NewsEducationLimerick colleges to provide new apprenticeship programmesBy Editor – December 9, 2017 3614 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Email TAGSapprenticeshipsengineeringfilm industryhairdressinglean sigma managementMaria Byrnequantity surveyingRichard Brutonsoftware system designsupply chain managementTroy Studios Linkedin Advertisement Facebook WhatsApp STEPS Engineers Week kicking off in Limerick this weekend Top employer award for Limerick engineering group Troy Studios expansion set to reap benefits for region Ahead of International Women in Engineering Day, Engineers Ireland calls for students to consider CAO options Cook Medical continues to support STEM in Limerick schools Twitter Print Sinn Féin is seeking more apprenticeship courses.Nine of the 26 new apprenticeship programmes announced by Education Minister Richard Bruton yesterday have been awarded to Limerick third level education providers.The new programmes range from range from engineering and lean sigma management to hairdressing, quantity surveying, software system design and supply chain management.Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne, who is the party’s Seanad spokesperson on education and skills said she was delighted that nearly half of the new apprenticeship programmes will be provided at the University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology and the Limerick and Clare Educational Training Board (LCETB).Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “Having served on each of the institutions Governing Authority Boards, I understand very well that each institution is very capable of expanding their apprenticeship programmes,” she added.“The Government is committed to more than doubling the number of new apprentices registered to 9,000 by 2020 and expanding further into new areas. Budget 2018 allocated €122 million for apprenticeship training, an increase of almost 24 per cent on the previous year. This will allow the Government to deliver ten more apprenticeship programmes and over 6,000 more apprenticeship registrations next year”Limerick Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne“Minister Bruton has an objective to expand apprenticeships and traineeships in the period to 2020. He wants to ensure apprenticeships are an attractive path for people to take. Apprenticeships and traineeships give an exciting career path for many young people. As well as modernising existing apprenticeships Minister Bruton is also focused on supporting the development of new programmes.“I hope to see the development of more apprenticeship programmes for the film industry in our third level institutions in Limerick. I want to ensure Troy Studios have the qualified people here in Limerick so it can continue to expand its productions,” she declared.More education news here Previous articleChildren benefitting from Limerick family support serviceNext articleLimerick honour for Jedward at opening of new SVP charity shop Editor Regeneron advises students to focus on STEM subjects
It is often throwaway remarks and informal habitual practices that cause themost problems in sex discrimination cases. Diana Reid gives examples of how to avoid troubleDiscrimination in employment Rachel applies for a job with Double Glazing International asmarketing manager. She has a successful interview with Mr Glass, the managingdirector, though is puzzled by his good-humoured questions and jokes regardingher husband’s work commitments, whether he ‘minds’ her working, and what herlong-term career plans are. Glass tells Rachel she will receive a decision thefollowing week. Over the weekend, Glass sees Rachel buying a toy for her new niece. Rachelwaves at him and jokes with her husband that Glass will now assume she willneed maternity leave soon. The following week Rachel receives a rejectionletter. She calls Glass to ask why she has been rejected, but he does not callher back. Two weeks later Glass receives a letter from Rachel’s solicitor alleging sexdiscrimination in the failure to offer her the job on the basis of her sexand/or marital status. Glass is furious as he thinks he is entitled to hire whohe wants. Diana Reid comments: Discrimination in the recruitment process isunlawful under section 6 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. Rachel has apotential claim in the employment tribunal against Double Glazing Internationalfor its failure to offer her employment on the basis of her sex. She could alsoallege she was discriminated against because she is married, contrary tosection 3 of the SDA. Glass could be named personally as an additionalrespondent to her claim by virtue of section 41(1) of the SDA. Glass’ mistake was to introduce an apparently discriminatory line ofquestioning regarding Rachel’s personal life into the interview. The employmenttribunal can draw an adverse inference from these facts and conclude that hersex or marital status was the reason behind his decision, in the absence of anyadequate explanation from Glass as to why exactly she was not offered the job. Under an amendment to the SDA in October 2001, the burden of proof in a sexdiscrimination claim is on the employer so that where the employee – or here,the potential employee – shows facts from which the tribunal can inferdiscrimination (here, the line of questioning), it is for the employer to showit did not discriminate. Vague, unsubstantiated justifications for his decision may not convince thetribunal and it will be important to produce contemporaneous written records toshow the real reason for not employing Rachel. If Glass cannot demonstrate thatthe person he appointed had more appropriate qualifications and experience, hemay be landed with a significant compensation bill. In future he should avoid asking job applicants (male or female) of theirdomestic situations or gender-related medical questions, for example,”have you taken any time off due to ‘female’ ailments?”