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News round-up 22/10

Apprenticeships questioned; Chinese trading website removes counterfeit UK goods; Call to develop bio-plastics; Trophy for Veolia

Apprenticeships questioned

A new Ofsted report finds that not enough apprenticeships are providing advanced, professional skills in the sectors that need them most and that the drive to create more apprenticeships has diluted their quality.

Apprenticeships: developing skills for future prosperity finds that many of the courses on offer are failing to give learners the skills and knowledge employers are looking for.

Too many low-skilled roles are being classed as apprenticeships and used to accredit the established skills of people who have been in a job for some time. In some cases learners were not even aware that the course they were on was classed as an apprenticeship.

Press release

Chinese trading website removes counterfeit UK goods

Collaboration between the China Britain Business Council and Alibaba, China’s most popular e-commerce website, has resulted in the removal of more than £8m worth of counterfeit versions of UK products.

The agreement signed in September 2014 means that more than 25 UK businesses, including several large multinationals have been able to get counterfeit goods sold on Alibaba removed.

The announcement was made by Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe at the UK-China Symposium.

Press release

Call to develop bio-plastics

The Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association has said that a proper legislative framework would enable the development of a UK bio-plastics sector worth £2bn and with 35,000 jobs.

An analysis for it by the Centre for Economics and Business Research said the full potential of a bio-plastics industry would be realised only if consumers can recognise the sustainability benefits of these products and distinguish these from what it said were others falsely claiming biodegradability.

Report

Trophy for Veolia

Waste firm Veolia won the issues management and crisis management trophy in PR Week magazine’s annual awards.

This was for its work on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, which it said was based around openness and reassurance to sensitive community groups.

Press release

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