Career & Worklife Education

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A pivotal point: the future of workforce development

As we emerge from the pandemic, assess its fallout in the workplace and look to recovery, business leaders are going to nd themselves facing a dire talent and skills shortage. We knew this when Covid rst struck: chief executives then saw such a shortage as one of their biggest business threats. The chances now are that it is becoming an even bigger threat, particularly in new digital areas, as this report shows. And it is arriving as budgets tighten like never before.

The clear need is to focus intensely on reskilling and upskilling. It is cheaper to develop than to hire. The wisdom of this approach is borne out by the 2021 L&D Global Sentiment Survey, now in its eighth year and published at the start of February. For 3,114 L&D voters from 95 countries, the answer to “What will be hot in L&D in 2021?” was a clear and unequivocal “Reskilling/ upskilling”.

Yet despite knowing the value of and the need for reskilling and upskilling, for developing the existing workforce rather than looking for new talent from outside, many businesses are not putting it into practice with anything like the commitment that’s needed. “Training” is still siloed, it is often about box ticking content rather than true integrated performance development and skills gap identi cation is poor.

On the one hand, this means that many businesses need to move mountains if they’re to overcome the shortages they can expect. That requires signi cant internal change and also replacing some of their large, unresponsive learning management providers with new, more agile players.

On the other hand, it means that for such agile new providers there is a market that is wide open for development with opportunities at great scale.

Based on extensive research, this report explores the key trends, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for learning and development practitioners, organisations, policymakers and founders. Workforce development is ripe for evolution. This report gives vital insights into the form that evolution can take, with actionable recommendations for business, policy, L&D leaders and founders.

Read the full report from emerge Education & Future Learn here.

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Jane Daly's Worklife Podcast: Joan Keevill, The power of Professional Networks

 

In this episode Jane talks to Joan Keevill about the power of Professional Networks

Joan is Director of Designs on Learning Ltd, an e-learning consultancy. She has a wide range of clients, many of them large corporates, and specialises in the areas of leadership and compliance. She also works with a number of associates who manage the production side of the work on her behalf. The majority of Joan's new business comes through her network so she invests time in nurturing it. Joan has been Chair of the eLearning Network since 2018 and on the Board since 2016. She initiated the webinar series, managed the transition in 2020 from face-to-face to more virtual events and recently ran the third round of Board elections. Being on the eLN enables Joan to reach out to over 20,000 industry professionals via its social media platforms, as well as to give something back to the industry after her decades of experience working in it.

Joan recommends listeners explore the following topics if they would like to delve deeper into her insights: 

The eLN Review of 2020 (https://elearningnetwork.org/the-elearning-network-a-review-of-2020-and-a-look-ahead-to-2021/) - I'm constantly amazed by what a group of 12 volunteer Directors of the eLN can achieve and how they stepped up to the plate when the pandemic began. This review explains the range of our activities and how members benefit by being part of this dynamic network. The Learning and Development Handbook, Michelle Parry Slater (https://www.koganpage.com/product/the-learning-and-development-handbook-9781789663327) - to be published on 3rd Feb 2021. I've had the pleasure of reading an early proof and it's a very practical guide that will suit people at all levels in L&D. In itself it's not about networking but Michelle epitomises networking and sharing good practice and that's how the idea of the book came about - via twitter. The Women Talking About Learning (WTAL) podcast series (https://womentalkingaboutlearning.com/) - initiated by Andrew Jacobs, this is an evolving resource and well worth a listen by all in L&D. I feature in the Imposter Syndrome one and also the Evidence one. Andrew felt women's voices were not being heard enough. Again, he is another great networker and blogger, publishing a short blog post daily.

You can find out more about Joan and the eLearning Network (eLN) here 

Enjoyed this episode? There's lots more to listen to, sign up here to find out more  about worklife Podcasts and People Who Know Marketplace.

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Jane Daly's Worklife Podcast - Ian Mcllwain: Digital-first Learning

 

In this episode Jane talk to Ian Mcllwain about Digital-first Learning

Ian is a technology company leader with more than 20 years’ experience in business development, sales, and strategic operations. As part of the UK leadership team and Head of LinkedIn Learning UK & Ireland, Ian is currently leading a team helping clients to develop, retain and transform their talent. 

