Twas (almost) the night before Christmas 2015

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Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the House (of Commons)

Not an MP was stirring, not even a mouse

Stockings were hung by the Parliament chimney with care

In hope that St Nicholas would soon be there

Ministers were nestled all snug in their beds

While visions of policies danced round in their heads

So looking back now at the year 2015

What good, bad and ugly skills and employment policy have there been?

Let's go back a few weeks to the Spending Review

Where the detail on the levy was long overdue.

0.5% of an employer’s paybill,

Was soon to give manufacturers a bit of a chill

But there was an allowance of fifteen grand

In the hope that apprenticeship numbers would continue to expand

But the problem we have with this new reform

Is that additional employment costs are becoming a bit of a norm

Let’s turn back the clock to the Summer Budget

When we had surprise announcements we cannot forget

A National Living Wage at £7.20 per hour

Was not an announcement that made manufacturers turn sour

Maintaining pay differentials is what might be hard

Automation and restructuring may be on the cards

Added to that the headache of holiday pay

And for many SMEs auto-enrolment is soon on the way

You can see how these costs add up all together

So we don’t want anymore, it can’t go on forever

But I don’t want to leave on an unhappy note

So a couple of positives I think we can float

More young people are studying STEM now

And new National Colleges was a Government vow

Of course there’s been more, too many for here

So come back to our blog in the New Year!




Head of Education & Skills Policy

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