The South East has the second highest level of young people working alongside their studies as students look to earn income from their smartphones

The South East has the second highest level of young people working alongside their studies as students look to earn income from their smartphones

Young people in the South East are among most likely in the country to have a part-time job, with 55% earning money alongside school or college compared to a national average of 50%, according to research* from LifeSkills created with Barclays. The East of England has the highest level of young people working with 57% while the South West came lowest with 44%.

Nationally, the number of young people with a traditional Saturday job appears to be falling compared to previous generations, as tech savvy teenagers turn to online ventures to boost their income.

Paper rounds, babysitting and doing odd jobs are falling out of favour with younger people, as they increasingly focus on their studies and look for highly flexible forms of work that fit around their education.

An estimated 670,000 of UK students (aged 14-21) now regularly make money through online avenues, with buying and selling products online (such as clothes) becoming more popular than babysitting or dog walking as a way of making extra cash. These online ventures are collectively worth £11million a year to the UK economy.

Overall, the research** found that nationally, just half (50%) of young people in education currently have a part-time job, compared to previous generations (68%). On average in the UK, young people between 14-21 years who have a part-time job work 8 hours a week and earn £62.50 a week – adding up to over £162million a week.

Motivations and challenges to working

Across the UK, young people say the main reason they have a part-time job is because they want some financial independence, to gain experience to improve their CV and skills, along with the chance to meet new people.

However, the reasons cited for not working part-time are:

• 44% don’t have a job because they get an allowance or income elsewhere such as pocket money from parents.

• 44% say they need to focus on their school work rather than work.

• 22% of young people without a job want to earn money but don’t know where to start.

• 17% say there is a shortage of part-time employment opportunities in their area and 16% have applied for work but were unsuccessful.

The next generation could be missing out on vital skills as a result, with young people who do have part-time jobs ranking responsibility, communication and teamwork as the top three skills gained from this experience.

Online part-time jobs and the changing world of work

The national picture shows that a desire for greater flexibility coupled with advanced digital skills is driving many young people to find new ways of making money through part-time activities.

While half (50%) of the previous generations said they worked in a shop or business when they were teens, in comparison just 37% of young people with jobs do the same today. Shop work is still the most popular type of job for young people followed by manual work, and online ventures are growing in popularity.

Of those earning money through an online job or project, over four in ten (44%) say they do this over traditional work because it provides them with more flexibility and 30% say their skills are better suited to earning money this way.

Meanwhile, a fifth (21%) say they choose to work online because there is a shortage of traditional jobs in their area, and a further 19% say it allows them to be more entrepreneurial.

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays said: “The nature of part-time jobs may have changed from thirty or forty years ago, but they remain a crucial way for young people to strike out on their own and gain the valuable skills and experience they will need for the rest of their working lives.

“It’s really encouraging to learn that so many young people are finding new routes, other than traditional part-time work, to boost their experience, skills development and earnings while being able to plan their hours around their studying. Parents, educators and businesses can also help them to kick-start their career skill set before they’ve even left school or college. Barclays LifeSkills can support with that, offering lesson plans and interactive tools on how to build key employability skills.”

Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Chair of the LifeSkills Advisory Council, said

“The humble Saturday job can be the start of great things. My part-time job at a hair salon taught me the skills that put me on the path to a successful career in business; problem solving, proactivity and hard work. Your first job is more than just a point for your CV, it’s a life lesson.

“Finding a job alongside school or college isn’t as simple as it was in the past, but the opportunities out there are evolving quickly. I recommend that every young person think about taking on work while still studying; whether it is cashing up in a shop or selling your creations online, the experience will have valuable things to teach you.”

Supporting young people to be successful in the future workplace, LifeSkills created with Barclays offers advice and guidance online to help young people prepare for their future careers, including a virtual work experience tool. Here are some top tips from Head of LifeSkills, Kirstie Mackey on how to prepare yourself for the world of work:

Top tips:

1. Know your skills

Identifying your skills is really important when you’re deciding which career is right for you. Try taking the Barclays LifeSkills Wheel of Strengths test to find out where your strengths lie.

