Apprenticeships and the 'global race'

Jonathan Todd on how we encourage more employers to offer good quality apprenticeships.

The economic return to apprenticeships varies by their qualification level and the subject in which they are taken. In all cases, however, positive experiences require an employer committed to the apprentice, an apprentice committed to their work and training, and training that gives the apprentice the skills relevant to a particular occupation, which is invariably a broader set of skills than that needed in the particular job that they have at the time of the apprenticeship. While this bala...

Posted by Jonathan Todd on 05 Dec 2013
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Why aren't the real 'squeezed middle' saving?

Jodie Ginsberg on how to nudge people back into saving.

Savings rates are plummeting. The latest figures from the Bank of England show savers have been pulling money from their accounts at the fastest rate for nearly 40 years. Some £23 billion has been taken out of long-term savings in the past 12 months - or £900 for every household in the country. The combination of low interest rates, plus sluggish wage increases, and rising inflation is a toxic mix for savers - and especially for those people identified in our latest Demos report ...

Posted by Jodie Ginsberg on 03 Dec 2013
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Boris's cornflake question

The Mayor of London's speech reveals the limits of the idea of 'social mobility', says Duncan O'Leary.

Boris Johnson offered one of the more comprehensive insights into his politics this week, delivering the Thatcher lecture at the Centre for Policy Studies. The Mayor of London (and third favourite to be the next Prime Minister) had two central messages. First, inequality not only encourages endeavour but is inevitable because some are gifted while others are not. Second, society should not shy away from meritocratic competition, allowing the best to rise to the top. Boris's argument has...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 29 Nov 2013
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Are apprenticeships better than university? You tell us

Apprentices are often talked up, but how many live up to the hype? Jonathan Todd investigates.

Since Demos launched our project on the future of apprenticeships, it has been heartening how many people have been in touch, clearly eager that the opportunities afforded by apprenticeships are maximised. One of these has been Lottie Dexter, who launched the Million Jobs Campaign in January this year. This is asking all political parties to commit to helping the roughly one million young people who are unemployed. As part of this, they are calling for efforts to ensure that all school pupils...

Posted by Jonathan Todd on 28 Nov 2013
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Step up to Serve: The Twitter pledge-o-meter

Carl Miller shows how social media plays an integral role in getting more young people volunteering.

Twitter today has been full of good will, or - specifically - #iwill. This is thanks to the Step up to Serve campaign, launched today at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. With major support from Government, business and the third sector, it is a major push to get over half of young people regularly taking practical action in the service of others by 2020. This is an important initiative. Demos’ research in support of the campaign finds tha...

Posted by Carl Miller on 21 Nov 2013
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Stepping it up

Spurring a generation of volunteers will require an ambitious change in attitudes, says Jonathan Birdwell.

Youth unemployment, climate change, economic inequality, the rising cost of living, the rising cost of education, and the list goes on.  The next generation is going to have to grapple with these problems. Yet young people are disillusioned with traditional politics as a means of changing the world. They cannot sit around and wait for today’s politicians to solve their problems. They have more tools then ever to affect change, but they need to be inspired, recognised and supported...

Posted by Jonathan Birdwell on 21 Nov 2013
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The growth of the anti-establishment

Jamie Bartlett reports on the burgeoning broadly left-wing oppositional movements in Hungary.

Something pretty big is happening in politics at the moment across Europe. Confidence and trust in national and international political institutions is falling, along with voter turnout. New parties and movements – sometimes quite radical ones – are enjoying dramatic increases in support. For the last two years at Demos, we’ve been studying the growth of oppositional parties and movements across Europe, from left and right of the political spectrum (and those who say they a...

Posted by Jamie Bartlett on 13 Nov 2013
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The rising political temperature of apprenticeships

Jonathan Todd explains why apprenticeships look set to be a key political battleground in 2015.

The politics of apprenticeships are getting hotter. They've long enjoyed support across all parties and across much of the electorate. Even if both the politicians and the voters have been a bit hazy in their understanding of what exactly they entail, and how we might get the most out of them. Now, however, the internal dynamics of both the Labour and Conservative parties are making apprenticeships more politically contested. Andrew Adonis for Labour and Robert Halfon for the Conservativ...

Posted by Jonathan Todd on 08 Nov 2013
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A spiral of violence?

Jamie Bartlett and Jonathan Birdwell put some assumptions about extremism and the EDL to the test.

Since the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich on May 22nd 2013, there has been public and policy concern over spiralling violence between Islamist and far-right groups in the UK. Academics and experts refer to this as ‘cumulative’ or ‘reciprocal’ radicalisation / extremism.   In this short provocation essay, we test four assumptions of this concept, and suggest that further research work is necessary before it is of practical valu...

Posted by Jamie Bartlett on 04 Nov 2013
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Five ideas to open up intelligence

Carl Miller lays out five ways the security services can become more open.

For decades we have been living through a change in our expectations of how Government works. From the NHS to social care, culture to transport, the boundaries of Government have become much more porous, more open, more participatory. Service users, interest groups, community leaders, professional bodies, charities and campaigners have been brought in, and the civil service has reached out. This philosophy – that transparent, participatory and collaborative Government is good government...

Posted by Carl Miller on 04 Nov 2013
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