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12 months of 2022: February

As we reach the end of the year, our 12 Days of Christmas countdown revisits each month's most notable happenings.

Rolling into February, the number of people taking up apprenticeships dropped massively, while the number of people receiving Universal Credit skyrocketed. Issues within Metropolitan Police were also thrust into the public eye.

Met Police: blame only deepens cultural divide, expert warns

London mayor Sadiq Khan publicly criticised former Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick, before she eventually resigned in April 2022. 

The Independent Office of Police Conduct's (IOPC) investigation into the Met Police uncovered homophobia, misogyny, racism and sexism among a group of officers at Charing Cross police station, which ultimately cost Dick her job. 

Dick would later claim she felt intimidated into resigning by Khan, while a review into the situation by Thomas Windsor accused Khan of not following due process over her resignation.


Entry-level apprenticeships plunge

Analysis from the London Progression Collaboration (LPC) showed the number of people undertaking entry level apprenticeships had dropped by 72% when compared to 2015, before the introduction of the apprenticeship levy from the government in 2017.

The drop off appeared to coincide with the levy's introduction. Pre levy, the number of entry-level apprenticeships remained relatively steady, at around 500,000.

Since 2017, the number of these intermediate apprenticeships has rapidly fallen every year, with just 185,400 participating in the 2020/21 academic year.


Low-income workers relying on Universal Credit rise to 1.3 million

In early February, research from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) showed the number of workers on Universal Credit (UC) had risen 130% to 2.3 million.

The 1.3 million increase was attributed to the pandemic, which had plunged working households into financial trouble. 

The research also showed the basic value of UC had lowered since the start of the pandemic as it  failed to keep up with inflation, representing a £12 a month drop in real terms.


The best bits of HR magazine from February 2022:

What HR can learn from the IBM ageism row

What to do when leadership fails, part one

What to do when leadership fails, part two

Why has it taken a pandemic to care about people?