2. Do your research

Doing your research is essential as you begin your job search – but you don’t have to do this on your own. Check out Barclays LifeSkills’ online Advice Map, and interactive tool to help you find the right advice from the right places.

3. Get interview-ready

Interviewing can be one of the most important (and nerve-wracking) parts of applying for a new job. Use LifeSkills’ Virtual Interview Practice tool to prepare and hone your skills.

A collection of interactive tools and tips on everything from CV writing and interviewing skills, to building enterprise and business skills is available online at

Optimism in the logistics industry has fallen to its lowest level on record, says Barclays/BDO survey

Optimism in the logistics industry has fallen to its lowest level on record, says Barclays/BDO survey

• First indication of net pessimism since survey began in 2012

• Operators concerned by tougher trading conditions, no-deal Brexit fears and skills shortages

• Some bright spots, as most still expect profit to increase this year and capital expenditure continuing

• More investment in automation and sustainability expected in the future

Optimism in the logistics industry has fallen to its lowest level on record, as challenging business conditions and Brexit fears contribute to the sector’s slump in confidence, according to the latest Logistics Confidence Index by Barclays and accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

The research, published today, reveals growing pessimism in the logistics industry, with an overall reading of 49.7. It is the first time in the history of the Index that confidence has dipped below the all-important 50 mark, indicating that overall the sector is more pessimistic than optimistic about the state of the market.

The Logistics Confidence Index is compiled by Barclays and BDO from in-depth surveys with over 100 industry leaders – together generating company revenues of more than £17bn - to assess the overall level of confidence and future expectations for the UK’s logistics operators.

This is the 12th iteration of the Index, which was first conducted in 2012, and shows a drop from 52.6 in H2 2018 - significantly below the record high of 74.9 posted in the second half of 2013. The fall is being driven by respondents reporting that current business conditions are more challenging than last year, with just 14% claiming they are more favourable.

Brexit fears are a significant contributor to the fall in confidence. Respondents indicated that plans for the future are being delayed as a result of Brexit uncertainty, with almost half (47%) making lower levels of investment or placing decisions on-hold due to Brexit-related issues since the 2016 referendum. Perhaps more encouragingly, it appears that the vast majority of operators are taking steps to ensure they are prepared for a range of outcomes, with just 5% saying they have taken no action in response to Brexit, down 10% from the previous Barclays/BDO survey.

Despite an increase in demand for some operators as a result of their customers’ Brexit planning, the industry is clear in its opposition to a no-deal departure from the EU for the UK.

Businesses were asked whether they would see more or less business from customers in different parts of the world under a no-deal Brexit. For EU customers, no-deal scored net -52%, with +9% under a deal; for UK customers, a no-deal outcome was also considered to be less positive than a deal being achieved (+8% and +31% respectively); and even for rest of the world customers it was +3% for no-deal, versus +9% with a deal.

Labour concerns are a persisting worry for operators, with 43% of businesses indicating that driver and skills shortages are the most important issue facing them this year. Furthermore, 59% selected drivers as the job role for which the industry’s skills shortage is having the biggest impact on their business.

Automation has been cited by some as a potential solution to skills shortages but, while there is some appetite for greater automation, responses suggest that widespread automation may still be some way off. More than 80% of those surveyed expect less than 10% of warehouse roles to be replaced by automation or robotics in the next five years. However, this is expected to increase at speed, as more than a quarter predict that at least 30% of these roles will be automated within 10 years.

There are some elements of the Logistics Confidence Index that give more cause for optimism. The majority of businesses still expect to post an increase in turnover (63%) and profit (55%) over the next year. This should feed through to increased investment, with more than a third of firms ‘very likely’ to make significant capital expenditure over the next 12 months, up 2% from 2018. There is also an increasing focus on green issues, with 72% of respondents planning to invest in sustainable projects in the coming year.

