightly.

From the data across April, it emerged that those working in the healthcare sector felt the most confident, at +24. They were particularly optimistic about their job security.

On the other hand, education professionals were among the least confident, sitting at a score of +10. They felt particularly low levels of confidence around progressing their career in the next year.

In terms of job-seeking, survey respondents felt generally pessimistic. When asked about their confidence in their ability to get or hold onto a job, the average score was -7 on the index for the week from 27 April to 3 May, down from -2 between 13 and 19 April.

Those working in sales were the most pessimistic, with 77% expecting the number of available jobs to fall in the next two weeks.

Martyn Dicker, director of people at Unicef UK, told HR magazine that it was unsurprising to see that two-thirds of UK workers believe that they are effective when working remotely. 

In addition to technology’s ability to facilitate remote work, Dicker said: “I also believe that a key ingredient of workers feeling that they are effective, is their strong desire for it to work.

“We know that greater flexible working is desired by many, with the CIPD 2019 Job Quality Index stating that 68% of UK employees would like more flexibility. It’s worth noting that this is just 2% more than the 66% believing that they are effective in the LinkedIn study. 

“The UK fares particularly poorly when it comes to job demands interfering with family life, so maybe this forced home working experiment will provide UK employers the impetus to drive change and embrace more flexible working.”

LinkedIn’s study also showed that optimism about company futures was low.

The study found that only 22% of those at director level or above thought their company would be better off in the next six months, with 45% saying they thought it would be worse off.

Among those in non-management roles, 18% believed their firms would be better off and 37% thought they would be worse off.

Emma Jayne, area director of people and culture at the Dorchester Collection, said: “The future is so uncertain right now and it is at the forefront of people’s minds constantly I’m sure. 

“As employers it’s important that we are offering regular, clear and honest communication on the situation our businesses are in and if we can offer reassurance then that should be the very first thing that we are doing. 

“It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions at the moment and HR’s most critical role right now is to take care of the mental wellbeing of their people.

“The results around the outlook for the next six months I think are very realistic. Despite the government encouraging a return to work to boost the economy, the reality is the economy is going to take a long time to recover from COVID-19.”

Finally, the index found that 49% of UK workers plan to increase the time they’re spending on online learning in the next two weeks, corroborating other recent studies on the upskilling trend.

Nearly half (48%) said they hoped this learning would advance their career path, while 47% wanted to learn something unrelated to work. 

A third (32%) were interested in improving their emotional wellbeing through online learning, while 30% wanted to contribute to society and help others.

Jayne added: “Online learning is such a gift at the moment. We are all in our homes with some time on our hands which is very different from the fast pace of life that used to be’ normal’. 

“I am certain we will see an upswing in a more joined up and kinder society when we come out of this pandemic, I wonder if people will be inspired by the amazing work of the NHS and other services and they will see an upturn in people wanting to pursue a career in those fields.”

The LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index surveys around 1,000 UK LinkedIn members in each wave.

New Entrepreneurs Emerge in the Face of Adversity
May 12, 2020
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A new survey has found that one in ten Brits have plans to start their own business because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new entrepreneur in her new logistics factory holding a checkboard

UK start-up competition The Pitch has surveyed 2,000 UK adults and has found that 11% say they want to start a business because of the coronavirus crisis. Around one-fifth want to start a business to give back to society.

Key reasons for starting a business include:

  • To earn extra money (47%);
  • To have something to do (26%);
  • Because I finally have the time to start a business (21%);
  • To give back to society (17%);
  • It’s my only option (16%).

The number of people that want to start a business because of the crisis is highest in London, Sheffield and Newcastle. Of those that are interested in working for themselves, 16% have started on a plan, 11% have spoken to a financial adviser, 11% have spoken to potential customers and 10% have registered a company.

Just over 3% of those surveyed have already launched a business because of the crisis. The figures are even higher in Brighton (5.08%), Glasgow (6.02%) and Birmingham (4.95%).

The Pitch, which was launched in 2008, helps start-ups create a pitch and gives them the platform to use it. The competition is now open for applications and The Pitch will run five free, day-long business boot camps across the country to find the UK’s most exciting new start-ups before the final in November. The Pitch is also offering every applicant free one-on-one sessions covering everything from marketing to cashflow.

“We know business is tougher than ever right now,” said Chris Goodfellow, founder of Box 2 Media, which runs The Pitch. “We also know that amazing, world-changing businesses will be built during the crisis.

“Every year, we see The Pitch finalists trying to solve some of the biggest challenges we face, from mental health to tackling food waste. There’s no doubt the UK’s entrepreneurs are going to step up in the wake of the coronavirus crisis too.”

Several of The Pitch judges founded their businesses during recessions and went on to build hugely successful companies, including equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and Moneypenny.

Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “I’m a strong believer that difficult economic times are a breeding ground for innovation; it’s no coincidence to me that the likes of Funding Circle, Crowdcube and Ratesetter emerged from the banking crisis.

“Britain has a proud history of innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship and it’s vital we continue to support our start-up community, who will be crucial in helping our economy emerge from this crisis.”

Ed Reeves, co-founder of Moneypenny, said: “Moneypenny was born as we entered a tumultuous few years of recession. There wasn’t a single person who felt it was a good time to start trading, including pretty much every potential investor … Out of adversity comes opportunity.”

Research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) suggests that businesses are also adapting in the face of the pandemic.

An IoD survey of business leaders has found that four in ten said their organisation had made changes – especially home working and a greater focus on digital services – that they intend to keep in place after lockdown.

In addition, almost one in six of those polled said they had launched a new product or service due to the circumstances. The majority of these were related to the country’s medical response, from producing hand gel to procuring PPE.

Edwin Morgan, IoD director of policy, said: “Many companies are finding a way to innovate through the obstacles. The solutions they create might just end up becoming the new normal.”

Written by Rachel Miller.

Careers England Covid-19 Survey
April 24, 2020
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Careers England is working with The CDI and DMH Associates to gather intelligence on the impact of Covid-19 on the careers sector.

They would really appreciate you completing our survey which should take no more than 10 minutes.
 
The results will allow them to speak with a collective voice to government on financial and other implications of C19, and ensure we represent the views of our members. 
Take the Survey