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Data digest: July 2019

July 2019

Luminate's monthly summary of the key data and developments in the world of higher education, careers advice, graduate recruitment and the labour market

Graduates choose to stay in the North West

A research project published this month explores why so many graduates from universities in the North West of England choose to stay in the region after graduation. For many, it's a positive choice influenced by family and friends, as well as by the attraction of the region itself. However, most would consider relocating for the 'right job', challenging the assumption that immobility among graduates evidences a lack of ambition or other options. [Luminate]

Apprenticeship levy 'fails one million temporary workers'

The Apprenticeship Levy, introduced in 2017, offers funding for the training of apprentices. Apprenticeship assignments last at least 12 months which, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), excludes 98% of those on short-term contracts from skills training. The REC claims that reforming the levy to allow funds to be spent on temporary workers would dramatically improve skills shortages and close productivity gaps. [REC]

Work-life balance very important for two thirds of millennials

Transitioning from student to employee can be very challenging, but often workplace wellbeing is overlooked by employers looking to recruit graduates. Businesses need to have a range of robust initiatives in place to make this process as stress-free as possible. Some examples include healthy environments, good training and proper support from the beginning. Getting this right is not only beneficial for the graduate but also for the company - new recruits that feel supported and have the right tools are able to do their job well. [Luminate]

Record number of university applications

UCAS revealed that more 18-year-olds in England applied for university this year than ever before. 40% of all 18-year-olds living in England had sent in applications by the June deadline. This upward trajectory isn't evidenced across the whole of the UK - the number of applications in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales declined. On a more positive note, there were a record number of BAME applicants. [BBC]

Boris Johnson promises to boost vocational qualifications

In the run-up to becoming prime minister, Boris Johnson pledged to 'boost non-university options' and set aside a £100million retraining fund intended to upskill those already in the labour market. Coming on the back of ongoing discussions highlighting the need for improving the reputation of non-university training routes, these announcements were welcomed, though some employers and apprenticeship providers argued that simply providing money would not be enough. []

Empowering women from 'birth to retirement'

Before Boris Johnson reshuffled his cabinet, the then women and equalities minister, Penny Mordaunt, announced plans to address the lack of women pursuing careers in traditionally male-dominated subjects such as science and maths by introducing schemes engaging with primary school-aged girls. £2million will be invested in both careers advice that deconstructs traditional gender roles, and on programmes encouraging young girls to participate in STEM subjects. [i]

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