An in-depth look at the state of the UK job market reveals a very troubling reality: the skills young people are learning in schools simply do not correspond with the needs of modern businesses. According to a recent Skills Crunch report, two-thirds of companies fear a lack of skilled workers will put the brakes on Britain's current economic recovery.
It will not be a surprise to hear that the construction industry has some of the lowest numbers of women workers in any sector of the economy. With around 11% of the workforce, and as little as 1% of the manual trades, there is little concern in the industry and only modest attempts to change it. Do the low numbers of female workers in construction matter?
This week, the leaders of the G8 countries - the UK, the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and Japan - are meeting in Northern Ireland for their annual summit. As host nation, the UK has set the priorities for the discussion: the assembled leaders will focus on Tax, Trade and Transparency.
The work life balance of our nation is incredibly important if we are to ensure economic growth. Longer working hours may enable increased productivity but only as a short-term measure. We are not robots. Eventually our systems fail and everything will come crashing to a standstill unless we find way to preserve health and wellbeing as a priority.