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Economy

Public service mutuals sector to get reinforced government support by cabinet office minister

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The Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) inaugural Public Service Mutuals Conference will be on Wednesday 6th July. Presenting will be Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General.

Targeted at the leaders of businesses currently operating in the social economy, and in particular those with origins in the public sector that have ‘spun out’ and are employee owned, the Public Service Mutuals Conference will deliver insights and advice on how these businesses can grow, diversify and compete.

A model perhaps best recognised in retail giant the John Lewis Partnership, employee ownership is delivering tangible results across all sectors of the economy and, today, more than £1billion of public services in the UK are now provided by employee-owned public spin-outs.

Research consistently demonstrates that employee-owned (EO) businesses outperform their non-EO counterparts in terms of higher levels of profitability, improved business resilience during times of recession, increased productivity brought about by higher levels of engagement, and better employee wellbeing.

There are different models and approaches to establishing an employee ownership structure, including joint ventures between employees, the government and third-party companies, and the model continues to be highly attractive to emerging ‘spinouts’ or mutuals.

Examples of successful and long-standing employee owned public service mutuals include health and social care businesses, City Health Care Partnership, CSH Surrey and Provide.

The conference will provide opportunities for delegates to learn from a wide range of public service providers and a select number of private sector organisations who have developed effective approaches to tendering, marketing, finance and engagement, as well as giving a view of the sector from the commissioner’s perspective.

Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA, explains:

“The public service mutuals initiative has produced a new wave of businesses with a social purpose, creating a shift in the delivery of public services not previously seen – and the sector has grown rapidly. However, whilst many of these businesses are highly enterprising, some remain vulnerable to larger competitors with stronger balance sheets, more capacity to loss lead, and a lower tendency to invest profits in their employees and the community, and all face the threat of a changing commissioning landscape as the pressure on public finances continues to build.

“The purpose of this Conference was therefore clear; to deliver an event that enables businesses in the social economy, particularly those with origins in the public sector who have embraced employee ownership as part of their structure, to start to develop the necessary skills to help them to grow, diversify and compete.”

Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said:

“Public service mutuals have made a tremendous contribution to the reform of public services. It has liberated thousands of front line workers to get on and deliver the quality of services our communities deserve, whilst saving millions of taxpayers money.

“However, there remains much untapped potential. I want this conference to energise those in the sector, building on its already impressive growth, so that we can continue to strive for better public services.”

To find out more about the EOA, please visit:

www.employeeownership.co.uk.

Twitter: @employeeownership

Facebook: / EmployeeOwnershipAssociation

LinkedIn: Employee Ownership Association

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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