Figures released today by the independent Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of people in work has reached a record high of 32.2 million, with employment at its highest rate since records began. Since 2010, over three million more people have the security of a job.
Today’s figures also show:
Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Today’s figures show that more people are getting into work than ever before, meaning people are able to provide for their families and build a better future for themselves and their children.
“Nearly half a million more people have the security of a job and a pay packet than this time last year and wages are rising. Labour would put all of this at risk.
“And with a record number of job vacancies in the UK, we will continue to ensure our economy remains strong and creates the jobs people need.”
Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant has honoured employers for their commitment to outstanding apprenticeships at the National Apprenticeship Awards.
Helen announced the list of the UK’s top 100 apprentice employers. The list, compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service, recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices. It includes household names such as the BBC, GlaxoSmithKline, Nestle and our armed forces.
Helen, who was acting in her role as the Chair of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network also announced that at next year’s awards there will be a category dedicated to diversity.
Speaking at the event Helen said, ‘This was a wonderful celebration of all things apprenticeships and it was so apt that the show was stolen by some inspiring young apprentices from a range of industries.
I would like to congratulate all of the employers who have made this prestigious list. I know they do wonderful work to grow and develop new apprentices, including here in Maidstone and the Weald. The organisations all believe in the ability of apprenticeships to transform businesses; engendering loyalty and allowing the creation of the required bespoke skills.
I am looking forward to welcoming some of them to Maidstone in February for the Maidstone Apprenticeship Fair which I am hosting with my colleague and neighbour Tracey Crouch MP. This will be an opportunity for students from across our town to learn about the life changing apprenticeship opportunities which are available to them.
Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2017 demonstrates clearly the impact apprentices can have on an organisation. Apprentice employers are creating opportunities for individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, up to degree level, while working and earning.
“I hope the success of these Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers will mean more businesses across England aspire to follow their example and to find out for themselves how apprenticeships help to grow a skilled and highly qualified workforce.”
“International collaboration and economic development will only be successful if it takes into account the needs and realities of the millions of rural people who are besieged with hunger, poverty and the shocks of climate change,” said IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo prior to joining the high-level discussions in Switzerland. “Their reality has to be taken into account as leaders work to address the multitude of economic challenges on the global agenda.”
As an example, Houngbo pointed out that the past years, which were recently reported amongst the hottest on record, saw the number of hungry rise due to climate change and conflict.
“The fact that 815 million people go hungry today is not about global production levels, but rather a matter of poverty and inequality, of conflict, and the exclusion of small-scale producers from larger food systems,” Houngbo added. “Many of world’s poor live in rural areas, and most of them are engaged in small-scale farming. As drivers of economic growth, food security and environmental preservation, they have the potential to transform the future. But they cannot do it alone.”
Poverty and hunger remain predominantly rural issues. An estimated 3.1 billion people live in rural areas of developing countries. They account for about 40 per cent of the world’s population but they represent more than 75 per cent of the world’s poorest and hungriest. Most depend on smallholder agriculture for their lives and livelihoods.
Each year WEF brings together leaders from government, the private sector, policymakers and representatives from academia and the media to discuss critical global challenges and the potential way forward.
Houngbo will participate in several events including the Forum’s cornerstone event ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’ and WEF’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative where he will highlight the need to partner around agricultural innovations to ensure that new technologies do not inadvertently result in the economic, social and political exclusion of smallholders and other vulnerable groups.
“Shared growth can happen when we identify key innovations that can be locally adapted and that respond to the unique constraints faced by rural people,” Houngbo said. “Rural communities must be able to utilize science and technology that build on local knowledge to ensure the development of socially useful products and processes at affordable prices.”
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday inaugurated the Governing Council of the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC), urging members of the Council to work assiduously to enhance the capacity of the Centre to provide free and effective alternative dispute resolution of matters.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the inauguration ceremony, held at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said his administration will continue to ensure the growth and expansion of the CMC in recognition of the important role the Centre plays in mediating on disputes reported in respect of all matters that fall within the ambit of its statutory duties as well as providing free dispute resolution options.
“In every city where monetary, human and other capitals flow in such large volume as can be found in our State, an alternative to the adversarial means of resolving disputes must be put in place for easier and faster resolution of matters. Lagos State’s answer to this trend is the Citizens Mediation Centre.
“The Citizens Mediation Centre serves as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre providing a non- adversarial forum for the mediation and settlement of disputes between parties who voluntarily agree to the mediation of the disputes by mediators.
“In recognition of the important role the Centre plays in mediating on disputes reported in respect of all matters that fall within the ambit of its statutory duties as well as providing free dispute resolution options, we, as government have continued to ensure the growth and expansion of the Centre into remote areas of the State,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor said the setting up of the Council was in line with the Citizens Mediation Centre Law of 2015 (CMC Law), whose functions, among other things would include monitoring performance of the Centre; assess user satisfaction of mediation services; review and formulate new policy guidelines for the Centre for the overall development and growth of the Centre, amongst other functions.
He said the composition of members of the council was based on their track record and area of expertise, just as he charged them to be diligent and demonstrate the integrity and impartiality which the task deserves.
