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Joanne Welsh

Results published show that school and college students globally have achieved excellent results in the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) the first ever sitting of its new A’level equivalent exams.

Of a total of 54 global candidates who sat the two units which compose the CISI Certificate in Finance, Risk & Decision Making (Cert. FRD), 36 achieved the overall award, a 67% pass rate.

The CISI Cert. FRD is a Key Stage 5 level 3 equivalent qualification, carrying up to 120 UCAS points when taken in conjunction with the Certificate for Introduction to Securities & Investment. Archbishop Beck College Liverpool began teaching this qualification to students from six local colleges in September 2013.

The Cert. FRD is composed of two units: Money, Economies & Uncertainty, which explores the characteristics and functions of money, giving candidates a practical grasp of macro-economics. The second unit, Investment Decision Making, Accounting & Governance equips candidates with the means to apply their knowledge at the micro level, in a business context.

Joanne Welsh

Joanne Welsh

Rachel Bailey, aged 17, the highest scoring student at Archbishop Beck College said: “The past year has by no means been easy. Balancing three AS levels and the CISI Diploma has been difficult but I made sure I worked hard in all aspects to achieve results I could be proud of.

“When I logged on to discover I had achieved the grades I wanted I was ecstatic, as Investment is the area I would like to work in and I wish to study Economics at university.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working towards the first part of the Diploma and I am looking forward to carrying on with my studies this year. I can’t wait to begin my research essay and hopefully maintain the marks I have achieved. I would advise anyone who wants to work in the financial sector to undertake the opportunity as I have been able to speak with business professionals, undertake work experience and make my personal statement stand out, especially when applying for a course focused on the economy and the financial sectors.”

Joanne Welsh, teacher of the CISI Level 3 Cert. FRD at Archbishop Beck College said: “Educational practitioners always want to know that students have achieved their potential, so are just as anxious as the students on results day. On receiving news of the results, I was pleased that students did reap the rewards. As expected, the CISI examinations were written to an exceptionally high standard meaning students should pat themselves on the back for their achievements.

“This year has undoubtedly put them in an extremely strong position because they have shown commitment to a course other than their A Levels. This is something that will help them stand out from others when completing application forms, regardless of whether it is an application for University (this will really make their personal statement stand out) or an application for an Apprenticeship in the industry (how impressive will this look on their CV!).

“Additionally, by studying this qualification, they have opened up opportunities for themselves in the future, something I don’t think they will realise until a few years time when they do enter the competitive world of work and they do have a qualification that really will make others sit up and notice them.”

Twenty six candidates in Colombo, Sri Lanka also sat the CISI Cert. FRD. Dulmini Sathya Sri Dharmapala, aged 19 and Tiara Balasuriya, aged 20, were the two highest scoring candidates from Lanka BPO Academy.

Dharshana Illamperuma, Director & Chief Lecturer at Lanka BPO Academy said: “I am pleased with the excellent performance of students from Lanka BPO Academy having obtained the world’s number 1 and 2 positions during the July sitting of the CISI Finance, Risk & Decision Making exam.”

Ruth Martin, CISI Managing Director said: “The results show that this new qualification can be taken globally by young people in full time education with excellent results. We congratulate these students and also their teachers and families who have played key supporting roles in their success.”

The CISI Cert. FRD is a route to a number of outcomes available for students depending on their career and study goals. It can lead to higher level qualifications which can be taken as part of an Advanced Apprenticeship in Providing Financial Services, for UK students.

In addition many universities are accredited to offer CISI qualifications and offer exemptions to students who apply with CISI qualifications, such as the CISI Cert. FRD, and who intend studying finance based degrees. For overseas students this can offer an alternative route to university into the job market.

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Pandemic ‘shecession’ reverses women’s workplace gains



Pandemic 'shecession' reverses women's workplace gains 1

By Anuradha Nagaraj

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The coronavirus pandemic reversed women’s workplace gains in many of the world’s wealthiest countries as the burden of childcare rose and female-dominated sectors shed jobs, according to research released on Tuesday.

Women were more likely than men to lose their jobs in 17 of the 24 rich countries where unemployment rose last year, according to the latest annual PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Women in Work Index.

Jobs in female-dominated sectors like marketing and communications were more likely to be lost than roles in finance, which are more likely to be held by men, said the report, calling the slowdown a “shecession”.

Meanwhile, women were spending on average 7.7 more hours a week than men on unpaid childcare, a “second shift” that is nearly the equivalent of a full-time job and risks forcing some out of paid work altogether, it found.

“Although jobs will return when economies bounce back, they will not necessarily be the same jobs,” said Larice Stielow, senior economist at PwC.

“If we don’t have policies in place to directly address the unequal burden of care, and to enable more women to enter jobs in growing sectors of the economy, women will return to fewer hours, lower-skilled, and lower paid jobs.”

The report, which looked at 33 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) club of rich nations, said progress towards gender equality at work would not begin to recover until 2022.

Even then, the pace of progress would need to double if rich countries were to make up the losses by 2030, it said, calling on governments and businesses to improve access to growth sectors such as artificial intelligence and renewable energy.

Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC, said it was “paramount that gender pay gap reporting is prioritised, with targeted action plans put in place as businesses focus on building back better and fairer”.

Britain has required employers with more than 250 staff to submit gender pay gap figures every year since 2017 in a bid to reduce pay disparities, but last year it suspended the requirement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Reporting by Anuradha Nagaraj @AnuraNagaraj; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit

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German January exports to UK fell 30% year-on-year as Brexit hit – Stats Office



German January exports to UK fell 30% year-on-year as Brexit hit - Stats Office 2

BERLIN (Reuters) – German exports to the United Kingdom fell by 30% year-on-year in January “due to Brexit effects”, preliminary trade figures released by the Federal Statistics Office on Tuesday showed.

In 2020, German exports to the UK fell by 15.5% compared to 2019, recording the biggest year-on-year decline since the financial and economic crisis in 2009, when they fell by 17.0%, the Office said.

“Since 2016 – the year of the Brexit referendum – German exports to the UK have steadily declined,” the Office said in a statement.

In 2015 German exports to the UK amounted to 89.0 billion euros. In 2020, German they totalled 66.9 billion euros.

Imports to Germany from the UK totalled 34.7 billion euros in 2020, down 9.6 % compared to 2019.

(Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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German unemployment unexpectedly rises in February



German unemployment unexpectedly rises in February 3

BERLIN (Reuters) – German unemployment rose in February for the first time since last June, data showed on Tuesday, dashing expectations for a fall as lockdown measures to suppress the coronavirus case load held back Europe’s largest economy.

The Labour Office said the number of people out of work rose by 9,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 2.752 million. A Reuters poll had forecast a fall of 13,000.

“Kurzarbeit (shortened working hours) continues to secure employment on a large scale and prevent unemployment,” Labour Office chief Detlef Scheele said in a statement, adding: “Individual sectors are feeling the effects of the lockdown.”

Germany has been in lockdown since November, and measures were tightened in mid-December, as it battles a second wave of the virus. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said new variants of COVID-19 risk a third wave of infections.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged compared with the previous month at 6.0%.

The labour agency said some 2.39 million employees were on shortened working hours in December under the government’s Kurzarbeit scheme designed to avoid mass layoffs during downturns by offering companies subsidies to keep workers on the payroll.

After peaking at some 6 million last April, the number of people on Kurzarbeit fell before rising again in November as lockdown measures kicked in, the Office said.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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