This Week's News 27.07.18

Liz is leaving

Liz TaylorAfter 20 years of loyal service, Liz Taylor has decided it is the right time to leave ITS and take things a bit easier. Although Liz's last working day will be Thursday 16th August, she will be supporting the TAQA candidates at the last workshop on 3rd September. Liz has given so much to ITS over the years. Her efforts are seen in the increasing number of in-salon assessors and their dedication to supporting apprentices. We shall always remember how important Liz has been to the success of ITS and we wish her all the very best for the future.

Reminder - next TAQA course

Information about the course can be found here or you can call 02392 591666 or email ten/dtl-sti//ofni for more information.

Workshop 1 - Monday, 17th September 2018
PSN Meeting - Monday, 8th October 2018
Workshop 2 - Monday, 29th October 2018
Workshop 3 - Monday 14th January 2019

New addition to ITS website

We have added a new feature to the homepage of the ITS website! Made LIVE today, our new scrolling "ticker tape" will feature breaking news items relevant to all of us! Learners, partner salons, staff and our external audience can now see breaking news at a glance on our website!

Top tips for recruiting apprentices: "sweetening the pot" - Kate Trippick

It's not all about recruiting new apprentices! Once you've got them, are you incentivising them to stay through the 3-month trial period and beyond? Here's a fact for you: Since October 2017, 23% of our new starts have left salon employment during their 3-month trial periods. Of course, young people are entitled to change their minds about their career paths! Additionally, the lure of more lucrative jobs in retail, hospitality and care can be stiff competition to those of us who are paying the apprenticeship minimum wage. More money in their pockets and no Functional Skills to contend with... how do we compete?

Maybe it's time to sweeten the pot!

I've been listening to Partner Salons and taking note of the different incentives they use to retain apprentices. Most of them involve little or no financial outlay from salons! They include:

  • Reduced rate for products and services - extending a discount to apprentices for select services and products feels like "something extra" and can be considered a "top-up" to their hourly wage.
  • Create Award Schemes - Apprentice of the Month, Best Colour/Cut/Blow dry/etc... sometimes simple recognition goes a long way. Celebrate these fantastic accomplishments on your social media pages! (We would like to see this too! Always, always send me good news to publish!)
  • The NUS Apprentice Discount Card - NUS Apprentice extra provides discounts in-store and online at favourite brands to help their hard earned cash go a little further. It has been created by the National Union of Students (NUS), and so the money they raise selling the discount card helps to fund the National Society for Apprentices, which will serve to represent their needs and those of all vocational learners. Great example of a Win-Win Situation! Each card costs just £11 for 12 months for discounts from the likes of The Co-op, Amazon, Dominos, Alton Towers, New Look and much, much more! A small investment with big rewards. For more information, please visit www.apprenticeextra.co.uk.

Finally, great ideas need to be shared! Please let me know what is working for you! I know that I have only grazed the surface on this topic and there is probably a lot more you are doing to retain apprentices! Get in touch and good luck!

Minimum wage underpayment allegations more than doubled last year

HMRC received more than 6,000 whistleblower reports about alleged underpayment of the national minimum wage last year - more than double the number it had the year before. The number of online complaints received by HMRC increased markedly to 4,161 last year, up from 437 in 2016/17.

HMRC launched a total of 3,975 investigations for alleged minimum wage underpayment in 2017/18 - an increase of 43 per cent on the year before (2,775). Earlier this month it emerged that organisations including the Card Factory, Odeon & UCI Cinema Group and Wyevale Garden Centres had been fined for underpayment of the national minimum wage.

Where do your hair extensions come from?

Hair is a huge export for India. Most of the hair comes from South Indian temples where men, women and children shave their heads in a Hindu ritual. The temples sell the hair on to factories in a strange reverse of the egoless act of the initial act. In Russia, it's possible to go to rural villages to buy hair straight off of women's heads. Russian hair is the most sought after because unlike Indian hair it is virgin - not bleached or coloured.

