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Round-up of the week

Posted on 20th February 2015

1 in 3 Brits find accountancy jobs desirable

More than one in three Brits like the idea of being an accountant, a new study has revealed.

A new study by YouGov found that 34 per cent of people in the UK rate an accountancy position as the most desirable job, while 26 per cent of respondents fancy becoming an investment banker.

While professions such as authors, librarians and academics led the way in the survey, the findings are an interesting insight into how people view the financial services industry. Despite the reputational damage it has suffered in recent years, many still view it as a desirable and prestigious career path.

IoD: City must back Labour's pay proposals

The City has been urged to get behind the Labour Party's push to make pay reporting in banking more transparent.

According to the Institute of Directors, shadow chancellor Ed Balls is right to call for performance-related pay in the sector, as it could make executives take a more long-term look at the success of their organisation.

Simon Walker, director general of the body, also backed the idea of clawing back bonuses in the event of serious wrongdoing, as senior bankers "occupy positions of significant importance to the economy".

However, he said conditions under which clawbacks can happen need to be "very tightly defined and relate to actions which can be clearly shown to have damaged the bank".

Record number of people in work

The number of people in work in the UK has reached record levels, according to official figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 30.9 million people are now in employment.

The government has hailed the figures as a sign that its long-term economic plan is working and that the jobs-led recovery is "changing people's lives for the better on a daily basis".

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith commented: "We are getting people into work, making work pay, and in so doing we are ensuring a better future for Britain."

The upturn has also been welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry, which said the "recovery is now established and businesses are continuing to create more full-time jobs".

“Pay growth is now well ahead of inflation, and a focus on improving productivity from businesses will help keep this on track," added John Cridland, director-general of the body.

Government campaigns to get more women in key industries

A campaign has been launched by the government to boost gender diversity in several key sectors of the economy.

According to employment minister Esther McVey, organisations such as the Royal Society of Chemistry and the London Stock Exchange have recently handed top jobs to women for the first time ever. However, she said the UK is still waiting for the same to happen in industries such as banking. 

The government has therefore launched the #notjustforboys initiative to highlight and address this issue.

"We want to energise young girls and support more women to make the choices that are right for them, and have the security of a regular wage in an industry that’s driving Britain's growth," Ms McVey commented.