COVID-19 Bulletin #1

Mar 31, 2020 | Sector & policy

This is the first of a series of bulletins produced by ISE to update members on key data and policy on COVID-19. This covers the period 23/03/2020 – 29/03/2020.

 The week in COVID-19 

Key policies

  • National movement restrictions have been tightened with most people now largely confined to their homes.
  • The NHS are to establish a network of ‘nightingale’ temporary hospitals to deal with the crisis. 
  • Parliament began a month-long recess.
  • Boris Johnson, Matthew Handcock and other key members of the government have tested positive for COVID-19.


  • All schools and colleges have closed, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
  • GCSE and A levels have been cancelled. Ofqual will make details of alternative arrangements available by Easter.
  • School performance tables are cancelled for the year.
  • All universities have ceased face to face teaching.
  • Universities are still developing alternative examination processes for this year.
  • The government confirmed that apprenticeship funding would continue and published guidance for employers, providers and assessors.

Labour market

  • The government has published guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme
  • The government announced a new coronavirus compensation scheme for self-employed workers.
  • Unemployment numbers have begun to rise and the number of job adverts has been in rapid decline.

Student recruitment

Student hiring

Insights from student employers

  • Firms are investigating and investing in new technologies to help them to run their recruitment processes online.
  • The shift to digital raises issues about those candidates who do not have access to good digital technologies or who have impairments that stop them using it.
  • Internships and summer placements are being cancelled by most employers, but some are offering compensation (e.g. one weeks pay) and running online experiences (e.g. virtual mentoring).
  • Most firms have not made final plans about their graduate and apprentice numbers for the autumn. Some are flagging risk that they may have to reduce numbers.
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