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Shortage of tech skills and 600,000 job vacancies costing UK economy £63 billion a year

Shortage of tech skills and 600,000 job vacancies costing UK economy £63 billion a year

An estimated 600,000 vacancies in digital technology are costing the country £63 billion a year, according to information provided by techUK in a report on skills shortages published by the Edge Foundation.The second of the education charity’s bulletins on the UK’s skills shortages, shines a spotlight on the tech industry and the devastating economic impact of the government’s failure to encourage young people to study relevant subjects and upskill existing workers. The bulletin, Skills Shortages in the UK Economy, brings together the most current statistics and analysis of skills shortages in the UK which cost the economy £6.3 billion each year in direct costs such as recruitment and temporarily filling gaps, according to the Open University’s 2018 Business Barometer.

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Unlocking government’s mapping and location data will boost economy by £130m a year

Unlocking government’s mapping and location data will boost economy by £130m a year

The UK Government has announced that key parts of its OS MasterMap will now be made openly available for the public and businesses to use. It estimates that this will boost the UK economy by at least £130m each year, as  companies and startups use the data. The release of OS MasterMap data is one of the first projects to be delivered by the new Geospatial Commission, in conjunction with Ordnance Survey. The aim is  to drive forward the UK as a world leader in location data, helping to grow the UK’s digital economy by an estimated £11bn each year. The data can be used for a variety of purposes including navigating public transport, tracking supply chains and logistics. It is also essential for the application of drones and autonomous vehicle technology. Today’s announcement follows the launch of the first GovTech challenge in May this year – a competition designed to incentivise Britain’s tech firms to come up with innovative solutions to improve public services. These competitions will be delivered using the £20m GovTech fund launched in November 2017.

Women and younger people are transforming the UK’s freelance economy

Women and younger people are transforming the UK’s freelance economy

The workforce is changing as more people swap the security of a 9-to-5 job for the flexibility of freelancing, with key demographics and industries leading the self-employed sector, according to a new study from Instant Offices. ‘Millennials’ and UK workers facing significant lifestyle changes, such as motherhood, or nearing retirement, and are looking for more flexible ways to work. According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), the self-employed sector now includes approximately 4.8 million people, with freelancers comprising 42 percent of that population and 6 percent of the UK workforce as a whole. The IPSE reports that in 2016, freelancers contributed £119 billion to the national economy. This was up from £109 billion in 2015 and experts are predicting that this number will only continue to grow in the years to come.

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Additional 1.5 million people planning to trade the rat race for the gig economy

Additional 1.5 million people planning to trade the rat race for the gig economy

Rise of the gig economy is transforming the UK employment landscapeMore than 6 million UK adults are already self-employed or working as a contractor in the so-called gig economy, with a further 6 percent of currently  full-time professionals looking to make the transition this year. New research of more than 2,000 UK adults commissioned by WeMa Life claims to reveal how the rise of the gig economy is transforming the UK’s employment landscape, with one in five (19 percent) working adults currently identifying themselves as being a freelancer, sole trader or self-employed. The study found that 71 percent of gig economy workers identified flexibility as the biggest appeal for working on a contractor or temporary basis. Furthermore, having control over the hours and types of jobs undertaken has also empowered a new section of the workforce that were previously unable to access full-time employment – it was uncovered that nearly half (46 percent) of those working in the gig economy do so because they are not in a position to work a full-time job due to other commitments in their life.

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UK technology sectors continues to outpace rest of the economy, and not just in London

UK technology sectors continues to outpace rest of the economy, and not just in London

The UK’s digital technology sector continues to grow faster than the rest of the economy, according to the latest Tech Nation Report for 2018. Turnover of digital tech companies grew by 4.5 percent between 2016-17 compared to UK GDP which grew by 1.7 percent over the same period. This means that the tech sector grew at 2.6 times faster than the rest of the economy. At the same time the number of jobs in digital tech rose five times the rate of the rest of the economy, demonstrating how the digital tech sector is one of the best performing sectors in the UK economy. 2017 proved to be an amazing year for the UK digital tech sector with some of the biggest fundraisings and exits seen in years, as international investors flocked to fund UK-based firms, according to the report. British digital tech companies raised £4.5bn in venture capital investment during the year, almost double the previous year.

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Bosses warned about major leadership changes in a tech-driven economy

Bosses warned about major leadership changes in a tech-driven economy

Bosses warned about major leadership changes in a tech-driven worldWith companies holding ever greater amounts of data and facing heightened scrutiny through social media, employers need to consider the wider implications of their business decisions. This was the message of the President of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), who has warned business leaders and students in Birmingham of the challenges facing bosses in the rapidly evolving tech and data-driven economy. Speaking at the annual MacLaren Memorial Lecture at Aston University, Bruce Carnegie-Brown told the 200-strong audience that the digital revolution is having a transformative effect on the priorities of business leaders, which pose new management challenges. “The growth of social media has made an invaluable contribution in democratising the control of information, he said by, “increasing transparency through universalising access to data and doing it in real time”. Carnegie-Brown, who is also the chairman of Lloyd’s of London, added: “With information more accessible than ever before, those that own or collect data find themselves with huge amounts of power – both social and commercial. But with great power comes great responsibility and balancing these two forces is the greatest leadership challenge of today’s generation of business leaders.”

