… in brief

This week’s news in brief

Vacancy rates fall

New efforts to end the capacity crisis in social services have resulted in a
3.4 per cent fall in the vacancy rate in local authorities. According to the
Employers Organisation for Local Government, councils spent £11m last year on
training social workers, an increase of 159 per cent on the previous year. This
has resulted in a 68 per cent rise in students who study social work, doubling
those who qualify.  www.lg-employers.gov.uk

Rail redundancies

Network Rail, the national railways infrastructure company, has dismissed
700 senior and middle-ranking managers. The move is part of a programme of
2,000 redundancies to be made over the next two years. Network Rail, which
employs 14,000 people, hopes the jobs cuts will help it to reduce £13bn from
costs over the next 10 years.  www.railtrack.co.uk

Cash for lone parents

Lone parent jobseekers will receive financial help to encourage them to
return to work, under new government plans. The Work Search Premium will give
lone parents who have been on benefits for more than a year £20 extra a week
for up to six months if they agree to look for work. In-Work Credit will pay
lone parents who get jobs of more than 16 hours a week an extra £40 a week for
the first year they are in work.  www.dwp.gov.uk

No training for IT staff

Employers are refusing to bankroll training for IT professionals because of
fears that fully-qualified staff will move to another firm once certified.
About 100 IT staff were questioned by The Training Camp consultancy, and the
resulting report highlights employers’ reluctance to pay for the type of
training that leads to recognised certification.  www.trainingcamp.co.uk

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