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JOB VACANCIES CONTINUE TO INCREASE AS UK REAL WAGES PLUNGE TO THE LOWEST RATE IN 20 YEARS.

Wages are failing to keep up with the rate of inflation as unemployment rises and the cost of living continues to increase.

The office for national statistics (ONS) has found that regular pay (not including bonuses) has decreased by 3.4% since April; this is the sharpest decline since records began. This is hitting public sector workers even harder as their regular pay is decreasing by 6% a year. The figures show that the rapid increase in inflation provoked by the war in Ukraine and recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic cannot be matched by wages as we find ourselves in a cost of living crisis.

The ONS also found that companies were having issues with recruitment and that although unemployment has risen there are 40,000 more people who are out of work but are actively seeking employment than in April. 

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LEVELLING UP: GOVERNMENT RAMPS UP EFFORTS TO BOOST THE NUMBER OF APPRENTICESHIPS OFFERED BY SMEs.

The department for education (DfE) has invited bids for a tender worth £2.25 million to encourage contractors to work with SMEs to create successful apprenticeship programmes in specific areas in the north.

The DfE has launched a 2.25 million tender to use intermediaries to target SMEs in the north, specifically in areas identified as key targets for development in the government levelling up the white paper. According to government figures, the rate of under 19s beginning apprenticeships has fallen from 24.8% in 2018/19 to 20.3% in 2020/21. The bids must include ideas and outlines about how to engage SMEs who do not currently have apprenticeship programmes and should ideally be focused on young people leaving full-time education. The deadline for bids is the 29th of June.

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A SUMMARY OF THE LATEST UK LABOUR MARKET STATISTICS 

According to the most recent estimates from the Labour Force Survey for the period of February to April 2022, employment rates rose during the quarter while rates of unemployment and economic inactivity fell whilst vacancies reached an all-time high.

The employment rate 

The employment rate in the UK increased by 0.2% over the quarter to 75.6%, but it is still below pre-pandemic levels. Long-term unemployment (12+months) has decreased by 15.1% on the year and by 55.5% since 2010. 

Young people (16-24)

Figures revealed a 0.8% increase on the year in the number of young people in FTE(full time education).12.9% of all young people are out of work or economically inactive.

Wages

Nominal total wages (before inflation) are up 6.8% on the year to April 2022. This is 4.2% if bonuses are not included. Real total wages (after inflation) have seen an increase of 0.4% on the year. However, excluding bonuses, there has been a 2.2% decrease on the year. 

Vacancies

Vacancies (for Mar-May 2022) are at 1.3 million which is a record high. They are up 1.6% on the quarter and up 63.3% since the beginning of the pandemic(Jan-March 2020).  

Vacancies in ‘accommodation & food services’ continue to be high (174k) as the industry is considered to be the worst affected by the covid-19 pandemic. Other areas with a high number of vacancies are ‘health and social work’ (215k) and ‘wholesale, retail & repair of motor vehicles’ (161k).

 

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THE MOUNTING CHALLENGES FACED BY DISADVANTAGED YOUNG PEOPLE IN ACCESSING APPRENTICESHIPS.

New research has highlighted that among other factors minimum maths and English requirements, as well as high travel costs and low wages, are acting as barriers to disadvantaged young people having the opportunity to embark on apprenticeship programmes. 

A new study by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) has highlighted the inequality of opportunity that young people from disadvantaged communities face in gaining access to apprenticeship programmes. Several factors were identified such as the setting of minimum maths and English requirements for certain levels of apprenticeship. Low wages and travel costs were also highlighted by the foundation as a barrier which will worsen as the cost of living continues to increase. 

The NFER proposes that the government should create financial incentives for apprenticeship providers to take on apprentices without the minimum English and maths requirements. The foundation also raised the idea of the 16-19 bursary fund becoming available to apprentices to assist with travel costs and called for the government to review the current minimum apprenticeship wage.

 

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HALF OF YOUNG BRITS CLAIM THEY ARE STUCK IN DEAD-END JOBS AND DREAM OF BEING THEIR OWN BOSS ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY

The study of 1,500 20- to 35-year-olds, commissioned by the Open University found over a third (36 %) of 20- to 35-year-olds admit they’re desperate to quit their job but can’t afford to, while 38% say they have no hope of getting a promotion or moving sideways to a more interesting position at their current company.

Read this FE News article here

RETAINING DISADVANTAGES YOUNG PEOPLE IN WORK: AN EVIDENCE REVIEW

Evidence-based insight and practical recommendations for creating jobs and inclusive workplaces where young people from marginalised backgrounds can thrive.

Young people facing disadvantage have experienced particular unemployment challenges through the pandemic and it is crucial that employers create jobs and workplaces where they can develop and build long-term careers.

This evidence review is published in partnership with @cipd and @youthfuturesfoundation. It builds on the previous review on recruiting disadvantaged young people and gives evidence-based answers these questions:

  • What drives disadvantaged young people to leave or stay in their jobs?
  • What can employers do to retain disadvantaged young people?
  • What can employers do to build inclusive work environments for disadvantaged young people?

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Shared employer engagement models – what works?

Research by ReAct

Employment programmes in the UK are designed to work with individuals to address barriers to work and support people to apply for jobs and transition into sustainable employment, as well as work with employers – both to identify and manage vacancies and to broker the right people into the right jobs.

With this employer facing role often done through dedicated ‘employer engagement teams’, this can mean that multiple employer engagement teams are talking to the same employers in different parts of the country, and that within Contract Package Areas there can be different teams from different programmes trying to engage with the same firms.

Members of the ReAct partnership  – a new, industry-led, active collaboration to support a continuous improvement community in the Restart programme through action research, shared and iterative learning, and the development of applied, evidence-based resources –  have commissioned a project to address two important priorities for the programme:

  • To help to develop a shared employer engagement approach, so that employers with jobs across Contract Package Areas can be assured of a consistent Restart offer regardless of where they are creating jobs; and
  • To help understand and apply the evidence of ‘what works’ in effective employer engagement more generally – so that we can improve the performance of the programme, and the likelihood of participants finding good, sustainable jobs.

To read the full paper please access this link.