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Economy

1/3 Workers Set for a Pay RIse in National Living Wage UK Hotspots

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Up to a third of workers in some areas of Britain are set for a pay rise as a result of the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW), the new legal wage floor of £7.20 an hour that comes into effect this Friday for employees aged 25 and over, according to new analysis published by the Resolution Foundation.

The Foundation’s analysis of the impact of the NLW across Britain finds that Torridge in Devon is Britain’s leading NLW hotspot. Over one in three workers (35 per cent) are set for a pay rise this year as a result of the NLW – almost double the proportion across Britain (18 percent). The NLW is set to boost pay in Torridge by around £2 million.

Other National Living Wage hotspots include Rossendale in Lancashire, where 33 per cent of employees are set to benefit from its introduction, Woking in Surrey and Castle Point in Essex (where 32 per cent of workers will get a pay rise). The top ten NLW hotspots also include Oadby and Wigston (Leicestershire), Forest Heath (Suffolk), Mansfield (Derbyshire), West Somerset, Breckland (Norfolk) and Rother in Kent.

The Foundation notes that while the NLW will lead to a particularly big pay boost in these hotspots, it will also put pressure on local employers who are more likely to see significant wage bill increases.

The analysis finds that the NLW will have far less impact in London and parts of the South East. Just 3 per cent of employees in the City of London are set to benefit from the NLW this year, followed by Camden and Tower Hamlets (6 per cent) and Southwark and South Cambridgeshire (both 7 per cent).

The Foundation says that the relative lack of employees affected by the new NLW in some areas reinforces the importance of the actual Living Wage campaign – a voluntary rate that is currently £9.40 an hour in London and £8.25 in the rest of the UK.

The analysis also finds that Sheffield is the biggest National Living Wage hotspot of the major City regions across Britain. This year, 22 per cent of employees across the Sheffield region are set to get a pay rise as a result of the NLW. This will rise to 28 per cent by 2020 – more than any other major city in Britain – when the NLW reaches its target rate.

The Foundation argues that the successful implementation of the National Living Wage should be a top priority, not just for national government, but for local leaders in areas where labour markets are heavily affected. Importantly this should include newly elected city mayors in places like Sheffield that are set for elections next year.

Around one in six employees across Britain will be affected by the NLW in 2016, with a total 4.5 employees getting a pay rise. The proportion of workers affected will increase as the NLW is ratcheted up towards its target rate of 60 per cent of typical earnings in 2020. It is projected to be around £9 an hour in that year, by which time around 6 million employees are expected to benefit.

Research published earlier this week by the Foundation showed that the introduction of the NLW will mean a 10.8 per cent pay rise for those who have been on the minimum wage over the last year. It also found that the lowest earners are set to see their pay rise 50 per cent faster than average earnings over the rest of the parliament.

Torsten Bell, Director of the Resolution Foundation, said:

“The National Living Wage is a hugely ambitious policy with the potential to transform Britain’s low pay landscape.‎ Up to a third of workers will get a pay rise in National Living Wage hotspots, ranging from Canvey Island to Eastern Lancashire.”

“Britain’s new legal wage floor will be felt throughout the country, but its impact will be bigger in some areas than others. Relatively few employees will benefit in high-paying parts of Britain such as the City of London and Camden, reminding us of the need to see more employers sign up to pay the higher voluntary Living Wage.

“Of course pay rises don’t come free so employers in some sectors and parts of the country will feel the pressure more than others. That’s why it’s vital that businesses and national, regional and local government make the successful implementation of the new legal minimum a priority.”

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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