In the workplace, Ian is passionate about customer value, technology, diversity, inclusion & belonging, coaching, empowerment, compassionate management, building great teams and having fun doing it.

Ian recommends the following 3 things for listeners to deep-dive further: 

Something free from Linkedin: https://linkedin.github.io/career-explorer/

 

LinkedIn Career Explorer

Comparing skills across jobs can make it easier to find the right job for you. Since Time Management is a critical skill for both Food Servers and Operations Coordinators, let’s go deeper to understand the other skills that overlap between the two jobs and what skills you would need to build to move from one job to the other.

linkedin.github.io

What does it do

“Our Career Explorer tool will help you discover potential career opportunities based on the skills you already have. Enter your most recent job, and we’ll surface opportunities that you have high skills overlap with and resources to help you build any new skills to make a career pivot”

Something free from Microsoft: https://opportunity.linkedin.com/skills-for-in-demand-jobs

Free Learning Paths for Top Jobs

Start developing your skills with free learning paths from LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn.

opportunity.linkedin.com

 

Something not to do with LinkedIn or Microsoft but a resource I love:

https://fs.blog/blog/

  Find out more about Ian here Enjoyed this episode? There's lots more to listen to, sign up here to find out more 

 

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Coronavirus: safe home-based working

Coronavirus: safe home-based working

Below is the latest guidance and advice from The National Education Union to promote safe home based working.

Widespread home-based working presents a variety of organisational and personal challenges, particularly because of the sudden change in circumstances requiring rapid adaptation.

Employers have a duty to undertake risk assessments for employees while they are at work, including when they are working from home. Although it would not be practical, or safe, for workstations to be inspected by managers, or in many cases, for additional equipment/furniture to be provided, there are ways in which you can protect your health during this difficult time.

The NEU expects school leaders to respect and adhere to the principles set out below which should form part of a risk assessment.  Where there remain serious barriers, you should raise with your line manager and discuss with your health and safety rep and NEU colleagues.

Define your space – separate work from home

Setting up a dedicated working area, where possible, will help you to separate your work-life from your home-life.  Having a dedicated workspace assists with consciously entering the mental zone for work.  

Are you sitting comfortably?

Spending long hours at a poorly set up workstation could leave you with back, neck, hip and knee pain and muscle strains.  Make sure you set your workstation up as well as you can in the circumstances and if you need any support then contact your line manager.  Sit at a desk or table where possible.  Sitting on a bed or sofa may seem relaxing but could lead to musculo-skeletal problems in the longer term.

Try to ensure that you:

have a chair that is supportive, stable and comfortable (ideally with adjustable height and tilt though this may not be possible) use a separate screen or laptop riser if you have one so you’re not looking down whilst you’re typing use a separate keyboard, which tilts, and mouse if you can, and don’t hunch over the keyboard use a document holder if you have one, positioned to minimise neck movement have good lighting above your workstation avoiding glare and reflections on the screen Place a laptop/tablet it on a firm surface, not on your lap, at the right height for keying have extra back support if pregnant. Working hours

You may be sharing your home space with other family members and this can, of course, impact on how you are able to work. If you have young children at home for whom you are caring, this may well impact on your working arrangements.  If you are sharing childcare responsibilities, it is important to think about how to balance your work and childcare responsibilities. Sometimes this might mean working at different times during the day.  It may mean blocking out periods of time to be with children.  It is important to discuss your specific working arrangements and any restrictions during this period with your head teacher/line manager.  The NEU expects all leaders to be reasonable in their expectations.

Take regular short breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential.  Try following the 20-20-20 rule.  Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to look at something that’s at least 20 feet away.  Ideally you should get up and walk over to whatever it is you’re looking at so you can stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest.  Try to take a break of 5 – 10 minutes every 50 – 60 minutes.  Make a cup of coffee, have a chat with a member of your household, or simply walk round your home.

Always make time for lunch away from your workstation

It is important to take a lunch break – get something to eat and drink and try to have time away from your desk. This may be a good time to have a social call with a colleague – compare notes about working from home or just talk about non-work issues. As and when Government guidance allows, take a walk if you can, or if you have one, at least go into your garden or on to your balcony.

