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21 March 2012
The Chancellor told us that today’s Budget was aimed at “working families”. His Budget speech focused on tax changes to help those on middle and lower incomes, but in doing so he paid less attention to the real issues: growth and jobs.
20 March 2012
Will George Osborne deliver another Budget for Growth tomorrow? If the usual trail of pre-Budget trails and leaks is anything to go by, those looking to government to take a lead on growth are likely to be disappointed. Of course, Osborne may have kept a suite of blockbuster growth policies up his sleeve for tomorrow to blow away such doubts, but the early signs don’t look good.
In the run-up to the Budget, the Chancellor has announced the launch of the National Loan Guarantee Scheme as part of his credit easing plans to help the economy grow. The scheme guarantees, in the first instance, £5bn of funds (which will increase to up to £20bn depending on the success of the scheme) for companies with a turnover of up to £50m at interest rates discounted by 100 basis points. The Federation of Small Businesses has recently reported that 60% of small businesses felt that credit was unaffordable – thus, this scheme should go some way to help reduce that burden.
12 March 2012
How to make money from digital content is a big challenge for the creative industries everywhere, and the UK is no exception. In the past we have explored innovative ideas such as a digital license fee as a potential way to ensure content producers get paid. Other methods, such as the standard freemium or paywall models, seek to limit the distribution of content to those who are willing to pay, attempting to replicate in a digital environment older product-based models of distribution. Some businesses have been successful at this, but it is increasingly difficult to control the illegal distribution of such content given the open architecture nature of the internet. The controversy surrounding SOPA in the U.S. illustrates the growing power of new ‘born-digital’ content brokers and their lack of appetite for strict policing of the internet for content-sharing.
Posted By Nicola Mendelsohn, IPA President and Executive Chairman and Partner, Karmarama
09 March 2012
Together the creative industries represent 5.6% of UK GVA, is the UK’s third largest export sector and generates £59bn. But, as I set out in my inaugural speech as IPA President, if we are to maintain our strong position and pioneering spirit in this rapidly evolving and converging marketplace, we must build better skills and connections - as well as re-energise the industry with fresh talent.
01 March 2012
Last week it emerged that the unemployment rate was 25% for the 21-year-olds leaving university last year, compared to 20% of 18-year-old school leavers. There is a growing feeling amongst the public that widening participation in higher education has led to a proliferation of ‘mickey mouse’ degrees and a corresponding drop in the quality of graduates. In 2010 a YouGov opinion poll found that 52 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement "too many students are going to university now and it's devaluing degrees".
29 February 2012
We know that our higher education sector is under strain. Complicated caps on student numbers, changes in tuition fees and the ‘impact’ agenda have created a baffling mix of institutional and individual incentives across the sector.
21 February 2012
In October last year, the Chancellor had announced that the Government would begin a policy of credit easing to improve small businesses' access to finance.
15 February 2012
How the UK provides skills to its population is an important issue. Previous research by The Work Foundation pointed to a growing need for knowledge workers over the coming decade, and indeed it is this section of the labour market where jobs growth has been strongest in the recession: In 2010 there were around 180,000 more knowledge workers in the UK than in 2008. At the same time, the way we fund higher education in order to provide these degree-level skills is going through a difficult transition, from a model of state-funding towards greater student contributions via higher tuition fees. Whilst it is probably too early to tell whether this is having a negative effect on applications, we should take seriously experimental alternatives to the standard teaching model that may be able to provide some of the UK’s skills needs far more cheaply.
13 February 2012
A quick word from me about the latest developments happening over at Google, which has seen the ranks of the internet innovation community all a-chitter-chatter. Google’s Solve for x (or just "< x >" for the mathematically literate amongst you) has the potential to be big, and I mean really big, and the scope and ambition deserve a moment’s pause. Google < x > describes itself as ‘a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork’.
07 February 2012
British manufacturing is in a very delicate place at the moment. The last three months of 2011 saw a contraction in the sector, dashing hopes that manufacturing would lead the UK out of recession.
06 February 2012
For the gaming industry, it would be fair to say last week’s news was mixed, with a big split between the traditional and digital parts of the industry.
Birgitte Andersen and Hiba Sameen
02 February 2012
FINNOV, short for Financing Innovation and Growth: Reforming a Dysfunctional System is a research collaboration coordinated by Professor Mariana Mazzucato funded by the EC under its 7th Framework Programme. Yesterday, the project launched its final research at the House of Commons with appearances from David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Science and Universities and Chi Onwurah, Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science.
Facebook’s stock market flotation is a big deal. The social network is one of the world’s most iconic companies, and it plays a prominent role in many of our lives, but up until now we’ve known precious little about how successful Facebook is as a business. Last night’s announcement changed all that.
30 January 2012
Today’s figures from UCAS show that 42,038 fewer English applicants applied for UK undergraduate courses starting this year compared to last, a fall of 9.9%. At any time this would be cause for concern – we have consistently demonstrated that as our economy recovers and grows it will create an expanded demand for graduates. But, this year there is an extra worry since 2012 will be the first year that dramatically increased fees will apply for higher education.