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Unemployment Fears at Five-Year High
August 15, 2019
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People in the UK are more worried about losing their jobs today than they have been at any point over the past five and a half years, according to the latest figures from the ONS.

The Personal and economic well-being in the UK: August 2019 report, released 12 August, found that confidence in job security is low. People’s expectations for increasing joblessness have been climbing, with the net proportion of people expecting rising unemployment rates in the year ahead reaching 23.1% in the first quarter of 2019, the highest level since the second quarter of 2013. These growing fears come despite UK employment currently standing at the joint-highest rate on record (76.1%), according to the latest Labour market overview published today (13 August).

While all economic wellbeing measures improved in the first quarter of 2019, including household income and wealth, “people’s expectations for the economy for the year ahead are that it will worsen”, the ONS reported.

This falling confidence comes as concerns are mounting that the UK will leave the European Union without a deal, with prime minister Boris Johnson vowing to leave “come what may” by 31 October. Meanwhile separate ONS figures last week, showing that the UK has witnessed the first fall in quarterly GDP in six and a half years, have sparked concerns that the UK could be headed for a recession.

Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive of Business in the Community, said that economic and political uncertainty is causing UK employees to fear for their jobs.

“Prescient Brits have been expecting higher unemployment and for the general economic situation to deteriorate and, following last week’s negative GDP number, they may well be proved right,” she said.

“With a no-deal Brexit looming, the UK economy is arguably at its most crucial juncture for a decade and it’s no surprise people feel less secure about their jobs and the broader economic picture. In 10 weeks or so we could be entering the economic and political unknown and this uncertainty is understandably on people’s radars.”

The report also looked at personal wellbeing in the UK. Personal wellbeing showed very little change, with anxiety remaining stable in the year ending March 2019, the ONS said. The data found that almost one in five (19.8%) UK adults continued to report high levels of anxiety.

While people reported slightly higher happiness ratings, rising from 7.52 to 7.56 out of 10 in the last year, about 4.2 million people continued to report “low” levels of happiness.

Gail Kinman, professor of occupational health psychology at the University of Bedfordshire, told HR magazine that fears over employment and the economy are closely linked to personal wellbeing.

“Studies have found that job insecurity is one of the most profound and widespread workplace fears. It can be a major source of stress and anxiety for individuals and their families,” she said.

Nearly 10% of Adults Have Never Done Paid Work
March 5, 2019
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While UK employment is at record levels, there are still millions of people across the country who have never had a paid job reports the Office of National StatisticsOffice for National Statistics.

Around 3.6 million adults in the UK have never been paid for work, analysis has shown.

Of more than 41 million 16- to 64-year-olds in the UK, 75% were employed in July 2017 to June 2018, but there were still nearly 10% who had never done paid work.

Young people aged 16 to 24 years represent most of the population who have never had a paid job – 71% including students. Even excluding those in full-time study, more than half of people who have never carried out paid work are aged under 30 years (52%). Read more

Young People NEET, UK: November 2018
November 27, 2018
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For July to September 2018, there were 760,000 young people (aged 16 to 24 years) in the UK who were not in education, employment or training (NEET); this number decreased by 23,000 from April to June 2018 and was down 29,000 when compared with July to September 2017.

The percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET was 10.9%; the proportion was down 0.3 percentage points from April to June 2018 and down 0.3 percentage points from July to September 2017.

Of all young people in the UK who were NEET, 37.0% were looking for work and available for work and therefore classified as unemployed; the remainder were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and therefore classified as economically inactive.

YouGov has today (22 Nov) released the Education and Training Statistics for the UK 2018, which specifically state that the NEET rate (Not in Education, Employment or Training) for 18-24 year olds has fallen each year between 2013 and 2017, from 16.8% in 2013 to 12.9% in 2017, including a 0.5 percentage point fall between 2016 and 2017.

Alan Woods OBE 100x100Alan Woods OBE, CEO of VTCT, said:

“It is absolutely imperative that all of us involved in the education and training of young people tackles youth unemployment and it simply isn’t good enough that more than 1 in 10 young people are classified today as not in education, employment or training (NEET). With a growing economy and falling unemployment, we cannot forget that there are 760,000 young people still out of a job or not in the education and training system.

“We know that vocational and technical education, and specifically apprenticeships, as well as the many other advantages they bring to all learners, can also bridge that gap for young people who fall off the system and acts as a lifeline to bring them back in. We need a properly funded, holistic plan that upskills all of the UK’s potential workforce that challenges schools, colleges, private training providers and awarding bodies to remain inclusive for all learners, especially those with difficult circumstances, and champions young people into a career choice of their own which leads to a job.” Read more

Employment of Leavers: Experimental UK Performance Indicators 2016 to 2017
July 30, 2018
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Experimental statistical release of employment rates for first degree and other undergraduate leavers from HE publicly funded and alternative providers for 2015/16 and 2016/17. Published 24th July 2018

HESA release of experimental UK performance indicators (PIs) on ‘employment of leavers’ showing the proportion of undergraduate leavers in work or further study 6 months after they graduated. The indicators include UK publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and designated alternative providers (APs) in England. Academic year 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017 is published. Read more

Apprenticeship and Levy Statistics: June 2018
June 15, 2018
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The number of apprenticeship starts has dropped significantly since last year, calling into question the effectiveness of the apprenticeship levy.

