…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Women to fill the gap

Recruiting more women is a clear solution to severe skills shortages in
areas such as plumbing, construction and engineering, a study has found.
Plugging Britain’s skills gap: challenging gender segregation in training and
work, is the first report from the Equal Opportunities Commission’s
investigation into workforces that are divided along gender lines.  www.eoc.org.uk

Call centre growth

The UK’s call centre industry is set to gain around 200,000 jobs in the next
three years, according to a report by the DTI. The UK Contact Centre Industry:
A Study states the sector is healthy, and set to employ more than 1 million
people by 2007 – four times more than India in the same year. The UK call centre
industry has grown by almost 250 per cent since 1995.  www.dti.gov.uk

CRE consultation

The Commission for Racial Equality is consulting on its revised statutory
employment code of practice. Changes to the code include more relevant tribunal
case studies and detailed guidance on topics such as positive action, ethnic
monitoring and racial equality policies. Employers can download a questionnaire
from the CRE website, to be returned by 6 August 2004.  www.cre.gov.uk

WTD August deadline

Health secretary John Reid has warned NHS trusts not to be complacent about
the approaching August deadline for the Working Time Directive (WTD). At an HR
conference in Birmingham, he urged them to firm up the proposals they have been
working on for the past two years on how they would deliver ahead of the
deadline. Reid said: "There is still a lot of work for all of us to
do."  www.doh.gov.uk

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