Free Webinar: The Government Economic Service Degree Apprenticeship Programme
December 11, 2020
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Join an exclusive webinar on Monday 14th December from 4pm-5pm with the Government Economic Service to find out about their Economist Degree Apprenticeship Programme, opening for applications the very same day.

With 70+ vacancies available, this is the chance for your students,
colleagues and parents & carers to find out how to apply
Book your place
Can’t attend on the day?
Don’t worry if you can’t attend on the day, please book a place using the button above and we will ensure you receive a copy of the recording and slides.
Vacancies information
Applications will be opening on 14th December 2020 for the Degree Economist Apprenticeship Programme with the Government Economic Service. 

With 70+ vacancies available, this is a brilliant opportunity to work in a central government department or agency on some of the most important social, environmental and economic issues our country faces.

You can also visit the GES Vacancy Snapshot profile for a deeper look into the scheme and to begin preparing for the application process.
Women Hired at a Slower Rate than Men During Coronavirus
December 8, 2020
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Women have had a tougher time getting hired than men due to the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses.

Exacerbating existing workplace inequalities in the UK, new data from LinkedIn has revealed women over the age of 30, and people working in jobs that typically do not require a university degree, have had a tougher time starting new jobs since the start of the pandemic.

The hiring rate for women over 30 reportedly sank to its lowest point in May 2020 during the first lockdown amidst school closures and picked up significantly once schools reopened in September.

In May 65% of men applying for jobs were hired, compared to 35% of women.

In September, once the schools had opened again, the rate of hiring increased to 45% for women.

Janine Chamberlin, senior director at LinkedIn, said that this trend threatens to send society backwards in its pursuit of equality if employers don’t respond quickly.

She said: “If employers act now, they will have access to a breadth of diverse talent which can bring fresh thinking to their businesses, while also ensuring a fair recovery.

“Giving people the opportunity to develop new skills or retrain entirely, regardless of their background, and offering women and working parents the flexibility they need to manage their work and family commitments is crucial to building diverse workforces where everyone has opportunity and can thrive.”

A decrease in hiring rates for industries that typically employ a high proportion of women has further magnified the problem.

In October 2020 the hiring in recreation and travel was down 43% and retail was down 20% year-on-year.

As a prior report from the Work Foundation found, gender inequality in retail roles has put women’s livelihoods at risk as the sector navigates its coronavirus recovery.

The study reported that women are particularly at risk of job displacement in the future as retail work is moving out of stores and into warehouses and logistics centres.

Women’s share of overall hiring hit its lowest point in April for retail and in May for recreation and travel, further underlining the impact of school closures on job prospects.

Richard Lim, CEO of industry analysts Retail Economics, said: “For many retailers, the immediate challenge is cutting costs, preserving working capital and trading through Christmas to strengthen balance sheets.”

Lim said that a cut back on employment due to cost and uncertainty was understandable for businesses trying to survive the recession.

She added: “With a greater proportion of shopping moving online and vacancy rates on our high streets expected to rise further, it’s inevitable that there will be fewer retail jobs in the future, but those that remain are likely to be more skilled and higher paid.”

By Emma Greedy HRMagazine

Covid-19 Changing employee Motivations

A recent study has revealed 96% of job seekers questioned would now not consider working for a company with a poor Covid-19 record.

The study, conducted by online job board Zoek and Neil Harrison from NH237 employment consultancy, looked at if Covid-19 was affecting employees’ opinion regarding their current and future employers.

Results revealed a significant change in the priorities of employees, with how a company treats its staff now much more of a concern. An overwhelming 93% of the 1,134 part and full-time workers surveyed said they would now choose a less successful company that supported employees over a more successful one that did not. The study also revealed that people are much more likely to conduct their own research into prospective employers, with issues such as remote working and workplace social distancing now important factors.