. He shouldask his HR manager to ensure all managers responsible for interviewingpotential employees are aware of this and that they ask the same questionswhere possible of all candidates for a particular role to ensure consistency. The Equal Opportunities Commission gives guidance on questioning at www.eoc.org.ukSexual harassmentCaroline works at Finance Ltd and reports to Mr Dragon. She has had asuccessful career with the company and has got on well with Dragon. However, inrecent months his attitude towards her has changed (she does not know why) and althoughher colleagues note no obvious clashes between them, she feels there is a greatdeal of tension. She believes he is directing personal remarks at her (although they havealways had a jokey relationship) and this worsens when he starts to make flatteringremarks about her appearance and tells risqué jokes in front of clients,seemingly to embarrass her. She complains informally to the CEO who tells herthat she should be flattered, not have a sense of humour failure, and that shehas a great future with the company. She writes formally to the CEO setting out her claims and he passes theletter to the company’s solicitors. They respond by strongly denying theallegations and referring to the company’s equal opportunity policy, which isissued to all managers and new employees when they join. The tension carries onuntil Caroline resigns, claiming sex discrimination and constructive unfairdismissal. DR comments: There is currently no legal definition of sexualharassment, although a Europe-wide legal definition is expected in 2005. Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination and is defined by the EOCas unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature. It isnot confined to physical harassment and can be demeaning or flattering commentsabout a person’s appearance; questions/jokes about a person’s sex life; namecalling with demeaning terminology which is gender specific; or any otherconduct of a sexual nature which creates an intimidating, hostile orhumiliating work environment. Harassment can be a one-off serious act or aseries of less serious acts. A key factor in harassment cases is whether the employer properlyinvestigates the allegations. The CEO’s mistake was to dismiss Caroline’scomplaints out of hand without properly investigating what happened byinterviewing her, Dragon and other relevant witnesses. It is not relevant whether the CEO or anyone else found the commentsoffensive – the test is whether Caroline found them offensive or upsetting. Inaddition, the company’s solicitors were ill advised to issue an immediateaggressive denial of her complaints, thereby suggesting any subsequentinvestigation would have a foregone conclusion. A calm, measured reaction will present the employer in a better light if aclaim is made and show the allegation was taken seriously. Section 41(3) of the SDA allows the defence that the employer took suchsteps as were reasonably practicable to avoid the harassment complained of. Themain plank in this defence will be having an effective equal opportunitiespolicy which is actually implemented and not only brought out when a claim ismade. This will include training in equal opportunities for employees withsupervisory/management responsibilities with updates where necessary. Sex discrimination and bonusesNaomi works for Big Bank. Since having children two years ago she hasworked a four-day week and tries to avoid late evening meetings. She catches upon work when necessary at home. She received a high rating in her lastappraisal and met her targets. It’s bonus time. The annual bonus is discretionary and there is no writtenpolicy on it. Typically the decision is reached by looking at the employee’sindividual performance. Naomi’s manager, Ms Suit, e-mails some colleagues for feedback on Naomi’sperformance. She receives two replies which she takes as criticism of Naomi’sattitude and commitment and decides to award her a bonus of 30 per cent ofsalary. Her team colleagues (male and female) who perform similar work receivebonuses of between 75 and 100 per cent. Naomi brings a claim for sex discrimination in the employment tribunal andasks for disclosure of the e-mails leading to the bonus decision. The firste-mail says a lower bonus could be justified as a quid pro quo for Naomi’sflexible hours, as she isn’t likely to be able to find such an arrangementelsewhere. The second questions her motivation for working (for example is itto increase the family income or because she enjoys her career?) and says thisshould affect the amount she is awarded. Though Suit says she did not rely solely on these e-mails, she cannot pointto any other factors except her own impression of Naomi’s performance. Suitsays her appraisal was probably too generous. DR comments: Naomi has potential claims under the SDA and/or the PartTime Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2001. Shecould couch her claim as a direct sex discrimination claim on the basis that,in reaching the bonus decision, assumptions were made that hers was the secondincome in the household and that she’d be unlikely to leave as it would