Perhaps surprisingly given heightened cost pressures and confidence concerns across the wider economy, it appears that price is not the primary consideration for logistics operators when trying to attract new business. When asked to identify the key drivers behind their recent contract wins, more respondents selected the provision of value added services and personal relationships than opted for price competitiveness.

However, in response to what the main focus to achieve their growth plans would be over the next 12 months, the most popular response was cost control (29%), suggesting that in order to thrive a balance has to be struck between managing cost and protecting margin, and being able to demonstrate to customers that they can provide value added services to differentiate their offering from competitors.

Richard Smith, Head of Transport & Logistics at Barclays Corporate Banking, said:

“Our logistics operators are sending a clear message – a no-deal Brexit is going to hurt the industry and must be avoided. The business leaders we surveyed have combined revenues of £17.2bn, so the fall in confidence they are reporting should be taken seriously.

“We don’t need to panic – the industry is extremely resilient and the Index’s dip into negative territory is marginal and comes after a long run of optimistic results. Logistics providers are doing their bit by investing in new technology and sustainability projects, but are dependent on the external environment being trade friendly to help them achieve growth and make a positive contribution to the UK economy.”

Philip Bird, Transport & Logistics Partner at BDO LLP, said:

“Businesses in the sector are battling with challenges both at home and abroad. In addition to Brexit, a slowdown in key global economies as well as ongoing USA-China trade wars are causing increased uncertainty and pushing the confidence index into negative territory.

“Skills shortages continue to be a major issue facing operators but there are clear indicators that companies are starting to embrace technology as a way to resolve these shortages. This is an encouraging trend and one we expect to see increase in the future.”

Military spouses face discrimination when applying for jobs

Military spouses face discrimination when applying for jobs

• Barclays research shows that four in ten say that having a partner in the military has prevented them from being offered a job interview

• A fifth of military spouses have hidden their military connection from potential employers

• A third say that their spouse’s career has meant that they’ve had to leave a job or take reduced hours

Military spouses are hiding their military connections when applying for jobs, a new study from Barclays has revealed.

The research from the Barclays AFTER (Armed Forces Transition, Employment & Resettlement) programme shows that partners of military personnel face a number of career challenges, with as many as four in ten (39 per cent) believing that they haven’t progressed through a job application because of their partner’s career choice. A fifth (18 per cent) believe this has happened on multiple occasions.

A significant number of military spouses think there is an underlying bias against hiring military spouses, with four in ten (38 per cent) believing that employers would be put off hiring someone if they knew that their partner was in the military. It does not come as a surprise therefore that a fifth (19 per cent) of spouses have hidden the fact that they are a military partner from a potential employer.

Kevin Gartside, Director of the AFTER programme at Barclays, said: “Our Armed Forces are well known for their dedication and it’s important to remember that, behind the scenes, they’ll often be supported by an equally committed partner. Today’s research reminds us that this commitment can lead to military spouses having to make sacrifices in their own careers or, even worse, being potentially overlooked by employers.”

Career barriers

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of military spouses feel that having a partner in the Armed Forces has negatively impacted their career in some way, with many having to sacrifice their own careers to accommodate their partner’s. A third (33 per cent) report they have had to leave a job or take reduced hours because of it, while 15 per cent have had to take a job below their level of experience.

As well as a perceived bias amongst employers, many military spouses report wider barriers that hold them back when it comes to their career. The majority of military spouses (55 per cent) say their careers do (or did) take second place to their partner’s, while half (50 per cent) think they could have been able to focus more on their career if their partner was not in the Armed Forces.

Supporting military spouses

Perhaps reflective of the nature of military life, half of military spouses (50 per cent) say they’d benefit from a job that allowed flexible working – allowing them to keep working in the same job regardless of where their partners are posted.

In addition to this, 37 per cent say they’d like more support with finding work placements, while 28 per cent say practical advice on writing CVs and attending interviews would help them to achieve their full career potential.

