Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here.The last time I spoke to the BritishAmerican Business group was actually back in 2013. It was in Reading, you were on a roadshow and I was thinking what did we talk about because that was before Brexit.But I did look through the agenda and the agenda was trade – all about trade between the UK and the US. And TTIP. So it was current then and it is current now.Anyway, I probably shouldn’t digress from my speech so let me deliver the speech and then I am very happy to take questions on Brexit or anything else you would like.So let me start by saying there are 3.4 million more people in work today than in 2010, and around three quarters of all the jobs created over the last 8 years have been full-time, permanent roles and in what we refer to as higher level occupations which ultimately attract higher wages.All the increase in employment in the last year has been driven by full-time and permanent jobs. And I think from my perspective I want to thank all of you here because you are very much the people who have made this happen – so a huge thank you from me and the rest of the government.Actually people have been benefiting across every region of the country.Employment growth has been strongest in regions where it has historically been low. And this point was reinforced in the Resolution Foundation’s report which I helped launch last month as it set out how record employment has changed the United Kingdom.Across society, all groups are benefitting as well.In fact, it is those who previously found it harder to find jobs who are benefitting most from the jobs growth we have seen over the last 8 years.More women are in work than ever before; the ethnic minority employment rate is at a record high; youth unemployment has almost halved since 2010; a million more people with disabilities have entered the jobs market since 2013; and there are more than 10 million people over the age of 50 still in work.Now I’m not going to ask how many of you are over 50 – you all look very young to me. But I have just got over 50 so I am now an older worker, as we class it.And this is the group that we are going to be looking at today.As we live longer, healthier lives many people are extending their working life.But it may surprise many to know that, despite our increased longevity, men are actually leaving the labour market at an earlier age than in 1950, with women leaving at the same age.Whilst there are those who have planned and saved to retire early, there are lots of people exiting the labour market before they would really want to.Analysis of the British Social Attitudes survey which looked at working later in life showed that just 39% of those who had already retired did so because they wanted to.So that means 61% of people who retired did so not wanting to but wanting to work longer, or indeed because they had health conditions or were unable to work. And that’s quite a powerful statistic in my view.And while employers have long been making arrangements to enable parents to look after their children – which of course is a very good thing – there is also an increasing need to support their older workers who are caring for parents or partners. And I will return to this theme.It is widely accepted of course that boosting the number of older workers in employment has benefits.I want to focus on 3 in particular.The first are the rewards for an individual who enjoys a fuller working life; second is the boost for employers; and third is the benefit to the national economy.So firstly, I do think we are too quick to forget the impact that the routine and social nature of work has on our individual health and wellbeing. For most people, being in what they consider to be good work can be good for their health, both physical and mental.Secondly, at an employer level, I know from my conversations with businesses that you yourselves recognise the value of keeping hold of your talent or bringing their experience into your workforce.And not only that: we are all familiar with the productivity challenge we face in this country. Armed with more experience, the efficiency of older workers could be part of that solution.And thirdly at the national level, according to PwC analysis, if the UK could reach the employment rate for 55 to 64 year olds that Sweden currently enjoys, it would boost our GDP by £80 billion. This of course would mean boosting our employment rate for this co-hort to around 76%. This will take effort from all us – but we have made progress. Since 1984 we’ve lifted the employment rate for 55 to 59 year olds from around 60% to just over 74%.And it is with those 3 benefits in mind that I am convinced that improving employment rates for older workers is a collaborative process – requiring business, government and individual action.Around 2 years ago we launched our Fuller Working Lives strategy which was written by business, for businesses.It made recommendations about how businesses can retain, retrain and recruit older workers – with a strong business case alongside each.I won’t repeat the detail of it – you will have read that – but we have made progress since we set out that plan.As part of the recommendations there were a number of ideas around engaging with workers to support them on changing their working pattern and reshaping the end of their careers.Since then, much work has gone into what we are calling mid-life MOTs – a moment to take stock of your career and your finances, and to plan for the future with support from your employer.Last summer a number of organisations including Aviva, L&G and the Pensions Advisory Service ran pilots with their employees.And as we advocate for mid-life MOTs amongst business it is important that we in government set the pace on this.So last year my department ran our own pilots with just under 300 staff. It was voluntary and involved a personal review with their line manager and the opportunity to sit down with the Civil Service pension team.The initial feedback that we have got is that people found it a really useful exercise. What we are evaluating now is what impact those conversations have had on changing behaviour.And as the results of all the pilots are shared, ours as well as the private sector pilots, we will start to see how the midlife MOT can be used to ignite a cultural shift in how people plan for their later career.We now also have the Flexible Working Taskforce, and there may well be people here who are represented on that, which includes a range of government departments and business stakeholders.The theme of flexible working is also something that comes through in the government’s Good Work plan. I have to say that often flexible working is seen as a response to working parents, which I’ve said is a very good thing.But flexible working must also be seen through the prism of older workers.They are group who so often carry a range of responsibilities – caring for grandchildren, parents or indeed for their partners.They are often woefully undervalued in these roles, and their needs have not been voiced loudly enough in the debate about flexible working.Bringing their cause to the fore is something that we can make sure is achieved through this taskforce.While action has been taken and progress is happening, older workers are continuing to take on employment, there is more to do.And there are 