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Older Women Staying in Work Because of Pension Age Rises
March 18, 2020

The number of women aged between 60 and 64 in work has increased by 51% in a decade.

According to research by over-50s jobsite Rest Less, between October and December 2019 there were 976,376 women aged between 60 and 64 in work, compared to the 644,674 women in work in the same period in 2009. 

From 2009 to 2019 there was an increase of 331,702 (51%) female workers between the ages of 60 to 64. 

This contrasts with an increase of only 127,882 (13%) in the number of men in work aged between 60 and 64 over the same period. 

The analysis also showed that the number of women aged 60 to 64 in work has increased dramatically in the 20-year period since 1999, increasing by 610,673 from 365,703 (a 167% rise). 

Stuart Lewis, founder and CEO of Rest Less, said the rapid increase in women’s state pension age since 2010 has had a profound impact on women in their sixties. 

Until 2010 women could receive their state pension at 60. The Pensions Act 2014 started the process of equalising men’s and women’s pension ages, and of raising the eligibility age to 66 for everyone. 

In 2016 women had to be 63 to receive state assistance, moving to 65 in 2018 and 66 in 2020. 

The state pension age will then rise for everyone to 67 by 2028.

“As well as adjusting to the financial implications of the new state pension age, the added frustration for many comes from the continued challenge to find meaningful work in their sixties when age discrimination in the workplace remains all too prevalent,” said Lewis. 

Patrick Thompson, programme manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “For the first time in the UK there are more women aged 60 to 64 in work than not. This is a seismic shift, with profound implications for the economy and for women in later life. 

“For many women this will be a positive choice with work providing financial independence, an opportunity to save for retirement, meaning and purpose. 

“For others this will be the culmination of inequalities that have built up over a lifetime, remaining in low-paid, insecure or poor-quality work and delaying retirement through financial necessity. 

“The rising state pension age has clearly had an impact on women’s working lives. But while longer lives and changing patterns of work mean many of us can expect to work for longer it’s vital that people are able to be in work that improves their current and later lives.” 

The data analysed was provided by the Office for National Statistics in February 2020.

By Emma Greedy: HRMagazine

Female Earnings in the UK Need to Increase by £93 Billion to Close the Gender Pay Gap
March 10, 2020

Despite holding firm in 16th place, the UK is being outpaced by greater improvements in female employment prospects in other OECD countries- despite £189 billion GDP prize if the female employment rate could match Sweden, according to PwC’s latest Women in Work Index, which analyses female economic empowerment across 33 OECD countries.

The top three countries in the Women in Work 2020 Index are Iceland, Sweden and Slovenia, while the UK remains in 16th place.

The size of the prize

While the UK performs above the OECD average and is second only to Canada when compared to other G7 economies, its position has barely budged since 2000 when it stood in 17th position, despite improving its performance across all five indicators.

Jing Teow, economist at PwC, commented: 

“Although progress has been made across both the UK and OECD, the rate of improvement is still slow, despite the prospect of huge economic gains from increasing female participation in the workforce. Indeed both the OECD and UK would receive massive boosts to GDP amounting to US$6 trillion (£4.63 trillion) and £189 billion respectively if they could match the best performing country, Sweden. 

“In order for these gains to be realised, businesses and governments need to work together to help get more women into work and ensure that there is a fair and equal pay structure. It’s also crucial that women get the right opportunities to upskill in the face of increasing automation as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

If the female employment rate across the OECD countries matched Sweden, OECD GDP would be boosted by more than US$6 trillion (£4.63 trillion). Closing the gender pay gap across the OECD would increase total female earnings by US$2 trillion (£1.54 trillion). Female earnings in the UK would increase by £93 billion – a rise of 20%.

Overall, the OECD countries achieved incremental gains to female economic empowerment. Iceland and Sweden retain the top two positions for the fifth year in a row, with Slovenia in third place. Czechia experienced the biggest improvement in its ranking of all OECD countries, rising four places from 23rd to 19th, whereas Estonia and Ireland recorded the biggest decline. 