Go out for some fresh air

Don’t spend the whole day indoors hunched over your laptop working non-stop.  Be sure to plan in some time to go outside each day, before, after or during your working day, as Government guidance allows.  Go for a run or a walk if you are able to; or take the dog for a walk. 

Socialise with colleagues

Just because you’re not working alongside your colleagues doesn’t mean that you can’t socially interact with them.  Make time for the conversations you would usually have in the staffroom.  Arrange on-line evening social events.

Remember the days before email…

Communicating via email is quick and easy but it means we lose interaction with people.  Before you send an email, ask yourself whether you could have this conversation over the phone.  You can always follow up with an email after, to get the best of both worlds. 

Know when to stop

It may be tempting to continue working and telling yourself “just another ten minutes”.  It could mean that you’re still sat at your workstation two hours later, and this is not good for your wellbeing or your effectiveness.

Schools should have an email protocol.  There must be no expectation that just because you are at home you are constantly available or that you will be able to respond within unrealistic deadlines. You should not be expected to respond to emails at evenings and at the weekend.  If there is no reasonable protocol in place in your school, discuss with fellow NEU members what you think is reasonable, and then raise collectively with management. For example, you may decide that there should be no expectation to read or reply to emails before 8am and after 5pm on working days.  At this stressful time when there is an even greater need to rest and relax it might also be worth having an understanding that work-related emails and group messages, eg on WhatsApp, will not be sent by anyone outside of the set times.

At the end of your working day it is good practice to put your phone away and switch off your computer.

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Tips and Ideas to help Parents working at home with Children

Working from home tips and ideas

Check out these tips from Parent Club – a Scottish Government website offering up-to-date guidance children’s health and education.

Coronavirus has affected everyone’s life and the changes we’ve all made still take some getting used to. This is especially true if you’ve been working from home while juggling your childcare responsibilities.

To try to help you keep up with your work and your kids, we’ve put together a few handy tips from parents who have been there. These vary from general tips that every parent can try out, to ones that are perfectly suited for your own child’s age group.

Tips for everyone

Tip #1: Stay flexible

There’s no magical system that will work for every family, so try different options to find one that works for yours. Even when you find your own special method, try to remember that it won’t work every time and some days will be tougher than others. However, if you’re a little flexible, you’ll soon find a way that works for both you and your kids, where everyone is getting things done most of the time.

Tip #2: Find your own quiet corner

Chances are, if you don’t usually work from home then you won’t have a nice space set up and ready for you! If you can, try to set aside somewhere in your home to be your work area. If you have younger children, this could be the corner of a room – so you can still keep an eye on them. Just be sure to let them know that this is a no-go area for them.

Tip #3: Prioritise & schedule

With the kids around, you’re not going to have as much time to dedicate to work, so it’s important to use this time wisely. Make a list of key tasks that you need to get through each day and try thinking about what important tasks you can do during quieter periods.

Tip #4: Teamwork

If you have a partner living with you, and you're both working from home during this time, try to agree a plan between you of when to spend time with the kids. This will mean that you’ll have time for work while the kids are also getting some much-needed attention from your partner and vice versa.

Tip #5: Embrace the change

Coronavirus is affecting everyone. You’re not the only one in this situation, and many of your co-workers may also be working from home with kids to look after too. So don’t try to juggle it all as though it’s ‘business as usual’. Let your line manager and colleagues know that you will be balancing childcare and home learning with work, and block time out in your calendar for this. 

You may need to change or even reduce your hours in order to manage – talk to your line manager if this is the case. You could also ask to be furloughed – there’s more information on this on the Working Families website.

Remember that this isn’t ‘business as usual’ and that you may not be as productive as you usually are – but that’s totally fine. We’re all in this together.

Tip #6: Me time

During this difficult period, you’re going to be multi-tasking on a completely new level and you’ll need a break yourself. If you can, try to take some time for yourself, even if it’s just for a cuppa or a quiet five minute break.

