The Institute for Fiscal Studies in their recently published Green Budget has warned that the UK government’s apprenticeship targets risks being “poor value for money.” The government has a target of three million new apprenticeships in the five years from 2015-2020 and is introducing an "apprenticeship levy," which is a 0.5% tax on employers’ paybill above £3 million per year. The IFS is concerned that significant expansion of apprenticeships could come at the expense of quality.
Robert Lerman has recently published an opinion piece Do/can firms benefit from training apprentices? on IZA World of Labor. He says “…the costs of apprentice wages, trainer salaries, and courses can be mostly or completely recouped during the apprenticeship itself.” He concludes that, “Like all investments, firm-financed apprenticeships can be risky. But well-structured programs recoup most costs quickly and often can generate very high returns.” Read the full opinion piece.
Craig Riddell, Pierre Cahuc, Ulf Rinne, Daiji Kawaguchi, Alex Bryson, Daniel Hamermesh
In the US Donald Trump begins his presidency. Next door Canada experiences sluggish growth and a weak labor market which will worsen if Trump attempts to renegotiate or pull out of NAFTA. Across the Atlantic, anti-immigration populist movements are gaining momentum in Europe. This is especially critical in France and Germany who have upcoming presidential and federal elections respectively. Adding further complications to the future of Europe is Britain, due to begin Brexit negotiations this year. Changing demographics will continue to impact the labor market, especially in Japan where married women and the elderly increase their labor force participation.
We’ve asked six economists from different countries to offer their labor market predictions for the upcoming year. Read the full predictions.