Search Results for: graduates

We need to stop talking about self-employment as a monocultural phenomenon

We need to stop talking about self-employment as a monocultural phenomenon

Self-employment has grown considerably in the UK over the past 15 years, now totalling around 4.8 million workers, or 15 per cent of the workforce. There is a debate about the extent to which this growth in self-employment is a positive development: some believe that it is a positive feature of an entrepreneurial and flexible economy, while others fear that it is increasing levels of precariousness. This is a difficult issue to address as there is great heterogeneity among the self-employed workforce. In order to shed light on this, IES undertook research for the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE) to divide the self-employed workforce into segments. The policy debate on self-employment has often been carried out on the assumption that there is some homogeneity among the self-employed workforce. However, this is far from the case, and it could be argued that diversity is increasing due to the growth of the so-called gig economy. In order to help clarify the debate, IES undertook research for the CRSE that aimed to achieve greater clarity in terms of the size and nature of the different segments of the self-employed workforce. The aim is that if the sector is better segmented, this will help policymakers to avoid taking a broad-brush approach to the treatment of self-employed workers.

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Soft skills are vital for organisational success, say business leaders

Soft skills are vital for organisational success, say business leaders

A majority of business leaders see a positive impact on revenues following soft skills training investment as Apprenticeship Levy gathers pace, new research claims. Almost two-thirds (60 percent) of senior decision-makers said training employees in communication, leadership and sales skills leads to business growth. The findings suggest the new government-funded apprenticeship schemes introduced in April will improve companies’ bottom-lines, with 63 percent of respondents already seeing an increase in revenue from an investment in staff training. ‘Hard’ skills such as technical abilities were more of a focus under old apprenticeship schemes, but the data reveals business leaders want to invest in less quantifiable skills such as communication, leadership and customer service since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

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Just half of UK businesses have the right skills to combat a cyberattack

Just half of UK businesses have the right skills to combat a cyberattack

Only half (50 percent) of UK companies believe they have the right skills to address a cyberattack, despite some high profile cyberattacks this year against the NHS, Uber and Equifax. A lack of cybersecurity skills may be due to a wider skills gaps facing the UK tech industry, claims new research from IT jobs board, CW Jobs. Nearly a third of tech employees reported feeling they were insufficiently trained in coding, cybersecurity and cloud migration. The gaps in employees’ skills is translating to the businesses they work for with 23 percent saying their business is missing programming and cybersecurity skills. A little over half (51 percent) of IT workers said that cybersecurity was included in their training, and almost one in four (23 percent) say they are not confident in handling a cyber security attack. Despite the growing threat and lack of in-house expertise, only half (50 percent) of employers look for cybersecurity skills when recruiting new IT talent. However, despite awareness around the risk of cybersecurity and the lack of preparedness, only 22 percent of employers are currently training their existing staff in cybersecurity.

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Boosting skills is the key to improving sluggish growth and productivity

Boosting skills is the key to improving sluggish growth and productivity

The United Kingdom has record-high employment levels and very low jobless rates compared to most OECD countries. However, labour productivity growth remains weak and the job prospects of many adults are hurt by their poor literacy and numeracy skills. To boost growth, productivity and earnings, the UK should encourage lifelong learning among adults and promote better skills utilisation, according to a new OECD report. Getting Skills Right: United Kingdom says that educational attainment has been rising in the UK, with 42 percent of adults having a tertiary degree, compared with 34 percent across the OECD. Sixteen per cent graduate in the field of sciences, more than in any other OECD country, and nearly half of science graduates are women. The share of young adults enrolled in vocational education and training has risen to 43 percent but remains lower than in many other European countries. Apprenticeships are also less popular, pursued by around 24 percent of upper secondary students, compared to 59 percent in Switzerland or 41 percent in Germany.

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Time for Britain to face up to its post-Brexit skills shortage

Time for Britain to face up to its post-Brexit skills shortage

A new and dramatic wrinkle seems to be added to the process of Brexit talks every week. But rumbling underneath the political positioning are some fundamental problems for business. Perhaps the most startling challenge is the prospect of a cavernous skills gap. A lot of attention has been paid to the problems of low-skilled workers – the “left-behind” who voted for Brexit in the first place, and the migrants who are currently propping up the agricultural economy and doing the jobs that UK workers don’t want to do. But a more pressing issue is the fact that for too long a large proportion of our skilled labour has been coming from outside the UK. This is not only in the form of skilled individuals who are recruited to work for companies and public sector organisations in the UK, but also in the way Britain outsources the manufacture of complex parts to companies in the rest of Europe. More →

How our smartphones stop us from living in the moment

How our smartphones stop us from living in the moment

As a teacher who has long witnessed and worried about the impacts of technology in the classroom, I constantly struggle to devise effective classroom policies for smartphones. I used to make students sing or dance if their phones interrupted class, and although this led to some memorable moments, it also turned inappropriate tech use into a joke. Given the myriad deleterious effects of phones – addiction, decline of face-to-face socialisation, deskilling, and endless distraction, for starters – I want students to think carefully about their phone habits, rather than to mindlessly follow (or not follow) a rule.

