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Category: Employers

London has the most graduate jobs – but at the expense of a higher cost of living

A new survey has revealed the top 10 best UK cities for job-hunting graduates. Bradford came out as the top city – based on the cost of living and accommodation prices.  London came out top with the most job opportunities, with an average of 4,966 graduate jobs – but ranked bottom of the list for graduate cities due to the high cost of living.

Comparethemarket analysed which UK cities offer the best opportunities for graduates, taking into account; rental prices, job opportunities, living costs, the number of 21-30-year-olds within the community and not forgetting beer prices.

Bradford boasts low living costs in comparison to other locations analysed in the study, with average rent prices of just £463.12 a month and around 792 graduate jobs, a meal out at an inexpensive restaurant will set a graduate back around £10, with a pint of beer costing £3, and a cappuccino just £2.52.

Kingston-upon-Hull, ranked second, with the cheapest rent of all cities analysed, with an average of £391.25 a month – but only had 142 graduate jobs on offer, the city has a low cost of living, with beers costing £3 a pint and an average meal out costing £10.25.

In joint third place are Lancashire’s Preston and Blackpool, and rounding off the top five are Wolverhampton and Newport in terms of job opportunities. Following behind is Manchester, with 1,345 jobs, and Birmingham came in third with 914 graduate jobs.

Although London offers the highest number of graduate jobs, it ranks as the most unaffordable place to live due to the high cost of living. Average rent prices in the capital are around £1,442.38 a month, meals out costing an average of £17, beers priced at £6 per pint, and transport passes costing an average of £160 a month. Despite London’s high living costs, graduates won’t be alone with nearly 1.5 million (1,436,899) 21-30-year-olds living in the city.

Bristol also ranks toward the bottom of the list, due to a high cost of living. The average rental price for a one-bed apartment in Bristol is around £888 a month, while the average pint of beer costs £4.50 and a meal out is around £15. Rounding off the bottom five are Reading, Edinburgh, and Southend-on-Sea.

The full report can be found here:

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UK leads the way with maternity pay

Data from EDGE Certified Foundation provides an overview of the legislative landscape relating to Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DE&I) in certain countries, shedding light on the progress made as well as pinpointing areas to be improved.

EDGE Certified Foundation has published the EquiNations DE&I legislative overview of the top 20 countries – based on the highest number of current EDGE Certifications; including the UK, USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada and China.

The EquiNations research shows that the vast majority of the 20 researched countries have implemented legislation to safeguard against discrimination in employment based on gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, LGBTQ+ identity, age, or working with a disability.

Certain jurisdictions have progressed beyond the legislative recognition of the importance of eradicating all kinds of discrimination in the workplace, and have taken a proactive approach by implementing, for example, hiring quotas for people with disabilities and workplace accessibility requirements, by setting paid maternity and paternity leave above the recommended level of the International Labor Organization (ILO), or by mandating recurrent pay gap reporting, aiming to manage and eventually close the gender pay gap.

Key findings from the EquiNations research cite that the majority of countries examined have implemented hiring quotas for individuals with disabilities, with exceptions including the US, UK, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, and Australia.​

Most countries analysed have legislation against LGBTQ+ employment discrimination already in place, but less than half of the countries have implemented legislation to ensure gender quotas on company boards.​

The UK leads the way with the highest amount of paid maternity leave (in weeks), with 39, while the USA has the lowest by offering no paid maternity leave. Germany has the highest employment rate for individuals aged 55-64, standing at 73.69%. Whereas, Romania has the lowest rate at 48.4%.​

The EDGE Certified organisations within these nations are setting important benchmarks within their national contexts, by committing to measure where they are in their DE&I journey and to progress on their path to workplace gender and intersectional equity. Such organisations can serve to inspire other employers within their jurisdictions to follow suit by adopting best practices, engaging with their employees and stakeholders, and seeking out the diverse perspectives and experiences that are indispensable for achieving true inclusivity.

 Aniela Unguresan, Founder of EDGE Certified Foundation, said: “Organisations looking to adopt DE&I policies and practices for their workplaces need to understand how local legislation and regulation impacts the workplace, and where there may be areas to go beyond regulation to support long-term sustainable value creation in the DE&I area. We can see that all the countries in the top 20 list by number of current EDGE Certifications have made great progress in promoting DE&I nationally, by enacting certain anti-discrimination laws and labour protections.”

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EEOC ensures tech access for disabilities

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently issued updated guidance concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its application to individuals with visual disabilities. The aim is to emphasize the importance of ensuring that new technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) are accessible to all candidates and employees.

According to the news release, the updated guidance requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations for decision-making tools utilizing algorithms or AI, particularly in the hiring process. This may involve alternative testing formats that better assess a candidate’s ability to perform the job. Employers are also encouraged to disclose information about how the technology evaluates applicants or employees and provide instructions on how to request an accommodation.

EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows asserted that providing reasonable accommodations is an employer’s responsibility, particularly for workers with vision impairments. The goal is to equip these individuals with the necessary resources to succeed in the workplace.

Under the ADA, employers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants and employees with disabilities, whether visible or invisible, such as vision or hearing impairments, chronic fatigue, diabetes, or depression. The law also mandates that reasonable accommodations be provided to facilitate equal opportunities for everyone.

The EEOC has been actively adapting existing regulations to address the challenges presented by new and evolving workplace technologies. In January, they updated their guidance on workers with hearing disabilities, specifically addressing videoconferencing software and the potential need for voice-to-text translation services as an accommodation.

Furthermore, federal agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, U.S. Department of Justice, and Federal Trade Commission collaborated to clarify how existing laws apply to emerging technologies like AI. Additionally, in May, the EEOC provided guidance on auditing AI systems to avoid discrimination.

In summary, the EEOC’s recent updates aim to promote inclusivity and accessibility in the workplace by ensuring that new technologies and AI do not hinder the opportunities and success of candidates and employees with disabilities.

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Job seekers prioritize higher salaries and remote work options

According to a recent report released on July 27 by Robert Half, a prominent talent solutions and business consulting firm, a quarter of the workforce is actively seeking new job opportunities, indicating a positive outlook for the job market in the remainder of 2023.

The survey, which involved 2,500 U.S. workers, revealed that an additional 24% are planning to embark on a job search by the year’s end. When combining these figures, it amounts to 49% of workers considering a job change, a noticeable increase from 41% during the third and fourth quarters of 2022.

Dawn Fay, the operational president of Robert Half, emphasized the significance of this data for employers, particularly those grappling with recruitment challenges. She stated that skilled workers are eager to seize the right opportunity when presented to them.

The primary motivation cited by job seekers in the survey was a higher salary, followed by improved benefits and remote work options. Additionally, about 40% of workers expressed openness to contract roles.

On the other hand, certain factors were noted as likely to cause workers to lose interest in a job and withdraw from the application process. These included poor communication and follow-up from hiring managers, excessive rounds of interviews, and a protracted hiring procedure.

The study also highlighted specific groups more prone to making career moves in 2023. Gen Z workers topped the list, followed by technology professionals, working parents, and employees with two to four years of tenure at their current companies.

For both recruitment and retention efforts, pay emerged as a pivotal factor. A recent survey indicated that more than three-fourths of U.S. companies intend to increase salaries in 2024. However, the average expected increase is 3.8%, slightly lower than the 4% increase witnessed this year.

Dawn Fay stressed the importance of competitive pay and benefits, along with fostering a work culture that promotes employee well-being and professional growth. She advised that efficiency and openness to negotiation play critical roles in attracting top talent.

As the job market continues to evolve, companies that embrace these insights and adapt accordingly are likely to thrive in attracting and retaining skilled employees.”

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June 2023 sees increase to 3.6%

Statistics New Zealand reported that New Zealand’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the June 2023 quarter increased to 3.6% from 3.3% a year ago. This 0.3% rise was higher than the 0.2% increase seen in the previous quarter (March 2022).

Economists had anticipated a slightly lower unemployment rate of 3.5%, but the Reserve Bank had already taken measures to control inflation, which led to an economic slowdown and the expectation of a further rise in the jobless rate.

The underutilisation rate, a broader measure encompassing unemployed, underemployed, and those in the potential labor force, rose by 0.7% over the year, reaching 9.8% in the June quarter. This was an increase from 9.1% in the prior quarter.

Despite the recent quarterly increase, the June 2023 underutilisation rate remains relatively low compared to historical averages, as stated by Becky Collett, the senior manager of work and wellbeing statistics.

On a positive note, the number of people employed increased by 113,000 (4.0%) to a total of 2,927,000 in the year to the June 2023 quarter. This led to a record high employment rate of 69.8%, the highest since the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) began in 1986. The employment rate also grew by 0.3% over the quarter.

Furthermore, the labour force participation rate reached 72.4% in the same period, which was the highest ever recorded by the HLFS since its inception in 1986. It witnessed a 1.5% increase over the year and a 0.4% increase over the quarter.

Over the year to the June 2023 quarter, the number of people not in the labor force decreased by 36,000, contributing to a total labor force increase of 127,000.

In the same period, the working-age population grew by 91,000, encompassing all usually resident individuals aged 15 and over, regardless of their current participation in the labor force.

Regarding wages, all salary and wage rates, including overtime, remained constant at 4.3% as measured by the labor cost index over the year to the June 2023 quarter. However, average ordinary time hourly earnings in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) showed a notable increase of 6.9% during the same period.