Tip #7: Get outside 

Now that the days are shorter it’s important that you get plenty of time outside. When you’re working from home you often have no reason to go out. But it’s very important that you spend at least a little time outside during daylight hours, as this can improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

Tip #8: Stay warm

It’s easy to get a bit chilly in the winter months, especially if you’re trying to keep the cost of heating bills as low as possible. Instead of having the boiler on 24/7 you can make sure you have a cosy jumper on and remember to keep the doors closed in the house. You could even make yourself a hot water bottle and sit with it on your knee! This will make a big difference and stop you reaching for the thermostat.

Extra tips for parents with babies (0 – 1 year old)

Working from home with a baby can be an incredibly difficult task. You’re already probably running on less sleep than you’re used to and your little one will need round-the-clock care. Now, on top of all that, you’re having to juggle work too. Here are a few tips specific to babies that might help you be a little more productive.

Tip #1: Take advantage of naptime/bedtime

Naptime can be a great time to get those more difficult tasks completed. Every baby will have its own pattern when it comes napping, but whether they have frequent short naps, or longer naps less often, these precious moments of quiet can be a great time to focus. However, if this is still proving to be difficult, and if you’re able to, try to hold off on doing more complicated tasks until the little one is in bed.

Tip #2: Enjoy the little moments

This is a stressful time for everyone as different worlds all collide in new ways, so it’s important to enjoy the little moments. Taking a quick break to get a little snuggle can really give you a little boost when you might need it most.

Tip #3: Wear that baby

If it helps you get time in front of your laptop, and your baby enjoys a little snuggle time, use a sling or baby carrier to keep them close to you while you work. Chances are, your colleagues will know that you have a baby, and if you have any video calls scheduled, your colleagues may delight in getting the chance to see your little one.

Tip #4: Multi-platform tools

If you are able to, look into working on multi-platform tools like Google Docs. This means that you can easily swap from the laptop to your mobile phone in the event you are trapped under a suddenly sleeping baby.

Tip #5: Dealing with crying babies

Dealing with a crying baby can be an emotionally draining experience for any parent, especially if you are unsure why they are crying in the first place. You can check out our why is my baby crying page, for some excellent tips on how to soothe your little one.

Extra tips for parents with toddlers (1 – 3 years old)

Working from home with a toddler can sometimes be a particular challenge for parents. At this time in their lives, toddlers are able to communicate with their parents, but not completely understand the world around them. These extra tips might be able to help you deal with this wonderful, but challenging, period in their development.

Tip #1: Take advantage of naptime

At this stage, your kids may now be having longer, more regular naptimes, and you can use these to your advantage. For example, this might be a great time to arrange that important conference call.

Tip #2: Enjoy the little moments

Your kids are more likely to be more settled and play happily and quietly after they have had some quality time with you. So, taking some time out regularly throughout the day to spend with your child means you’re more likely to get peaceful moments in between to concentrate on your work.

Tip #3: A little undivided attention can go a long way

If your toddler is trying to get your attention, there’s a pretty good chance they aren’t going to stop until they get it. Try to find time to put down the work and give your little one the attention they need and deserve. After a little undivided attention from you, your toddler is much more likely to get on with some independent play – and let you get back to the laptop.

Tip #4: The favourite toy

If your little one has a favourite toy that they just can’t get enough of, then try keeping this for those "must concentrate" moments. Chances are, they’ll be happy to get their number one friend, and you’ll get some much needed time to focus on work.

Extra tips for parents with children (4 – 8 years old)

At this age there is still plenty you can do to keep kids occupied if they're not able to go to school. From getting them to help around the house to scheduling virtual playdates, here are a few extra tips to help you out.

Tip #1: Mix it up

Keep things fresh, new and exciting by mixing up activities with your kids. You can switch between options such as screen time, games, puzzles and arts and crafts to keep them occupied while you get time to concentrate on work. And if you have time for a quick break, you can even join in!

Tip #2: To-do lists

To-do lists can be a great way for you to keep on top of work duties, but they can also be a great way to keep your kids occupied and engaged. Get them to make their own to-do lists filled with everything from playing different games to tidying up and even helping around the house. If your kids aren’t quite able to write yet, why not get them to draw their to-do list instead?