Kevin Gartside adds “With the right support in place, employers of all sizes can help military spouses to find rewarding, challenging careers that suit their lifestyle – whether that’s offering flexible working or supporting them through the job application process. At Barclays, we’re committed to supporting military families and offer targeted support for spouses whose partners are in the Armed Forces, by offering work experience and CV support.”

Helen, a military spouse from Barclays’ office in Glasgow said: “I’ve often hidden my military connection from past employers, as I didn’t want to be seen as asking for special treatment or allowances.

“For me, one of the most challenging aspects of being a military spouse is balancing a young family and a full-time career when, often, my husband’s working schedule has to take priority. In previous jobs, I have felt that not being able to travel or work longer hours has hindered my career.

“It wasn’t until I became enrolled in the Barclays AFTER programme that I felt comfortable talking about my personal circumstances with my employer, however now I feel like I can have a transparent conversation with my colleagues and arrange my work around the needs of my family.”

UK Homeowners stay put for nearly two decades, choosing to improve not move, reveals Barclays Mortgages

The 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report has found that the average Brit now stays in their property for 19 years before moving, and regularly updates their home in this time

Homeowners in the South East spend an average of 17.4 years in a property

Over half (54 per cent) of UK homeowners choose to make improvements to their current homes rather than move to a new property

Woodchip wallpaper, mirrored ceilings and carpeted bathrooms are considered the biggest décor faux pas, while bi-fold external doors are highly desired

Property expert, Phil Spencer has teamed up with Barclays Mortgages to highlight the current trends in home improvements and how the majority of homeowners prefer to home-improve rather than move in 2018.

Barclays Mortgages has today released its 2018 Home Improvement Report. Looking at the Nation’s attitudes towards renovations, the report has revealed that Brits are now staying in their property for nearly two decades, with the majority of homeowners (54 per cent) saying they would rather improve their current home than move to a new one.

Homeowners in the South East spend an average of 17.4 years in a property, well below the national average of 18.7 years and four years less than people in Wales.

Improvement trends:

The most popular improvements to make are fitting new carpets (35 per cent), installing a new kitchen (31 per cent) and landscaping the garden (29 per cent). The most desired home improvements are bi-fold doors into the garden (30 per cent), smart home tech (26 per cent) and a spa bathroom (20 per cent).

The report also revealed the biggest home improvement faux pas, with woodchip wallpaper (60 per cent) considered the biggest property turn off.

Property churn rate:

In fact, data produced for the report in conjunction with property analytics business Hometrack found that the average person in the UK stays put for 19 years1. The figures show that those in Wales are the least likely to move property regularly, with the average homeowner staying put for nearly 23 years. However, those in Scotland are the quickest movers, upping sticks after an average of almost 15 years.

Reasons to improve:

The new research found that the main reason for people choosing to improve their home is to make their property reflect their personal taste (48 per cent), but one in four (25 per cent) stated that their main motivation was to increase the value of their property.

With a continually challenging property market, it is perhaps not surprising that money is a key driver for homeowners. In fact, over a quarter (28 per cent) of those surveyed by Barclays Mortgages said that whilst they did want to move, they have had to improve their current home because they cannot afford to do so.

The report also found that social media is having an increasingly large impact on people’s approach to updating their property – particularly in the younger age groups. For example, four in ten (43 per cent) 23 - 34-year olds surveyed stated that they had been inspired to improve their home from what they have seen on social media. While 15 per cent admitted to improving a room specifically to post on their social channels.

No matter what the motivation, the new report highlights how committed homeowners are doing up their homes. In fact, a huge 79 per cent of homeowners have made home improvements in the past two years, and 73 per cent want to make improvements in the next 12 months.

TV property expert Phil Spencer, official spokesperson of the Barclays Mortgages Home Improvement Report, comments: “There has long been an appetite for home improvements in the UK, and with so many of us now staying in our properties for such a long time, it is clear that our homes are so much more than just bricks and mortar – they are a space for us to relax and enjoy times with our loved ones, so it is important to make them fit for purpose.