Which countries are making the most progress for women in work?

The five indicators that make up the Women in Work Index are:

  1. Gender pay gap
  2. Female labour force participation
  3. Gap between male and female labour force participation
  4. Female unemployment, and
  5. Female full-time employment rate
UK regional inequalities declining

The South West, Northern Ireland and Wales are the top performing UK regions, with all regions except Scotland improving their absolute score since last year.

Encouragingly, regional inequalities in women’s employment across the UK are declining, with every region except Scotland improving since last year. The East Midlands, North East and West Midlands achieved increases in their index score of more than 12% since last year, mainly driven by broad-based improvements to female labour force participation and full time employment rate. The South West unseated Scotland as the UK’s top region, improving on all indicators, while Northern Ireland jumped from 4th to 2nd. 

Top 3 UK regions for female economic empowerment

London performed the poorest on the index due to poor female labour force participation and a high female unemployment rate. It fell three places to 12th, despite being the region that has achieved the most significant improvement in its index score since 2010, indicating that progress has stalled in the capital.

Kay Cooper, Managing Director for RPO for EMEA at recruitment giants Korn Ferry, believes businesses are putting too much emphasis on talent acquisition when attempting to create a more diverse business, and need to focus more on creating an enduring shift in their culture:

“The capital is a leader in most aspects of Britain’s economic life, so it’s surprising and disappointing to see it fall in the UK’s regional ranking for female labour force participation. Part of the problem lies with our approach to diversity and inclusion – while a lot of businesses have initiatives in place, not all are excelling in this area. Given London’s high concentration of businesses, this problem is particularly felt in the capital’s figures.

“A big part of the issue is that too many businesses lean on their recruitment and talent acquisition functions to single-handedly create a more diverse and inclusive organisation. While these functions do, of course, play an important role in attracting a more diverse workforce, efforts should not be limited to this stage.  

“D&I requires a long-lasting shift internally to ensure that the talent that talent acquisition identify and attract is properly nurtured once on-boarded within an organisation. After all, if these diverse employees leave after six months because the culture doesn’t actually include them, then all of that effort becomes redundant.”

On average across the G7, women account for only 30% of the tech workforce, and even fewer women occupy the top echelons of tech companies, highlighting the need for businesses toimprove opportunities for women in the sector.

According to PwC’s Women in Technology Index, which is part of Women in Work, Canada is the best performing country within the G7 in terms of gender representation and equality in the tech sector, with France in second place.

The outlook is less rosy for the UK. In contrast to the main index, on which it is the second best performing country in the G7 and ranks in the top half of the OECD overall (16th), the UK is fifth out of the G7 in the Women in Technology Index. Its poor performance is driven by worse than average performance on all indicators except the share of women on boards in the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector.

Kelly Metcalf, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said:

“Today’s PwC’s latest Women in Work Index is disappointing for the technology sector. Evidence shows that diverse workforces allow organisations to provide collaborative environments where different styles of thinking can come together – allowing for more innovation and better business performance. It’s disappointing that some companies in the tech industry – and generally in London – have yet to realise this.

“There is no quick fix to this. Businesses need to commit to a big vision to achieve gender balance, driving awareness of the opportunities that exist in technology roles today, but also proactively work to ensure a healthy pipeline of talent. For instance they need to encourage more girls to pursue STEM careers by championing the great success stories of existing women in tech, take creative routes to attract diverse talent and ensure diverse talent is properly retained, developed and nurtured with an organisation. 

“If we want to continue to see the UK as a ‘digital first’ nation, we must ensure we are investing in all talent. However, only when organisations fully understand the role that gender diverse organisations can play in driving business growth and success will businesses across the UK be consistently motivated to act differently and bring change.”

Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC UK, commented:

“Technology is front and centre for businesses and wider society, so it’s vital we take steps to make the industry as inclusive as possible. It’s encouraging to see progress being made in opportunities for women across the UK as businesses invest across the country, but more needs to be done. 

“Long-term, targeted solutions will be vital in making changes sustainable. We know that in areas such as STEM women are under-represented. In order to build and sustain a pipeline of diverse talent, businesses need to work together to encourage girls at young ages through initiatives such as Tech She Can – a programme which inspires and educates young women to get into tech careers.”

The study indicates that AI and new technologies, such as robotics, drones and driverless vehicles, could displace jobs for women, but can also create new ones. Fewer female jobs are expected to be lost due to technology relative to jobs lost for the male population in the OECD, but the gains from job creation are likely to be bigger for men than women. The health and social care sector, the largest employer of women in the OECD, is expected to experience a net increase in female employment as a result of technology. However, the wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing sectors in the OECD are expected to experience a net decrease in female employment as a result of technology.

As workers are increasingly impacted by technology – a recent PwC global skills survey found that more than half of workers globally believe that automation will either significantly change or make their job obsolete within the next decade – it is vital that governments and businesses work together to offer more training in digital skills and STEM subjects, and support retraining into other jobs in sectors where the “human touch” is crucial.

Women in Work Index rankUK region
1South West
2Northern Ireland
5South East
7North West
8North East
9East Midlands
10Yorkshire & Humber
11West Midlands

For more information on the report please visit www.pwc.co.uk/womeninwork

Admissions Review to Ensure a ‘System Which Works for all Students’
March 3, 2020

A major review, launched today by the Office for Students (OfS), poses fundamental questions for the future of higher education admissions.

Image result for office for students

The OfS is seeking the views of students, staff at universities and colleges, schools and all those with an interest in education, on a range of issues relating to university and college admissions.

The review will consider how the admissions system works for all students, whether they are studying full or part-time for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, whatever their age.

The consultation asks for respondents to consider issues including:

  • the use and accuracy of predicted grades and personal statements in undergraduate admissions
  • the role of contextual information in admissions for students from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • the use of unconditional offers, which have increased significantly in recent years
  • the use of incentives and inducements in the admissions process across undergraduate and postgraduate study, and providers’ approach to marketing their courses
  • the overarching transparency, fairness and effectiveness of the system for all students.

Three future options for reform of the system are set out in full in the consultation. In brief, they comprise:

  1. Retaining the current system with reforms: if the system is seen as generally working well, one option would be to consider a series of reforms to improve it further which could have a significant benefit for students. Consideration may be given to how the use of contextual admissions can be increased; whether to retain personal statements and ensure greater transparency around entry requirements and how applications are assessed.
  2. Post-qualifications offers for full-time undergraduate admissions: under this option applications would be sent to providers at broadly the same time as they are now. However, offers would only be made after students receive their A-levels (or other equivalent qualification).
  3. Post-qualification applications for full-time undergraduate admissions: various models for this option exist. The OfS sets out one where students might register their interest in particular higher education providers ahead of receiving their results, but wait until they had their results to complete their application.

Respondents are also asked to suggest any other system, or whether a combination of options would best improve the admissions system for full-time undergraduates as well as how the admissions system can be improved more broadly, for all students on all courses. 

The OfS is not proposing a preferred model for the future, recognising that any fundamental changes would require significant cooperation and coordination with a wide range of bodies with an interest in education. Rather, it is using its role as the regulator for higher education in England to help generate debate and discussion about ways in which the admissions system could be made fairer, and help ensure that students from all backgrounds are able to get the most from their studies. The OfS will examine next steps from this autumn.

Commenting, Sir Michael Barber, chair of the OfS, said:

‘There is widespread recognition that certain aspects of the current admissions system are not working, and may be especially unfair on students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A review of admissions is also being carried out by Universities UK, and UCAS are exploring reforms to the admissions process. We will look to work closely with them – and everyone with an interest in the system – as we look forensically at changes that can shape our admissions system in a way which is matched to the needs, achievements and potential of students from all backgrounds.