Tip #3: Virtual playdates

Outside of school hours, scheduling virtual play dates can be a great way to keep the kids occupied while you try to do some work. Even though they can now see their friends more, they’ll still love the chance to catch up with them online.

Tip #4: Movie time

One great way to keep the little ones occupied during an important call or task you need to complete is to put on their favourite film. Yes, you may be watching it for the millionth time now, but it’s a good chance to keep the kids settled when you need it most.

Tip #5: Set expectations & rewards

If you have something important you need to concentrate on, or a call you need them to be quiet during, then tell your little one exactly this. They won’t always listen to you of course, but if they do, make sure you praise them for doing such a good job. That way they are more likely to keep doing this next time.

Tips for parents with pre-teens (9+ years old)

At this age, if your kids are not able to go to school they may be missing their friends, and it’s understandable that they might get a little frustrated by this. Unfortunately, you don’t have the opportunity to fall back on the long forgotten ‘nap time’ but there are still a few things you can try to help your day go a little easier.

Tip #1: Mix it up

Keep things fresh, new and exciting by mixing up activities with your kids. You can switch between options such as screen time, board games, jigsaw puzzles and arts and crafts to keep them occupied while you get time to concentrate on work – and if you have time for a quick break, you can even join in! Their school should also have sent some activities for them to complete, so make sure time is set aside to work on these too.

Tip #2: Haven’t you always wanted a Personal Assistant?

As your kids are a little older, there’s no reason you can’t get them to help lighten your load and ease the pressure. Need someone to sort your paperwork, take notes for you, or perhaps help tidy around the house? Problem solved! The kids will also feel like they are helping too.

Tip #3: To-do lists

To-do lists can be a great way for you to keep on top of work duties, but they can also be a great way to keep your kids occupied and engaged. Get them to make their own to-do lists filled with everything from playing different games to tidying up and even helping around the house.

Tip #4: Communication fun

Give them a pile of post it notes, or create a suggestion box together – there are lots of fun ways that your kids can communicate with you during this difficult time. That way, they can write down those ‘must know’ questions for you to answer when you’re free.

Tip #5: Loosen up screen time rules

Everyone in your home will be going through this stressful period in their own way, but it can help to temporarily loosen some of the rules you had in place back when things were a little less crazy. Trying things like loosening up screen time rules can be a good way to keep the kids occupied while you take care of a particularly tricky task. You can get them to stay in touch with friends or family through video calling – which might also help them understand that everyone is going through this difficult time.

Extra tips for dealing with multiple children

If you have more than one child, then it’s likely that they’ll start arguing at some point during the day – usually just when you are trying to do something important! Here are a couple of extra tips to help with those moments.

Tip #1: Private space

If you can, try to give each of your children their own private place where they can calm down and play with their own things. It’s helpful to keep a box here with some activities you know help to them relax. When they start getting cross with each other, get them to go to their own space and play.

Tip #2: One to one time 

If possible, try to spend a little quality time alone with each of your children – it can really make a difference. If they’re a bit older, you could ask them what they’d like to do with you during this special one to one time. From reading a little of their favourite book, to doing some drawing together or playing a board game, this is a perfect chance to chat to them and make them feel special, meaning they are less likely to get as wound up during the day.

Click here for more from Parent Club.

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THE REDUNDANCY SUPPORT SERVICE FOR APPRENTICES

Facing redundancy during your apprenticeship

The coronavirus pandemic has caused some organisations to make redundancies, leaving enthusiastic, hardworking apprentices without an employer.  If you’re facing redundancy, we’re here to support you as you get ready to take the next step in your career.

THE REDUNDANCY SUPPORT SERVICE FOR APPRENTICES

To support apprentices who have been made redundant or think they might be in the future, we’ve launched the Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices. You can call 0800 015 0400 to get free advice, find new opportunities, and access local and national support services offering financial, health and wellbeing, legal and careers advice.

You can also read our guidance for apprentices affected by redundancy. There’s advice for finding alternative employment, plus information about financial support and talking to someone about how you’re coping.

To search and apply for apprenticeship opportunities, head over to Find an apprenticeship.

