Apprenticeship 'robbery' report: Is poor policy trashing a good idea?

Apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy are good ideas in principle but the way they are operating indicates a need for a rethink
Oh dear. It appears that the old adage about the road to hell being paved with good intentions might be coming true when it comes to apprenticeships in Britain, at least if research by right wing think tank Reform is to be believed.
Its report – “The Great Training Robbery” – demonstrates that some of the frequently expressed fears of critics of the way the Government has sought to boost apprenticeships are being realised.
Published a year after the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, it finds many employers have sought to game the system and that a colossal £600m could end up being wasted by 2019/2020, when, according to the Tory Government’s stated policy some 3m should have embarked on apprenticeships.
Read more Employers relabelling low paid jobs as apprenticeships, report says Business leaders call for apprenticeship levy reform Governm..

Sainsbury's issues urgent recall of beetroot that could contain shards of glass

Shoppers told to return the product after Food Standards Agency issues warning
Sainsbury’s is urgently recalling its own-brand beetroot because it may contain shards of glass.
The Food Standards Agency issued a warning on Thursday night to inform Sainsbury’s customers that 340g jars of Sainsbury’s sliced beetroot may contain small pieces of glass.
Shoppers are being told to return the product because it is unsafe.
Read more Who knew Corbyn's antisemitic beetroot would cause such anger? The supermarket chain said only one batch of the product with a best before date of August 2019 was affected.
The batch number on the product is L318N1737 and the item code is 7860491.
“The presence of glass makes this product unsafe to eat and presents a safety risk,” a notice on the FSA website stated.
“If you have bought the above product, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.”
Sainsbury’s will display point-of-sale notices in all r..

Trump Wants to Back Into the TPP. Not So Fast, Say Members.

Trump Wants to Back Into the TPP. Not So Fast, Say Members. Photo Representatives of the current members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership met in Santiago, Chile, in March. Admitting the United States could have advantages for all parties, but striking a new deal could be difficult. Credit Ivan Alvarado/Reuters BEIJING — President Trump wants the United States to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The other members might not make it so easy.
Officials in Japan, Australia and elsewhere reacted coolly on Friday to Mr. Trump’s remarks that he would be interested in rejoining the trade pact, which includes 11 countries in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. Reinstating the United States would probably require intense renegotiation of a trade pact that already took roughly a decade to hammer out. Any concessions, they signaled, would have to come from the American side.
Comparing the multicountry trade agreement to “a glasswork,” Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, caut..

Employers relabelling low paid jobs as apprenticeships, new report says

Jobs including restaurant waiters and hotel reception staff are among those now being classed as apprenticeships
The introduction of a levy on apprenticeships has reduced their quality, with some businesses simply relabelling existing training courses, according to a think tank.
Almost 40 per cent of apprenticeship standards approved by the Government in the past six years do not meet the international and historical definition of such a scheme, Reform said.
An apprenticeship levy was launched a year ago, under which employers with a payroll of £3m or more are required to pay 0.5 per cent of their annual pay bill, with the aim of increasing the number of placements.
Read more A third of London jobs to be taken by robots in 20 years, says report But the think tank listed typically low-wage jobs including restaurant waiters and hotel reception staff among those now being classed as apprenticeships, and said they are not considered skilled occupations.
The report, released on Frid..

Sage on track for biggest one-day stock market fall in 25 years after profit warning

Shares plummeted 19 per cent on Friday morning before recovering to trade down 13 per cen
Shares in Sage are on track for their biggest one-day fall in 25 years after the accountancy software group warned that sales were lower than expected.
Shares plummeted 19 per cent on Friday morning before recovering to trade down 13 per cent.
Subscription growth for the company's software packages slowed to 25.3 per cent from 30.6 per cent and organic revenue rose 6.3 per cent in the six months to 31 March, down from 7.4 per cent in the same period in 2017.
Read more Income from UK savings accounts dropped 16% in a year, research shows Sage – one of the UK's biggest technology firms – said recurring revenue growth slipped to 6.4 per cent while software and software related services (SSRS) grew 7.1 per cent.
The company performed worse than forecast in the Northern Europe and Africa and Middle East regions but registered double-digit growth in North America, while central Europe..

The Personal Data of 346,000 People, Hung on a Museum Wall

The Personal Data of 346,000 People, Hung on a Museum Wall Photo Last week, the authorities in Wuhan, China, ordered Deng Yufeng’s exhibition of personal data shut down after two days and began investigating him on suspicion of amassing the information illegally. Credit Deng Yufeng BEIJING — Deng Yufeng wanted to create art that prods people to question their lack of data privacy. What better way, he reasoned, than to buy the personal information of more than 300,000 Chinese people off the internet and display it in a public exhibition?
The police did not appreciate the irony.
Last week, the authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan shut down Mr. Deng’s exhibition in a local museum after two days and told him that he was being investigated on suspicion of amassing the information through illegal means.
Mr. Deng’s project coincides with a growing debate about the lack of data privacy in China, where people are starting to push back against tech companies and their use of information. Onl..

Rolls-Royce warns Trent 1000 engine problems will lead to higher costs

Issues with engines used for Boeing's Dreamliner aircraft
Rolls-Royce warned on Friday that it faces higher costs in 2018 due to problems with its Trent 1000 engines.
The engineering giant said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that it has decided to carry out additional engine inspections, on top of those already planned, which it disclosed in its results for 2017.
Read more Rolls-Royce to boost balance sheet with £610m sale of tech business Rolls-Royce warns it could cut more jobs despite £4.9bn profit Rolls Royce warns Brexit will disrupt global supply chain According to Rolls-Royce, the extra inspections are driven by “further understanding of the durability of the Trent 1000 Package C compressor”.
The FTSE 100-listed firm said this will lead to additional disruption for customers, including Boeing, which uses the Trent 1000 in its Dreamliner aircraft, as well as increased costs.
The company said it was “reprioritising various items of discretionary spend”..

David Schwimmer joins London Stock Exchange Group as new CEO

Joins from 20-year career at Goldman Sachs
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has appointed David Schwimmer as chief executive, ending a long search for a replacement for previous boss Xavier Rolet.
Mr Rolet stepped down in November 2017, a year earlier than originally planned, after a boardroom battle with shareholders unhappy with the departure.
Read more London Stock Exchange hit with chaotic Xavi-exit Mr Schwimmer joins from Goldman Sachs, where he has worked for 20 years, most recently as global head of market structure and of metals and mining in its investment banking operation. He also previously served as chief of staff to Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein when he was president and COO at the bank.
“David is a leader with great experience in the financial market infrastructure sector, which he has been closely involved in throughout his investment banking career, as well as capital markets experience in both developed and emerging markets. He is well known for his robust ..

A Libyan Strongman Looks to Washington, but a Health Crisis Looms

A Libyan Strongman Looks to Washington, but a Health Crisis Looms Photo In Benghazi’s devastated downtown, ex-fighters warmed themselves over a bonfire made from broken furniture. The forces of Gen. Khalifa Hifter routed the last Islamist militias from Benghazi in December. Credit Declan Walsh/The New York Times BENGHAZI, Libya — Pulverized buildings daubed with the names of fallen fighters line the ghostly seafront in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city. Land mines and booby-trapped bodies are scattered across the rubble. At night, men huddle over bonfires piled with broken furniture.
This picture of devastation is what victory looks like for Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the military strongman whose forces routed the last Islamist militias from Benghazi in December. After three years of grinding combat, and with the help of foreign allies, General Hifter now controls most of eastern Libya and has become the most powerful if polarizing figure in a fractured landscape.
Now, as he aims to cons..