Even in the midst of a COVID-19 surge in Europe, the United Kingdom is not following the footsteps of some of the other European countries by imposing stricter measures to force a halt in the flow of transmission of the virus.
The United Kingdom Secretary of Health, Sajid Javid announced on Wednesday that the country has made the decision to reduce the possible self-isolation people for a select group from ten days to seven days. The UK decided that residents who test positive for COVID-19 in England will see their mandatory self-isolation cut to seven days as long as they can produce negative results from lateral flow tests on the sixth and seventh days of their isolation.
While some may be of the opinion that the move is dangerous, Javid states that the UK believes that the decision is a sensible and appropriate one. He states that it is a good sign that those who have tested positive for the virus are self-isolating, which is helping to curb the spread of the virus to others.
According to Javid, the move was made after close conferment with the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and was brought forward mainly to prevent further disruption to frontline services and businesses. Officials in the UKHSA were convinced that the effects of the seven-day self-isolation period are very similar to the effects of the ten-day self-isolation, a discussion which led them to agree to the reduction of the self-isolation period for those who have gotten two consecutive negative lateral flow tests.
However, those who leave self-isolation after seven (or ten) days are implored to continue exercising caution, limiting close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, working from home and reducing contact with anyone who may have a severe illness if infected with the virus.
As it stands, the United Kingdom government has no plans to impose strict preventive measures before Christmas, but may be forced to do so after the holidays if the COVID situation worsens.
Teaching Jobs in UK: Eligibility Criteria Amended as Application Begins February 1
Most teachers from Nigeria, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe had expressed happiness as they meet the criteria.
The chances of potential applicants for the teaching jobs announced by the United Kingdom have reduced as the country has amended the requirements for the recruitment exercise.
Following the initial eligibility criteria released for applicants for the job, Investors King had gathered that most teachers from Nigeria, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe had expressed happiness as they meet the criteria and we’re set to apply for the once it starts in February 1, 2023.
But, most interested persons from the highlighted countries, it was gathered, may not be able to meet up as UK Department for Education has added fresh criteria for the job.
The United Kingdom government had also factored its citizens among those qualified to go for the teacher status.
The Department for Education had in its Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which will enable non-UK indigenes find teaching jobs across the country, had only stated that applicants who major in subjects such as Mathematics, Sciences and some Language Subjects are eligible to apply.
According to the statement earlier published on its website for the job, interested applicants were asked to apply for the QTS through the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).
The information had stated that teachers from all eligible countries will have to show they meet a consistent set of criteria for the award of the QTS.
As interested persons were waiting for February 1 for them to apply, the UK Education Department announced some changes to the eligibility criteria.
In the amended eligibility criteria, some subjects were removed while other qualifications were added.
As seen on the UK government website, the corrected notice disclosed that there will be a subject eligibility restriction in some countries including Nigeria, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
According to the UK government, the move was to ensure it offers efficient and consistent service to all applicants for the job.
Among the reasons it gave for the amendment was for UK to prioritise the subject specialisms that are majorly needed by schools in England.
While disclosing that the restriction of the subject eligibility is temporary, the government said the change would allow it handle applications timely as they are being received.
It noted that the countries affected would be continued to be updated on further steps and that other subject of some areas of specialisations would be opened by May 2023.
Other qualifications added for applicants from Ghana, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa or Zimbabwe included that they must also have one of the qualifications it newly released.
The qualifications are: a teaching qualification that meets the standard of a level 6 qualification qualifying you to teach children aged 11 to 16 in mathematics, languages or science; a teaching qualification that meets the standard of a level 6 qualification qualifying you to teach children aged 11 to 16, and a bachelor’s degree made up of at least 50% mathematics, science or a language (excluding English) taught in English state schools, for example: French, German. Italian, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish.
The change may drop the number of qualified in Nigeria and other countries listed.
International Students in UK May Work Ten Extra Hours as Job Shortages Worsen
The situation is fuelling inflation in the country, especially in the area of offsetting wages of the shrinking labour force.
It was gathered that most companies and organisations had to pay higher for workers who have had to work more and spend more time on duties.
Accordingly, Investors King can report that the situation of decline in manpower is affecting the country’s productivity and rendering of services.
To tackle the challenge, the government of the United Kingdom might be planning to review upward the number of hours international students can work during their studies.
It’s expected that when the extension is done, widening job vacancies across the country would be filled and inflation would be abated.
The nation’s ministers, after due diligence and planning, might extend the work hour limit for international students from 20 to 30 hours per week or to remove it completely.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was said to have indicated desire to boost the workforce in order to prevent employers from spending heavily on the existing workers.
It was gathered that the policy, if considered, would afford the students opportunity to work more and meet up with the financial needs even as they are contributing t the economic growth of the country.
The employment gaps were created following increasing economic challenge and the withdrawal process of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Meanwhile, the consideration of the extension of the work hours for international students have been greeted with mixed feelings from stakeholders.
While some said the students would benefit in it if it is eventually adopted in terms of fetching them more money and boosting their job experience, others have expressed concerns that the development may affect the academic performance of the international students.
Some Nigerians were of the view that their relations schooling in the UK wouldn’t be affected negatively as it would encourage more people to study in the country.
For them, working longer hours while studying can help address the hike in the cost of living owing to the effects of inflation in the UK.
“If it can be done, I believe it will help a lot of us studying here in UK. We can strike a balance between our studies and work and I can assure you that there won’t be problem in either our work or studies.
“Due to the expensive prices if things here, we will be happy to over more sources whereby we can make legitimate income and this planned work extension would be a welcome idea to us studying here,” a Masters student in UK who simply identified himself as Wumi told Investors King.
However, others contended that the policy would make students to struggle with making good grades in their careers.
NAHCO Says Strike Didn’t Cause Major Business Loss, Plans Salary Increment Dialogue With Workers
The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has stated that the industrial action recently embarked on by airport workers did not cause a great loss in the sector.
It assured that negotiations on the agitation for salary increment for workers would begin on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 to Saturday, January 28th, 2023.
Investors King recalls that in the early hours of Monday, January 23, 2023, both local and international airports were shut down and flights grounded due to the strike of some aviation workers but at about 3pm that same day, the strike was called off and work continued.
In a press statement obtained by Investors King on Wednesday, signed by the Company Secretary, Dikko & Mahmoud Solicitors, Bello Abdullahi, clarifications were presented on what transpired.
Abdullahi explained that the industrial action was embarked on by some members of staff of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association (ATTSSSAN) to request for salary increase and protest NAHCO Management as touching their demands.
According to him, their action was in violation of the pronouncement by the National Industrial Court on 20th January 2023.
“The withdrawal of services by the striking workers led to NAHCO Plc’s inability to provide service to our client airlines. The resultant effect was that scheduled flights were unable to operate from our airport stations across the country, thereby leaving passengers stranded across the various airports,” he stated.
Abdullahi disclosed that a meeting was held by the NAHCO Plc management, the affected unions, the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Department of State Security (DSS) and other stakeholders at NAHCO Plc Head Office in Lagos on Monday.
He highlighted the resolutions enacted at the meeting as:
- The discontinuance of the suit filed against the NUATE and ATTSSSAN unions at the National Industrial Court.
- Issuance of a counteroffer to the Union’s demands by the NAHCO Plc Management before close of business of Monday, January 23, 2023.
- Commencement of negotiations on salary increment on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 and conclusion by Saturday, January 28th, 2023.
- The immediate resumption of all staff to work.
- Non-victimization of staff due to participation in the strike action.
The Company Secretary then assured the public and shareholders of the organisation’s commitment to quality delivery of aviation services.
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