“It is also really interesting to see how social media is impacting on our attitude to home improvements. It’s clear that the likes of Instagram and Pinterest are really inspiring particularly the younger generation and I’m sure this is partly contributing to the changing interior tastes. I would encourage anyone looking to update their home to take inspiration where they can, but always think about the long-term – ask yourself how something will look in 3, 5, 10 years before committing your time and money.”

Hannah Bernard, Head of Mortgages at Barclays said: “The Barclays Mortgages Home Improvement Report highlights a strong appetite among homeowners to make improvements. We understand that there are many motivations for updating your home, from simply wanting to make your home better reflect your own tastes to adding more space for a growing family.”

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More than half (54 per cent) of Brightonians claim to have more online friends now than they did five years ago, with the average person today boasting 554 virtual mates. Yet even in the ‘Golden Age’ of social media, we can count close, ‘real-life’ friendships on just one hand – with only four ‘true and close’ pals in our inner circle.

These figures were released in new research from Pingit – the app that allows for fast, easy payments between friends and family with just a mobile number – that provides a ‘state of the nation’ report on modern British relationships.

The findings reveal two-thirds (67 per cent) of us across Brighton trust our closest friends more than our own relatives and more than a third (37%) say their best buddies are more likely than family to cheer them up in hard times.

A Brighton friend in need is a friend indeed, with over half (61 per cent) saying they would ‘drop everything’ to help a mate. 54 per cent claim they’d be happy to have a friend couch surf at their place indefinitely, 40 per cent would tell a white lie and 13 percent would tell a whopper. But it’s not just furniture and half-truths that are shared – a quarter (26 per cent) would take it a step further and donate a kidney to their cherished Brighton chums.

Many of us are also ‘banking’ on the financial generosity of our friends. More than half (55 per cent) would give a pal their last £10 and in flush times, they’ve offered a lot more – the maximum amount Brighton chums have loaned their buddies is, on average, £3,000.

Finances play a role when getting together with the gang, too. A third of us (34 per cent) struggle to find an activity that works within everyone’s budget, whilst 7 per cent admit that splitting the bill is a challenge.

Pingit released the findings to highlight how the app, which offers instant, easy payments and features such as bill-splitting capabilities, can help us spend less time sorting our spending and more time bonding with our buddies.

According to the study about friendship groups, the most appreciated person within the Brighton ensemble is the ‘shoulder to cry on’ (51 per cent) followed by ‘the organiser’ (23 per cent) – who initiates social events, finds the best deals and splits the bill afterwards and ‘the joker’ friend who lightens the mood (14 per cent).

And it’s old friends that are the best for Brighton. The research shows that we’ve been knocking around with the same set of loyal mates for an average of 17 years. Those who constitute our friends for life are work colleagues (30 per cent), secondary school buddies (29 per cent), followed by those you have met through other friends (24 per cent).

Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Pingit, said: “Even in this golden age of social media, it’s interesting to see many of us consider only a handful of people our closest and most trusted friends. Our research indicates we’d do almost anything for them, but given the busy lives we lead now, it’s no surprise that getting together can sometimes be challenging.

“The rising popularity of meals out, trips together and sharing other experiences means sorting the finances is an inevitable part of modern friendship. Apps like Pingit can help to take away the headache of worrying about the budget, so you can focus on more quality time with your ‘inner circle’.”

Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, who specialises in analysing group behaviour, said: “The research from Pingit shows just how aware we are that different friends take on different roles within a friendship circle, and crucially, it reveals which of those roles are valued the most.

“Psychological studies have shown that believing you have a reliable and dependable social support network is good for your health – it can even increase your ability to heal and prolong your lifespan. It’s entirely plausible that the dependable friend who you’ve always turned to for support during times of need, could one day save your life just by saying ‘I’ll be there for you’!”