LOOKING FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES 

Some employers are hiring apprentices who have been made redundant during the pandemic. Where this is possible, you could continue to earn while learning valuable skills, setting you up for a range of exciting career options.

If you’ve been made redundant or think you might be made redundant in the future, you should contact your training provider. They may be able to offer support in finding new employment and completing your apprenticeship training.

You can also use our new vacancy sharing service to find employers who are interested in hiring redundant apprentices. Once you’ve signed up, we'll share regular updates to let you know which employers have opportunities available in your area.

FIND ANOTHER APPRENTICESHIP

STAYING SAFE AT WORK

Check the workplace safety guidance  to find out what you can do to help keep your workplace safe and what you should expect from your employer. 

You can also take a look at the safer travel guidance to find out how to stay safe on your commute.

RESOURCES Find another apprenticeship Guidance for apprentices affected by redundancy Guidance for working safely during coronavirus Safer travel guidance    
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Jane Daly's Worklife podcast - Ann James: Unlived

Ann James MA MSc, Executive Fellow, Henley Business School, Coach & Coach Supervisor, Member, Association for Coaching, Approved Tutor, International Coach Federation

In this episode Jane talk to Ann James about the importance of focusing on what's 'Unlived'

In Ann's own words...

I started my career in the events and broadcast sectors, did ok, and decided at the ripe old age of 30 that corporate life and me were not going to get along. I asked myself what I might be really scared of doing - which was walking away and setting up on my own. That’s exactly what I did. Every year, I ask myself that same question, and find something - even a tiny something - that I think I can’t do, then have a go.

In the almost 30 years since, I have largely followed my nose; the scent trail brought me to coaching, nudging others to take a chance, make a change, have a go.

I have a private coaching, personal development and coach development practice, and I train coaches at the world-renowned Henley Business School, which runs the only global, triple-accredited coach programme of its kind. 

Around my 50th birthday, I read a book that pointed my nose in a new direction, leading me to American writer - and now film-maker - Joan Anderson. Since getting into the habit of attending her Cape Cod retreats, I have been hosting my Sea Change ® getaways on the Suffolk coast for groups of women who have reached that point in life where they feel the urge to sniff the air and take stock.  

We often surprise ourselves.

If you are looking for be inspired more by what's 'Unlived', Ann recommends:  Joan Anderson and Nancy Kline as inspirations, role models and mentors – have a look at what they have done and who they are! Sniffing the air (what is outlived in one’s life and what is unloved?) Surprising oneself (the importance of having a go) If you would like to find out more about Ann's work click here  Enjoyed this episode? There's lots more to listen to, sign up here to find out more 
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The social contract in the 21st century

The social contract in the 21st century   Economic outcomes and the relationship between individuals and institutions have shifted for workers, consumers, and savers in advanced economies.    Executive Summary (PDF-723KB) Full Report (PDF-2MB)  

Life has changed substantially for individuals in advanced economies in the first two decades of the 21st century as a result of trends including disruptions in technology, globalization, the economic crisis of 2008 and its recovery, and shifting market and institutional dynamics. In many ways, changes for individuals have been for the better, including new opportunities and overall economic growth—and the prospect of more to come as the century progresses, through developments in science, technology and innovation, and productivity growth. Yet, the relatively positive perspective on the state of the economy, based on GDP and job growth indicators, needs to be complemented with a fuller assessment of the economic outcomes for individuals as workers, consumers, and savers

In a report, The social contract in the 21st century: Outcomes so far for workers, consumers, and savers in advanced economies (PDF–2.7MB), the McKinsey Global Institute takes an in-depth look at these changes in 22 advanced economies in Asia, Europe, and North America, covering 57 percent of global GDP. Among the findings: while opportunities for work have expanded and employment rates have risen to record levels in many countries, work polarization and income stagnation are real and widespread. The cost of many discretionary goods and services has fallen sharply, but basic necessities such as housing, healthcare, and education are absorbing an ever-larger proportion of incomes. Coupled with wage stagnation effects, this is eroding the welfare of the bottom three quintiles of the population by income level (roughly 500 million people in 22 countries). Public pensions are being scaled back—and roughly the same three quintiles of the population do not or cannot save enough to make up the difference.