Regarding the findings, Diana Campbell, managing director at Zoek, said;

It is really interesting to see how motivations on moving jobs have changed since the job market has started opening back up. It is more important than ever to provide flexibility and confidence to candidates, which is something we have seen a high volume of searches for on Zoek.”

The survey also revealed that 57% of people felt their employers had communicated well during the lockdown. However, 17% said they had not heard anything from their employers, and only a third knew their employers’ plans for the next six months. The impact of covid-19 will change relations, and expectations, moving forward between employers and employees.

The behaviour of companies during the lockdown was a hot topic, with 55% admitting to sharing stories on social media, both good and bad, regarding their employers’ behaviour. Neil Harrison, lead consultant at NH237 Consulting, said the findings revealed the need for companies to communicate better the good things they have done during the shutdown. He said,

“I truly believe that what an organisation presents to the outside world in terms of candidate attraction has to be born out of the internal employee experience and prevailing culture. This report has further proved that even in the current climate, candidates aren’t willing to go just anywhere to take the next step in their career.”

Businesses at Risk by Lack of Background Checks
September 2, 2020
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Cybersecurity threats and data breaches are on the rise and a lack of background checking could be putting global businesses at risk according to new research.

HireRight’s annual benchmarking survey found almost one third (32%) of participating global companies said they do not conduct checks on any of their extended workforce including temporary workers, contractors and interns.

Yet over half (54%) of those asked said they were finding discrepancies in candidates’ employment histories and 48% said that their safety and security had benefited from more consistent screening.

As the extended workforce may still have access to sensitive information, and more staff are currently working remotely where connections aren’t as protected, the report suggested that many businesses could be putting their security at risk.

“While there is currently still a stark difference in attitudes towards screening between the U.S. and the rest of the world, the gap is closing as more and more companies are starting to better understand the benefits of candidate and employee background checks, and are using background screening to help mitigate their hiring risk,” said Guy Abramo, CEO of HireRight.

Which Soft Skills are Important in 2020?

Article by Australian Careers Service.

With competition in the workforce fiercer than ever, the importance of softs skills has never been higher. In contrast to a formal qualification, soft skills — things you don’t typically learn at uni — can be what sets a person apart in the workplace.

Soft skills are considered to have more nuance, take longer to develop and are harder to acquire, making the key for customer or client retention. But which soft skills are the most important? A good place to start is to look at what others are learning.

Udemy hosts over 150,000 courses hosted by experts that can be taken anywhere, any time. A recent report looked at consumption of their courses between 2016 and 2019, to determine the top skills that have had the highest rank change. 

Along with the skills listed below, the report also includes storytelling, culture awareness, critical thinking, leadership and emotional intelligence in the top 10 soft skills. 

Growth Mindset 

A growth mindset promotes the idea that we can get better at or improve our ability in anything we put the effort into. Harvard Business Review says that ‘individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset.’  

A growth mindset goes hand-in-hand with ambitious goal setting and achievement, so it’s no surprise that it’s the number one soft skill for career progression in all industries and at all levels. Udemy currently has over 4,00 courses in the topic! 

Creativity 

What was once considered an innate skill of those in artistic professions, creativity has shown to be a key factor in all industries. The world needs innovative leaders with new ideas, and creativity is a crucial element in problem-solving. Creativity courses specialise in areas like innovation and business, idea generation, coding, lateral thinking and harnessing your imagination. 

Focus Mastery 

In a world full of distractions and technology at our fingertips, staying focused has never been more of a challenge — but while many of us are now working from home, it’s never been more important. Courses are available to help power through your to-do list and increase your productivity. 

Innovation 

As many businesses and individuals need to adapt their products and business models, there is an increasing need for innovation. According to Forbes, ‘innovation isn’t solely represented by new devices, ideas or methods, but also by the process of uncovering new ways to do things’. You can take courses in innovation that tie in with themes such as creativity, design thinking and leadership. 