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New analysis reveals shrinking pool of younger workers in the UK workforce

New analysis reveals shrinking pool of younger workers in the UK workforce

New analysis reveals shrinking pool of younger workers in the UK workforceAn increase in the number of UK-born employees leaving the UK’s workforce, either through retirement or emigration is coinciding with a shrinking pool of younger workers, which a fall in immigration can no longer fill, a new report warns. An analysis of the UK’s workforce showed that the UK’s workforce grew in 2016-2017 only because of an increase in EU and non-EU workers. Mercer’s Workforce Monitor showed that retirement, opting out (i.e. due to caring responsibilities) or emigration saw around 143,000 UK-born employees leave the UK workforce with the loss of workers only being offset by the entry of around 147,000 EU-born workers and around 232,000 Non-EU workers.  In sum, the UK’s workforce grew by an estimated 234,000 over 2016-2017. From Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, the number of workers over 50 in the UK economy grew by 230,000, the under 35’s grew by 50,000 while the number of workers aged 35-49 shrunk by 48,000. According to the analysis, if net migration into the UK levels off at 100,000 per year from 2020, the number of under 50s in the workforce will fall by 200,000 by 2025; the over 50s would increase by over 1 million while the number of under-25s in the population would fall by 100,000. This means apprentices and graduates numbers will be less.

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Being on a temporary or zero-hours contract is bad for your wellbeing, especially if you’re young

Being on a temporary or zero-hours contract is bad for your wellbeing, especially if you’re young

Two major new studies claim to show the impact of temporary or insecure work on the wellbeing of people, especially younger workers. Research into the lives of 7,700 people from the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) suggests that young adults who are employed on zero-hours contracts are less likely to be in good health, and are at higher risk of poor mental health than workers with stable jobs. Meanwhile, an analysis from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Business in the Community suggests that younger workers (born since 1982) in part-time and temporary work – or who are underemployed and/or overqualified – are more likely to experience poorer mental health and wellbeing, compared to younger workers in more permanent and secure work.

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Manchester leads the UK as regional creative talent market place for tech and media

Manchester leads the UK as regional creative talent market place for tech and media 0

Manchester leads the UK regional creative talent market to house tech and media

Manchester tops the ranking as the leading UK regional creative talent market, having the key ingredients required by this sector to progress and develop as a future destination for the creative industries (including publishing, film, TV, media, digital, computer programming and information services). This is according to ‘Creative Regions’, a first of its kind report, showcasing the Top 25 Regional Creative locations in the UK [outside of London] published by CBRE. Common characteristics of successful creative locations, suggest the report, include large concentrations of creative businesses and professionals, deep talent pools of highly educated graduate populations, large and growing millennial populations, good transport connections, quality of life and proximity to world class universities with strong research and computer science ratings. The report’s also found that Reading punches well above its weight as a creative talent destination, given the size of its office market; Scotland features particularly well with Edinburgh and Glasgow in the top five list, and 11 of the top 25 creative talent locations are in the East and South East.

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London businesses lead the way in uptake of flexible working

London businesses lead the way in uptake of flexible working 0

London-based businesses are leading the way in flexible working in the UK, according to a new report from conference call provider Powwownow. The study of 2,000 people claims  that business leaders in the capital let their staff spend the most time working out of the office during an average week – a total of 3 hours and 31 minutes, compared to the UK average of 2 hours and 34 minutes. The survey also suggests that young people, many of whom are graduates with sought-after skills such as digital and cybersecurity expertise, are the most likely to consider flexible working a main attraction of a new job, with three quarters (76 percent) agreeing. While young people in London (18 – 24 year olds) are the most likely to want flexible working (85 percent), they are the least likely to be offered it by businesses. Over half of young people (53 percent) are not proactively offered flexible working, compared to just a third (33 percent) of 35-44 year olds who also have to ask for it.

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Digitisation of workplace boosts earning powers in creative and design sector

Digitisation of workplace boosts earning powers in creative and design sector 0

Digitisation of workplace boasts earning powers in creative and design sector

The rise of the gig economy and social media platforms have pushed creative and design jobs up the salary ranks, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk. In January, average salaries in this sector saw an annual increase of 2.2 percent to £31,828, with its popularity being driven by factors such as the new digital age coupled with the expertise of graduates who step into the jobs market with a fresh outlook on social media channels such as Snapchat and Instagram, which are highly valuable to employees. Across the job market, the employment rate stands at 74.6 percent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971 according to the ONS. This has been helped by a record proportion of women in work, with so-called ‘returnships’ – a type of later-life work experience helping older people, predominantly women back into the workplace – boosting the figures. Immigration may have tailed off in the wake of Brexit, but this also previously helped stimulate the jobs market.

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Over half of employers struggled to find newly graduated employees last year

Over half of employers struggled to find newly graduated employees last year 0

Over half of employers strugged to find newly graduated employees last yearOver half of graduate employers are struggling to fill their graduate vacancies, partly due to students reneging on offers. A poll by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) claims that 52 percent of employers did not fill all of their graduate vacancies last year and while one in five offers were declined, 7.1 percent of offers made were accepted and then reneged. The size of the challenge differs by sector. Accountancy, banking and engineering firms are the most likely to find reneging an issue. It is less of a problem in the public sector and among law, utility and IT businesses. However, employers are finding ways to tackle the issue with 97 percent communicating and 78 percent holding events for graduates between offer and join date. As a result the proportion of job offers reneged is falling – in the AGR’s 2015 poll 8.2 percent were reneged. Employers are also being advised to take more of a digital approach to reaching ‘tech savvy’ graduates.

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