This week’s news in brief
A million take up ILAs
New research from the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) reveals
that Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) have been taken up by over a million
adults and are being successfully used to attract new learners. However, the
study also shows that the majority of take-up is by people already involved in
the learning framework who are receptive to training. ILAs are still not
reaching disadvantaged learners and the LSDA recommends a more strategic and
proactive approach to ILAs. www.LSagency.org.uk
Net help for Railtrack
Railtrack is using Internet technology to help improve track safety with a
new pilot scheme. Service provider Netengines has provided the technology to
help manage and monitor the accreditation and deployment of track workers. The
technology will enable Railtrack to ensure that all staff conducting essential
track-side services have the required safety and competency qualifications.
Railtrack employs thousands of people, many are subsidiary contractors, and the
new system will give managers information on accreditation, working hours and
Increased demand for the Work-Life Balance Standard from employers has meant
training for consultants and advisers will now be delivered exclusively by HR
consultants Penna Change. The standard was developed and launched by the
Work-Life Balance Consultancy in October last year and complements the
Investors in People Standard. WLBC and Penna are just two of the 24
organisations approved by the Government to help employers who have received
grants from its challenge fund set up to promote work-life polices.
CBI calls for rethink
The CBI has said that yesterday’s increase in the minimum wage will be
difficult for small firms to absorb.
The minimum wage increased from £3.70 to £4.10 an hour and the rate for
those aged 18 to 21 and those who work as part of an accredited training scheme
has risen from £3.20 to £3.50.
A spokesman for the TUC welcomed the increase but called for workers aged between
18 and 21 to get the adult rate.
Pay gap anomaly
Women are promoted more often than men but receive smaller pay increases
when it happens, claims research by the Economic and Social Research Council.
On average a man being promoted will receive a wage rise of 4.7 per cent,
compared to only 1.3 per cent for women. The report suggests that men get
bigger salary hikes than women as employers are more likely to match their
wages to outside job offers.