Inside: Commercial conviviality, what mayors should do, how about millennials?  View this email in your browser
We thought you might like this one a little early to read at your leisure over Easter. Thanks for reading, and have a great break.

The generalised generation

Lazy, self-obsessed and entitled? Or stereotyped, disenfranchised, and ignored? Trying to make sense of the millennial generation always risks repeating preconceptions. The House of Commons Library, luckily, are on the case and have produced a briefing on millennials. Here are a few things we didn’t know.

They’re an international lot - 26 per cent of millennials in the UK were born abroad - but they really like London, where 19 per cent of them can be found in the wild. The constituencies of Arundel and South Downs, Christchurch, and New Forest West have the least millennials - in fact, the more scenic the area, the fewer 25-34 year olds found there.

At 82 per cent, the employment rate for millennials is near a record high. This generation seem to have regained the jobs lost during the recession, with a 4.5 per cent employment rate compared to 13.1 per cent amongst 16-24 year olds. That said, average incomes have been affected. But where are they employed? In retail (13.5 per cent), health and social work (12.4 per cent) and education (9.8 per cent). Contrary to stereotype, millennials are “less likely to be self-employed than the population as a whole”, and there are not significantly more part-time workers amongst this generation.

32.4 per cent of millennial voters voted Labour in 2015, and the older they get the more likely they are to vote. We know they generally voted Remain, but it’s interesting how emphatically they engaged with this issue - 66 per cent voted, compared to 55 per cent in the last election.

Quick Reads

What if England and Wales go it alone? There’s a “conflict of interest” at the heart of the “self-inflicted pain” of Brexit. Chatham House

127,631 people will be effectively disenfranchised in Welsh council elections next month, where half of prospective councillors will be returned without opposition. Electoral Reform Society

Step by step. Three of the five largest parties in Northern Ireland are led by women, but there are no LGBT+ Members of the Legislative Assembly, and no people of colour were elected to it in the last two years. Democratic Audit

Democracy fatigue. US astronauts have voted, so why do British soldiers find it so difficult? WebRoots Democracy

Choke point. How is banking reform like the smoking ban? New Financial

Bills to pay for skills. The Apprenticeships Levy won’t work unless employers embrace it. Here’s how they can. Joseph Rowntree Foundation


Starter for six. In May, England will elect six people to govern a total population of 9.5 million and economies worth £214 billion. So far, there’s bit of a policy gap around what they can actually do for their cities, argue the authors of this report. There are three things mayors can do straight away. First, set out some deliverable objectives, and give themselves integrated teams - drawn from secondments from local and central government and their agencies. This is the way to realise the devolution dividend - integrated services, based on redefined relationships with citizens, oriented towards outcomes rather than delivery. Second, a realistic assessment shows mayors will need all the money they can raise. They’ll need to open up a conversation with their electors about raising revenue, from business rate supplements to parking levies to earnback schemes. An example of the latter - where local authorities borrow against future business rates revenue and claim resulting tax increases from the Treasury - is the £350 million extension of Metrolink into Trafford Park in Greater Manchester. Finally, setting up a brain trust of public sector and external experts who can make the most of local data to provide policy guidance will help. 30 further policy recommendations follow. IPPR

There aren’t plenty more fish in the sea. It should be simple - manage fish stocks properly, and seas controlled by EU nations could feed 89 million more of their citizens, give another 20,000 new jobs, and provide €1.6 billion additional revenue each year. Yet each year, fisheries ministers agree behind closed doors on how much their countries may fish - and seven out of ten times, these numbers exceed scientific guidance. This year, Belgium, The Netherlands and Ireland were 10 per cent over. However, it’s the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands who take the largest amount of fish by tonnage out of the sea in excess of sustainable levels. However, the Common Fisheries Policy - as rethought in 2014 - sets a 2020 deadline for fishing levels to achieve sustainability. Playing politics by continuing to agree excessive limits will mean a sudden reduction - which will cause profound socio-economic shocks to fishing communities. New Economics Foundation

Spent. The pupil premium is intended to support better educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils - whatever their ability - and to help them to catch up with more privileged peers. But new polling of 1361 teachers suggests that the first real-terms cuts to school budgets in 20 years are getting in the way of this policy aim. Nearly a third of headteachers surveyed said that this money has had to be used to cover funding gaps. Schools with more disadvantaged pupils are actually having to cut staff, particularly in the North East and London. Secondary schools (65 per cent) were more likely to have to lose staff than primaries (21 per cent). So how do teachers prioritise pupil premium spending? Most favour early intervention schemes (27 per cent), with more one-to-one tuition and more teaching assistants following at 12 per cent each. Unsettlingly, 18 per cent of teachers couldn’t identify their school’s priority for this funding. Sutton Trust

Everyone expects the world of work to change, but how? Demographics are one driver you can count on. A growing UK population will inevitably need more food, energy, housing and infrastructure: and therefore jobs in the respective sectors will increase. No-one’s sure what technological change will do, but you can expect middle-skilled jobs to disappear in line with current trends. Trade, accommodation and transport are the sectors most at risk from automation - but new technology has tended to displace rather than disappear jobs. Because of the multivalent impacts of these large-scale trends, the authors predict business and other services (9.8 per cent growth); trade, accommodation and transport (7.5 per cent) and construction (14.4 per cent) to add the most jobs in the next ten years. National Institute for Economic and Social Research

See also

Stop tweaking incentives. If you want to affect economic outcomes with policy, provide the thing you want to see. Washington Post

‘Commercial conviviality’. A ‘digital whistleblower’ is finding cronyism in unexpected places. Apolitical

Think Tanks

Lovebombing Scotland. Kevin Hague incorporates a pro-Union think tank with the working title ‘These Islands’. The Scotsman


Select Committee Media and Communications Officer. House of Commons. London. £30k. Apply by 17 April.

Policy Fellow (Policy Innovation Unit). Alan Turing Institute. London. £40k. Apply by 17 April.

Policy & Research Assistant. Bevan Foundation. 6-month contract. Merthyr Tydfil. £25k. Apply by 24 April.

International Policy Adviser. British Academy. London. £30k. Apply by 24 April.

Policy Officer. Transport for Greater Manchester. Manchester. £34-44k. Apply by 24 April.

External Affairs Officer. The Health Foundation. London. £35-36k. Apply by 1 May.

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