bedifficult to find a similar part-time position elsewhere. She could also argue that her treatment constituted indirect sexdiscrimination on the basis that her childcare commitments and the fact shecouldn’t show the same flexibility or ability to work late as male employeeswere a factor in the bonus decision and that this affects womendisproportionately. As she completed her work to a high standard within deadlines and achievedher targets, the requirement to work outside office hours could not beobjectively justified. Her claim under the Part Time Workers Regulations would be that she wastreated less favourably because of her part-time status and that treatment isnot objectively justified. The bank’s mistake here was not to have a clear, written policy documentingobjective criteria for the bonus decision and, where possible, avoiding vaguesubjective judgements on attributes such as ‘commitment’ and ‘flexibility’. The bonus decision should be linked to the annual appraisal where individualperformance is a criterion and only the published criteria should be taken intoaccount. Bonus proposals, debates and the reasons for bonus levels should bedocumented. In addition, if possible, bonus decisions should not be takensolely by the manager with day-to-day responsibility for the team to avoidsubjectivity. Managers responsible for setting bonus levels should have some training inequal opportunities. It may also be prudent to monitor the gender and race spanin awards so discrepancies can be investigated. The e-mails are all disclosable under the tribunal rules so even informal orthrowaway comments can be subject to a disclosure obligation and come back tohaunt the writer. In addition, Naomi has the right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to askfor access to her personnel records and could do this before issuing tribunalproceedings. Diana Reid is a solicitor in the employment department at Herbert Smith Gender offendersOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Press release: New fellowships for exceptional students launched in memory of Professor Stephen Hawking
Science Minister Sam Gyimah today (Monday 11 June) announced that new fellowships are to be created in mathematics and physics in tribute to Stephen Hawking, the world-leading British scientist whose work changed our understanding of the universe.The fellowships, which will build on the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and its record investment in science, research and innovation, will be awarded to exceptional candidates completing their doctoral studies in the fields of maths, physics and the computer sciences. Financial support will be offered to allow them to continue their work in any UK institution for up to 3 years.UK Research and Innovation will award up to 10 “Stephen Hawking” fellowships a year for the next 5 years.Professor Stephen Hawking was instrumental in providing greater insights into how the universe was created and is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in science. His work included ground-breaking analysis of the laws that govern the universe, including his revelation that black holes produce radiation.Science Minister Sam Gyimah said: Stephen’s children, Robert, Lucy and Tim Hawking said: Our father knew the value that fellowships could provide to advancing research. As a scientist who made extraordinary discoveries throughout his career but particularly in his early years, he was very interested in the development of new talent and devoted much of his career to his teaching roles. We are thrilled that these fellowships will be named after him and see this as a great tribute to his life in science. Few have contributed as much to humanity’s understanding of the universe as Professor Hawking. His ground-breaking work inspired people of all ages and nations to think about the cosmos and their place in it, and to appreciate the beauty and elegance of mathematics and physics. I am delighted to announce that, following discussions with the Hawking family, we are creating the Hawking Fellowships in his memory. The Fellowships will allow exceptional graduate students in maths, physics and computer science in institutions across the UK to take their work even further. I can think of no more fitting tribute to this great man than to support the next generation to push the boundaries of knowledge of the laws that govern our universe. UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: The fellowships will build on the work outlined in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, building on our strengths in science, research and innovation to build a Britain fit for the future and using this vital knowledge to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Notes to editors: Professor Hawking’s life and work provided inspiration far beyond the world of scientific research. His discoveries opened a new window on our universe and through his books and personality he opened a unique window on science to millions. It is an honour to be launching fellowships in his memory and fitting that they will support a new generation of exceptional talent. Up to 50 Hawking Fellowships will support the research of our most talented mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists for up to 3 years prestigious award from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will honour the memory of the world leading British physicist who died in March this year Further details of the fellowship and how to apply will be publicised later this year.