Meanwhile, average total weekly earnings, which include overtime and are measured by the QES, rose by 6.4% in the year to the June 2023 quarter.

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Survey highlights the importance of inclusive language in neurodiverse workforces

A new survey reveals 75% of respondents disliked the term ‘disabled people’, instead noting a preference for ‘person-first’ language, such as ‘people living with a disability’ or ‘people with a disability.’

87% of respondents with dyslexia oppose the term ‘dyslexics’, in comparison to 71% of respondents preferring to be referred to as ‘people with dyslexia’. Additionally, respondents indicated a preference for ‘dyspraxia’ over ‘developmental coordination disorder’ (DCD), with 92% voting in favour of ‘dyspraxia.’

Exceptional Individuals, the UK’s first employment agency for the neurodiverse community, conducted ‘The Exceptional Individuals Language Consultation Report’ to highlight the need for inclusive language when referring to neurodiverse individuals within the workplace.

Respondents with ADHD, dyspraxia and dyslexia favoured ‘person-first’ language by 88.9%, 65.5% and 71% respectively. The term ‘neurodivergence’ (40%) was preferred over ‘condition’ (34%), ‘difference’ (20%), or ‘disorder’ (6%). ‘Disorder’ saw the lowest number of votes, with one person noting that they “very much dislike the words ‘disorder’ and ‘ condition’”, and another stating “I use ADHD because people understand what that is. However, I really hate the word disorder.”

A recent study reported that 65% of neurodivergent employees fear discrimination from management within the workplace, whilst 55% fear discrimination from colleagues. 40% of respondents also claimed there are not enough knowledgeable staff to help. In addition, the report revealed all neurodivergent employees reported low levels of well-being – highlighting the importance of ensuring that all members of staff use inclusive language.

Matt Boyd, Founder of Exceptional Individuals, said: “The meaning of a word can evolve over time. Some good words turn bad. Some bad words turn good. So it’s important that we stay vigilant of what is and isn’t considered acceptable language within our communities. But change doesn’t happen overnight. Our findings make clear that there is no specific, ‘correct’, language we should all be using, but rather that we need to respect individual preferences to be truly inclusive.”

Fintan O’Toole, HR expert and Owner of The HR Dept said: “Employers need to embrace the different skills and competencies that they have in their workforce and to explore individual development plans for all staff regardless of their apparent abilities. What may at the outset present itself as an obstacle may well be a strength that can be built on for both the employer and the employee. All staff should be made to feel welcome in the workplace.”

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AI interview coach helps jobseekers secure entry-level jobs

Gen Z, IT, Healthcare and Social Care workers are most likely to use AI to help them prepare for a job interview, according to new data.

Since launching in June, Adzuna’s free AI interview coach tool Prepper has gained momentum among jobseekers, with daily users topping 2,000 just 10 days after the tool went live. Based on the advances in large language models (LLMs) alongside Adzuna’s proprietary data and expertise, Prepper allows jobseekers to prepare for job interviews at any UK or US company, by generating questions, based on information from the job ad, as well as coaching them on how to best respond.

The research analysed Prepper users to reveal which sectors are most likely to use AI within their job search, as well as which companies those job seekers are interviewing for. Workers within the IT sector are most likely to use AI to prepare for a job interview, with Software Engineers, Product Managers, Software Developers, Data Analysts, and Data Scientists all featured within the top 20 roles using the tool. The Tech sector has been widely affected by the recent downturn, with June 2023 seeing 101,768 IT vacancies in the UK, down -41.3% year-on-year, fuelling jobseekers’ interest to get ahead of their competition.

Gen Z is becoming more reliant on AI to make up for their lack of interview experience and secure entry-level roles ahead of their competition. Previous Adzuna research found that around 44 graduates will be vying for every available opportunity in summer 2023, up from 36 graduates per role a year ago, with 570,000 UK students set to graduate this year according to figures from HESA.

Health and Social Care workers are also proving to be early adopters of AI for job search, with Care Assistants, Hospital Porters, and Healthcare Assistants among the top 20 roles using Prepper.

Prepper users were most likely to simulate job interview questions for Amazon, the NHS, and Google. The Civil Service and the UK Police also ranked among the top 10 companies for simulated interview questions.

Adzuna data also reveals an explosion in employers seeking job seekers with generative AI skills in the last year. The US currently boasts the highest number of generative AI vacancies, with 3,575 job openings requiring related expertise in June 2023, up from 1,698 a year ago. Germany (819 in June 2023) and the UK (353).