Communication 

Encompassing many elements of work life, communication is a skill that can refer to public speaking, emails, one-to-one discussions, meetings and presentations. Good communication can build trust, propel projects forward and improve morale. At a management level, it’s essential for delegation, conflict resolution, and project management in general. You can improve your communication skills to improve your assertiveness, sharpen your business acumen or increase your confidence. 

Graduate Job Confidence Slides as Labour Market Shrinks

By Beau Jackson, of hrmagazine

Fewer graduates in 2020 are confident of working in their dream industry than they were in 2019.

According to graduate job site Milkround, 83% of graduates expressed this sentiment last year compared to just 62% in 2020. 

Attitudes about universities have changed too. In 2019, 15% of graduates said their university could have done more to prepare them for the workplace, yet in 2020 this has risen to 25%. 

The global labour market has become unstable due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the most recent findings from the Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE) COVID-19: Global impacts on graduate recruitment report, the market for graduate jobs in England is expected to shrink by between one and 14% each year from 2020-2021. 

Although government response to the pandemic has differed from country to country, a similar percentage of shrinkage is expected across Australia, Finland, New Zealand and the United States. 

“While graduates often escape the worst impacts of recessions, the size and health of the graduate labour market is tied up with the wider economy,” said an ISE statement. 

“The magnitude of the current crisis means that it is impacting on workers of all skill levels and is likely to be particularly difficult for those entering the labour market for the first time and those working in the sectors which are feeling the worst effects.” 

Though Milkround’s findings suggest graduate confidence is waning, an optimistic 71% of respondents said the pandemic has not impacted their decision on which sector they will go into, and the NHS tops the list of respondent’s most desirable companies to work for. 

Georgina Brazier, graduate jobs expert at Milkround said that the decisiveness where areas of work are concerned demonstrates a continued resilience in the graduate population. 

She added: “Over the next few months, it’s essential that employers really understand what it is the next generation of workers are looking for as they enter the workplace, and work out how they can support recent graduates in realising their dreams despite the current circumstances.” 

Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report is based on a survey of 2,838 student and graduate candidates, conducted between 14th – 29th April 2020.

Availability of Temporary Staff Reaches Record High

The availability of workers in the UK throughout June rose at the quickest rate since the depths of economic recession in January 2009 due to redundancies and workers on furlough.

The latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs found there were increases for both permanent and temporary staff numbers, with the latter rising at the quickest rate in the survey’s 23-year history. 

Starting pay for both permanent and short-term staff fell in June as demand for workers remained weak and the labour supply continued to increase. 

Rates of pay reductions were not as severe as May, yet there were still decreases for both starting salaries and temp wages. 

Employee earnings including bonuses rose by just 1% year-on-year in the three months leading up to April, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This was weaker than the 2.3% rate of growth for the previous three-month period and marked the slowest rise in pay since the three months to September 2014.

Permanent staff appointments fell across England, with the steepest reduction seen in London. 

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said the figures demonstrated a jobs crisis across the country.

He said: “While there are signs that the worst declines are behind us, today’s figures show that it will be a while yet before we see job placements growing month on month. That’s no surprise, as businesses are focusing on bringing furloughed staff back to work, or making redundancies where they cannot be avoided. 

“Recruiters will be key to helping those who lose their roles find new work – there are always vacancies out there for jobseekers, though they are at a lower level than normal right now.” 

The private sector saw a larger decline in permanent vacancies compared to the public sector, yet the demand for short-term workers fell at a quicker pace in the public sector. 

Given hospitality has been one of the sectors worst hit by the impact of coronavirus, the steepest drops in vacancies were seen in hotels, catering and retail. 

There was also a decrease in nursing, medical and care roles. 

The UK Report on Jobs is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.

Employers Need Government Support to Hire Young People, Report Reveals

Employers need incentives if mass unemployment of young people is to be avoided, said The Institute of Student Employers (ISE).

It raised concerns about the number of young people who will miss out on career opportunities as the economy recovers post-coronavirus. 