‘This is fundamentally an open consultation and a genuine attempt to seek views from as wide a range of respondents as possible. Any changes to how and when students apply and receive offers will be complex. They will require the agreement of policy-makers, universities and colleges, examination boards and schools – and will need to demonstrably be in the interests of future students.  We want to use our powers to convene, to consult and to discuss how we can arrive at a system of admissions where the interests of all students are paramount.

Freelancers Report High Job Satisfaction
February 11, 2020

Full-time freelancers have rated their job satisfaction an average of 4.1 out of five in a survey from financial services provider Payoneer.

The survey revealed that flexible hours and the freedom to work from home were the top reasons for freelancers’ high satisfaction.

Sixty-nine per cent of the 7,414 global freelancers surveyed work full time or exclusively on a freelance basis. The remaining 31% said they freelance as a ‘side hustle’ alongside a more permanent role, and rate their job satisfaction on average at 3.8 out of five.

Speaking of the organisational advantages of using freelancers, Katherine Easter, chief people officer at the Pension Protection Fund, told HR magazine: “Freelancers can bring great benefit to organisations because they approach the needs of the business differently from internal employees and evolve the way things are done.”

Giving freelance copywriters as an example, Easter described how as outsiders to the organisation they are able “to challenge the way complex and technical employee policies are written so that they are free from commonly-used internal jargon and are easy for all to understand”.

In addition, she said, “they bring different expertise on what’s worked effectively elsewhere. This supports in-house teams to evolve the way people strategies are implemented.”

Respondents cited maintaining a sufficient stream of work and income as notable disadvantages to this way of working, but higher lifestyle satisfaction ratings tallied closely with income satisfaction across the board.

Those earning between $5,000 to $10,000 (£3,872 to £7745) per annum from their freelancing rated their income satisfaction on average at 3.3 out of five, and lifestyle satisfaction at 4.1.

Those earning between $25,000 and $50,000 (£19,364 and £38,728) rated their income satisfaction slightly higher at 3.6 out of five, and lifestyle satisfaction rose too to an average of 4.3 out of five.

Past reports have estimated that up to 50% of workers will be freelance by this year, though the nature of freelance work in the UK is unclear because of a review into IR35 off-payroll working rules.

Eyal Moldovan, general manager at Payoneer, stated: “Fuelled by demographic changes, technology advances and shifting work paradigms, the freelance economy is booming as freelancing becomes a preferred lifestyle choice for more workers around the world.”

Good Workplace Relationships Have Largest Impact on Job Satisfaction
February 4, 2020

Good relationships with colleagues are essential to job satisfaction, according to 77% of workers.

Out of the 2,141 people surveyed, 1,537 said they were satisfied in their current role, 500 said they were dissatisfied, and those remaining responded ‘not applicable’.

Satisfied workers generally considered payment less important than feeling connected to the purpose of the organisation and having a challenging role too.

The Institute of Leadership & Management’s study, New Decade, New Direction, found other important factors for job satisfaction including access to training and development (68%), being trusted to take on more responsibility (66%) and a good work/life balance (32%).

Of dissatisfied employees in the survey, 47% said that they feel undervalued by their managers. Other factors found to be linked to dissatisfaction include having a lack of growth and development opportunities (45%), low salary (34%) and negative company culture (33%).

To ensure a positive working environment and therefore drive retention the report advised employers to not assume how people derive satisfaction from their work and pay attention to non-financial aspects of a job.

Kate Cooper, head of research, policy and standards at The Institute of Leadership & Management, told HR magazine:

“It’s often put down to luck when we work with a great group of people, but it’s also a result of a company culture that recognises the social aspects of work and builds in the essential time for people to get to know each other.”

