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Most new cars must be electric by 2030, ministers told
Three-fifths of new cars must be electric by 2030 to meet greenhouse gas targets, ministers have been warned. Homes also need to be built to a higher standard, the Committee on Climate Change – the official watchdog – says. The government says the UK is cutting emissions faster than any other G7 nation – and the committee agrees there has been a big shift under Theresa May. However, it says the UK will fall short of its ambitions unless ministers do more to turn pledges into reality.
Brexit: Conservatives urge ‘unity’ ahead of EU bill vote
The Conservatives have urged MPs to show a “unity of purpose” and back their Brexit legislation in a key vote. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill gets its third reading in the House of Commons later before heading to the Lords. The draft legislation has already been the subject of highly-charged debate in the Commons, facing hundreds of attempts to change its wording and suffering one government defeat. Ministers are not expected to lose Wednesday evening’s vote.
CBI criticises short-term policies to improve skills base
The latest measures to improve Britain’s skills base are not working, the CBI employers’ group has warned. The organisation, which represents the UK’s biggest companies, said programmes such as the apprenticeship levy had “alienated” firms. CBI managing director Neil Carberry criticised successive governments’ short-term approach to tackling the country’s skills shortage. “We need a skills approach that lasts for 50 years, not five,” he said. The CBI said 28 separate policy reforms in the past 30 years had led to confusion and failed to deliver on what was needed to improve skills.
Uber curbs working hours for its UK drivers
Uber has capped the number of hours its UK drivers can work before they have to take a break in a bid to promote “driver and passenger safety”. The move, which comes before a legal case this summer to decide whether Uber can operate in London, will force drivers to stop work for six hours once they have been on the road for 10 hours. The ride-hailing company is under pressure to prove it is a “fit and proper operator” after it was banned in September by Transport for London, which licenses private hire cars in the capital. Uber is appealing against the decision.
Learndirect ‘blocked critical report to keep funding’
Learndirect, the UK’s largest provider of further education, was “bizarrely” granted a superinjunction to gag Ofsted from publishing a damning report about its training courses and passing its concerns to the government. The injunction allowed Learndirect to suppress the report, which judged it to be “inadequate”, for four months and carry on receiving government money for substandard work. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of education, disclosed details of the injunction to MPs on the Commons public accounts committee (PAC) who are investigating Learndirect.
Fewer graduate jobs amid Brexit fears
The number of jobs for graduates who left university last summer fell for the first time in five years as companies reined in their spending. The country’s biggest and best-known employers had planned to recruit more than 22,000 graduates last year, up 10 per cent on 2016. However, widespread uncertainty over weak growth and how Brexit would affect their business in the years ahead meant that they hired 19,133, a fall of 5 per cent on the previous year. The unexpected fall will add to concerns about the tuition fees system, and whether graduates are ever going to pay back the £54,000 a head they borrow to fund a degree.