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Queen’s Speech: Workers’ Rights, Pensions and Immigration
October 16, 2019

Government announces commitment to the Good Work Plan, pensions dashboards framework and a new migration system, though it is unclear if any of the 26 bills will become law

The government will continue to commit to the proposals set out in the Good Work Plan, based on recommendations from RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor, it was announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday (14 October).

“My government will take steps to make work fairer, introducing measures that will support those working hard,” the Queen said.

She added that this would ensure employment keeps pace with “modern ways of working” while improving productivity and giving workers access to “rights and protections”.

Briefing notes for the speech said that high UK employment suggests that the “flexible market is working”. However, critics of the gig economy have previously noted that while unemployment rates are low there is a lack of high-quality work across the job market.

On Twitter Taylor wrote: “There is a welcome political consensus around improving working lives. The genuine challenge is making that intention a reality in our complex and changing labour market.”

Julian Cox, head of employment at iLaw, said the announcement offers reassurance to those who are worried about workers’ rights post-Brexit. “With Brexit just around the corner there is a growing fear, whether founded or not, that future governments may undermine the rights of workers. But this commitment to the Good Work Plan seems to suggest otherwise,” he said.

Cox added that employers that use contractors should prepare for potential changes: “Based to some degree on the recommendations of the Taylor Review, this plan will seek to give some clarity to contingent workers engaged via the gig economy and agencies. This will have an impact on employers and those that engage the services of freelancers as well, so they should begin to prepare themselves for this in the near future, as and when the bill passes.”

Yesterday’s speech also outlined the pensions bill, which will create a legislative framework for pensions dashboards to enable people to access information on their pension pots in one place. As part of the bill the government said it would provide more options for employers to support employees, including saving collectively and sharing potential risks.

Pension regulators will also be given greater powers to sanction employers that do not take pension responsibilities seriously and that “recklessly risk” people’s pensions.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, welcomed the news that “critical pensions changes are a post-Brexit priority” and encouraged all political parties to support the bill.

“While it remains to be seen if the speech or its constituent bills will be approved by parliament, we call on other parties to support the pensions bill as pensions dashboards and added protections for defined benefit scheme members should have cross-party support,” he said.

“The aspect of the pensions bill of greatest and widest importance is that concerning pensions dashboards. Millions of individuals have multiple pensions in which they’ve built up benefits over their working lives and pensions dashboards will for the first time allow them to see all of these, online, at the touch of a button. This offers a huge opportunity to help millions of individuals better engage with their retirement planning, understanding if they are on track for the retirement they aspire to and, if not, to take action accordingly.”

Cameron added that state pensions must be included in the dashboard. 

“For many their state pension is a significant proportion, so while the Queen’s Speech did not refer to this it is vital state pensions are also included in pensions dashboards from day one,” he said.

The speech also addressed plans for a new migration system which will impact businesses hiring individuals from outside the UK in the future.

The government said that it remains committed to ensuring EU citizens currently working and living in the UK have the right to remain. It had previously pledged to end freedom of movement, and the announcement of yesterday’s immigration bill is the first legislative step in making that happen.

The speech provided no further details as to what the new points-based immigration system will look like. But it has been reported that home secretary Priti Patel is considering introducing rules that would favour skilled migrants choosing to take up work in less affluent areas of the UK, including parts of the north of England or certain coastal areas.

The Queen’s Speech lays out the bills that the government will be introducing in the parliamentary session, before the Commons starts to debate its contents and moves to a vote to approve it. However, as the government lacks a parliamentary majority it is unclear if any of the 26 bills will become law.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said the programme, which includes four bills carried over from the last session, demonstrated Brexit is not the limit of the government’s ambitions.

“The people of this country don’t just want us to sort out Brexit,” he said. “This optimistic and ambitious Queen’s Speech sets us on a course to make all that happen, and more besides.”

But shadow home secretary Diane Abbott described the plans as an “uncosted wish list that the government has no intention and no means to deliver” and called it “nothing more than a pre-election party political broadcast”.