James Neave, head of data science at Adzuna, said: “Jobseekers are jumping on new AI tools to help them get ahead of the competition and land a job. Interviewing in particular can be one of the more stressful processes when finding a new role, so AI tools like Prepper that can help jobseekers build their confidence and prepare for tricky questions ahead of an interview are proving popular. In an increasingly competitive jobs market, this can help set jobseekers apart from other candidates.”


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Unlocking potential and advancing companies across industries

Many organisations are lagging behind in harnessing the potential of generative AI, as a significant number of business leaders have yet to implement comprehensive strategies for the emerging technology, despite its widespread use among employees.

A recent survey conducted by Grammarly among 301 technology decision-makers from North America and the United Kingdom revealed that 72% of respondents reported various departments within their organisations utilizing generative AI without an overarching company-wide strategy. This finding is consistent with previous global surveys, which indicated that employees are eager to embrace AI, but many business leaders are still uncertain about how to leverage this emerging technology effectively.

Out of the respondents, only 45% stated that their organisations have adopted an enterprise-wide approach to ensure secure and coordinated deployment of generative AI across the company.

Those companies that have already embraced generative AI are reaping numerous benefits, including increased customer satisfaction (77%), enhanced employee experience (79%), lower operational costs (75%), and improved privacy compliance (77%) and data security (73%).

Matt Rosenberg, Grammarly’s Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Grammarly Business, emphasised the importance of business leaders adopting generative AI, as their teams and competitors are already doing so. He asserted that not having a comprehensive enterprise-wide approach could leave organisations vulnerable to security threats and other technical challenges, as outlined in the report.

The reluctance among business leaders to adopt generative AI, despite its popularity among staff, can be attributed to three main factors: security concerns (32%), lack of a cohesive AI strategy (30%), and a dearth of internal policies governing generative AI (27%). For HR leaders, previous research also suggests that a lack of understanding about the emerging technology could be a reason for its limited implementation.

Rosenberg cautioned that organisations will fall behind if they fail to recognize the value of generative AI, emphasising the importance of knowing how to effectively integrate this technology into workplaces. He stressed that executing a comprehensive company-wide strategy with holistic solutions is crucial for achieving successful transformation through generative AI while mitigating long-term risks.

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Discrimination dropped from 24.1% to 8.2.%

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed encouraging statistics that demonstrate a positive trend in the reduction of discrimination experienced by job seekers and employees. According to MOM’s research, the proportion of job seekers facing discrimination during their job search dropped for the second consecutive year, reaching 23.8% in 2022. This is a significant decline from 25.8% in 2021 and 42.7% in 2018.

Similarly, discrimination against employees in the workplace continued to decline, with only 8.2% experiencing discrimination in 2022 compared to 8.5% in the previous year and 24.1% in 2018.

The data also highlighted the specific areas where discrimination was observed. In 2022, age, race, and mental health were the more common forms of discrimination during job searches, with 16.6%, 7.1%, and 5.0% respectively.

Within workplaces, mental health discrimination ranked as the most prevalent form in 2022, affecting 4.7% of employees. Age discrimination followed closely at 3.7%, while race discrimination was reported by 2.6% of employees.

The positive shift in these statistics can be partly attributed to an increase in employees seeking help when they encounter discrimination at work. The proportion of those seeking assistance almost doubled to 35.3% in 2022, compared to 20.0% in 2021. Additionally, more firms took proactive measures to address workplace discrimination, with 59.8% having formal procedures in place in 2022, up from 54.0% in 2021.

Overall, the concerted efforts of MOM, TAFEP (Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices), and other tripartite partners to promote fair employment practices have contributed to this positive development. The Ministry expressed optimism that this progress will lead to even greater improvements in workplace fairness in the future. It is evident that the collective actions taken from 2018 to 2022 have significantly reduced discrimination and are helping to foster a more inclusive and equitable job market in Singapore.

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Impact of the pandemic is still evident

Express Employment Professionals conducted a survey revealing that more than half of US hiring managers, precisely 51%, prefer conducting job interviews in person rather than through virtual means or over the phone.

Despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic, 8% of hiring managers continue to conduct interviews exclusively virtually, while 40% have adopted a hybrid approach, combining both in-person and virtual interviews.

Express Employment International CEO, Bill Stoller, highlighted the significance of technology during the Covid-19 pandemic for maintaining workforce connectivity. However, he emphasized the importance of returning to face-to-face or incorporating virtual components at the beginning of the hiring process. This allows employers to evaluate soft skills, which are challenging to gauge without meeting candidates in person. The survey results indicate a consensus among companies supporting this viewpoint.

The report emphasizes that interview methods may vary based on industry and the candidate’s skill level. Nonetheless, the study underscores the value of in-person interaction, as it enhances the likelihood of candidate success.

The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll between June 13 and June 26, targeting 1,010 US hiring decision-makers who are either employed full time or self-employed.

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