Sirius News Bulletin - 29th March 2021
This bulletin provides a summary of topical news, announcements and policy developments affecting business across the UK.
Funding boost for construction skills bootcamps
Funding has been announced to expand the delivery of construction skills bootcamps that provide free, flexible courses for adults aged 19 and over. The bootcamps provide adults the chance to learn sector-specific skills and a fast-track to an interview with a local employer.
Read more about the bootcamps at: www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-boost-for-construction-skills-bootcamps
Planning approvals continue to rise
Planning approvals have increased by 24% from December 2020 to February 2021. Major projects were largely responsible for the rise, with projects over £100 million climbing 41%. Approval for projects under £100 million also increased by 14%.
Read more about the increase at: www.glenigan.com/bright-future-for-construction-as-planning-approvals-continue-to-climb/
MPs call for national retrofit strategy
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has called on the Government to develop a national retrofit strategy with colleges and other education providers to address a lack of installers of energy efficiency measures in buildings.
Read more about the shortage at: https://constructionmanagermagazine.com/mps-call-for-national-retrofit-strategy-for-colleges-amid-lack-of installers/
Increase in bike sales
Bike retailers and manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand. In the UK, sales of bicycles, including accessories, services and components, increased by 41% in January 2021 year-on-year.
Read more about the increased demand at: www.theguardian.com/business/2021/mar/21/cycling-boom-rolls-on-amid-struggle-to-meet-uk-demand-during covid
Shortage of door supervisors threatens reopening of night-time economy
The UK Door Security Association has raised concerns over the state of the industry and the number of door supervisors that will be available once businesses open. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the extended period of restrictions, the trade body fears that six in every ten door supervisor positions are at risk of not being filled.
Read more about the concerns at: https://ntia.co.uk/ukdsa-national-shortage-of-door-supervisors-threatens-post-covid-re-opening-warns-trade body/
Crime costs local shops £142 million per year
The 2021 Crime Report, published by the Association of Convenience Stores has revealed that crime cost the convenience sector cost £142 million in 2020. The cost per store was over £3,000. The report also found that 89% of staff experienced some form of abuse, with over 1.2million incidents recorded in 2020.
Read more about the report at: www.acs.org.uk/news/local-shops-count-ps142m-cost-crime-over-last-year-almost-400000-colleagues-continue face-abuse
Trial of new age-verification technology
On- and off-licenced retailers, bars and restaurants have been invited to put forward proposals to trial new technology when carrying out age-verification checks. The trial will explore how technology can strengthen current measures to prevent those under 18 from buying alcohol and ensure there are robust age checks on the delivery, click-and-collect or dispatch of alcohol.
Read more about the trial at: www.gov.uk/government/news/new-age-verification-technology-to-be-trialled-in-shops
Music and video games
UK recorded music revenue grew 3.8% in 2020
UK recorded music revenue rose by 3.8% in 2020 to reach £1.118 billion, the highest total since 2006 and the fifth consecutive year of growth. The rise has been attributed to strong streaming and vinyl growth.
Read more about the increase at: www.bpi.co.uk/news-analysis/uk-recorded-music-revenues-grew-38-in-2020/
Record increase in video games market
The UK market for video games reached a record £7 billion in 2020, an increase of almost 30% from 2019. Software revenue grew by 18% to £4.55 billion and game hardware revenue increased by 60.8% to reach £2.26 billion. The increases have been attributed to consumers being at home more and using games for entertainment and to virtually connect with friends and families.
Read more about the increases at: https://ukie.org.uk/news/uk-games-industry-vaIuation-2020
Fall in UK food and drink exports post-Brexit
HMRC figures have revealed year-on-year falls in food and drink exports to the EU. In January 2021 cheese fell from £45 million to £7 million year-on-year, whisky exports fell from £105 million to £40 million, and chocolate exports fell by 68%.
Read more about the fall at: www.theguardian.com/business/2021/mar/22/data-shows-collapse-of-uk-food-and-drink-exports-post-brexit?
Increase in employment-based avoidance schemes
A report published by HMRC has revealed that employment-based avoidance schemes aimed at those with middle income levels, including contractors and agency workers, are on the increase. Bookkeepers made up the highest percentage of tax avoiders at 20%, followed by medical professionals/nurses at 18% and temporary employment at 9%.
Read more about the report at: www.recruiter.co.uk/news/2021 /03/hmrc-highIights-employment-based-avoidanee-schemes-contractors-and agency-workers
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