This week’s news in brief

Mentors for the young
The government is planning to launch an action plan for young people who drop out of school or college. Its ‘Together We Can’ mentors will provide the leadership and direction needed to get school leavers back on the path to skills and better careers, according to work and pensions secretary David Blunkett.

Scotland bans smoking
Scottish MPs have voted to outlaw smoking in public places from March 2006. From then, it will be illegal to smoke in pubs, clubs, restaurants and all places open to the public. The ban, which was given the go-ahead by 97 votes to 17 with one abstention, will apply in nearly every workplace that is open to the public, such as theatres, shopping malls and train stations. Employers failing to enforce the ban will be fined up to 2,500.

IBM’s Indian summer
IBM is planning to hire an extra 14,000 workers in India this year, as it lays off up to 13,000 staff in western Europe and the US in a bid to cut costs. An internal IBM document, which outlines the expansion, was leaked to the New York Times by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers. IBM confirmed the document was genuine but would not comment on the details.

Chef school fills gap
Corus Hotels has launched a campaign to recruit apprentice chefs to work across its UK estate. The Chef School 2005 training scheme is expected to attract more than 8,000 applications from 16- to 24-year-olds. Successful candidates will work in one of Corus’s 40-plus hotels on a full-time wage for 12 months, while simultaneously studying for an NVQ catering qualification.

HSE rules on crane case
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has decided there is insufficient evidence to support any action regarding the tower crane collapse at Canada Square, London, which resulted in the death of three workers on 21 May 2000. In a report, published last week, the HSE said after exhaustive investigations no conclusive explanation could be found for the incident.

Comments are closed.