Monday, 19 November 2012

Two views of the Future

by Mick Fletcher

No Stone Unturned’ is the catchy title of the Heseltine Review which looks at ways to restore growth in the British economy.  Unfortunately there is one stone he never bothered to turn – according to the credits in the report he listened to more people from Canada or from Sweden than in the English FE system and he appears to have taken little notice of the policies of the key department concerned with UK skills – BIS.   His analysis of a sector he clearly sees as central to growth policy consists of the repetition of tired clich├ęs about too many hairdressers and a study he accepts as based on seriously flawed data.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

What lies beneath good news of more jobs for the over-50s

by John Philpott

Ever since the start of the recession youth unemployment has been public policy enemy number 1. Politicians and commentators of all persuasions warn of a ‘lost generation’ unless action is taken. It’s therefore good news that the number of unemployed 16-24 year olds has fallen below 1 million, with young people accounting for almost the entire fall of 49,000 in total unemployment between July and September as reported yesterday by the Office for National Statistics. Yet while this is the headline news, just as interesting is what is happening at the opposite end of the age-employment spectrum, with the over-50s taking the lion’s share of new jobs.