New Report on the Value of Volunteering in Education
December 17, 2020
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The following was published by Education and Employers.

We are publishing a new report entitled The Value of Volunteering – volunteering in education and productivity in work’.

The report will be launched at a webinar on the 8th January. Register now.

New report on the value of volunteering in education

Education Volunteering – ‘one of the best investments employers can make’

The new research, in collaboration with CIPD, reveals the positive value that organisations can realise by supporting their staff to undertake volunteering in the UK’s schools and colleges.

The report’s findings show significant benefits of educational volunteering, including improved communication and influencing skills; an improved sense of mission and loyalty at work; and greater staff productivity. These organisational benefits sit alongside the personal benefits realised by individuals themselves, with evidence showing volunteering can improve staff well-being.

And the volunteers surveyed felt that they made a difference to young people. This tallies with research Education and Employers has done with young people over the last ten years which shows that encounters with volunteers from the world of work helps to: Improve academic attainment at GCSE, Increase young people’s earning potential; Broaden young peoples’ horizons and raise their aspirations; Excite children about subjects, increasing motivation, confidence and attitude to learning; Challenge gender and social stereotypes; and reduce the likelihood of young people becoming NEET.

The webinar will begin with the unveiling of the main findings, and will be followed by a panel Q&A session with contributions from:

  • Peter Cheese – Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Justin Placide – Assistant Director – Business, Investment & Growth at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Co-Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum
  • Karen Giles – Headteacher of Barham Primary School and Education and Employers’ Trustee
  • Natasha Davies – National Senior Programme Lead – Volunteering at Health Education England

We hope you can join us for this special event at the start of the New Year – which has got to be better than this one!

Register for the event

Redundancies Expected to Increase in Next Quarter, CIPD Says
August 13, 2020
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One in three organisations expect to cut jobs in the third quarter of 2020, according to new research from the CIPD and Adecco Group.

There’s been a 50% increase in the number of organisations expecting to cut jobs compared to the spring report, in what CIPD labour market adviser Gerwyn Davies predicted to be a “sombre autumn for jobs.”

The impact is particularly damaging for the private sector as twice as many private sector employers (28%) are expected to make redundancies compared to the public sector (16%).

Yet hiring intentions have increased, with almost half (49%) of employers expecting to take on new recruits in the next three months compared to 40% in the last quarter. But this confidence remains way below previous years.

The report’s new employment balance, which measures the difference between the proportion of employers whole expect to increase staff levels and those who expect to decrease staff levels, has fallen from -4 to -8 over the last three months- the lowest since the survey started using this methodology in February 2013.

Employers are also expected to offer minimal pay increases over the next 12 months.

Forty-per cent of employers plan to introduce wage freezes in between June 2020-21 and 42% have already introduced recruitment freezes.

The proportion of organisations adopting a recruitment freeze is much higher for the private sector (47%) than the public sector (22%); especially in hospitality (65%), business services (54%) and IT (52%).

Those who plan pay reviews expect basic pay to increase by 1%, much lower than the 2% median increase expected this time next year.

Davies said that despite redundancies having been low due to the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), the survey showed the weakest data he had seen for several years.

“We expect to see more redundancies come through this autumn, especially in the private sector once the scheme closes. Hiring confidence is rising tentatively, but this probably won’t be enough to offset the rise in redundancies and the number of new graduates and school leavers entering the labour market over the next few months.”

The CIPD is welcoming pay freezes for workers if they help preserve jobs and urging organisations to avoid large-scale redundancies.

Davies added: “We urge organisations to do all that they can to keep employees in work and only make redundancies as a last resort, exploring all other options first. This could include freezing recruitment, reducing hours or restricting overtime, or cuts to bonuses and deferring salary increases.”

Job seekers are also applying for high skilled roles, which Alex Fleming, country head and president of staffing and solutions at Adecco Group UK and Ireland said aligned with the trend of people sourcing alternate forms of education to upskill and expand their knowledge.

He said: “There will be ongoing shifts in working patterns not only for employees but also for those who are just starting out in their career. Businesses must demonstrate resilience and adopt new approaches to closing the skills gap by investing in upskilling and reskilling workforces. Creating a positive workplace culture is also integral to maintaining focus, engagement and motivation among existing employees.”

Job Insecurity May Be Overstated
August 5, 2019
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Employers should focus on improving conditions for all workers, says the CIPD as its research finds insecure work is not as prevalent as people think

Employment insecurity affects many but overall work in the UK is as secure as it was 20 years ago, according to research from the CIPD. Its report

 Megatrends: Is work in the UK really becoming less secure? 

analysed Office for National Statistics data and found that non-permanent employees – which includes the self-employed, temporary workers, unpaid family workers and those on a government training scheme – make up 20% of the UK workforce, a share that has not increased since 1998.

