Covid bulletin #45: Debating the end of lockdown
This is the forty-fifth of a series of bulletins produced by ISE to update members on key data and policy related to Covid-19. This bulletin covers the period 11th February – 17th February 2021.
You can access all of the Covid-19 bulletins on ISE insights.
Latest Covid-19 data
The UK has now had over 4 million identified Covid-19 cases and 129,498 deaths (with Covid on the death certificate). The R rate is estimated to be between 0.7 and 0.9 with the daily infection rate shrinking by between 2% and 5%.
Both the number of cases and the number of death are now falling from the peak. The number of new cases is now below the October average while the number of deaths still remains higher than the average in December. The Office for National Statistics have published new data on the number of death from Covid.
- Professor Neil Ferguson says that this could be the last lockdown. While Professor Devi Sridhar reminds us that the pandemic is global and that a global response is needed.
- Boris Johnson is optimistic about easing Covid restrictions on the 8th March, but it is still too early to book your summer holidays. Conservative MPs in the lockdown skeptical
- Covid Recovery Group argue that all restrictions should be ended by the end of April.
- Covid has exacerbated social and economic inequalities.
- Plans are continuing for schools to return from the 8th March. Professor Helena Gillespie suggests that England’s education recovery plan should focus on wellbeing, not on ‘catching up’.
- How entrepreneurial skills can equip young people facing unemployment.
- The OECD explores what lessons can be learnt about education from the experience of the Covid crisis?
- The Institute for Fiscal Studies argues that more radical action, including an extension of furlough is needed from the Chancellor in order to respond to the economic crisis.
- Retailers call for more help following the lockdown.
- There has been a major impact on the livelihoods of freelancers over the last year.
- How employers should support workers who are at the frontline during Covid.
Student recruitment and development
- Young people are continuing to report that it is challenging finding work in the current climate. Research from the Resolution Foundation shows that it is young workers who are baring the brunt of the economic impact of Covid.
- Some employers are optimistic about the role that apprenticeships will play in helping them to bounce back.
- Charlie Ball’s graduate labour market update.
- Student recruitment’s shift online is continuing with ISE publishing guidance on how to attract school students virtually and case studies on how organisations are handling this from BDO.
- The ISE addresses diversity in its podcast this week. ISE: Insights also includes tips for hiring and onboarding diverse tech talent.
Key issues raised by ISE employers over the last week.
- The number of applicants for all student roles has generally been up
- The number of withdrawals has increased for both graduates and apprentices and at all stages of the process. One of the concerns is that without the socialisation associated with assessment centres the social aspect of joining an organisation is less. It has also become more difficult to keep in touch with candidates as you can’t do things like ‘keep in touch days’.
- There are some challenges in converting placement students and interns into graduate hires.
- Employers have been discussing some of the different assessment centre requirement that cannot be addressed online e.g. medical examinations or physical tests. This has slowed down recruitment in these kinds of organisations.