10 October 2023
This week's update covers the following:
- Updated allergy alert system: Set up a simple and effective allergy alert testing system with the NHBF
- The government plans to introduce a new school-leaver model
- Chancellor announces major increase to National Living Wage
- Scotland provides £150m boost for small businesses
- One month to go before the single-use plastics ban is introduced in Wales
- Campaigning for you – skills shortages
Updated allergy alert system: Set up a simple and effective allergy alert testing system with the NHBF
Allergies to hair dyes are rare; most people will have no problems using hair dyes. However, when allergies happen, they can be severe in some cases. The AAT (Allergy Alert Testing) is a vital precaution and gives the client a signal that a reaction may occur if they go on to colour their hair.
Allergies can develop at any stage of life, even after the same product has been used with no problems. This is why it is really important to repeat the AAT regularly.
Allergy alert tests are vital to protect clients and guard against potentially expensive legal action if something goes wrong. The NHBF's consultation, allergy alert and industry tests toolkits, Hair and /or Beauty, including the NHBF AAT Protocol, offer a simple and highly effective solution for your business.
The government plans to introduce a new school-leaver model
The Government plans to introduce a new school-leaver model called the "Advanced British Standard," as announced by the Prime Minister last week. This model will combine A-levels and T-levels into one qualification. Students will need to study a wider range of subjects beyond the age of 16, including mandatory English and maths lessons until the age of 18. This approach is similar to the International Baccalaureate (IB), which some students in the UK already pursue as part of their education.
Chancellor announces major increase to National Living Wage
The UK's lowest paid workers are set to benefit from a boost in their earnings. The Chancellor has committed to accepting the Low Pay Commission's recommendations, which are due to be announced in November. According to the latest forecasts, the National Living Wage will increase to over £11 an hour from April 2024.
This will mean that the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will increase by over £1,000 next year. Over 2 million workers on low pay will benefit from this increase, which comes after successive rises since its introduction in July 2015. The National Living Wage is currently available for people aged 23 and over.
The independent Low Pay Commission produces recommendations to the Government on National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates each year. Their remit sets a target for the National Living Wage to reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024 for workers aged 21 and over, taking economic conditions into account.
Scotland provides £150m boost for small businesses
The British Business Bank is launching its new £150 million Investment Fund for Scotland today (5th October), unlocking additional funding to help smaller businesses to prosper and thrive.
The fund will drive sustainable economic growth by supporting new and growing businesses across the whole of Scotland through investment strategies that best meet the needs of these firms. It includes a range of finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investments up to £5 million to help small and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up or stay ahead.
One month to go before the single-use plastics ban is introduced in Wales
In December 2022, Wales made history by becoming the first part of the UK to legislate against a thorough list of single-use plastics when the Senedd approved legislation to ban selling unnecessary, disposable products to consumers.
This will start to come into effect on Monday, October 30 when the following items will be banned from being sold across the country:
- Single-use plastic plates
- Single-use plastic cutlery
- Single-use plastic drink stirrers
- Cups made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene.
- Takeaway food containers made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene
- Single-use plastic balloon sticks
- Single-use plastic-stemmed Cotton buds
- Single-use plastic drinking straws
The new law is a key step in reducing the flow of damaging plastic waste into the Welsh environment and is being introduced following consultation with the public and other stakeholders.
Campaigning for you – skills shortages
The NHBF submitted evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) back in May about the Shortage Occupation List. The MAC published their report advising the government on the next steps last week: Review of the shortage occupation list 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
NHBF used evidence from you (through the State of the Industry survey and Careers at the Cutting Edge skills report) to make the case to the Migration Advisory Committee to make it easier for more experienced Salon Managers, Senior Stylists and Beauty Technicians to come into the UK from overseas, to fill skills shortages in the UK over the short to medium term.
Thanks to evidence from the NHBF, the hair & beauty sector was considered and is mentioned in the report. However, only a small number (8) of additional job roles across the economy have been added to the Shortage Occupation list. Hair & beauty was not included because the Government was asking for further specific evidence related to the job roles listed above.