The casualisation of work has received increased media attention over the past few years, with companies including Deliveroo and Uber coming under fire from unions and campaigners for low pay, irregular hours and unclear employment statuses.

However, the share of ‘involuntary’ temporary workers (defined as those who would rather have a permanent job) is highly cyclical and ebbs and flows with the economic climate, the researchers noted.

It peaked at 41.3% in 1995, before falling to 26.4% in 2008, the report stated. It increased again during the economic downturn to 40% in 2013, before falling again to 26.8% by 2018.

There have been no long-term increases in the under-employment rate of workers who want more hours, which was just under 7% between 2002 and 2007. This then peaked at 10.3% in 2013 and fell back to 7.4% in 2017.

The research also drew comparisons between the UK and the EU on various measures of employment security, finding that the UK has a low figure for non-permanent employment compared to other EU countries. However, it also has a more unequal wage structure and a higher share of low-paid jobs than most EU states.

Overall, 85% of the labour force were categorised as ’employees’ in 2018, compared to 87% in 1998. The proportion of full-time employees in 2018 was 63%, compared to 65% in 1998.

The report said that, while it’s important to improve the conditions and rights of people working atypically, policymakers need to focus more attention on improving the quality of employment for people in ‘regular’ jobs by doing more to address the causes of low pay and preventing discrimination at work.

Commenting on the report, Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said:

“This report counters some of the common rhetoric that employment in the UK is becoming more insecure. On a wide range of indicators the evidence suggests that, overall, employment security has remained broadly stable over the past two decades with very little evidence of any big structural increase in casual and insecure work. Increases in employment insecuritywhere they have occurred seem to be cyclical, linked to economic downturns, rather than a long-term trend.”

Willmott said that this means job quality overall should be a priority for employers and the government: “This suggests more attention should be paid by policymakers and employers to improving job quality and workplace productivity across the economy to tackle problems such as low pay and discrimination, not simply on improving the rights and security of atypical workers, important though this is.”

He added that the government needs to offer support for employers on how to improve work, as part of its Industrial Strategy.

“The government needs to outline in its Industrial Strategy additional measures to work with employers to improve how people are managed and developed,” he said. “For example, through ensuring sector deals are contingent on plans to improve leadership and people management practices, providing enhanced business support to small firms, and improving labour market enforcement.”

The research follows the UK’s first Good Work Standard being introduced on 29 July, which will accredit businesses as good employers. It was launched by mayor of London Sadiq Khan in partnership with a number of organisations, including the CIPD.

London-based companies participating in this voluntary scheme will be measured against a set of criteria including fair pay, working conditions, employee wellbeing, the availability of skills training, progression and diversity in recruitment.

A number of employers including EY, KPMG, London City Airport, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the London Fire Brigade have already been accredited. The standard has been heralded as a potential template for other metropolitan or local authorities.

Apprenticeship Levy an ‘Empty Promise’, Says CIPD
July 24, 2019
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The apprenticeship levy is failing to deliver on government promises to boost skills and spending on workplace training, according to research from the CIPD.

The key objectives of the levy were to increase apprenticeship numbers and investment in workplace training, which was in a 20-year decline when the levy was introduced in April 2017.

But the CIPD’s new report, Addressing employer under-investment in training: The case for a broader training levy, described this as an ’empty promise’.

It found that fewer than a third (31%) of the 2,000 levy-paying employers surveyed said the scheme will incentivise them to increase the amount of training they offer, down from 45% in 2017.

The report also showed that nearly six in 10 (58%) levy-paying employers either believe the levy will have no impact on the amount they spend on training (49%), or will actually lead to a reduction in training spend (9%).

Employers have invested in fewer apprenticeships since the levy’s introduction, with starts falling from 509,400 in 2015/16 to 375,800 in 2017/18, the research highlighted.

It also revealed that the way the levy is designed currently is incentivising employers to use their funds in counterproductive ways. A fifth (22%) of employers said they use their levy money on training that would have happened regardless, and 15% said they use the scheme to accredit skills that staff already have. A further 14% reported that the apprenticeship levy directs funds away from other forms of training that are more appropriate for their organisation.

The CIPD is calling on the government to replace the apprenticeship levy with a broader training levy, which would enable organisations to fund both apprenticeships but also other forms of accredited training better suited to their needs.

