It now looks highly unlikely that the Government will hit its target of creating 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. The National Audit Office admitted as much in its latest review of the scheme and added that the Government still had some way to go before it showed the scheme was value for money. Changes to the Apprenticeship Levy - the system which helps fund the scheme - have seen the number of start-ups fall in the last two years from 509,400 a year to 375,800, a fall of just over one quarter. So, do apprenticeships still represent a viable career choice for our youngsters - or are they more trouble than they are worth?
Notice anything different in your pay packet this month? The more keen-eyed of you should have seen an increase in your own contribution to your workplace pension. The new rate came in in April and means that employees must pay a minimum of five per cent under auto-enrolment rules. If you are really on the ball you will remember that the same contribution increased from one per cent to three per cent this time last year. In some respects, this is good news.
Heres a question for you. Would you be able to spot an example of modern slavery? It sounds like it should be simple. But figures from police forces across the UK suggest that cases are not being reported because members of the public are simply unaware of what they should be looking for. The latest figures released just last month show that reports of suspected modern slavery rose by more than a third in 2018, although campaigners described reported cases as only "the tip of the iceberg". In total, some 6,993 potential modern slavery cases were reported to the government's National Referral Mechanism (NRM) according to the National Crime Agency a far cry from the Governments own estimates that there between 10,000 and 13,000 modern slaves in the UK.
There are few of us who would choose to work for free. Even those of us who really love our jobs still expect to be remunerated for them at the end of the month. And yet millions of us are failing to claim an essential part of that pay every year - either through ignorance or confusion. That pay is holiday pay. New figures show that in the UK 1.8 million people are not receiving the holiday pay they are entitled to - meaning they are missing out on an incredible £1.8 billion each year.
It used to be simple. You worked until you were 60 or 65, paid your stamp and when your landmark birthday arrived retired on the State Pension. But then we all started living much longer and the economics of this simple age simply didnt add up any more. And so today, we have a hugely varied pensions landscape which, more often than not, leaves most of us scratching our heads with complete and utter bewilderment. So heres a few basic facts about the State Pension to put you on the right lines.
Theres been a long list of American cultural traditions imported into the UK over the last few years. Think of Halloween, McDonalds, Black Friday and even Thanksgiving and you get the idea. But theres another tradition which has begun to slip almost unnoticed into our workplaces which is a direct import from the other side of the pond. Employee Appreciation Day is staged on the first Friday of March over in the US and has now started to make an appearance in this country. It sounds a typically American thing to do doesnt it? After all, if employees are only to be celebrated on one day of the year, what of the other 364?