“I have no doubt that you will all bring your wealth of experience to bear on the mandate of the Lagos State Citizens Mediation Centre and that you all will justify the confidence this administration has reposed on you,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, while introducing members of the Governing Council, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem recalled that the CMC was established in 1999 as a unit under the Directorate of Citizens’ Right of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice before it emerged as an entity by law in 2007 to provide speedy free legal services to the needy and residents of the State irrespective of tribe, race and religion.
The Governing Council is headed by Hon. Justice Olayinka Gbajabiamila rtd as Chairman and Mrs Oluwatoyin Ogunsanya; Mrs Omololu Adesina; Mrs. Amanda Asagba; Mr. Mohammed Iskil Lawal; Mr Tokunbo Jaiye- Agoro and Mrs Yinka Odukoya as members.
The Attorney General said over the years, the Centre has become a household name, a reference point and a model for other States due to the commitment of the State Government to enhance their service delivery.
“The template of the Citizens’ Mediation Centre over the years has been replicated in some States through the effort and assistance of the Lagos State CMC. The establishment and activities of the centre has also engendered the inclusion of Conflict Resolution studies as practiced in some tertiary institutions in Nigeria,” Kazeem said.
He said the Centre currently has 18 units spread across the State, assuring that the present administration will ensure expansion of the Centre in each Local Government Area and Local Council Development Area in the State in order to bring mediation services closer to the people.
In his vote of assurance, the newly appointed Chairman of the Council, Justice Gbajabiamila thanked Governor Ambode for the confidence reposed in him and members of the Council, assuring that they would work assiduously to carry out their task in the best interest of Lagosians.
HM Revenue and Customs has today announced just over three million customers are yet to complete their 2016 to 2017 returns with only one week to go before the 31 January deadline.
As of today, around eight million people have filed their Self Assessment for 2016 to 2017. HMRC is reminding customers that if you do send your tax return late, you will receive a £100 penalty – even if you do not owe any tax. The longer you delay, the more you will have to pay.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said:
“The seven day countdown to 31 January has now begun. Put a stop to that niggling feeling and do your Self Assessment now. Our helpful online services offers support and advice so you can complete your tax return quicker than you think!”
The deadline for sending 2016 to 2017 Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2018. Self Assessment customers can now also submit their return via their personal tax account, it takes five minutes to sign up for an account here: www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account. If you think you will not be able to submit your tax return by 31 January, please ring us, so we can help you.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Davos, Switzerland, said Nigeria was ready to partner international investors and friendly nations to develop Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and promised to boost infrastructure to provide ambience for investment.
Osinbajo said this in a statement by his Special Senior Assistant on Media, Laolu Akande, in Abuja.
Osinbajo stated this while meeting with a delegation of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), led by Mr Hiroyuki Ishige, the organisation’s Chairman and CEO on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
According to Osinbajo, the Buhari administration working with the Private Sector is determined to boost the Nigerian manufacturing sector and will be engaging with international partners and friendly nations to realise the goal.
“Nigeria and Japan should be doing more, far more based on the existing long relationship and trade between both countries,” said the vice president.
According to him, the collaboration will be mutually beneficial to both countries.
The vice president said manufacturing was one sector that Nigeria and Japan could work together and deepen their economic relations.
“Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa will be getting involved in the manufacturing global chain and it would be private sector led, government would be backing it up,” Osinbajo explained.
He cited the example of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) being set up in the country as a major boost to the sector, adding that the zones will have all needed infrastructure.
“We will provide world-class infrastructure and this is a good opportunity for investors around the world to tap into, an opportunity to do some game-changing projects, to do something big,” he added.
Earlier, JETRO’S Chairman, noted the rise of Japanese firms in Africa and highlighted the country’s readiness to promote business in Nigeria and support Nigeria’s export promotion.
Also the vice president participated in the WEF’s solo video message recording on the conference’s theme: “Shared Future in a Fractured World”.
In the programme, heads of government and business leaders answered questions around economic development sent in from the global public.
Other leaders who participated in the video included French President, Mr Emmanuel Macron, and the Prime Minister of Norway, Mrs Erna Solberg. (NAN)
Uganda’s president says he loves President Donald Trump and that he should be praised for not mincing words. .
“I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly,” President Yoweri Museveni said Tuesday, shortly after the US ambassador reportedly apologized for Trump’s recent reference to African nations as “shithole countries.” .
“I don’t know whether he was misquoted or whatever. But he talks to Africans frankly,” Museveni said. “In the world, you cannot survive if you are weak.” .
The Ugandan leader was addressing members of the regional East African Legislative Assembly.
EFCC investigators are to interrogate her in connection with the alleged laundering of over N359m through two firms linked with the former First Lady. The companies are AM-PM Global Networks Limited and Finchley Homes Limited.
About N317m was traced to the suspect in AM-PM Global Networks Limited. She is expected to explain how she came about the management of N42million in Finchley Homes Limited.
Esther Oba was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about noon on Monday, shortly after arriving from Dubai in company of her husband, three children and a house help.
EFCC sources said the suspect is central to the ongoing probe of the former First Lady. One of the sources said: “We have been looking for her but she has been faceless. We watch-listed her for arrest by any security agency.
Fortunately at about noon on Monday, the Nigerian Immigration Service(NIS) contacted us that she was arrested while returning from Dubai with her husband and three children. She was arrested at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport.”.
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