ESFA Reminds Providers it Will Take Action to Crack Down on Poor Sub-contracting Practice
October 3, 2019

ESFA Chief Executive writes to post-16 education and training providers to underline the strict sub-contractor rules

ESFA Chief Executive, Eileen Milner, has today (Thursday, 03 October 2019) written to education and training providers to remind them that the ESFA will take action where there is evidence any provider is not playing by its strict sub-contracted rules.

Under the rules, a sub-contractor can deliver education and training on behalf of a lead provider in receipt of ESFA funds. However, lead providers have a legal duty to make sure public funds are spent according to the ESFA’s sub-contracting rules, so that learners receive the best possible education or training. The majority of subcontracting is done well and in accordance with the rules.

In accepting ESFA or public funds, providers confirm they accept the terms and conditions of their funding agreement, and that they have a process in place to ensure that sub-contracted provision is delivered properly, securely and meets ESFA rules.

The letter builds on the action the ESFA has already taken this year to tighten its sub-contracting requirements.

This includes launching a review to improve subcontracting arrangements, more robust examination of data and information, holding individuals and organisations to full account, pursuing all avenues available and, where appropriate recovering public money.

Later this year, ESFA will also be seeking views from the sector to inform the ongoing review of sub-contracting.

More Than 10,000 Young People Attend Derbyshire’s Largest Careers Festival
October 1, 2019

More than 10,000 young people visited the Derbyshire Skills Festival this year – the largest careers event in the county.

This year’s Derbyshire Skills Festival included 3 events – 2 were held at Derby Arena and the other at the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield.

Skills Fest 2019 edited

Young people and their parents and carers met representatives from colleges, sixth forms, apprenticeship providers, universities and employers.

Careers advisors and adult advisors from the National Careers Service were on hand to speak to young people about the options open to them.

There were also a number of ‘have-a-go’ sessions for young people to try out new experiences including 3D printing, massage therapy and simulation eye goggles and new to the Derby venue this year were talks about college, apprenticeships and university which proved popular with visitors.

abinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale who attended the festival said: 

“The festival has once again been a great success this year and it was great to meet so many enthusiastic young people eager to learn more about their training, further education, employment and career options.

“More than 10,000 visitors attended the festival over 3 very busy days in Chesterfield and Derby and I was inspired about the wealth of young talent and enthusiasm we have across the county as they look towards building a bright future.

“Deciding which path to take after school is a really big decision and the festival is a place where young people can explore lots of different routes and get all the information they need in one place.”

IEP Elections 2019 – Vote for your IEP Board Candidates
September 11, 2019

Institute of Employability Professionals Elections 2019

Deadline for voting closes at NOON on Friday 20th September

The Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) is first and foremost a membership organisation. Its Members and Fellows can participate in a number of ways but it’s especially important to get involved in deciding who runs the IEP on a day to day basis, and sets its strategy. As you will probably know, that’s the IEP Board. You can read more about the make-up of the current Board here

Every year a number of Directors complete their term of office and stand down and IEP Members have the chance to stand for election as a Board Member; and to vote in the election as well.

This year there are [5] vacancies on the board and we have ten [10] candidates for you to choose from. You can vote for up to five[5] candidates in this election.IEP Membership

If you wish to become a Member of the IEP and acquire voting rights, please visit this page and register to join the Institute. 

Click here to read the Candidate’s Biographies, Election Statements and Register your Vote NOW

Careers England: Newsletter 143
August 27, 2019
DWP Touchbase: Edition 136
August 13, 2019

Touchbase is brought to you by the Department for Work & Pensions

Recent changes to the DWP ministerial team have meant that some areas of work have moved. Find out where responsibilities now lie

This edition of Touchbase includes information on:   

  • changes to Universal Credit 
  • how to contact a Universal Credit claimant’s case manager
  • the EU Settlement Scheme
  • support for survivors of domestic abuse
  • Working Chance
  • a consultation to reduce health-related job loss
  • volunteering whilst claiming benefits
  • joining Disability Confident
  • Post Office card accounts

To View Touchbase OnlineFollow The Link Below:


Mental Health First Aid England Newsletter
August 5, 2019

The August 2019 edition of the Mental Health First Aid England newsletter is available.