Employing people with autism spectrum condition can reap rich rewards

Autism, asperger syndrome and autism spectrum disorder are all terms used to describe a particular neurodiverse spectrum of associated traits. The term autism spectrum condition (ASC), better reflects the range of strengths and challenges associated with this. It is associated with difficulties in social communication and interaction, restricted areas of interest, difficulty managing change and sensory sensitivities. It can encompass attention to detail, great subject knowledge and problem-solving skills. Medical knowledge is not necessary to support your employees with ASC. In fact, the most important information to know is how the individual is impacted at work to help them achieve their maximum capability and the support of a specialist advisor can be the key to enabling this. Sometimes organisations find out they have recruited someone with ASC after they have been taken on. Work based adjustments can make all the difference.

Health and safety law pocket cards - what you need to know

Health and Safety Law pocket cards are published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and are a legal alternative to the HSE approved Health and Safety Law poster. The pocket cards are suited to issuing to workers, providing them with a personal copy of the health & safety law. All employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER) to display the poster in a prominent position in each workplace or provide each worker with a copy of the (free to download) equivalent leaflet, which is also available in hard copy. The pocket card is a simplified, easy to read, version of the poster. In simple terms, using numbered lists of basic points, the pocket card outlines what employers must do, what workers must do and what to do if there are concerns with health & safety in the workplace.

UK and regional labour market statistics: July 2018

Young people in the labour market (people aged from 16 to 24 years)

It is a common misconception that all people in full-time education are classified as economically inactive. This is not the case as people in full-time education are included in the employment estimates if they have a part-time job and are included in the unemployment estimates if they are seeking part-time work. For March to May 2018, of people aged 16 to 24 years, there were:

  • 3.84 million people in work (including 893,000 full-time students with part-time jobs)
  • 524,000 unemployed people (including 165,000 full-time students looking for part-time work)
  • 2.66 million economically inactive people, most of whom (2.02 million) were full-time students


Vacancies are defined as positions for which employers are actively seeking to recruit outside their business or organisation.

There were 824,000 job vacancies for April to June 2018. This was:

  • slightly more (up 7,000) compared with January to March 2018
  • 39,000 more than for a year earlier
  • the highest since comparable records began in 2001

Actual hours worked

Changes in actual hours worked reflect changes in the number of people in employment and the average hours worked by those people. Between December 2017 to February 2018 and March to May 2018, the number of people in employment increased by 137,000 but total hours worked fell slightly (by 0.3 million) to 1.03 billion. This small fall in total hours worked reflected a fall in average weekly hours worked by full-time workers.

For March to May 2018:

  • people worked, on average, 31.9 hours per week, slightly fewer than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 0.3 hours fewer than for a year earlier
  • people working full-time worked, on average, 37.0 hours per week in their main job, 0.3 hours fewer than for December 2017 to February 2018, and 0.5 hours fewer than for a year earlier
  • people working part-time worked, on average, 16.3 hours per week in their main job, slightly more than for December 2017 to February 2018 and for a year earlier

Is my child ready to be left alone during the summer holidays?

At some point, every parent will have to spend some time away from their child. The law doesn't actually say what age you can leave a child on their own but it's against the law to leave a child alone if it puts them at risk. This guide by the NSPCC can help you decide what's best for your child, prepare them for being home alone, and make sure they're safe.

India has scrapped the tampon tax, it's time the UK followed suit

The Indian government announced that it will scrap the 'blood tax', or what is commonly known as the 'tampon tax' here in the UK. The change comes after months of tireless campaigning by passionate activists, who condemned the inclusion of sanitary products in the list of items identified as a luxury items, with a 12 per cent tax. This is a massive achievement, and one that ought to be mirrored in countries all over the world, where women are being taxed simply for being women. Period poverty is a silent problem that inhibits the freedom and futures of children globally. In March last year, research found that the UK was no exception. Schoolgirls in Leeds are reported to be missing school for a week each month, due to an inability to afford sanitary products. Others were using makeshift alternatives, such as toilet paper, t-shirts or newspaper. Poverty is depriving these girls of a childhood, and those who miss school face getting further and further behind in their educational progress, causing real social isolation. Pads and tampons are incredibly expensive, particularly considering that the average woman uses between 4 and 5 products each day they menstruate and will have roughly 68 menstruating days per year. That's approximately 73 products a year. Supermarkets such as Tesco, Morrison's, Waitrose and The Co-op have also responded to our criticism of this illogical tax, by cutting the additional cost for customers. This is a huge step forward in making menstrual products more accessible, but it doesn't eradicate the existence of the tax and what it represents.

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