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Reductive politics is on collision course with reality
It wasn’t just election week, it was Brexit election week. Or was it? And what about the Stormont talks? Voters are more subtle than politicians and we stand at a policy crossroads. Without fixes there could be enormous public anger.
Employment highs are obscuring a great malaise
The latest job market updates look great. Take a peek behind the figures, however, and the story is different.
How is NI performing? (part three)
Our third and final article looking at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.
How is NI performing? (Part two)
The second in our trio of articles taking an accessible look at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.
How is Northern Ireland performing? (part one)
The Executive Office recently published its year-end report looking at progress against outcomes in the draft Programme for Government. Scope takes a look at the bottom line.
‘Traditional’ men’s work is not just for boys
North Belfast charity Women’stec is tearing down barriers that have kept women from careers like joinery, plumbing and surveying. Scope speaks with CEO Lynn Carvill.
East Belfast community work is ready to blossom
A multi-partner project aiming to build capacity and leadership among community groups appears to be that rare thing – an unqualified success.
Employers for Childcare publishes annual childcare report
The need to restructure childcare in Northern Ireland has long been ignored. But the campaign for change is building momentum.
What can’t we afford? How economic inequality is about more than paying bills
If wealth, rather than ability, drives educational achievement, we have to think hard about how we structure society to compensate for this.
If you want to improve the benefits system, speak up
The IFS says Universal Credit will lower the incomes of millions of people and that the welfare reform “hits the persistently poor the hardest on average.” But change is possible.
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.