Liz Sewell FIEP, Director, Belina Consulting

The job, as a concept is vanishing. Long gone are the days of a ‘job for life’. The economic forecast indicates that wages are unlikely to increase over the next decade, zero hours contracts are on the rise and the ‘gig economy’ seems here to stay.

We have to rethink the whole thing. How do we make this work for us? Could this new world of work hold any advantages? Are there opportunities to be had here?

Traditionally a job has meant getting to the workplace at 9.00am and leaving at 5.30pm but how well does that model actually fit with our lives, particularly women’s lives?

For many women, especially those who have caring responsibilities, the traditional work model falls far short of what they need to make it work in the real world.  Fitting within scheduled hours can be difficult if you have a child or elderly parents to support and even harder if you are a lone parent.  For those who have been away from the workplace for a long time it can make the prospect of returning to work especially daunting.

So, what do women really need to make it easier for them to return to work and can they really benefit from this new era of flexible employment?  At Belina Consulting we know they can.

Flexibility is of real importance if we are to truly harness the many skills and talents that women in the workplace have to offer and Belina’s own employees are proof that with a flexible outlook and attitude it can really work. All of Belina’s staff share more than just a knowledge of what it takes to juggle the responsibilities of parenthood with the world of work.  We also share a drive and determination to make work “work” but in a way that fits in with our lives and allows us the space we need to fulfil a wide range of responsibilities outside of the workplace.

We fit our work around our lives but in order to do that there has to be an understanding and a trust in one other that we will each do whatever it takes to get the job done.  That might mean that we are working long into the night some evenings or rising at the crack of dawn some mornings but if it means we can be at the school gates at 8.45am and again at 3.15pm, attend Sports Day and Leaving Assemblies and be nurse when our children are sick then it’s worth it.

But how can an employer function in such a seemingly disparate way? It’s quite easy – it’s just a question of believing in your staff and recognising that people can offer so much more if they are happy and feel empowered. Feeling under pressure to perform within restrictive work patterns and constantly juggling responsibilities can leave women with the feeling that they are never really giving 100% of themselves to any one task.  Women don’t want to have to choose between giving their all to their job or giving their all to their children.  By just being a little flexible there’s no why reason they can’t do both.

Of course, suitable and affordable childcare is crucial to allowing parents to return to the workforce. From September this year the provision of free hours of childcare will be extended: all working families (providing both parents earn the equivalent of 16 hours on the minimum wage per week, and less than £100,000 per year) will be able to use a total of 30 hours free childcare a week for their three and four year old children.

Until this extension is rolled out, we will not know its true cost and impact. However, concerns over funding arrangements have led to uncertainty over how childcare providers will react – will there be sufficient funding, will providers be able to absorb the costs, or will they opt out of the scheme altogether? These are issues that will remain to be seen and, whilst in principle the provision of 30 hours free childcare should prove beneficial to working families and those who are most disadvantaged, we would like to see a more comprehensive solution that would ensure that all low-income families benefit from the extra hours and gives those with younger children greater flexibility around when they return to work.

In the meantime, the digital revolution is enabling us all to work in a different way. Email, mobile phones, Skype, Facetime – all are allowing people to work well remotely, without the need to enter an office, without the need to be at a desk from 9.00-5.30.

The new world of work poses an attractive proposition for women by creating almost limitless possibilities for them to create the types of jobs that they want, jobs that allow them the freedom to think long-term and adapt with the changing needs of their families, to get connected again and above all, to take control of their lives.Liz Sewell 100x100

Liz Sewell FIEP, Director, Belina Consulting

Work in Progress: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will be running a ‘Talking Table’ at Work in Progress on 25th April in Birmingham on the “50 Year Career and what it means for employability that women now have to work from 18 - 68.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

#SkillsWorldLive Radio Show added a new event 5 hours

Future of Apprenticeships

In recent times, we have seen significant reform of the apprenticeship system in England. The pandemic has made the situation even more challenging...

  • Thursday, 05 November 2020 10:00 AM
  • Virtual Event

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page