It has never been clearer to me that the way out of this Covid crisis is by properly supporting apprenticeships, but the Government is failing in this by every measure.

To say I was disappointed to read that the number of apprenticeships has plummeted to its lowest level in 10 years is an understatement.

We are literally back where we started when I worked with David Cameron and George Osborne to change the way people thought about apprenticeships.

Boris and Co need to get a grip quickly and push training schemes to the head of their thinking while shifting focus from this misty-eyed obsession with bailing out boozers and restaurants, many of which will go to the wall anyway.

It’s a deeply personal matter for me, obviously. Having started out as an apprentice myself I know the fantastic opportunities it gave me – and countless others.

Now, it’s frustrating to … Read the rest

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Charles Law found the prospect of looking for a job daunting. After more than 38 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and then on active duty, Law, now a master sergeant, was retiring and looking for work in the civilian world. But it had been 19 years since he’d last searched for a job outside the military.

“It was kind of scary,” Law says of his employment search. “First trying to decide what it is that I wanted to do next and then having to deal with the civilian sector after having been attached to the military for so long.”

Law says he found the jargon used by corporate employers confusing. “The terminology and lingo is just not the same,” he says. “And trying to get … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — One after another, some of the most embattled names in corporate America are racing to raise easy money while they can.With the coronavirus surging anew across the nation, two prominent companies in the stricken travel industry — American Airlines Group Inc. and Carnival Corp. — outlined plans Tuesday to sell stock. Meantime, in the junk bond market, corporations with weak credit ratings are hurrying to lock in today’s ultra-low interest rates.The rush underscores the angst gripping many companies even as global investors drive financial markets to giddy heights. With reduced odds for a large stimulus package, companies looking for money to tide them through the crisis are riding an election rally and progress toward a vaccine that could end the pandemic. Traders also cheered the prospect of a split Congress that may limit regulatory changes and tax increases. But it could be a short reprieve, with President-elect Joe … Read the rest

The European Commission has charged Amazon with breaking competition rules, accusing it of abusing its dominant position in online retail.

It said the tech firm used data on third-party sellers that use its marketplace to gain an advantage.

It also launched a fresh investigation into the possible preferential treatment of sellers that use Amazon’s logistics and delivery services.

Amazon rejected the charges, saying it offered consumers more not less choice.

In a statement, the EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it was vital that platforms with “market power” such as Amazon did not “distort competition”.

“Data on the activity of third party sellers should not be used to the benefit of Amazon when it acts as a competitor to these sellers,” she added.

“With e-commerce booming, and Amazon being the leading e-commerce platform, a fair and undistorted access to consumers online is important for all sellers.”

The European Commission has … Read the rest

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A little-known Trump appointee controls some parts of the presidential transition, IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath gets a Vogue India cover, and the Biden-Harris administration starts to take shape. Have a restful Tuesday.

– The 5 women advising Biden on COVID. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to seek a Cabinet that “looks like America.” And just days after he won the 2020 presidential contest, we’re getting an idea of who might be among his top advisors.

Yesterday, Biden announced his coronavirus task force, and the makeup of the 13-member group mostly meets the President-elect’s diversity pledge. As Fortune‘s Maria Aspan reports, 69% of the doctors and health experts named as advisors are Black, Latinx, Asian, or from other underrepresented groups. Thirty-eight percent are female. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine and a doctor … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Xi Jinping’s Communist Party is stepping up efforts to rein in some of China’s most powerful companies, jolting investors and dealing a blow to the country’s richest entrepreneurs.Beijing on Tuesday unveiled regulations to root out monopolistic practices in the internet industry, seeking to curtail the growing influence of corporations like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. The rules, which sent both stocks tumbling and sparked a wider selloff in Chinese equities, landed about a week after new restrictions on the finance sector that triggered the shock suspension of Ant Group Co.’s $35 billion initial public offering.While Xi’s government has been steadily tightening its grip on the world’s second-largest economy, it has until recently taken a relatively hands off approach toward businesses that dominate China’s burgeoning internet, e-commerce and digital finance industries. Authorities are concerned the companies have become too powerful, according to Ma Chen, a Beijing-based … Read the rest

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have outlined their bid to own UK-based football club Wrexham AFC.

The pair want to buy the Welsh club from fan owners Wrexham Supporters Trust.

There will be a vote among fans – which kick-starts today – to decide whether the Dead Pool and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia actors should take the reins at the football club.

Formed in 1864, the club is the third oldest professional football team in the world and now competes in the National League – the fifth tier of the English Football League system.

The actors outlined their plan on a Zoom call on Sunday and have since released a mission statement on the club’s website about their hopes for the club.

Rob McElhenney
Rob McElhenney joined Ryan Reynolds on the Zoom call to fans

In the statement, the pair announced they were keen to widen the club’s appeal … Read the rest

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! There’s a new highest-ranking female CEO in the Fortune 500, Pfizer makes progress on a COVID-19 vaccine, and the United States elects its first female Vice President. Have a historic Monday.

– History in the making. What a weekend, right?

I’m writing to you from New York City, where voters took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate Joe Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election—and, of course, history being made. Kamala Harris, the California senator, is now Vice President-elect of the United States, the first woman, first Black woman, and first Indian-American woman to ever serve in the nation’s second-highest office.

Regardless of your politics, it’s a historic moment for the United States, and one that has been a long time coming—whether you’re counting the country’s 244-year history or the interminable week of waiting for election results.

Harris’s ascension to the White House … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Global stocks surged to an all-time high, Treasuries fell and the dollar weakened after Pfizer Inc. said that its Covid-19 vaccine prevented more than 90% of infections in a large-scale study.The announcement delivers the clearest sign yet that scientists are making progress in developing a vaccine that could end the pandemic. Investors responded by piling into risk assets and dumping havens.Futures on the S&P 500 jumped 3.6%, and contracts on the Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks surged 7%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index pared gains, but was still up 0.8%.Pfizer’s Covid Vaccine Prevents 90% of Infections in Large StudyThe preliminary results on the vaccine pave the way for the companies to seek an emergency-use authorization from regulators if further research shows the shot is also safe.Pfizer shares extended gains in premarket trading, rising about 7%. American depositary receipts for BioNTech, which is also developing the vaccine, were … Read the rest

The Brexit negotiations remained stuck after a call between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen before a decisive week of talks.

The European commission president and the prime minister both highlighted in their post-call statements the contentious issues of EU access to British waters and agreement on future rules to ensure fair competition.

Von der Leyen tweeted that “some progress has been made, but large differences remain” with just over a week remaining before the UK and EU parliaments need to begin ratification of a trade and security deal.

A statement from Downing Street emphasised the need to “redouble efforts” when the two sides, led by the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and his British counterpart, David Frost, re-engage on Monday.

A Downing Street spokesman said after Saturday’s call: “The prime minister set out that, while some progress had been made in recent discussions, significant differences remain in a … Read the rest