2 areas in particular that I am looking at to boost the employment rates for older works. The first do with our jobcentres.Almost all are already paired with the National Careers Service and our Older Worker Champions are working actively on behalf of the older jobseekers we support.But on a recent visit to the jobcentre in Birkenhead I met a jobseeker in his fifties and a jobseeker in her twenties – and they sparked an interesting thought.While the older jobseeker had navigated the working world – with all its workplace politics – the way that employers recruit today was very new to him.Conversely, the younger jobseeker was far more comfortable with rigorous recruitment processes, detailed application forms and online testing, but actually welcome real-life insight into how to get-on once she had the she job wanted.At the moment, our jobcentres often working with jobseekers in clusters – young people, ethnic minority jobseekers, older workers and so on.To me it makes sense that in many ways to bring people with a shared experience together – building up their confidence and addressing specific barriers.But if we take down the divides between these groups, rather than just supporting each through shared experience they can help one another by sharing their different experiences.Just as employers value older workers as mentors, jobcentres should too – with the added benefit that the mentoring can be mutual.And of course it’s interesting in the context of the discussion we have just had about reverse mentoring – this is something that is as applicable in jobcentres as it is in the workplace more widely.The second area I am looking at is enrolment in our Work Experience Programme and Sector Based Work Academies.Currently, over fifties are in the minority of the people who start these programmes making up around just 10% of those who have taken up the opportunities since we launched these initiatives in 2011.But for those who have been out of work for a while or who are looking to change their job as they grow older, these are the bridges to the work that they are looking for.There needs to be a cultural shift in the opportunities we think older workers are open to. For example, apprentices are often thought of as fresh-faced, inexperienced workers.But increasingly employers are successfully opening up their schemes to older applicants, in some cases specifically targeting older workers.Jobcentres should be doing just the same with the opportunities they have on offer.So I have my to-do list on improving the employment prospects for older workers – I hope as you leave this conference later on today you will have your own.But before I conclude, I want to make the point that whilst the interventions I’ve talked about today focus on the over fifties, we must also get on the front foot with the young generation of workers coming in.There needs to be a resetting of the dial when it comes to how people plan their careers.A job for life is no longer a certainty – nor is it what many people want today.That does not need to be alarming – there is a sense of freedom in that.But to make the most of it, people setting out in their working life must be prepared to adapt.Adapt to how their job needs will change as their personal circumstances change over time.And, particularly for the new generations, how they adapt as the world of work changes as technology is replacing as well as creating jobs.People coming into the workplace now have a different attitude to their parents.They are starting to understand that lifelong learning is more crucial than ever. And that one’s legacy can be in 2 or 3 careers, not just in one.And I will repeat myself here. This doesn’t need to be alarming.Much has been said about concerns for the future of work – particularly in the face of automation.But each industrial revolution has created more jobs than there were before.So I am confident that we will continue to see a strong labour market. Bringing more people into the workplace – for our collective and individual benefit.
GDF wins nine of 11 semi-finals on second nightTHE Guyana Defence Force (GDF) continued to dominate the Guyana Boxing Association’s Lennox Blackmoore National Intermediate Boxing Championships, winning nine of 11 semi-finals,when the tournament continued on Saturday nighy at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.Of the nine victories, the soldiers had the referee working overtime for most of the night, as they forced him to call a halt to proceedings during three of their bouts.The Republican Gym,which had threatened to wrest the Champion Gym title from the soldiers,were only able to chalk up three victories, thereby failing to take the honour.The army boxers opened the night on a winning note in their first two encounters as Don Cumberbatch secured a unanimous points decision win against Republican’s Ewart Cobis in a flyweight contest, then Courtney Lynch (GDF) caused the referee to stop his bantamweight contest against Republican’s Eon Archer at 36 seconds of the first round.Jemal Brisport and Jason Trotman, both army boxers, secured points victories in their lightweight clashes against William DeAbreu (Republican) and Trison Browne (GDF) respectively.In the junior welterweight division, Rhondel Douglas (GDF) secured a Technical Knock-Out win against Republican’s Quami Cumberbatch, at one minute 38 seconds of the first round, while in the welterweight division, Orlando Northon (GDF) won by a unanimous points’ decision over Omar Nauthsukhdeo of the Forgotten Youth Foundation Gym(FYF).Joshua Fraser gave the soldiers their seventh victory for the night as he caused the referee to stop his middleweight contest against Republican’s Alvin Gounga at two minutes and two seconds of the first round.Fighting in the same division, Fraser’s gym mate, Darren McPherson,chalked up a unanimous points victory over Geraldo Phillips (Republican).Ryan Roberts capped off a fine night for the army as he won his heavyweight contest against Republican’s Jermaine Williams on points.In other results from Saturday night’s card, Julius Kesney of Rose Hall Jammers defeated Anthony Patterson (Republican) on points in a bantamweight contest, while Delroy Nero (republican) secured a walk over from his gym mate,Dennis Holligan, in the junior welterweight division.There was much comedy in a welterweight contest between Joshua Joseph (Republican) and GDF’s Lorex Cummings as, from the start of the fight, Cummings’ protective cup kept falling out of his under pants.Even though it was changed after it fell twice within seconds, it continued to fall three more times;The referee then stopped the fight during the very first round and awarded it to Joseph, ruling that Cummings infringed the rules consistently.The other fight of the night saw Bryan Leitch (Republican) displaying a robotic approach in his heavyweight contest against Renaldo Niles (GDF), stunning the latter with telling punches that forced the referee to call a halt to the proceedings at two minutes and 38 seconds of the first round.In this fight, Niles first connected to Leitch with a straight right and the referee immediately issued an eight count.However, on resumption, Leitch, with no guards up,literally advanced to his opponent and staggered him on several occasions and caused the referee to call a halt to the proceedings.The tournament concluded last evening.