Cooper suggested that if employers create a social and friendly workplace culture colleagues have time to form relationships and bond. However, she warned there can be pitfalls for HR.

“Once the foundations for good relationships have been laid they’re very difficult to undo. But if you get it wrong it takes a long time to fix. So get the social aspects of work right from the beginning: it is such an important investment because what we’re essentially investing in is retaining our talent,” she said.

The research was carried out in partnership with career development consultancy Amazing If and the Triangirls tech community.

More Than 20,000 Retail Job Losses in 2019
January 24, 2020

Job losses on the high street rose in 2019, with 945 more employees being let go than in 2018, an ABC Finance report shows.

In 2019 21,826 retail staff were made redundant. In comparison, there were a recorded 20,881 job losses in 2018 and just 6,884 in 2017.

The research combined the most widely-publicised instances of businesses entering into administration from SMEs up to iconic UK retail institutions. ABC Finance’s research also highlighted the closure of 9,000 physical UK locations and more than 125,000 redundancies from 2010 to 2019.

The retail areas hit hardest by administration between 2010 and 2019 were clothing (41%); household essentials (19%) such as furniture, plumbing and electricals; and general shopping (10%).

Those areas lesser affected were beauty and accessories (5%); food stores (5%), other – pet shops, stationers and travel agents (5%), restaurants – chains/cafes (4%); and gift stores (4%).

Well-known companies such as Thomas Cook, Mothercare and Jamie’s Italian went into administration in 2019, resulting in thousands of employees losing their jobs.

However, Martin Newman, founder of The Customer First Group and former head of e-commerce at Ted Baker and Burberry, said that once the current political uncertainty is resolved, the UK’s business administration issue will ease.

“Political uncertainty has fuelled a drop in consumer confidence and a subsequent tightening of belts. This has led to various brands losing sales on a like-for-like basis,” he said.

The report also suggested that a move away from ‘bricks and mortar’ shopping to online retail has been partly to blame for the death of the high street.

ABC Finance warned that these closures are ‘concerning’ because retail is estimated to generate 5% of the UK’s GDP.

Two-Fifths of Customer Service Employees Looking for New Job
January 10, 2020

The new year is predicted to encourage nearly 40% of customer service workers to look for a new role 

Nearly two-fifths (39%) of employees in customer service roles are likely to look for a new job in January, according to quality assurance platform EvaluAgent.

The study found that 40% of customer service staff are less happy in January than any other month.

It estimated around 5% of customer service workers will leave their jobs in January. Given that there are more than 640,000 people in these roles in the UK businesses could stand to lose around £201,757,500 in January alone, the research predicted.

Employers seemed to underestimate the issue, with 70% of workplaces not believing that staff are more likely to change jobs in January than in other months. 

Financial incentives such as salary increases and bonuses were found to be an ineffective retention solution, with 47% of those surveyed saying money wouldn’t affect their decision to stay or leave a company in January. This was especially true for younger workers, with 59% of 18- to 24-year-olds saying that money isn’t an effective motivation.

The researched suggested that businesses should be using employee engagement strategies including regular and timely feedback, non-financial rewards, and healthcare and flexitime. 

Jaime Scott, co-founder and CEO of EvaluAgent, said:

“High employee turnover in January is a problem for many businesses and can cause significant problems when it comes to productivity and customer satisfaction levels. 

“There is a direct link between employee engagement and turnover, suggesting that businesses need to be making far more effort to engage their workforce at this time of year if they are to prevent the annual surge in departures.” 

The research was carried out by Evaluagent and the sample was from 1,000 workplaces across the UK. 

Fewer than 5% of People in Many Countries Benefit from Adult Learning Opportunities
December 10, 2019

In almost one-third of countries, fewer than five per cent of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programmes, according to UNESCO’s fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 4).

Adults with disabilities, older adults, refugees and migrants, minority groups and other disadvantaged segments of society are particularly under-represented in adult education programmes and find themselves deprived of crucial access to lifelong learning opportunities.

