The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.
Healthcare workers are burnt out
What can be done to stem the tide of carers quitting the industry? Before the pandemic the healthcare sector struggled to recruit enough workers. Today they're leaving in droves. Citing physical and mental exhaustion, poor working conditions, a lack of appreciation and miserly pay, carers are leaving their jobs - a trend with all the makings of a future skills crisis. The BBC's Rebecca Kesby speaks to Ged Swinton, a member of the Royal College of Nursing who had to leave his job as a frontline nurse after losing patience with an unappreciative government - and abuse from the public. Will Hunter recently returned to his job as an accident and emergency junior doctor, but could only handle part time work after an intense year of pandemic conditions. In the USA we hear from Vicki Good, former president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, who tells us people are leaving the care sector almost as soon as they join, despite spending years in training beforehand. We speak to Lori Peters of the National Association of Health Care Assistants, who says that without decent pay and conditions, the sector won't attract enough workers to fill a skills gap that will only get bigger.
This episode is produced by Russell Newlove, Sarah Hawkins and Elizabeth Hotson.
Super-fast grocery delivery apps are booming
But are apps that deliver from the shop floor to your front door in minutes just a pandemic-era fad or are they here to stay? Have you ever been in a situation where you needed something delivered right away? A toothbrush you forgot on a trip? Or butter for a recipe you've already started preparing? There are many apps for that – a whole fleet of them – that are now competing for your dwindling time. They promise to get everyday items to you, sometimes in 10 minutes or less. But, is it just a pandemic-era trend, or does it have staying power?
The BBC’s Victoria Craig speaks to the boss of eight-year old US-based super-fast delivery company, GoPuff. Yakir Gola started the business while at university and has grown it to become a dominant player in the American market. He talks about why the company has decided to expand in the UK, and how it plans to compete in a red-hot space. Plus, we hear from Adrian Maccelari, the director at London-based bakery Sally Clarke about whether partnering with super-fast delivery start-ups has been helpful to the business, and Elodie Perthuisot, the director of data and e-commerce at grocery chain Carrefour, explains how the model has been a game changer for the supermarket business.
There has been blockbuster growth in the super-fast delivery category over the past two years, which leads Bain and Company’s Ruth Lewis to think consolidation is an inevitability. A number of start-ups have entered the space, and already, the industry has seen some high profile mergers and acquisitions.
Why private adoption is big business in the US
At any given time, about a million American families are looking to adopt and most prefer newborns. The industry is regulated on a state-by-state basis and many advocates argue that, not only the existing rules are not enforced properly, but that much greater federal regulation is needed to ensure that the whole process is ethical and safe.
Ivana Davidovic hears from Shyanne Klupp, who says she felt pressured by an adoption agency to give her son up for adoption when she wanted to change her mind. She is now a reform campaigner and wants the private adoption industry, in its current form, abolished.
Maureen Flatley, who has been working in the field of adoption legislation for two decades, is very concerned about the internet blurring the lines of legality and ethics and "trading of children" on social media without proper oversight. She hopes that 2022 will see some federal legislation governing this field finally implemented.
And adoptive parents from Ohio explain why, after spending $70,000 on their first adoption through an agency, they have decided to take the matter into their own hands and advertise themselves online as prospective parents.
PHOTO: Woman holding little boys hand walking down the street/Getty Images
The world’s biggest clothing retailer, Inditex, has a new boss, the 37-year old daughter of the company’s founder. Will Marta Ortega manage brands like Zara, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti in the same way her father did or will she take a different path? And do consumers still want fast fashion? Plus, we hear why mining the metals and minerals used in green technologies can contribute to the world’s climate change problems and what is needed to ensure that they are mined in a way that doesn’t infringe on human rights or damage local communities. Also, one of the founders of Transparency International tells us the money stolen by corrupt leaders is being ploughed into western assets like property – with the help of an army of financial and legal professionals. Meanwhile, Covid has forced many workers to re-assess and re-evaluate their lives and as a result, they are quitting their jobs in record numbers. It's being called the Great Resignation. And the increasing appeal of the ukulele; how the small guitar-like instrument is making a big noise among the young. Business Weekly is presented by Matthew Davies and produced by Clare Williamson. (Image: Zara shopper with brown bag; Credit: Getty Images)
The Omicron variant and vaccine inequality
Could a more equitable global vaccine rollout have stopped the new variant? As the world waits for more information about just how contagious and dangerous the new Covid-19 variant is, we ask if the emergence of a variant like Omicron could have been avoided – or at least slowed - if people all around the world had been vaccinated at the same pace. Instead, richer countries race to give booster vaccines to their own populations as many poorer countries are still waiting to receive their first jabs.
Tamasin Ford hears from Dr. Richard Mihigo, who coordinates the WHO’s immunisation and vaccine development progamme in Africa. He says it’s not just about shipping jabs to countries; the international community could also step up to help with planning and logistics for the distribution of vaccines. Dr. Atiya Mosam, a public health specialist in South Africa, was disappointed in the way the world reacted when news the new variant came out of her country. She argues that the travel bans that many countries quickly imposed are both discriminatory and ineffective. She also worries that many South African scientists feel they have been punished for being open and honest with the world about their discovery. Dr Meru Sheel, an epidemiologist at the Australian National University, says the issue of vaccine inequality should have been fixed many months ago. She says the vaccines should evenly distributed because it makes the most sense from a public health perspective, and also because it’s the ethical thing to do.
(Image: Passengers at Cape Town airport in South Africa on 29 November 2021. Source: David Silverman/Getty Images)
The collapse of Enron: Did we learn the lessons?
The collapse of the US energy giant Enron remains one of the most dramatic scandals in modern capitalism, but 20 years on did we learn any of the lessons from the fall of a corporate giant?
The BBC's Lesley Curwen covered the story every step of the way back in the 2000's right up to the company's collapse, and the jailing of some of its most senior executives. She takes Ed Butler back through Enron's tale of deceit, intimidation and collapse with archive and fresh interviews with some of the scandal's key figures.
And Ed hears from Dr Howard Schilit, of Schilit Forensics accountancy firm, a witness at Enron's Senate hearing and a man with a serious warning for the corporate world, two decades on from the Enron scandal.
Picture Credit: Getty Images
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