Total Business Magazine

This Week’s 5 Must-Read Stories You May Have Missed

Amazon plans to create 2,000 jobs across the UK, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp faced day-long malfunctions and William Hill revealed it will close 700 stores.

We caught up with our columnist, business transformation expert, author of The Interim Revolution and founder and CEO of Sullivan and Stanley, Pat Lynes, to discuss the biggest news stories you wouldn’t have wanted to miss last week.

1. Amazon to create 2,000 jobs in the UK

E-commerce giant, Amazon, has revealed plans to create 2,000 new jobs in the UK this year, including in its development centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh, as well as its headquarters in London and new corporate offices in Manchester.

Amazon will be hiring for jobs within engineering, software development, data science, cloud computing to machine learning, which will take its total workforce to almost 30,000 people. It’s positive to see big corporates such as Amazon investing in local talent widely across the UK.

2. Calls for the apprenticeship levy scheme to be opened up to temporary workers

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is launching a petition calling for the government to reform the apprenticeship levy scheme to include temporary workers. The current initiative, which is inflexible and poorly designed, has now become redundant in this modern world, as working practices and people’s preferences have changed.

With such rapid industry movement, there is an ever growing need for fast movement of talent in the UK. So, by reforming the apprenticeship levy it will help to create more talent, plug the current skills gap, raise productivity and in turn improve wages across the UK. We need to move away from the perm and temporary worker mindset and understand the world is moving away from ownership of talent, to access to talent.

3. LGBTQ employees make less per year than their straight colleagues in the UK

According to a survey by YouGov for LinkedIn, LGBTQ employees receive an average of £6,700 less per year, which equates to 16%, than their straight colleagues. Of the 4,000 LGBTQ workers, 21% also admitted to being verbally abused in the office.

It’s shocking to see that prejudice like this is still very much prevalent in the workplace. Businesses need to be creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels part of the story, especially as diversity is the key to unlocking innovation and solutions, which in turn contributes to the overall business success.

4. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp face messaging outage

You were probably one of the many thousands of people who were affected by the day-long malfunctions on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp last week. The outage saw users having issues loading images and videos on Facebook, as well as view stories on Instagram and send messages on WhatsApp.

According to Facebook, the problems occurred during a routine maintenance operation. Due to the complexity of services social media platforms are offering, apps and website are bound to experience occasional disruptions. However, as people and businesses become more reliant on social channels to operate and communicate, it is more important than ever that these malfunctions are resolved as efficiently as possible.

5. William Hill is set to close 700 stores across the UK

Bookmaker, William Hill, has become the latest victim of the struggling high street as it announced it will close 700 shops, which could lead to 4,500 job losses. The company blamed the pending closures on the government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2. However, if we look at the bigger picture with the world rapidly moving online, people want instant access to content. With betting now available at our fingertips on smartphones, tablets and laptops, I’m sure William Hill won’t be the first casualty of the betting industry.

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