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Back to the drawing board for sustainable transport to school
Efforts are underway to change transport habits in Northern Ireland – but they might not be working. Scope looks at the annual school transport figures.
Employability programmes can transform lives and communities
The European Social Fund has committed £200m to NI for employability schemes – including Start360’s Switch onto Employment. The organisation tells Scope that ESF’s post-Brexit replacement cannot be half hearted.
Childcare provision is good but there are problems with affordability and sustainability
Last month, Employers for Childcare released their ninth annual NI Childcare Cost Survey. The burden on families is enormous - but providers are also under huge strain. Reform (financial assistance and restructuring) is required.
Quality of life is easy to understand but difficult to pin down
Reform is possible in NI, even without a government. Officials last week published a paper seeking to understand what is meant by “quality of life” – with the ultimate aim of improving the lot of adults and children with disabilities.
How NI relies on Europe for employability schemes
The European Social Fund represents a small amount of EU money – but supports a huge proportion of the schemes in its sector. Westminster’s delay on developing a replacement is worrying.
Happy New Year – we can make a better world, but it won’t make itself
If we continue to chase some short-term economic growth at the expense of inclusive growth we not only make things harder for the majority of people, we are creating growth that will not be sustained.
Improving mental health outcomes will tell us a lot about society
This could prove to be a good week for mental health provision in Northern Ireland. Maybe. Not just because of more money for services - the City Deal could help, too. And it might have to.
Social value could regenerate local economies for the benefit of their people
Protectionism is back. Neoliberal orthodoxy is under question. Perhaps social value, rather than suffocating trade, can layer some new thinking on top of it.
Behind the numbers: jobs in our changing economy are at the mercy of powerful, competing forces
Industry leaders are optimistic about the potential for automation, predicting it will create more jobs in the next few years than the tens of millions it will displace. Is this optimism meaningful?
Give Stormont more powers to fix economy, says think tank
A landmark report into the economy by an influential think tank argues that more devolution is a key element in boosting prosperity.
The potential for citizens’ income remains a hopeful, tricky mystery
An experiment with citizens’ income has been enthusiastically branded a failure before any results are in. The truth is less straightforward – and unclear. Regardless, creative thinking needs support, not scorn.
NI poverty: going nowhere, but changing all the time
NI’s poverty woes have been in the headlines this week – the last decade has been wasted. However, the story goes further: the nature of poverty has changed, which must be recognised if the problem is to be fixed.
Belfast's city deal explained
It was widely predicted by commentators that there would be no extra money for Northern Ireland in the budget. For once, and thankfully, they were wrong.
Why good neighbours are worth their weight in gold
Everybody knows that if we were better neighbours and lived in stronger communities we’d not just be happier but better off, not just individually but collectively.