General Reports and Other Publications
HA: Every day 4,000 road workers across the country put their trust in the hands of around 18m other road users.
With their safety in mind a new information DVD, which includes a hard-hitting short film called ‘Respect’, as well as radio clips aimed at regular commuters (primarily those driving on business) has been developed by the Highways Agency, on behalf of the Road Workers' Safety Forum (RoWSaF), with its partners from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the maintenance, construction and road safety industry, and THINK!
CAA: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published the Competition Commission's (CC's) report & recommendations on charges at Stansted Airport, which will govern how much the airport's owner, BAA, can charge airlines during the 5-year period beginning April 2009.
In addition to its conclusions on airport charges, the CC also found that Stansted Airport had acted against the public interest in the period since the last reference to the CC by failing to:
* consult adequately with airlines on the development of the airport and its capital expenditure plans
* manage as effectively as possible the security queuing process
* offer appropriate landing charges for larger cargo aircraft
The CAA will now consider the CC's recommendations, before carrying out a further round of consultation and announcing its final decision in March 2009.
TDA: Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), has commented on the Ofsted report - The deployment, training and development of the wider school workforce – claiming that; "These findings are further evidence of the success of workforce reform……… Since Ofsted conducted its survey, we have launched a range of online resources for headteachers.
TDA press release ~ Ofsted press release ~ Ofsted: The deployment, training and development of the wider school workforce ~ Unlock the potential of your support staff ~ Discover how standards (NOS) can transform your school
NAO: The National Audit Office has reported that the programme to maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent beyond the life of the current system, with the introduction into service of the first of a new class of submarines in 2024, is at an early stage, but the Ministry of Defence has made good progress establishing programme management arrangements and engaging stakeholders. The timetable is challenging, however, with very little room for delay and the MoD needs to manage key risks if continuous nuclear deterrence is to be maintained.
The programme is currently in a two year initial concept phase for the new class of submarines. This requires a series of important & difficult decisions to be taken by September 2009 to keep the programme on track. The MoD has appointed a Senior Responsible Owner to co-ordinate these decisions and other work to inform future decisions and to allocate funding to the various elements of the programme.
Press release ~ Ministry of Defence: The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent Capability ~ Executive Summary ~ 2006 White Paper, The future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent
OFT: The OFT's 'Save Xmas' campaign has had a major impact on people's behaviour towards saving, new independent research shows. Following the collapse of the Farepak hamper company, the OFT partnered with Citizens Advice in 2007 to launch & administer the 'Save Xmas' campaign. It received initial funding of £1m from HM Treasury as part of the Government's response to the Farepak collapse.
The campaign uses face-to-face training sessions to explain the pros & cons of different Christmas saving options, as well as wider issues around personal saving. The OFT produced a toolkit including a leaflet, a short film and presentations to use as the basis for these sessions and the campaign also involved additional publicity including a national launch and regional events.
MCA: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has delivered its in-depth report to the Chairman of Devon's local Inquiry into the circumstances leading to the beaching of the MSC Napoli off the East Devon coastline.
The report summarises the Agency's activities from the moment the incident broke on the 18th January 2007. The MSC Napoli was on passage in the English Channel, loaded with 2,318 containers and bound for South Africa, when she suffered a catastrophic hull failure and got into severe difficulties.
Press release ~ MSC Napoli incident - The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s response ~ Maritime and Coastguard Agency ~ Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) ~ Local Inquiry
LSN: The full cost to individuals of participating in further education in England & Wales is explored in new research. The nature & level of cost that individuals incur when they participate and the impact student financial support has on an individual's learning experience, is examined in the report.
Undertaken jointly by the Learning and Skills Network and the National Union of Students, it aims to investigate the extent to which financial hardship still presents a barrier to further education for many students.
Press release ~ The true cost of college ~ National Student Forum (NSF) ~
NSF Annual Report 2008 (6Mb) ~ Student Listening Programme ~ Student juries ~ National Union of Students ~ National Postgraduate Committee ~ Mature Students Union ~ Open University Students' Association ~ Skill: the national bureau for students with disabilities
Ofsted: A new report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) concludes that the Train to Gain programme is successful in giving employees the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications and improving their motivation in the workplace. However, inspections reveal that employers have been slow to take advantage of funding, while some employees aren’t always getting the skills development they need.
Inspectors found that participants made gains in their knowledge & self-confidence at work and many employers reported improvements in work practice & staff retention. Despite this, and the fact that most employers were very pleased with the training & assessment their staff received through the programme, it has not resulted in an increased employer demand for training.
Press release ~ The impact of Train to Gain on skills in employment ~ Train to Gain ~ Shaping the future - a new Adult Advancement and Careers Service for England ~ Train to Gain - learner evaluation ~ Sector Skills Councils ~ Skills pledge ~ Learning and Skills Council (LSC) – Train to Gain
NAO: HM Revenue & Customs clears most imported goods quickly and processes for submitting customs declarations & payments for non-EU imports are straightforward, says a report out from the National Audit Office. The rate of physical checks at the UK border is below the EU average, however and the number of audits of traders has dropped substantially since 2005-06.
Among the findings, 99% of declarations are processed electronically and 90% of goods are cleared immediately. The Department checks documents for about 6% of imports each year and aims to clear 95% of these within two hours. However, a recent quality review by the Department found an 18% error rate in these checks.
UKTI: UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has identified key markets for the UK's £25bn a year environmental industries. The total world environmental goods & services sector is expected to grow by more than 30% to US$688bn by 2010 offering significant opportunities for UK companies.
The report - 'Market opportunities in environmental goods and services, renewable energy, carbon finance and Carbon Abatement Technologies' (CATS) - confirmed Australia, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Turkey and the USA as markets that could benefit from UK expertise. For each country, current & future opportunities are highlighted together with regulatory constraints and indications of where the UK is best placed to offer its expertise.