Covid bulletin #24
This is the twenty-fourth of a series of bulletins produced by ISE to update members on key data and policy on Covid-19. This covers the period 03/09/2020-09/09/2020.
You can access all of the Covid-19 bulletins on ISE insights.
Latest COVID-19 data
Data taken from Wikipedia and from the government’s Number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and risk in the UK webpage.
There has been a substantial spike in cases this week, although the number of deaths remains low. Cases are rising most quickly amongst young people. The UK has now had a total of 355,219 identified Covid-19 cases and 41,494 deaths.
- The fact that cases are growing without a similar rise in the number of deaths has led some to argue that it is time to start opening up further while others fear that the government has lost control of the outbreak.
- Concerns are growing about the effectiveness of the UK’s track and trace scheme. A new mass testing scheme is going to be trialled.
- The Cabinet Secretary and Civil Service unions are divided on how quickly civil servants should return to their desks.
- Retail bodies warn that the return to work is happening too slowly to save city centre shops.
- Government has begun to tighten up regulations again.
- Schools have reopened, although there are concerns about some SEND pupils, including those with medical vulnerabilities who have not been able to return.
- Some schools have already begun to send pupils and whole year groups home due to outbreaks in the school. It is unclear what proportion of schools this has currently impacted on.
- The increase in costs associated with Covid has led to concerns about whether schools’ budgets will be sufficient.
- The Department of Education handed back £330 million of the 2019/2020 budget to the Treasury.
- Two-thirds of FE teachers are concerned about their safety on returning to work.
- Universities are still planning the return of their students in late September and early October. Advice from the government suggests that there are considerable risks associated with the return to campus. Paul Greatrix argues that it is important to put safety first and the UCU trade union argue that not enough has been done.
- The economic outlook continues to be concerning, although Deloitte’s head economist argues that we are now on the long road to recovery.
- The Eat Out to Help Out scheme ultimately paid for 100 million meals in August.
The labour market
- Announcements of redundancies and jobs cuts continue with research suggesting that companies are planning 300,000 redundancies. Costa Coffee report that they are going to shed 1,650 jobs.
- Unemployment is expected to rise in the autumn. The TUC is calling for a shorter working week and a wage support scheme to address this. The think tank Learning and Work set out a post-furlough plan.
- Anne Green explores the impact of the Covid crisis on older workers.
- A crisis in childcare is making working difficult for mothers with young children.
The student labour market
- The ISE launches its recruitment survey to take the temperature of the student labour market.
- Despite long term worries about the future, at present the formal graduate labour market is doing better than expected.
- Social mobility and graduate employment outcomes: Risks and opportunities of the Covid-19 pandemic (Blog from William Donald on the Career Guidance for Social Justice website.
- Stephen Isherwood (ISE CEO) sets out his top tips for virtual engagement and recruitment.