Tipp town’s Denis Lynch and Thurles native Greg Broderick will be joined by Mayo’s Cameron Hanley and Billy Twomey from Cork for the event.Broderick will be on board Going Global for his first start in a 5-star Nations Cup.Ireland have been drawn fifth to jump of eight of the world’s best show jumping nations taking part at Lummen, the Irish quartet are facing their country’s first points-scoring competition of the new season, which gets underway at 3pm.
McCarthy struck out eight in his five innings including the first batter he faced since April 25, 2015.“The first strikeout, I was like, ‘OK, at least, if nothing else, I didn’t end my career with a home run to Justin Upton,’” said McCarthy who gave up a three-run homer to Upton in San Diego before leaving his last game with a torn ulnar collateral ligament that had to be repaired by Tommy John surgery.“That was the first thing I thought of. But other than that, it became business as usual.”The dominant performance by a Dodgers starter has become business as usual at a very unexpected time. Since learning on Thursday that Clayton Kershaw would be sidelined indefinitely with a back injury, the Dodgers have won four consecutive games. Their starting pitchers in those games — Kenta Maeda, Bud Norris, Scott Kazmir and McCarthy — allowed only one run (in the first inning of Maeda’s start in Milwaukee on Thursday) on 10 hits in 23 innings.“I think Kersh would tell you everyone is the same in here,” Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson said. “Obviously, he’s not. He’s the best player in baseball, in my opinion. But you can’t try to make it all up. You can’t replace Clayton Kershaw. Everyone just has to do a little more. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “We’ve just got to take it one game at a time. I think that’s the approach we’ve been taking the last few days.”It’s an approach that left the Colorado Rockies stone cold. They managed just two runs and 12 hits in the three-game series at Dodger Stadium, striking out 41 times in the 27 innings. It was only the seventh time in franchise history they’ve been held to only two runs in a three-game series and the 12 hits were the second-fewest in those games.“All the guys, they’ve really taken it and embraced it and really stepped up,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the pitching performance in the Kershaw-less stretch. “Results withstanding, there was no panic. There was no people in the clubhouse feeling sorry for themselves.“The wins are maybe a coincidence. But I think the intent to play hard and pitch well and play well — there was a purpose behind it. Four in a row since Clayton — but we understand there’s a lot of slack that we have to pick up and keep going.”McCarthy’s return is a step in the right direction. He retired 15 of the 18 batters he faced, allowing a pair of singles and walking one. None of the baserunners advanced beyond first. His eight strikeouts included the final three batters he faced before being pulled from the game. McCarthy threw 72 pitches, matching his highest total from the four minor-league injury-rehabilitation assignment starts he made before rejoining the Dodgers.“This was as good as I’ve seen him in years past. This rivaled it, really,” Roberts said. “The fastball had late life, threw the breaking ball when he needed to, mixed in a couple changeups. Eight punch outs in five innings — he just kind of continued what our starters have done this entire series.“Drove in a run too.”That came on a bases-loaded walk in the Dodgers’ three-run second inning. Rockies starter Jon Gray gave up a leadoff home run to Thompson (his 13th) and the next four Dodgers failed to put a ball in play — Gray hit Howie Kendrick with a pitch then walked three straight, including McCarthy. Justin Turner’s two-out RBI single cashed in another run.“He was definitely better than I expected,” said Grandal, who added a solo home run in the seventh inning. “I’ve caught guys that came out of Tommy John surgery in that first start, it doesn’t really go quite as well as they want. I was surprised by the fact that his secondary pitches and velocity were there. I mean, 94 (mph), might have touched 95 and pretty much stayed there — very surprised to see that.“It seemed like he didn’t miss a step from last year. … It was a good time to step up.” LOS ANGELES >> Brandon McCarthy is all too familiar with the process of being injured, rehabilitating and returning to action.But when his elbow gave out 14 months ago, he said the fear entered his mind “that it could have very well been my last pitches.”They weren’t.McCarthy returned to a major-league mound Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium and pitched five scoreless innings as the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-1 victory.