·         Failing to reach a Brexit deal could cost food retailers and their supply chain £9.3 billion, according to a new Barclays Corporate Banking report

·         A no-deal, Brexit model would create an average tariff of 27% for food and drink supply chains

·         With grocery margins typically around 3–5%, additional cost is likely to end up being passed on to consumers

As Brexit negotiations continue, a new report shows retailers could face additional tariffs totalling £9.3bn per year for food and drink products imported from the EU if a settlement isn’t reached. The new Barclays report, Scale, Disruption and Brexit – a new dawn for UK food supply chains? shows that in a no-deal Brexit, food retailers would be affected by a new average tariff of 27% on food and drink goods entering from the EU, significantly more than the 3-4% levy that would hit non-food products.  Additionally, every consignment of goods from the EU will require a customs declaration which starts at a minimum of £50.

Last year, the UK imported £48bn worth of food and drink, approximately 40% of the total UK market. Of these, 71% originating from within the EU entered the UK free of customs duties and other trade costs. While a free trade deal or the Chequers option, would help the food industry avoid tariffs and related duties, a no-deal Brexit could mean significantly higher costs for retailers and consumers.

Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail at Barclays Corporate Banking, comments: “The food and drink industry is one of the country’s most important sectors, employing millions of people across the UK.  For the good of both UK business and consumers, the potential impact on our producers and grocery retailers should be front and centre of Brexit negotiations.

“Some products would avoid tariffs, even in a no-deal scenario, but for most goods the effect of an increased tariff burden would be extremely damaging, and cheaper goods would be the hardest hit.  71% of our imported food and drink comes from the EU, and 60% of our exports go to the EU. A positive agreement on trade is essential if we are to protect UK exporters and avoid significant price rises for UK consumers.”

The cost of a no-deal Brexit

Food retailers are waiting to see whether a ‘Brexit deal’ can be reached that keeps costs down for the sector. A full customs union, for example, would maintain the current tariff-free trade enjoyed by the UK and the EU but would limit the UK’s ability to trade unilaterally with other countries.  A free trade agreement (FTA) would be likely to minimise the amount and cost of new tariffs imposed on trade. Though an FTA would still require extra fees from logistics, such as customs declarations, it would also free the UK to make other trade deals.

However, a no-deal Brexit would impose significant costs on food retailers, with varying tariffs for different types of products. For example, the Barclays report shows that fully processed food and drink products, such as orange juice, will attract the highest tariff rate of 31% compared to 29.5% for semi-processed food and drink such as white sugar, and 9.7% for primary products and raw materials like bananas.

Beyond such category based surcharges, some products also attract ‘specific duties’, which are tariffs levied on a per unit basis; that is, by weight or volume. The Barclays report shows specific duties disproportionately target certain products including meat, cereal, olive oil, wine and sugar-based foods. By their nature, these tariffs place a higher burden on lower-value transactions.

Hardest hit will be those products that attract both a category tariff as well as a specific duty tariff, such as frozen beef with a specific duty of 298%. Common cooking products also face steep duties including beef cuts at 101%, cream at 81% and garlic at 71%.

Further costs could also mount under a hard Brexit.  In addition to customs declarations, comes the burden of complying with stringent EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) regulations, which could be the equivalent of paying an extra 8% in duty tax on EU food and drink imports.

Backdrop to Brexit

While Brexit is currently the most pressing issue for food retailers, wider consumer trends are also providing new challenges and opportunities. As the pace of life becomes busier, shoppers are visiting stores more often, with trips up 14.3% from 2013 to 2018, but buying less per visit, with average spend down 8.5% during the same period². According to the Barclays report, the convenience sector has been growing at an above-average rate, at 10% over the past four years compared to 7.1% for the industry – and is now worth £40bn³. Likewise, the online food market has grown by an average of 12% since 2010⁴.

At the same time, as wider economic upheaval has pinched household budgets, consumers have turned to discount food retail outlets such as Aldi and Lidl, leading to the ‘Big Four’ facing a nearly 10% decline in market share since 2011. With many food retailers already struggling to adapt to a changing British market, Brexit negotiations could be adding an extra layer of uncertainty.