RSA Jobs Summit

24th Jan 2012; 09:30

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The RSA Jobs Summit is supported by Aviva.

The RSA’s Jobs Summit will provide a powerful snapshot of the issues we must face if we are not indefinitely to consign millions of people to the margins of the labour market.

The summit will answer some of the big questions with evidence being taken from business leaders and representatives, social entrepreneurs, economists, technology experts, and opinion formers amongst others.

The recession and subsequent sluggish growth has confounded expectations for the UK jobs market. On the positive side, many economists expected unemployment to hit 3 million or more and yet, so far, it stands at 2.51 million (ONS figures). On the negative side, there has been no significant reduction in unemployment since the UK emerged from recession in 2010. The recent weak GDP growth figures have led many to downgrade their expectation of much shift in the jobs market for the next few years. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has warned that Britain faces a double threat from low growth and high inflation and a one-in-six chance of falling back into recession.

Some believe this situation will be compounded by growing redundancies in the public sector as spending cuts are implemented and by evidence that suggests that unless newly unemployed people find jobs within six months they will find it very difficult to get back into the labour market. 

In this context and in relation to jobs, the UK faces serious short to long-term challenges which this event will be exploring.

All sessions will be moderated by: Luke Johnson, chairman, the RSA; Matthew Taylor, chief executive, the RSA; and Vicky Pryce; senior managing director (economics) at FTI Consulting, and a former director general, economics, at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

9:30 Opening comments from the panel
Session 1. Where next for the UK labour market?

Listen to the audio (full recording including audience Q&A)

Watch the video (edited highglights)

We will explore the state of the current labour market and key trends in that market.  In that context, what could be done in a 0-3 year timeframe to help solve the worst problems, of which youth and long term unemployment are bound to figure highly?

Speakers to include: John Kay, economist; Diane Coyle, economist and founder of Enlightenment Economics; Professor Paul Gregg, Bath University; Paul Johnson, director, IFS; Mark Littlewood, director general, IEA; and David Miliband MP.
11:30 Short break
Session 2. Employment patterns for the next generation

Listen to the audio (full recording including audience Q&A)

Watch the video (edited highglights)

In the last 30-40 years, there have been major shifts in the nature of work, covering both the sorts of jobs we do (decline of manufacturing, rise of the service sector; decline of industrial jobs, rise of ‘high touch’ jobs in the care sector) and in employment patterns (more women in the workplace, expansion of higher education) but what will be the major shifts of employment patterns in the next generation?  And what should we want them to be?  Do we want to work until we are 70?  Do we want the Government to encourage a fairer distribution of work?  Should we reverse the trend of young people entering jobs later?  Should we have a fundamental shift from large employers to smaller entrepreneurial businesses?  And what about sustainability?

Speakers to include: Jonathan Portes, director, National Institute of Economic and Social Research; TUC; Brett Wigdortz, CEO, Teach First; Richard Lambert; and David Smith, chief executive, Global Futures and Foresight; Dave Coplin, director of search and envisioning, Microsoft.
13:30 Lunch
Session 3. Incentivising job creation – Keeping Britain plc moving

Listen to the audio (full recording including audience Q&A)

Watch the video (edited highglights)

We will consider how to incentivise job creation, particularly in the private sector.  Over the next 15-20 years, what are the business and the technologies that will generate new jobs and what needs to happen in the policy context to maximise incentives and support for employers in these sectors.? What does Britain plc need to do to ensure it retains its share of the global market?

Speakers to include: David Willetts MP; Baroness Valentine, chief executive, London First; John Makinson, chairman and chief executive, The Penguin Group; James Mawson, founder and editor, Global Corporate Venturing; and Elizabeth Varley, co founder and chief executive, TechHub.
16:15 Close

The RSA Jobs Summit is supported by Aviva.

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