Published by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, the report monitors the extent to which UNESCO Member States put their international commitments regarding adult learning and education into practice and reflects data submitted by 159 countries. It calls for a major change in the approach to adult learning and education (ALE) backed by adequate investment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access and benefit from adult learning and education and that its full contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is realized.

“We urge governments and the international community to join our efforts and take action to ensure that no one – no matter who they are, where they live or what challenges they face – is left behind where the universal right to education is concerned,” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, endorsing the report’s recommendations. “By ensuring that donor countries respect their aid obligations to developing countries, we can make adult learning and education a key lever in empowering and enabling adults, as learners, workers, parents, and active citizens.”

The publication stresses the need to increase national investment in ALE, reduce participation costs, raise awareness of benefits, and improve data collection and monitoring, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Progress in participation in adult learning and education is insufficient

Despite low participation overall, many more than half of responding countries (57% of 152) reported an increase in the overall participation rate in adult learning and education between 2015 and 2018. Low-income countries reported the largest increase in ALE participation (73%), trailed by lower middle income and upper middle income countries (61% and 62%).

Most increases in adult learning and education participation were in sub-Saharan Africa (72% of respondents), followed by the Arab region (67%), Latin America and the Caribbean (60%) and Asia and the Pacific (49%). North America and Western Europe reported fewest increases (38%) though starting from higher levels.

The data shows persistent and deep inequalities in participation and that key target groups such as adults with disabilities, older adults, minority groups as well as adults living in conflict-affected countries are not being reached.

Women’s participation must improve further

While the global report shows that women’s participation in ALE has increased in 59 per cent of the reporting countries since 2015, in some parts of the world, girls and women still do not have sufficient access to education, notably to vocational training, leaving them with few skills and poor chances of finding employment and contributing to the societies they live in, which also represents an economic loss for their countries.

Quality is improving but not fast enough

Quality ALE can also provide invaluable support to sustainable development and GRALE 4 shows that three-quarters of countries reported progress in the quality of education since 2015. Qualitative progress is observed in curricula, assessment, teaching methods and employment conditions of adult educators. However, progress in citizenship education, which is essential in promoting and protecting freedom, equality, democracy, human rights, tolerance and solidarity, remained negligible. No more than 3% of countries reported qualitative progress in this area.

Increase in funding for adult learning and education needed

GRALE 4 shows that over the last ten years, spending on adult learning and education has not reached sufficient levels, not only in low-income countries but also in lower middle income and high-income countries. Nearly 20% of Member States reported spending less than 0.5 per cent of their education budgets on ALE and a further 14% reported spending less than 1 per cent. This information demonstrates that many countries have failed to implement the intended increase in ALE financing proposed in GRALE 3 and that ALE remains underfunded. Moreover, under-investment hits socially disadvantaged adults the hardest. Lack of funding also hampers the implementation of new policies and efficient governance practices.

The UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) monitors whether UNESCO Member States are putting their international commitments on adult learning and education into practice. These commitments are set out in the Belém Framework for Action (2009), the outcome document of the 6th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI, Belém, Brazil), and the Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (2015). In addition to this monitoring function, each issue of GRALE examines a particular topic, the 2019 edition focusses on participation. GRALEis published every three years. The Report combines survey data, policy analysis and case studies to provide policy-makers and practitioners with recommendations and examples of good practice. It presents evidence on how adult learning and education helps countries address current challenges and contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Investigation into University Technical Colleges – Sector Response
November 1, 2019

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published an “Investigation into UTCs” report on university technical colleges. UTCs are a type of free school that focus on providing technical education, mainly to students aged 14 to 19.

This investigation sets out the facts about the UTC programme. It covers how the programme has progressed and the financial and educational performance of UTCs. The investigation also examines the Department for Education’s plans to improve UTCs.