These shifts point to an evolution in the “social contract”: the arrangements and expectations, often implicit, that govern the exchanges between individuals and institutions. Broadly, individuals have had to assume greater responsibility for their economic outcomes. While many have benefited from this evolution, for a significant number of individuals the changes are spurring uncertainty, pessimism, and a general loss of trust in institutions.

Policy makers, business leaders, and individuals will need to focus on two fronts. The first is Policy makers, business leaders, and individuals will need to focus on two fronts. The first is sustaining and expanding the gains achieved through continued economic and productivity growth; business dynamism; investment in economies, technology and innovation; and continued focus on job growth and opportunity creation. The second is tackling the challenges individuals face, especially those most affected. Leaders are beginning to respond to these opportunities and challenges to varying degrees. However, more is needed given the scale of the opportunities and challenges, if the outcomes for the next 20 or more years of the 21st century are to be better than the first 20 and increase broad prosperity.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Employment has risen but labor markets are polarized and wages have stagnated For consumers, discretionary goods and services are cheaper, but housing and other basics are more expensive Individual and institutional savings have declined at a time when they matter even more Institutions have shifted responsibility for outcomes to individuals Outcomes for workers, consumers, and savers vary by socioeconomic groups Adapting the social contract for the 21st century

​Download the full research from McKinsey

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All Change: Where next for Apprenticeships? Resources collection

Learning and Work Institute curated an essay collection with leading experts setting out ways to improve the quality of apprenticeships and ensure fair access to training.

The Government’s apprenticeship reforms are the biggest in a generation and include the Apprenticeship Levy, a payroll tax on large employers with the money ring-fenced for apprenticeships. One year in, the number of apprenticeship starts is down 25%, leaving the government increasingly off target for its aim of three million starts by 2020.

In the new essay collection, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, calls for half of young people going to higher education to be apprentices and for part of the Levy to be set aside to help prepare people for apprenticeships.

Other essays highlight stark inequalities in access to apprenticeships. Apprenticeship applications from people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are half as likely to succeed as applications from white backgrounds. Women made up only 600 of 17,500 engineering apprenticeships.

The new report calls for urgent action to tackle these inequalities and boost quality. Ideas for change include devolution so cities and local areas have greater control; an Apprentice Premium to better support under-represented groups; and requiring all apprenticeship standards to meet the world’s best.

Download the resources from the Learning & Work Institute 

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A mid-life employment crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a labour market crisis. Despite unprecedented measures to prevent a rise in unemployment – including the state stepping in to pay the wages of over nine million furloughed workers – the claimant count has risen more sharply than at any time in the last century.

The crisis follows a period when employment among older workers had reached historic highs. This report, in partnership with Centre for Ageing Better, shows that there is a real risk is that the pandemic could reverse this trend, leading to long-term unemployment for older workers:

The number of older workers seeking unemployment related benefits doubled during the lockdown.The number of claims increased by over 280,000 between February 2020 and June 2020, rising from just over 300,000 in February to over 580,000 in June.

This report sets out three steps that the Government can take to support older workers to prevent long-term unemployment in the wake of COVID-19:

New back-to-work support programmes must not repeat the mistakes of the Work Programme. The Government’s announcement of a broad programme of traineeship opportunities available to workers under 25 should be accompanied by support for all adults to retrain, including the over 50s. There is a need for further work to understand financial wellbeing among older workers, how the pandemic has affected them, and the options available to support them, so that appropriate action can be taken. There is a risk of further job losses as the furlough scheme is unwound and as some sectors struggle to recover. One in four older workers – 2.5m in total – have been furloughed, and hundreds of thousands will be unable to return to their previous jobs. One in ten older male workers and one in six female older workers were employed in the ‘shutdown sectors’ hit hardest by the lockdown. Older workers who lose their jobs are far more likely to slip into longterm worklessness. Over 50s who are unemployed are twice as likely to be out of work for 12 months or more as younger workers and almost 50% more likely as workers aged 25 to 49. The pandemic has already had a significant impact on older workers’ finances. Two out of five older workers say that they are concerned that their finances will get worse as a result of the pandemic. Download the full research from Learning & Work Institute