Actually, I can’t remember a time when businesses thought that school leavers were ready for the world of work. But most of the employers that I’ve talked to have been impressed with the quality of the apprentices that they’ve taken on so I’m not sure where the unimpressed employers are recruiting from
Two thirds of FSB members said that improving basic literacy and numeracy skills would better prepare young people for work in a small business
77 per cent of survey respondents that employ 16 to 17-year-olds found that school leavers’ general business awareness was poor
Close to half of the burden of illness in developed countries is associated with the four main unhealthy behaviours: smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, poor diet and low levels of physical activity. It is well known that each of these lifestyle risk factors is unequally distributed in the population and that these behaviours are differentially associated with income, educational achievement and social class.
The overall proportion of the English population that engages in three or four unhealthy behaviours has declined significantly, from around 33 per cent of the population in 2003, to 25 per cent in 2008.
These reductions have been seen mainly among those in higher socio-economic and educational groups: people with no qualifications were more than five times as likely as those with higher education to engage in all four poor behaviours in 2008, compared with only three times as likely in 2003.
The health of the overall population will improve as a result of the decline in these behaviours, but the poorest and those with least education will benefit least, leading to widening inequalities and avoidable pressure on the NHS.
The latest data show that the proportion of 16-18 year olds NEET increased by 0.5 percentage points, to 10.3% in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the second quarter of 2011. This increase is not statistically significant.
The proportion of 16-18 year olds NET decreased by 0.4 percentage points between Quarter 2 2011 and Quarter 2 2012 (see section 1.e.). As such we can explain the increase in the proportion of 16-18 year olds NEET by a falling employment rate for young people not in education and training over that period – it fell from 49% to 46%, a decrease that is not statistically significant.
There is some evidence for an increasing seasonality in the NEET data matched by NET figures.
Data indicates that the northern regions have higher NEET rates, i.e. Yorkshire and Humberside, North West and North East, within England. In comparison, London and East Midlands have the lowest NEET rates.
Of 456 manufacturers, 15% reported that order books were above normal, while 36% stated that order levels were below normal. The balance of -21% represents the lowest return since the end of last year (December -23%).
Export orders have weakened with manufacturers reporting a balance of -17%. While still above the long-run average of -21%, this is the lowest figure reported since January 2012 (-26%).
Output is expected to be flat over the next three months, following two previous surveys in which manufacturers expected output to increase (June +7%, July +11%).
Output prices are also expected to be flat over the coming quarter for the third-consecutive month, with a balance of +1%.
Stock levels are below average, with a balance of +9% saying stocks are at least adequate to meet demand, the lowest figure since June 2011 (+3%).