Meg Hillier 100x100

Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said:

“£792 million pounds has been spent but UTCs are running under capacity, often perform less well than other secondary schools and just under half of those inspected either require improvement or are inadequate.  

“UTCs were set up to improve technical education but 17% of UTCs that opened have since closed, leaving hard-pressed local authorities to find alternative places for the students affected. 

“This report provides further evidence as to why the Department for Education is my top department of concern.”

Jo Grady 100x100

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:

‘In too many cases, University Technical Colleges have proved to be expensive failures that took funds away from the further education sector at a time when it most needed support.

‘If the government really wants to improve the standing of technical education, it must ensure that the further education sector as a whole is well-supported to deliver it. That means building capacity across the board because without proper investment, this perennial conversation about the problems facing technical education is doomed to repeat itself.’

Lord Baker100x100

Lord Baker, Chairman Baker Dearing Educational Trust said;

“This report records the price of everything and the value of nothing. UTCs should be judged by the success of their students becoming apprentices, studying STEM subjects at a University and getting a job as a technician or an engineer. For that we have the best destination data of any schools in the country.

“Because of this the Department has encouraged us to make applications for new UTCs and we are working with local employers and universities for the next round in November.”

The key findings of this report relate to:

  • The number of UTCs that have opened, and the number that have subsequently closed as UTCs
  • What capacity UTCs are operating at
  • The financial position of UTCs and formal intervention by the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • How much has been spent on the UTC programme
  • How Ofsted rates UTCs compared with other secondary schools
  • What proportion of students from UTCs go on to become apprentices, compared with other secondary schools
  • What the Department for Education’s plans for improving UTCs are
One-fifth of Workforce in Canada, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom Looking for New Job
October 25, 2019

Overall, about one in five (21 per cent) of workers are looking for a new job. And the greatest flight risk is for those in IT, finds a survey by Workhuman.

One-third (34 per cent) of workers in that sector are looking for a new job, compared to biotech, consumer goods and services, technology and telecom (each 28 per cent), industrial (25 per cent), engineering (24 per cent), financial and business services (23 per cent), insurance and retail (both 22 per cent) and health care (19 per cent).

And what are they looking for exactly? Meaningful work ranks as most important across all age groups, finds the survey of more than 3,500 full-time workers in Canada, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Compensation and perks come in second, especially for those aged 35 to 64, followed by a supportive manager, positive company culture and fun team (especially among those 18 to 34).

People are looking at work in a different way, says Sarah Hamilton, director of HR at Workhuman in Framingham, Mass., provider of cloud-based human capital management software solutions.

“The world of work has changed so tremendously, where we’ve gone from this industrial era — where it was all about employees coming to work, and getting a paycheck, and almost like cogs on a wheel — to the human era, which is what it is today, which is we are looking at employees for their holistic skills and what they bring to the table.”

It’s not just about what people can do but what’s in their hearts and minds, she says.

“The industrial era is over and it is now the human era. And the human era is really based on this notion of people being able to expect more from out of the workplace.”

That means employees expect their employers to provide a place where they can do their best work and they can show all of the skills and ways they can contribute, says Hamilton.

“But, also, it’s employers expecting employees to bring their best selves to work as well. This leads to a mutually beneficial culture and business results. Because companies are appreciating the employees more for just … a butt in a seat which is the way companies had once looked at it before.”

Flexibility, recognition popular perks

As for workplace perks, remote or flexible work (41 per cent) and health-care coverage (27 per cent) are the most popular, followed by an employee recognition program (seven per cent), free food (six per cent), an office gym (six per cent), on-the-job training (four per cent) and referral bonuses (four per cent), found Workhuman.

Flexible work is important to all generations, as older workers may be caring for elderly parents, she says, while younger workers, who have grown up with newer technology, want the freedom that brings.

“But I think you’re actually seeing it broaden across all groups more so than you would have.”

Workhuman is a multinational company co-headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts and Dublin, providing cloud-based, human capital management software solutions.