Take a read for the latest mental health campaign news, including their first social impact report celebrating our whole community’s hard work and passion for improving the nation’s mental health and updates about new MHFA England digital badges.

Read your August newsletter here

Update from GOV.UK – £20m Funding to Help 10,000 Young People into NHS Careers
July 25, 2019

The Health and Social Care Secretary has announced £20 million funding to support 10,000 young people from all backgrounds to get an entry level job or apprenticeship in the NHS. This will be matched by £7 million from the Prince’s Trust.

The 3-year pre-employment programme will begin later this year and will involve up to 150 NHS trusts in England. Participants will gain basic skills and experience of working in the NHS. The programme will focus on helping those who otherwise may not have the opportunity to gain this experience to overcome barriers and enter sustainable employment.

The programme will provide:

  • job application support
  • NHS trust work placements
  • courses in basic healthcare, literacy and numeracy skills
Young hospital receptionist speaking to a patient

It is expected to help 5,000 young people get into the NHS through entrylevel positions, with a further 5,000 joining through apprenticeships. Roles will include digital and business administration, healthcare assistant, facilities, catering and portering.

The programme will be delivered by The Prince’s Trust and supported by Health Education England (HEE). HEE has already worked in partnership with The Prince’s Trust to run 250 pre-employment programmes, helping over 1,000 young people find work in healthcare across the country.

Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust, said:

Each year, The Prince’s Trust supports thousands of young people across the country to develop the confidence and skills they need to get a job – with our ‘Get into Healthcare’ programme we help young people to take their first step into employment with the NHS.

We are delighted that through this enhanced partnership we will give thousands more young people across the country exciting job opportunities. Placing young people into frontline roles at the heart of our National Health Service will empower them to realise their potential, kick start their careers and make a valuable contribution to our society.

We believe that when young people succeed, our country succeeds and this is a great example of what that can mean in reality.

Skills Minister Anne Milton Resigns
July 23, 2019

Apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton has resigned from government.

She announced the move on Twitter ahead of the appointment of a new prime minister today, and cited her “grave concerns about leaving the EU without a deal” in her letter of resignation.

“Having abstained in the vote last week, today I have resigned from the government,” she tweeted just minutes after finishing up an appearance in front of the education select committee this morning.

“It has been an honour to serve on the Conservative frontbenches, my thanks to everyone I have had the pleasure of working alongside.”

Having abstained in the vote last week, today I have resigned from the Government. It has been an honour to serve on the Conservative frontbenches, my thanks to everyone I have had the pleasure of working alongside.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Milton, the MP for Guildford, was appointed skills minister in June 2017 and has overseen the development of the apprenticeship reforms including the levy, T-levels, devolution of the adult education budget, and has been an avid champion for more funding in the FE sector.

She used her resignation letter to tell the outgoing prime minister Theresa May how those working in FE “transform people’s lives, often giving those they teach a second or third chance, and releasing the potential of so many including those with special needs”.

“Sadly, FE rarely gets the attention it deserves and I have hugely appreciated your attempts to shift this balance,” she said.

“My current role, and the work I have done on apprenticeships, has been equally rewarding.”

Milton continued: “Our reformed apprenticeships are the very best enabler of social mobility I have seen. Alongside this the first T-levels will be taught from 2020 and when fully ruolled out they will transform technical and vocational education for young people.

“I pay tribute to, and thank, the incredible and dedicated civil servants in the Department for Education and my private office staff whom I have worked alongside.”

Her replacement is expected to be revealed later this week. They will become the sixth different skills minister since 2010.

Before the skills minister brief, Milton served as public health minister, and was the first woman to serve as deputy chief whip.

Careers England Newsletter: 142
July 16, 2019