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In this week’s newsletter:

  • The Government’s energy saving plan
  • Does the public really support onshore wind farms?
  • On Wednesday: How to fix Britain’s competition regime

Hot air? The British public is not nearly as divided over onshore wind farms as the Conservative Party seems to be. Onward polling shows that 75% of people want the Government to invest in and build more onshore wind farms, and only 6% say they would oppose it. Crucially, when asked whether they would support or oppose a wind farm being built in their area, 72% of people said they were still in favour. 

Cancel culture. The Financial Times reveals that cancellations on the Transpennine Express, one of the largest rail companies in the North, are 37% higher than during the last rail crisis in 2018. And these failures are on top of already weak foundations. Last year Onward found shocking gaps in connectivity between regions. In Greater Manchester, you can access 1.62 times as many jobs within 60 minutes of public transport as you can within a 5 mile radius. In London, it’s 3.7 times.

Save now, pay later.  The Government is poised to launch an energy-saving campaign for households. The £25m public-information campaign is expected to include advice on reducing the operating temperature of boilers and turning off radiators in unused rooms to save energy and money. The Government’s motives here aren’t purely altruistic. Last week Ofgem announced that the Energy Price Cap will rise to £4,279 per year for a typical household from January 2023. So with the Energy Price Guarantee still in place, lower household energy bills mean lower bills for the Treasury too.

No train, no gain. New research by the EDSK thinktank uncovers some of the low-skilled roles which are still being rebadged as apprenticeships, despite stricter oversight of Apprenticeship Standards by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Training. They find examples of ‘Housekeeper Apprenticeships’ and ‘Barista Apprenticeships’ which contravene requirements due to overspecialisation but are being advertised regardless. Onward explored the impact of the recent reforms to apprenticeships, including the regional spread of apprenticeship starts, in our recent report Course Correction.

News and media

Utility Weekly features Ed Birkett, Head of Energy and Climate at Onward, to discuss the government’s Windfall Tax on renewable companies.

Adam Hawksbee writes for Schools Week on broadening access to extra-curricular enrichment.

Adam Hawksbee talks levelling up and entrepreneurship in this Telegraph article on brain drain from the UK.

Upcoming events

This Wednesday we are hosting a panel event with John Penrose MP, Flint’s Meera Vadher, and Onward’s Ed Birkett and Adam Hawksbee to discuss how to fix Britain’s competition regime, focusing on energy, business, and transport. Sign up here.

EVENT GRAPHICS 20 10 21 5 - Wind farms, Apprenticeships and Onward After Hours: Onward Newsletter

‘Onward After Hours’ is our event series for under 35s, connecting the next generation of centre-right political thinkers. These events bring together journalists, special advisors, parliamentary staffers, and others, to inspire fresh thinking and build connections.

For our final session of 2022, we will be joined by Katherine Fletcher MP, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, for a drink and a chance to discuss the policy agenda and what matters most for young voters. If you would like to attend this event, please sign up here.

EVENT GRAPHICS 20 10 21 2 - Wind farms, Apprenticeships and Onward After Hours: Onward Newsletter

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