Figures from the Department for Education have revealed that there have been 261,200 apprenticeship starts between August 2017 and March 2018 for the academic year. This compares to 362,400 and 346,300 starts reported in the equivalent period in 2016/17 and 2015/16 respectively. This shows a drop of almost 28% from last year’s figures.

The new numbers suggest that the government will fall short of its plans to create three million new apprenticeship starts by 2020.

In response to the decline in apprenticeships the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has released a 10-point plan for the government and employers to encourage more apprenticeship starts. These include listening to businesses to help reform the levy, relaxing the ‘complex and restrictive’ levy rules, employers embracing wider workforce planning and the government providing a single point of accountability. On this point, the CMI stated: ‘The Institute for Apprenticeships should be resourced to bring forward apprenticeship standards more quickly and take on end-to-end responsibility for the successful funding, execution and monitoring of apprenticeships policy.’ Read more

Graduate Labour Market Statistics
April 25, 2018
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Graduate labour market statistics have been released by the Department for Education covering graduate, postgraduate and non-graduate employment rates and earnings for England.

They show that: In 2017, graduates and postgraduates had higher employment rates than non- graduates.

Long-term trends illustrate that employment rates fell across all groups as the recession hit in 2008, although for graduates and non- graduates these have since recovered to around pre-recession levels. The employment rate for working-age postgraduates in 2017, however, was still 1.3 percentage points below 2007 levels (89.1%).

Read more

April 2018: Apprenticeship Statistics
April 23, 2018
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Apprenticeship starts were down 31 percent in January compared with the same period in 2017, the latest provisional government statistics released this morning have revealed.

There were 25,400 starts that month – down 11,300 from January 2017’s provisional total of 36,700, according to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The latest figures represent a bigger proportionate drop than in December, which saw a 23 percent year-on-year fall in starts.

Earlier this week the chancellor Philip Hammond admitted to parliament that he had expected starts to fall with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy – but not to the extent that they are.

“I recognise that starts are down—we always expected that,” he said.

“There are fewer starts than we expected, but we are seeing a much higher level of apprenticeship,” he continued.

“The Department for Education and the Treasury are looking carefully at how this is working,” he said.

“Our reforms to the apprenticeship system are about increasing the number of quality apprenticeships, so people of all ages and backgrounds can take advantage of the opportunities apprenticeships bring,” a DfE spokesperson said.

“We have recently seen an increase in the number of people starting on higher level apprenticeships, such as engineering and law, and on our new quality apprenticeship standards. These new apprenticeships are designed by employers themselves to meet their needs, and in a range of industries such as fashion, banking and defence.

“The apprenticeship levy is an important part of these changes to raise the quality of apprenticeships in this country, creating long-term, sustainable investment in training and education. Nearly 60 per cent of people starting on the new apprenticeship standards are levy supported, showing that levy payers are working well with the new system.”

Read more

ERSA Responds to Labour Market Statistics December 2017
February 22, 2018
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The ONS labour market statistics for October to December 2017 published today (21st February 2018) show unemployment up by 46,000 on the quarter and the rate rising to 4.4%.

The statistics also show that the employment level has increased by 88,000 more than the previous quarter, with 32.15 million people in work in total. There was concerning news that the unemployment rate for 16-24-year-olds has risen to 12.5% (547,000), an increase of 30,000 since the last quarter. Long-term unemployment has also risen by 23,000. Read more

Apprenticeship Statistics: England
January 27, 2018
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Access the House of Commons Briefing Paper Number 06113, dated 25th January 2018 Here

Education Standards Continue to Rise at GCSE and A Level
January 25, 2018
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Educational standards continue to rise across England’s secondary schools, as results published today (Thursday 25 January) by the DfE show more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds achieving good grades in the core academic subjects.

Following the introduction of more rigorous GCSE and A levels to match the best education systems in the world, the data shows:

  • The attainment gap between disadvantaged secondary school pupils and their peers has narrowed by 3.2% since last year and 10% since 2011;
  • Results for Multi Academy Trusts, with Harris Federation, The Thinking Schools Academy Trust and The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust among the top MAT performers;
  • Schools in London continue to perform strongly, with 12 schools in the top 20 for the government’s pupil progress measure (Progress 8); and
  • More pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, SEN pupils and pupils on free school meals being entered for EBacc subjects since last year – helping ensure pupils have the knowledge and skills they need for future success.

The data builds on the government’s record of 1.9 million more children now in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, nine out of ten schools awarded this rating at their last inspection and England’s pupils now amongst the world’s best readers.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

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