Class of 2020

Education leavers in the current crisis

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The economic fallout from the coronavirus has taken the UK into uncharted territory, with fears that an additional 640,000 18-24-year-olds could find themselves unemployed this year alone. This briefing note focuses specifically on the prospects facing young people leaving full-time education today, highlighting the size and length of employment and pay scarring that they could … Continued

An outstanding balance?

Inequalities in the use – and burden – of consumer credit in the UK

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As the 2010s drew to a close, both policymakers and the press raised concerns about rising levels of UK household debt, with some warning it could soon bring about the next recession. Although household debt levels remain high in absolute terms, when compared against total household income they are substantially below levels reached during the … Continued

Trading up or trading off?

Understanding recent changes to England’s apprenticeships system

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In 2017 there was overhaul to the apprenticeships system in England: large firms were required to pay 0.5 per cent of their wage bill into an apprenticeship levy, while regulations on training and delivery were firmed up. Two years on, this briefing note takes stock of the system, looking at what’s changed, why and where … Continued

Labour market
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Low pay
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Pay
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Minimum wage
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Living Wage

Low Pay Britain 2019

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This is our ninth annual report on low pay. This edition focuses on the minimum wage, which recently turned 20. It analyses the extent to which the minimum wage has reduced the proportion of the working-age population in low pay. It also looks to the future, asking how fast the minimum wage can boost wages for the lowest earners while managing the inevitable risks to employment.

Pick up the pace: the slowdown in educational attainment growth and its widespread effects

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This paper highlights that while improvements to the country’s human capital stock have been driven by increasingly educated cohorts of young people flowing into the labour market, the pace of growth in young people’s educational attainment has more than halved since the start of the 21st century. This ‘slowdown’ brings with it worrying implications for productivity and living standards.

Opportunities Knocked? Exploring pay penalties among the UK’s ethnic minorities

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Over the past two decades ethnic minority groups have made substantial gains in relation to education and employment. But in spite of this progress, large pay gaps remain: even after accounting for education, occupation and other key factors, black male graduates are on average paid 17 per cent less than their white male counterparts; Pakistani/Bangladeshi non-graduate men are paid 14% less.

Technical Fault: Options for promoting human capital growth

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This is the 20th paper for the Intergenerational Commission, focused on the pace of and inequality within education attainment. It proposes a ‘twin-track’ approach to reforming the skills landscape in order to restart generational progress on human capital: both ‘fixing’ the technical (non-A level/university) education offer for future generations of young people, and providing additional support for those lower-qualified young adults who have already left school.

Up to the job? Using the Apprenticeship Levy to tackle the UK’s post-16 education divide

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Over the past twenty years there has been a significant rise in educational attainment in Britain: while the proportion of young people with low-level qualifications halved between 1996 and 2016, the proportion of those with qualifications at degree level and above more than doubled. Homing in on different types of qualifications, we see that growth … Continued

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