“Enterprise zones ‘failed to deliver’ jobs boost in England”

Owl says: oh dear, failing enterprise zones (we have one centred on Cranbrook/Science Park – oh and Sky Park – what’s happening there?), failing Local Enterprise Partnerships and failing Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Wonder what is succeeding? Education – no. NHS – no. Social Care – no. Transport – no. High streets – no. Environment – no. Growth – no. Housing – no. Utilities – no. Democracy – definitely not. Brexit? Better not go there …!

So is there ANYTHING succeeding? Answers on a postage stamp …

“A multimillion-pound government policy to boost job creation has failed to deliver, research has revealed.

In 2011, the government announced “enterprise zones” in England to try to improve economic growth, forecasting 54,000 new jobs between 2012 and 2015.
But BBC-commissioned research found by 2017 only 17,307 jobs had been created in 24 zones around England – and in two areas the number of jobs had fallen.

The government said it had created 38,000 jobs since 2012.

Enterprise zones offered cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and lower levels of planning control.

The research, which was conducted by think tank charity Centre for Cities using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed the number of jobs created fell short by nearly three-quarters of the amount predicted in the government’s initial announcement in 2011. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-48856440

East Devon to have vast Amazon warehouse staffed by ….. well, that depends …..

Many readers will be too young to remember Rast Devon’s plans to develop an ‘inter-modal transport hub’ on the outskirts of Exeter, about which many promised were made and broken. There was even a cursory planning application in 2010:

https://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=LB8Z9LGH03P00

Eventually all or part of the site (Owl is none too sure) was bought up by Sainsbury’s who said they would build, well, something. Another promise broken.

Eventually, part of the site was bought by Lidl, who built a massive warehouse.

Now, it seems Amazon is going to build a second massive warehouse, next to the Lidl one:

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/amazon-set-to-take-on-industrial-unit-on-outskirts-of-cranbrook-1-6125408

Many jobs (200 in the article) are promised to the lucky (or unlucky) residents of Cranbrook – which way you look at it depends on what you research about both Amazon’s working conditions and future plans:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/31/amazon-accused-of-treating-uk-warehouse-staff-like-robots?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/may/20/unions-lobby-investors-to-press-amazon-over-uk-working-conditions?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

The desire of most of these warehousing companies – including Amazon – is NOT to treat their workers like robots (though it is alleged that some of them do) but to REPLACE them by robots.

Progress it’s called.

Was Owl right about why Virgin bought Flybe? Yes!

Here is Owl’s theory:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/04/04/flybe-leaving-or-not-on-a-jet-plane/

and, in today’s Sunday Times its Chief Executive says:

“… Flybe will be profitable [for Virgin] … It has established slots at Heathrow and hundreds in Manchester. What will the rebranded carrier be called? “Virgin Something”. We have not made up our mind”. …”

Source: Sunday Times business supplement, page 6

Round One to Owl!

“Growth”: 40% of jobs in East Devon could be lost to automation

Owl says: many people are only one robot away from Universal Credit …

“You could soon be replaced by a robot as data reveals two out of every five jobs in East Devon could be lost to automation.

The data, measured in 2017 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that 42,000 jobs in the area could be partially or totally replaced by machines over the coming years.

This equates to 44 per cent of occupations and of them, 9% of them are at high risk meaning they have a more than 70% chance of being replaced by machines.

The threat was medium for a further 60 per cent of jobs as the chances of automation are between 30 and 70 per cent.

East Devon was less vulnerable to the impact of automation in 2017 than six years earlier when 49 per cent of jobs were at risk of being replaced by machines.

The ONS analysed the jobs of 20 million people across England in 2017 and found that 7.4 per cent were at high risk of being replaced.

70 per cent of the roles at high risk of automation are currently held by women.

People aged 20 to 24 years old are most likely to be at risk of having their job replaced and low-skilled occupations, like waiting or shelf stacking, face the highest risk.

Jobs requiring higher qualifications, such as medical practitioners and higher education teachers, are less susceptible to computerisation.

An ONS spokesperson said: “The exact reasons for the decrease in the proportion of roles at risk of automation are unclear but it is possible that automation of some jobs has already happened.

“Additionally, while the overall number of jobs has increased, the majority of these are in occupations that are at low or medium risk suggesting that the labour market may be changing to jobs that require more complex and less routine skills.”

Felicity Burch, the CBI’s director of innovation and digital, said technology is predominantly putting jobs held by women and low-skilled occupations at risk.

She said: “The picture is complicated, as ONS’s own analysis shows that some of the roles most at risk of automation saw a boost in recent years.

“Furthermore, we know that the more businesses invest in new technology, the more likely they are to create new roles.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/east-devon-jobs-robots-1-5973184

Flybe – leaving (or not) on a jet plane …..

Flybe has jet and propellor aircraft.
Flybe is now owned by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air.
Virgin is interested only in feeder traffic to its Manchester and Heathrow hubs.
Stobart has heavily invested in its Southend and Carlisle hubs.
Flybe is cutting all its jet flights from Exeter and several other regional airports in October 2019 and returning all jets to lease owners.
Flybe jet pilots will become redundant and Flybe’s Exeter airport traffic (and repair hub) will be decimated.
There is a worldwide shortage of jet pilots.
How many former Flybe jet pilots will later be employed by Virgin and Stobart on non-Flybe routes?

Would this scenario be an intended or unintended consequence of the decision?

More bad news on Flybe Exeter

“All Flybe jet flights are to end from Exeter Airport when its summer timetable finishes in October, airline bosses say.

The move, which is part of plans to cuts its fleet from 85 aircraft to between 70 and 75, will affect routes including Faro, Mallorca and Malaga.

The company apologised, blaming an industry-wide shortage of pilots for the delays, as well as its own pilots taking holidays.

The airline had also entered discussions over potential job losses, but it hoped to keep loyal employees “with Flybe”, airline chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener said.

She was speaking after the Exeter-based regional airline cancelled dozens of flights on Wednesday morning.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-47708796

“Flybe confirms ‘base restructuring’ amidst rumours all Exeter flights could be scrapped”

Owl says: what the hell is happening? One minute we are told of new routes (including Flybe) and the next the talk is of all Flybe routes being cancelled! Would the airport (into which DCC and EDDC are pouring money into for infrastructure improvements) then be viable?

“Exeter-based airline Flybe has confirmed it is undertaking a ‘base restructuring’ after reports this morning that all jet-plane flights from Exeter, Cardiff and Doncaster are to be scrapped.

In a statement on the reason 27 Flybe flights were cancelled this morning the airline confirmed that ‘base restructuring’ is part of the reason.Pilots and cabin crews are believed to have been called into meetings since 4am this morning to be told the news, which has added to the delays.

According to UK Aviation News pilots have been told the decisions comes after a “critical review of the business performance”.

If true it means jet flights will cease operating from Exeter this summer, leaving the company to operate just Dash 8 Q400 planes – the type that makes shorter journeys such as Exeter to London.

Flybe this morning confirmed ‘base restructuring’ was under way, and said that is part of the reason a number of flights were cancelled on Wednesday.

UK Aviation News says the move could be ‘potentially devastating’ for Exeter Airport. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/flybe-confirms-base-restructuring-could-2715437