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Occupational health services can benefit organisations and booster economy says report

Occupational health services can benefit organisations and booster economy says report

Occupational health services can benefit organisations and booster economy says reportIt can be proven that a well implemented Occupational Health service can offer a good return on investment, finds a new report. A white paper, produced by the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM), the International SOS Foundation and KU Leuven University, “Occupational Health: the Global Value and Evidence”, discusses the value of OH from a global perspective and provides a synthesis of global evidence on the effectiveness of OH interventions and cost effectiveness. With fatal and non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses worldwide equating to a cost of approximately €2680 billion, equivalent to 4 percent of the global GDP or the entire GDP of Great Britain organisations, their workforce, and society have to bear a substantial cost. The paper demonstrates that Occupational Health services bring value by improving the health of the working population; contributing to the prevention of work-related illnesses; preventing avoidable sickness absence through the provision of early interventions for those who develop a health condition; and increasing the efficiency and productivity of organisations. They can also play a major part in protecting and revitalising the global economy.

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Poor company culture is costing the UK economy £23.6 billion per year

Poor company culture is costing the UK economy £23.6 billion per year

A new report claims that a third of people (34 percent) who leave their job, do so because of perceived poor company culture. The report, authored by breatheHR claims the associated cost of bad company culture is around £23.6 billion per year. The survey of 2,500 people analysed in The Culture Economy, also suggests that well over half of SME leaders (60 percent) consider company culture as a ‘nice to have’ in their business.This mindset has a number of knock-on effects. According to the Chartered Management Institute, effective leadership could improve Britain’s productivity by 23 percent. However, with over half (53 percent) of employees surveyed who distrust their senior management, thinking their bosses ‘didn’t appear to know what they were doing’, there is some work to be done.

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Full fibre broadband could deliver £120bn boost to UK economy

Full fibre broadband could deliver £120bn boost to UK economy

A new study conducted by economic consultancy Regeneris, and commissioned by Cityfibre, claims that the total economic impact of deploying full fibre ultrafast broadband networks across 100 UK city and towns, could reach £120bn over a 15 year period. The study examined ten areas of the UK economy likely to benefit from full fibre roll-outs. It also sought to quantify the impact of each of these areas in 100 distinct UK town and city economies over a 15-year period. According to the researchers, the UK’s business community – and most particularly its small and medium sized companies – could stand to benefit enormously. Access to full fibre could unlock £4.5bn in business productivity, innovation and access to new markets in these locations; a further £2.3bn in growth could be driven from catalysing new business start-ups; while the increased ability for companies to support flexible working could add £1.9bn.

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Commercial property sector worth £4.8bn to Scottish economy

Commercial property sector worth £4.8bn to Scottish economy

The Scottish commercial property sector contributes almost £4.8 billion to the Scottish economy and supports more than 92,000 jobs, according to a new report. Compiled by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute under commission by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) its findings include a comprehensive look at the potential economic impact of new commercial work. In total, the commercial real estate element of Scotland’s construction industry has a direct impact of around £2.4bn to Scotland’s economy, however taking into account the additional spill-over effects of the industry, the sector is estimated to have a total impact of around £4.8bn.

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The very idea of good work in a gig economy remains a distant ideal

The very idea of good work in a gig economy remains a distant ideal

Don Lane’s employment contract for his work as a courier described him as an “independent contractor”. This meant he was neither an “employee” nor a “worker”, so not entitled to legal rights such as protection against dismissal, paid holidays, or statutory sick pay. The 53-year-old also suffered from diabetes, and had previously been fined £150 by the delivery firm he worked for for missing work to attend a hospital appointment. He died in January 2018 after working through the Christmas season despite his illness. The following month, the British government revealed its response to an earlier official report on modern working practices and the gig economy. That report, by Matthew Taylor, contained 53 recommendations to improve the working environment, or achieve the report’s title, namely ‘good work’.

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Extension of rights for gig economy workers are broadly welcomed

Extension of rights for gig economy workers are broadly welcomed

The government is to give so-called gig economy workers new rights including holiday and sick pay for the first time. Its new Good Work plan is a direct response to last year’s Taylor Review which recommended changes in conditions to reflect modern working practices and extend the rights of workers in the new economy. The government has said it will proceed with almost all the review’s recommendations including giving zero-hour and agency workers the right to request a more stable contract.

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