In its plan for government, the ISE recommended ways to help employers hire and support young people and make sure the labour market continues to function. 

These include cutting national insurance contributions for all staff under 24 years’ old; securing opportunities in education, apprenticeships and work placements for young people who have been unemployed for six months or more; and bringing more flexibility to company spending of the apprenticeship levy.

ISE chief executive Stephen Isherwood said: “The labour market is breaking down. There is a looming youth unemployment crisis and employers are already facing pressure to slow down or stop entry-level recruitment and slash training costs. 

“These decisions will disproportionately impact young people.”

In May, an ISE report found that UK firms on average will cut entry level recruitment by around a quarter (23%) this year due to challenges related to the pandemic.

For 2021, 60% of firms are currently sure of their recruitment plans and 15% are anticipating a fall in recruitment.

The University Partnerships Programme (UPP) also voiced its concerns around the youth labour market by recommending the launch of a ‘civic army’ to provide work placements for 75,000 young people across the country.

Both organisations recommend government cover the costs of ‘ off-the-job’ study time for all new apprentices under 24-years-old to help support their development. 

Isherwood said: “Employers need support to invest in entry-level talent to recruit and develop young people. The public purse should be used to provide opportunities for young people rather than leaving them to languish unskilled, out of work and left behind.”

Deborah McCormack, ISE chair and head of talent for Pinsent Mason, said no single measure will prevent a loss of talent from the younger generation. “We need a pragmatic package of support from government to help employers and educators enable our early talent, future-proofing the UK economy.” ISE’s recommendations followed the government’s launch of an ‘Office for Talent’ to attract global academic expertise as part of its coronavirus economic recovery plan.

DWP Connected Community Recruitment Support
June 15, 2020
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DWP commissions partners across the country to support jobseekers and employers to come together. 

Each partner delivers a service that enables jobseekers to access sustainable work in a local area with an employer like you. 

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, this site will enable you to connect with your local DWP partner to quickly fill vacancies. 

They will help you identify jobseekers with suitable skills for your roles and prepare them to begin working for you.  To find out more visit https://www.dwppartners.co.uk

© The Prime Providers Partnership

Coronavirus: Job Interviews go Online as Candidates Stuck at Home
March 17, 2020
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BBC News reports that recruitment firms are going online to interview candidates who are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Working from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Tech giants Google, Amazon and Twitter are among the growing number of firms asking staff to work from home.

The strategy is part of social distancing efforts as businesses try to slow the spread of the virus.

Headhunters also say it’s now easier to contact candidates as they’re not in stuck in meetings or travelling.

“It was actually easier to get hold of many clients because they were at home, bored and on the end of a mobile phone than it was when they were in meetings, walking factories or flying somewhere,” said recruitment firm PageGroup’s chief executive Steve Ingham.

Worldwide travel restrictions also mean people aren’t travelling for business, one of the biggest challenges for recruiters trying to meet potential hires.

It comes as recruiters and hiring managers switch from face-to-face meetings to online interviews using apps such as Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp.

Online interviews also suit potential hires as they take up less time and are more convenient. 

“They are happy to use this approach as well because it saves them travelling time and minimises human contact amidst the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Charlene Tay at recruitment firm Robert Walters in Singapore.

But job-seeking candidates are being advised to practice ahead of an online interview. “Interviewing online and interviewing in person are two completely different experiences,” said Sarah Johnston, a professional interview coach.

“Job seekers share that it can be more challenging to connect with the interviewer online because there is often less small talk and it’s harder to pick up on non-verbal cues,” she added.

Recruiters also advise candidates to be patient as, although online job interviews can help speed up the process, there will still be delays as businesses come up with contingency plans and deal with coronavirus-related issues. “This is uncharted territory and we are all doing the best we can,” added Ms Johnston.

But online interviews don’t work for everyone. “Those roles which require client interaction and team management, an in-person interview is likely to remain an essential stage of the process,” added Paul Endacott, chief executive of GRIT Search.