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High noon for higher level apprenticeships?

The Government’s somewhat-stuttering skills overhaul was given a much-needed boost by the news that the number apprenticeships starts have increased. This is the first time that the number has grown since its flagship apprenticeship levy was introduced. Between August 2018 and January 2019, 225,800 apprentices started their training; a ten percent jump on the same period the previous year. However, this still falls significantly short of the 296,600 who started an apprenticeship in the year...

Caoimhe McElduff 16th Apr, 2019 Insight 3 min read

Has the bell rung for last orders on cheap alcohol?

In January, Ireland called last orders on the sale of cheap alcohol as health minister, Simon Harris, communicated his intention to implement a minimum unit price ‘as soon as possible’. It will join Scotland and – later this year – Wales in putting a floor on the price of alcohol in a bit to reduce harmful drinking. While plans to introduce a minimum unit price in England were dropped in 2012, the government has said it is keeping an eye on Scotland’s experience, suggesting that the...

A Leadership Election?

Once again this week there is a front page splash on the mail bag of Graham Brady MP; chair of the ‘1922 Committee’ of Conservative backbench MPs and the only man in politics who can truly claim to know how close the Prime Minister is to the exit door of 10 Downing Street. A renewed threat to the Prime Minister appeared last week, as prominent Brexit-backing backbencher, Jacob Rees-Mogg, announced he had submitted his letter after May took to the Commons to sell her draft Withdrawal...

Caoimhe McElduff 19th Nov, 2018 Insight 3 min read

From the ‘Ministry of Fun’ to difficult decision-making: a tough job for the new Northern Ireland Secretary

There is little doubt that Northern Ireland Secretary is one of the less enviable posts in the cabinet. Tony Blair once pranked Ed Balls by offering him the post in a reshuffle before swiftly sending him to the Treasury, while one Northern Irish political leader described it as a ‘thankless task’. It is unlikely that Karen Bradley left 10 Downing Street jubilant last week after learning she would be trading in the so-called “Ministry of Fun” for a job refereeing disagreements about...

Caoimhe McElduff 16th Jan, 2018 Insight 3 min read