Twas (almost) the night before Christmas 2016

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Twas (almost) 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 2016

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

Let’s start with Levy, the bane of my life

Questions from employers have been rather rife

They don’t understand what the Levy will achieve

A tax, not a talent generator, is what they perceive

But credit where it’s due, the government showed willing

Extra funding for STEM, and allowing up-skilling

A Steering Group of employers to look at transferring

Of vouchers, and other issues from employers occurring

With four months to go, it’s all hands on deck

To make sure the Levy isn’t a train wreck.

Now let’s move on, to the National Living Wage

Something that didn’t fuel manufacturers with rage

It wasn’t too onerous, but did impact on some

With maintaining pay differentials in years to come

Earnings growth slowed and now we have seen

The difference in the 2020 rate and what it would have been

Much of the uncertainty is of course due

To the decision the UK made to leave the EU

Nobody knows how that story will end

But it the meantime there’s something government could mend

The raft of changes to non-EU migration

Has been something that’s caused great irritation

Increasing salaries and a new skills surcharge

The cost of recruiting is getting considerably large

Its skills that we need, wherever they’re from

And in 2017 we’ll be banging that drum

And let’s not forget about gender pay reporting

So many metrics, they could be distorting

As an industry we are trying to take action

To encourage more women, and it’s started to get traction

It’s been a busy ole year and a whole lot of change

Some announcements have been good, bad, wonderful and strange

But don’t go away reading this in a tis

Instead, remind yourself of how magical manufacturing is!



Xmas-jumpers-2     Xmas-jumpers-3



Head of Education & Skills Policy

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