March Early Career News Digest

Mar 29, 2023 | Development, News

A budget that aimed to boost workforce productivity, schools and universities under pressure, the latest apprentice news, and insights into students’ lives; ISE CEO Stephen Isherwood shares what’s caught his eye in the news this month.

Budget focused on boosting the workforce

Jeremy Hunt’s budget aims to get economically inactive people back into work through a focus on the over 50s and the economically inactive. The budget also sought to help more parents cover the cost of childcare.

Improving skills in the workforce would help the Treasury’s finances argued the Skills Builder Partnership. Lack of essential skills costs the UK £22bn said the new report published in partnership with CIPD, KPMG and The Edge Foundation. Nearly 90% of employers think global mobility could help address talent shortages but visa legislation is a significant barrier, said EY in its Mobility Reimagined Survey.

Contrasting university fortunes in the East of England

The University of Cambridge has an economic impact four times greater than the Premier League and contributed £30bn to the UK economy, says a report from London Economics. Whilst UEA’s  vice-chancellor resigned as falling student numbers and increased costs helped to create a £30m deficit.

At least an end to the lectures strike might be on the horizon. After another two days of industrial action in March, progress as unions and employers agreed terms to continue negotiations.

Calls for apprentice reform and T-levels delayed

AELP and City & Guilds called for action to increase apprentice completion rates in their new ‘Raising the Standard’ report and the REC reported that employers want the apprentice levy to fund shorter courses.

The Independent focused on leadership training and launched an attack on employers who use the apprentice levy to fund manager training at level seven. The paper also reported that Government and the regulator decided to delay four new T-levels until 2024 due to quality concerns.

On a more positive note, Travis Perkins announced plans to train 10,000 apprentices by 2030 to help solve skills shortages within the construction industry.

Schools under pressure

Strikes are not the only resourcing challenge for headteachers. Teacher vacancies are now almost double pre-pandemic levels according to a report by National Foundation for Educational Research.

Another feature of school life, the OFSTED inspection regime came in for criticism after a headteacher took her own life. If you want to know what OFSTED do, the BBC explained their remit.

Students happiest in the capital

Despite expensive rents, Students studying in London are more satisfied with their education experience than those in the regions, said HEPI and London Higher in a new report.

Those who want to work in the media may be less happy though: a recent graduate detailed her experience of media agency internships in The Metro.

How students experienced the pandemic is causing recruiters to recalibrate how they assess students in light of their pandemic experiences, reported the Sunday Times.

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