…in brief

This week’s news in brief

BBC’s temping offer

BBC staff are being given the opportunity to take six months paid leave and
get a new job of their choice. The scheme is designed to foster fresh ideas and
staff will receive full pay during the sabbatical plus the cash they earn in
their temporary job. The BBC says the initiative is cheaper than sending staff
on training courses.   www.bbc.co.uk

Training needed

The DTI claims the UK heads the G7 group of leading economies in high-tech
manufacturing exports, but workers in the industry still need more training.
Growth in GDP per head is second only to the US, and the UK has the highest
level of venture capital investment as a percentage of GDP in the EU.  www.dti.co.uk

Airport talks stall

Workers at Manchester airport have voted to step up industrial action by
striking at Easter unless a long-running jobs dispute is settled. Members of
the Transport and General Workers Union decided to press ahead with a planned
36-hour walkout from 21 March and to strike for four days at Easter. Talks between
the two sides over plans to cut security jobs have failed to settle the
dispute.   www.tgwu.org.uk

Eight-year output low

Manufacturing output is at its lowest level for eight years, dashing
industry hopes of an early recovery. A drop of 0.4 per cent in manufacturing
production in January was far worse than market analysts expected. High-tech
output fell by 6.4 per cent and the National Institute of Economic and Social
Research estimated that GDP expanded by just 0.1 per cent in the last three months.

BA Xmas bonuses

British Airways staff are to get their Christmas bonuses in April – four
months after they were due to be paid. The bonuses, the equivalent of a week’s
pay, were suspended during cutbacks designed to save around £26m following 11
September, but BA says it can now pay because of an improved financial
position.  www.british-airways.com


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