…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Teacher shortage rises

The shortage of teachers is getting worse according to a Conservative Party
survey that charts a 77 per cent rise in vacancies since last year. A survey of
17 local education authorities shows that the teacher shortages are much worse
than official figures for the Government suggest, and reveals that in some
areas the number of vacant posts has more than doubled over the last 12 months.

Work long… live long

People who delay retirement may go on to live longer, the latest research by
the insurance industry claims.  According
to a report by the Continuous Mortality Investigation Group, staff retiring at
60 will die at 82 whereas those retiring at 65 will go on to live to

Slowdown eases off

Research by the Engineering Employers Federation finds the slowdown in the
manufacturing sector has eased slightly in the first quarter of this year, but
predicts that cutbacks in employment will persist for the rest of 2002. The
study also reveals employment in the sector fell by just over 5 per cent in the
year to November, equating to a loss of 90,000 jobs and manufacturing output
contracted by 6.5 per cent over the same period.  www.eef.org.uk

Mail deal halts strike

Royal Mail strikes look to have been averted after a 6.9 per cent, two-year
pay offer was provisionally accepted by the Communication Workers Union. The
CWU’s executive committee is to put the offer, which includes backdated pay
increases and overtime payments, as well as phased increases until October
2003, to its members. It will improve the basic pay of a postal worker by £20 a
week to £270.  www.cwu.org

Care for older women

A TUC report calls on the Government, employers and unions to take better
care of older women in the UK workforce. According to research by the TUC and
the Pennell Initiative for women’s health, the health and safety of older women
in the UK workforce is being ignored by employers and women’s concerns are not
being taken seriously.  www.tuc.org.uk

Manufacturing boost

The Government is to establish a £15m centre aimed at boosting the West
Midlands manufacturing sector. The West Midlands Manufacturing Regional Centre
for Excellence will offer advice and support to over 17,000 firms in the area.  www.dti.gov.uk/manufacturing

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