This week’s news in brief: teaching teachers

Business manufacturing leaders in South Yorkshire have urged senior managers to volunteer help and advice about running a business to headteachers. Managers from engineering firms in Sheffield have already come forward to offer guidance to about 40 headteachers. The move follows changes that mean headteachers have increased authority over the economic position and operation of their schools.

Pay rises break bank

Around one in four UK employment agencies will not be able to afford next year’s salary increases, analysts have claimed. Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis studied industry salaries against estimates of company ability to pay in its autumn 2000 report. It found 229 companies out of the 1,016 surveyed could be faced with rising costs set against zero sales growth while average salaries are likely to rise by 4.7 per cent from £28,300 to £29,700.

Stocking up on staff

A supermarket chain has formed a partnership with the Employment Service to recruit store employees. Asda will work with the service to place jobseekers. The supermarket giant needs 27,000 new staff over the next five years. Asda is the first company to sign up to a national service level agreement and the Employment Service is hoping other companies will follow its lead.

Behind on leave issue

A charity dedicated to promoting family life has claimed Britain is lagging behind other countries in Europe by not introducing paid leave for parents. The National Family and Parenting Institute is calling for paid leave to be available to all parents. Last week, the charity urged the Government to introduce paid time off work for all employees with children.

Opening hours fight

Shop employees have vowed to fight changes in the Sunday Trading Act, which could involve longer opening hours. The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) is to lobby MPs following a move by a number of out-of-town shopping centres towards campaigning for an end to the six-hour restriction on Sunday trading. The union claims out-of-town shopping centre managers met last month to formulate a plan to achieve longer opening hours.

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