A portion of the training levy pot could also be used to create a regional skills fund to address skills challenges at a local level, such as by helping smaller non-levy-paying firms invest in skills, the report added.

The CIPD said it also wants the levy to cover all employers with a headcount of 50 or more. This would double the amount raised by the scheme to £5 billion, which would help make up the shortfall from the decline in investment in training over the past two decades, the body said.

Lizzie Crowley, skills adviser at the CIPD, said there is a case for more flexibility around apprenticeships. “Our research clearly shows the apprenticeship levy has failed to deliver what the government said it would: more investment in workplace training. For this to become a reality we need to have a broader training levy that is much less prescriptive and gives employers more flexibility. This should also help to prevent employers from gaming the system, as is currently the case,” she said.

Crowley outlined the case for obliging a larger pool of employers to invest in the levy:

“With only 2% of employers required to pay the apprenticeship levy, the money raised from it was never going to be enough to close the gap that’s been left by the long-term decline in training investment. But if we had more employers contributing we could make up the shortfall and also help to boost regional investment in skills.”

Labour Market Outlook – Summer 2018
September 7, 2018
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The latest Labour Market Outlook: Summer 2018 produced by CIPD in partnership with The Adecco Group reports that while overall employment remains high, recruitment difficulties and stagnating pay growth will post challenges for employers in the months ahead.

There is a continuing high demand for skills that is failing to be met by sufficient supply. Two-thirds of employers are reporting that their vacancies are proving hard to fill and the average number of applicants per vacancy has dropped across all skill levels. Despite these factors putting upward pressure on wages, organisations are limited in their ability to offer raises for all staff due to weak productivity.

Interestingly they also conclude that improvements in management capability and workforce productivity will not happen unless there is greater investment in nudging, encouraging and supporting firms, to raise their management game. CIPD research suggests that the provision of high-quality HR support to small firms at a local level embedded through key partnerships such as LEPs, chambers of commerce and local authorities has the potential to reach large numbers of employers and make a material difference to confidence and capability – and support productivity growth.

Latest CIPD Labour Market Outlook Summer 2018
August 14, 2018
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The Labour Market Outlook for the third quarter of 2018 is based on survey responses from 2,001 employers across the UK.

In addition to providing a general picture of market trends, the findings will also have important significance for employers and HR. For the first time, the CIPD has created dedicated guidance to accompany the report, with recommendations on how to frame a practice response to best capture surfacing opportunities and mitigate potential risks.

Download the report and practitioners’ guide below:

Read more

Labour Market Outlook: Spring 2018

The quarterly Labour Market Outlook, produced in partnership with  The Adecco Group UK & Ireland provides a set of forward-looking labour market indicators highlighting employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions.

The survey is based on responses from 1,008 employers. Additionally, this report also considers the extent to which the tightening in the UK labour market is hampering employers’ ability to find staff and putting modest upward pressure on wages.

Executive Summary

Employment

This survey points to continued growth in demand for labour in Q2 2018, which will lead to a further tightening of the UK labour market for employers. This quarter’s net employment balance – which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staff levels and those who expect to decrease staff levels in the second quarter of 2018 – has increased to +26 from +16 over the past three months. The measure is at its highest level since it was introduced in the winter 2012/13 report.

The survey data is consistent with official labour market data, which shows that employment growth remains strong while the number of vacancies in the UK economy remains well above historical average levels. However, the positive employment picture contrasts with disappointing first quarter GDP growth estimates for 2018 of just 0.1%, which, alongside other economic indicators, point to lower economic activity.

In addition, the strong demand for labour is not being matched by labour supply, which has also been affected modestly by a relatively abrupt slowing in the growth rate of EU nationals coming to the UK over the last 12 months.

Read more

Zero-Hours Contracts: The Trouble with the Facts
May 3, 2018
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Ian Brinkley, Chief Economist, CIPD has written an article about zero-hours contracts.

The latest estimates around zero-hours contracts confirm how difficult it has been to measure the number of people on these or similar contracts, let alone how much that volume has grown in recent years. The reality is that we cannot pin down these numbers with any confident degree of certainty.

In attempting to piece the picture together, we have two measures. The first is from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which tracks individual responses. In the period Dec 2017–Feb 2018, just over 900,000 people or about 2.8% of the workforce said they were on a zero-hours contract. The second, more recent measure is the Business Survey (BS), which showed that as at Nov 2017, employers had issued 1.8 million ‘non-guaranteed hours contracts’ or NGHCs to use the Office for National Statistics (ONS) label.

 Access the full article here