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School getting the measure of the pandemic

One year on from the first UK national lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the School is still heavily involved in supporting business and the wider community in the north east of England. Coinciding with this one-year anniversary termed the ‘Day of reflection’, the School has supported the North East of England Chamber of Commerce in the delivery of the second of their Quarterly Economic Surveys for 2021.

The results of the latest economic survey shows further improvements in business confidence and performance after a tough 12 months, but the headline results mask the ongoing struggles of specific sectors like retail and hospitality.

At the Chamber’s results briefing today, Peter Allen, Associate Dean – Engagement and Impact and Associate Professor of Strategic Management said: “One year after the first Covid lockdown and so much has happened to the business community around the region, both as a result of the pandemic and other factors, including Brexit and equality and diversity issues.

As we hopefully emerge from the worst of the pandemic, there is an opportunity to reflect on what we have learnt and to discuss the future of the workplace and the implications for how we achieve greater equality and diversity across teams.”

Associate Professor in Marketing, Dr Mariann Hardey from the School also joined the QES Briefing to share her research and reflections on these issues.

Supporting Covid-19 recovery plans

Councils across the north east of England are currently developing local Covid-19 recovery plans, outlining how they will support residents and communities recover from the effects of the pandemic.

To inform these plans, a number of councils have come together to carry out a Covid-19 household impact survey led by Gateshead Council.

Professor of Industrial Relations, Work and Employment Jo McBride has been involved in the development of this survey, mostly in helping to identify changes in work and employment during the pandemic. In particular, those workers who are most likely to have been affected through furlough, reduced income, made redundant and/or in precarious work such as zero hours contracts.

Professor McBride anticipates the results will assist in further understanding the impact on these workers and help inform how policy making can best support those at risk, both now and in the future through developments in both labour market and welfare policy.

Professor Richard Harris, Deputy Executive Dean (Research) and Professor of Economics has also been working in an advisory capacity with the central data analysts of the local authorities. 

Both have been involved in discussions and working collaboratively on the survey with Directors of Public Health, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network: North East and North Cumbria and the NHS Integrated Covid Hub North East.

The councils involved are County Durham, Darlington, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The survey was launched on 9 March 2021.

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