People & Careers roundup

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has launched its new skills manifesto urging the Government to set a target of three-quarters of jobs to be medium or high-skilled by 2020. The target is part of a policy blueprint designed to meet the manufacturing sector’s ever-increasing demand for skills. It follows last week’s National Manufacturing Conference where it was revealed that manufacturers will be facing a technology-driven 4th industrial revolution within the next decade. Six in ten manufacturers (59%) are concerned about the impact this will have on skills, while 63% predict increased demand for highly skilled workers. EEF is pushing for 90% of state secondary school maths, physics, chemistry and biology teachers to have at least a post A-level qualification in the subject they teach. It also wants to see a 25% increase in the number of apprentices completing engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships. To see a copy of EEF’s full manifesto Securing a manufacturing renaissance: priorities for Government see here

Large firms will have to reveal differences between average pay for male and female workers under a change to a law passing through Parliament. Firms with more than 250 employees that don't comply with the new rules could face fines of up to £5,000.

A major new report by the government’s business champion for older workers wants businesses to set out ways to help more over 50s stay in or move into work. The report by Dr Ros Altman says the economy as well as individuals will reap benefits. If half the 1.2 million older workers – who are currently unemployed or inactive and would like to work – were to move into employment this could boost GDP up to £25bn a year, she said.

Tony Douglas, the current CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports and former managing director of T5 construction, is to replace Bernard Gray as the boss of Britain's £14bn a year Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation, the Ministry of Defence has announced. DE&S is part way through a major transformation in an effort to improve performance.The organisation, which employs about 12,000 people, became a trading entity within the MoD last year. Gray recently appointed teams from Bechtel and CH2M Hill to provide project and other expertise to the procurement body.

Innes Thomson takes over as chief executive of the Association of Drainage Authorities on 1st April, replacing Jean Venables who was 10 years at the helm. He is committed to continuing Venables’ work in building public and political awareness of the critical work performed by drainage authorities and enhancing the reputation of the Internal Drainage Boards. In particular he wants to highlight the  essential work they do to manage water levels and drainage across the low-lying land areas, where much of the country’s electricity generation takes place and significant transport links are situated.  “Many people simply do not realise the breadth of work that almost 600 dedicated people do across the country to carefully control water in our precious and fertile lowland areas which in turn also helps to manage and alleviate water movement and levels in our more urban settlements “ Thomson said.

Phil Verster has been announced as managing director of the Abellio ScotRail/Network Rail Alliance. Verster is currently Phil is currently route managing director of Network Rail's second largest route  - London North East (which includes the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland).