Monthly Archive: May 2021

12
May
2021

Points system for overseas staff to work in UK

first_imgEconomic migrants with high levels of skills and experience will be able toenter the UK from January to seek work without a job offer, immigrationminister Lord Rooker announced last week. The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme will introduce a points-based system toassess the qualifications and experience of overseas applicants. Applicants will need to obtain a minimum of 75 points from five scoringareas, including educational qualifications, work experience, past earnings andachievement in a chosen field. Lord Rooker said, “At the moment it is not possible for individuals,other than those with ancestral ties to the UK, to come to this country to seekand take up work without a job offer. “This makes it difficult to attract highly mobile people with thespecial talents that are required in a modern economy. This programme isspecifically designed to help highly skilled migrants come to the UK and seekwork.” The programme differs from the existing work permit scheme because it doesnot require an employer to obtain the permit from the individual. It will run for an initial 12-month period from 28 January. www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Points system for overseas staff to work in UKOn 18 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

12
May
2021

Government must invest in council staff development

first_img Previous Article Next Article Extra funds needed if local government is to defuse the ‘agetime bomb’ as it fails to attract younger employeesThe Government recently set out its plans for achieving “a strong,vibrant, innovative and responsive local government” in a White Paper. Chapter five of Strong Local Leadership – Quality Public Services considershow local government might attract and develop the skills needed to improveperformance and invites comments on the approaches suggested. The view of the Employers’ Organisation for Local Government is that a majorinitiative is needed to tackle the current and future skills deficiencies in localgovernment. If current performance is to improve, and innovative practices beintroduced, skills development is vital. This is all the more important if newchallenges, such as embracing the community leadership role and fully implementinge-government, are to be successfully met. New recruits, with ability and commitment, are needed to replace the 30 percent of staff over 50 years of age who will retire in the next 15 years. Thesolution lies in a major campaign to sell local government employmentopportunities along with the creation of new trainee schemes. In local government, only 1.1 per cent of payroll is spent on trainees andworkforce development. This compares to 2.95 per cent of payroll in theCivilService. Furthermore, the average employee attends a paltry 1.7 trainingdays a year, with many frontline staff being offered little or no developmentopportunities. A few authorities offer excellent support for their staff to learn anddevelop, but many are restricted by lack of budgeting for training or by fearof trained staff being poached by neighbouring authorities. Local governmenthad a reputation for investing heavily in workforce development but trainingand trainee posts were seen as painless ways to make cuts when budgets gotsuccessively reduced. There are lessons to be learned from the NHS, which is changing its approachto recruitment, development and motivation of staff considerably. Many millionsare being spent on promoting careers in the NHS and workforce development. Allnon-professional staff in the NHS are entitled to funds to undertake trainingor complete an NVQ, and all professional staff are required to spend timeupdating their skills every year. A similar, well-resourced and co-ordinatedskills development initiative is needed for local government. If local government is going to achieve the Government’s vision, new andbetter skills are essential. In addition to a national skills developmentinitiative, there has to be significant government investment to help councilsattract and develop both new and current staff. Local government jobopportunities need promotion, particularly where looming shortages exist. Local government needs to expand its new graduate development programme. Itneeds a critical mass of bright new graduates who can really make a difference.All councils need extra funds to develop the next generation of skilledstaff, such as social workers, environmental health officers and accountants. Is it unreasonable to ask the Government to provide enough funding so thatcouncils can promote learning and development for all their staff? Joan Munro is assistant director (People, Skills and Development) of theEmployers’ Organisation for Local Government and head of the Local GovernmentNTO – To read the Government’s proposals on skills development in localgovernment in its White Paper visit www.local-regions.dtlr.gov.uk/sll/pdf/wp_chap5.pdfThe Employers’ Organisation for Local Government wants practitioners to givetheir views to the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions by28 February. Forward any comments on the subject via e-mail to [email protected] Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Government must invest in council staff developmentOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

12
May
2021

Back in business

first_imgBack in businessOn 6 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today The provision of occupational health services in the UK isat an all time low. But with employees being the backbone of anyorganisation,  Caroline Horn putsforward five good reasons to get OH…Recent research has shown that only 30 per cent of the UK’s workforce haveaccess to an occupational health service. The survey, conducted by theInstitute of Occupational Medicine for the Health & Safety Executive, alsorevealed the steady decline in the provision of occupational health – 10 yearsago, around half the country’s workforce was covered. Finance and transport industries are among the worst providers (35 percent). A spokesperson for the TUC commenting on the research, stated:”Worryingly, in some sectors, the main reason given for having nooccupational health support was that there were no relevant hazards. “This included more than 20 per cent of finance sector employers,although their staff suffer from stress and RSI; more than 15 per cent oftransport companies, where staff suffer from musculo-skeletal disorders; andmore than 10 per cent of retail companies, whose staff are also prone tomusculo-skeletal disorders.” Owen Tudor, health and safety specialist for the TUC, says: “Thesituation is getting worse for two reasons. Companies are downsizing andoutsourcing, and healthcare is one of the central functions they can easily getrid of. And external occupational health services are more vulnerable to futurecost-cutting exercises. “The second reason is that in the UK, we tend to cut costs to improveprofitability, instead of thinking: ‘let’s increase production by ensuring thatour staff are at work, and well’.” Chief executive of the Businesshealth Group Ed Radkiewicz, says: “Acompany will typically spend around 15 per cent of the value of its IT systemon maintenance to avoid breakdown. But the workforce represents the largestcost in a company – and often, it will spend very little on its healthmaintenance.” Part of the problem, says Janice Kaye, managing director of OH serviceprovider MMS, is that companies are notoriously poor at absentee analysis. “If companies don’t know what their problems are,” she asks,”then how can you convince management to put their money up front to solvethe problem?” Radkiewicz adds that many businesses don’t see health and well being as apossible advantage, because “they are not sure what the issue is andthey’re not confident they can do anything about it”. But even where companies do make a provision for occupational health, theTUC concludes: “Very few of the workplaces surveyed actually assessed thecosts and benefits of their OH provision. In the workplaces that did, the costswere evaluated more often than the benefits, which is pretty pointless.” To get companies back on track, the boards need to be convinced that OH isjust as much a strategic business issue as any other HR initiative. We look atfive areas where OH intervention and comprehensive support – which protects andpromotes the health of employees – can help productivity and add value to thebottom line of any business. 1 Business benefits There are a number of issues companies should consider when looking at thecosts and benefits of OH systems. In addition to the direct costs, theseinclude productivity and risk assessments, as well as employee value andcorporate responsibility. According to the CBI, British industry loses around £13bn annually throughabsence caused by health issues. While this includes the direct costs of absence,companies also need to factor in increased insurance premiums – up by 6 percent last year across the UK – and, where necessary, ill health retirementpackages. In terms of staff turnover, employers need to consider the additional costsof recruitment, training and the associated drop in productivity. In fact, healthcare provider Businesshealth Group estimates that around 40per cent of a company’s total staff costs are related to health. Radkiewicz says: “Businesses need to understand what the problem is,how important it is, and how to deal with it.” One of Businesshealth’s customers, Direct Line, had problems related tostaff turnover and absenteeism that affected payroll costs, training, customerservice and morale. Direct Line estimated that staff turnover was costing £27m each year, andabsenteeism £6.5m. It therefore introduced a pressure management programmedeveloped by Businesshealth, to tackle stress-related issues among 600 of itsemployees in Bristol. As a result, employee turnover dropped by 5 per cent, representing a savingof £150,000 in direct payroll costs alone. The Engineering Employers Federation says that tackling stress can have arange of positive effects on a company’s output, as it impacts on individualperformance in a number of ways, including work quality, resistance to change,and relationships with colleagues and customers. Even if companies remain sceptical that OH measures can contributepositively to the bottom line, failing to tackle issues such as stress can be afalse economy. The TUC’s Tudor explains why: “For employers who do provide OHservices, the legal imperative is very strong. While the first reason theygenerally give for introducing OH measures is ‘because it is a good idea’, thesecond is to minimise the possibility of litigation.” 2 Absence Management While there are many different reasons for staff absence, poor health is themost worrying. It is estimated that we lose around 700 million working days ayear to aches, pains and strains. Of those, around 3.7 million days are lost through back problems. Workplacestress costs a further £3.75bn each year, says the HSE, and the loss of 6.5million working days. Musculo-skeletal disorder (MSD) affects around 1.2 million people, costsaround £10bn each year and necessitates up to 12 million GP consultations,costing the NHS nearly £500m. It now accounts for 60 per cent of allhealth-related absenteeism – but effective occupational health systems can helpto reduce its impact. Four years ago, British Polythene Industries (BPI) was experiencingspiralling injury and absenteeism rates across its 3,000-strong UK workforce.Each case of MSD absence at the firm resulted in an average of 26 working dayslost. BPI group health and safety manager Andy Collinson wanted to find aneffective way of rehabilitating injured employees, believing a proactiveapproach would reduce levels of absenteeism. The company approached MMS National – a UK-wide network of 3,000 osteopaths,chiropractors and physiotherapists who provide preventative training andimmediate treatment for MSD injuries. Within a year, MSD absence at BPI was down 75 per cent. “In financial terms, the benefits outweigh the costs by 12:1,”says Collinson. But stress is also a major and growing contributory factor to absence, withthe CBI estimating that mental health problems account for around 53 per centof sickness absences. Gary Booton, health and safety manager for the Engineering Employers’Federation, says: “Managing stress is integral to a business and impactson the day-to-day costs of managing absence and developing good systems. “The external driver, is the risk of litigation,” he adds. Rolls-Royce is one of the companies actively involved in stress managementand has used the Federation’s document, Managing Stress at Work(www.eef.org.uk), to help reduce employee absence levels. Booton says: “Rolls-Royce trained 75 per cent of their managers instress management using our formulas. In the first year, there was a 25 percent drop in absences caused by depression.” 3 Attraction and retention Most companies will state that attraction and retention, in addition toabsence management, are the key drivers in offering private health insurance.According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, private health insurance isinvariably among the top three most valued benefits in staff surveys. In Watson Wyatt’s 2002 Employee Reward and Benefits Report, the most popularbenefit among employees is private medical insurance – which came above companycars and holidays. Indeed, private health insurance is likely to grow in popularity as anincreasingly stretched NHS makes private healthcare even more attractive. For individuals, private healthcare doesn’t come cheap. Research undertakenby HealthSure showed that while 68 per cent of people feel they should betaking more responsibility for their health, around 30 per cent delay essentialtreatment because of costs. Janice Kaye, managing director of MMS, adds: “Our own researchindicates that quick access to healthcare is important to employees,particularly those working in heavy industries.” Private healthcare can therefore be a very useful benefits tool foremployers. But before a company implements a health package aimed at improvingattraction and retention of employees, it needs to do its homework. Mercer points out that criteria such as membership eligibility for peoplesuch as part-time workers and family members, and issues such as what exactlywill be covered – treating pre-existing medical conditions, rehabilitationservices and so forth – all need to be addressed, and compared to what thecompetition currently has on offer. When electrical retailer Dixons was researching healthcare provision for itsemployees, it wanted all staff to have the option of healthcare as part of itsattraction and retention package. While full-scale private medical insurance for all employees would have beenprohibitively expensive, Dixons opted for a Health for Cash plan fromHealthSure, where employees pay a weekly premium in return for access toprivate healthcare providers. Raman Sankaran, marketing communications manager for HealthSure, says:”This is something that people can use regularly even when they are notill – it can help with dental care and optician costs. It is just as much aboutprevention as it is about cure.” 4 Work-life balance Enhancing work-life effectiveness will generally involve some or all of thefollowing: flexible working, innovative ways of working, individual careerdevelopment, and individual support. Occupational health measures can impact on all of these, says ChristineOwen, European partner at Mercer Human Resource Consulting. While generally regarded as a positive option for individual staff, flexibleworking can increase stress for line managers if a department experiencesfrequent short absences, or if incompatible people are job sharing. “OH systems can support managers and can also act as a catalyst forimproving other factors, such as management systems and interpersonalskills,” says Owen. Mercer is currently working with a police force that has around 1,700 staff,where a high level of sickness absence and a lack of ‘best practice’ work-lifebalance policies, have affected the work-life balance of staff. To address all of these issues, Mercer’s programme focused on developing anintegrated healthcare system to manage musculo-skeletal and psychological stressconditions, to reduce pressure at operational level. The results of theprogramme are currently being assessed. Non-standard work patterns, such as those adopted by call centres, should beassessed to check the impact they are having on an individual’s life outsidework, such as the effects caused by shift working, because absenteeism is notalways health related. When Direct Line investigated the reasons for absence at its call centres,consultant Business health found the group costing the most was the youngest.Many were taking on full-time employment for the first time, and still learninghow to create a work-life balance. In career development, occupational health measures can help to ensurepeople are suited to their role – long working hours or excessive travel, forexample, will have a negative impact. Employee assistance programmes could include an element of health, such ascounselling, or the provision of information on health screening, for instance.Bechtel UK, an engineering firm, introduced health-screening facilitiesafter a pilot programme, conducted by Businesshealth, revealed that staff hadsome serious health risks – especially cardiovascular and musculo-skeletalones. A personal health manager and walk-in clinics were made available to thoseemployees at risk, and a culture change is now underway – an unhealthylifestyle is no longer seen as a badge of honour. 5 Corporate responsibility Corporations are under increasing pressure to take responsibility for theiremployees’ health. The Government has set demanding health and safety targetsfor the British economy in the Revitalising Health and Safety (RHS) andSecuring Health Together (SH2) strategy statements, published in 2001. Targets include a 30 per cent reduction in the number of working days lostfrom work-related injury and ill-health, reducing the number of peoplesuffering from work-related ill-health by 20 per cent, and reducing the rate offatal and major injury accidents by 10 per cent, all by the year 2010. TheGovernment wants businesses to be at the half way mark by 2004. The costs – both legal and financial – of failing to meet health and safetyobligations, are likely to rise. In recent cases highlighted by the HSE, aninjury to a worker using an unguarded drill cost a small engineering company£45,000. The managing director was also prosecuted, and two employees were maderedundant to keep the company afloat. In the construction industry, meanwhile, accidents can account for 3 to 6per cent of total project costs. But as Meredith Tweedie, occupational health services consultancy managerwith AIG, points out: “An industry like construction is high risk, andwill obviously need support from health and safety. But what if you’re tryingto squeeze a six-foot worker into a cramped office? Health and safety must goright across the board.” There is also a growing moral imperative on corporates to become moreinvolved in their employees’ health, something that is reflected in theincreasing interest in OH measures from outside bodies. According to the HSC, reporting on health and safety by the FTSE 100companies increased from 47 per cent in 1995, to 60 per cent in 2001. Research carried out by Claros Consulting on behalf of HSC/HSE, highlightedthat accurate information about a company’s health and safety performance isbecoming more important to investors. And as Colin Grange, clinical director of Ceridian Centrefile, points out:”OH measures signal the culture of an organisation. Companies are makingmany more demands on employees – a good OH system will indicate that thecompany is willing to give something back.” – Archived articles from OH mag are available online at www.personneltoday.com/search/– OH jobs are available online at www.personneltoday.com/jobs/ Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

12
May
2021

Strategic HR taking up more prominent position

first_imgStrategicHR decision-making, along with pressures to improve productivity and cut costs,have become more important business issues in the past year.Theseare the key findings of an Institute of Directors (IoD) survey of HR directors,which also reveals that 35 per cent of the respondents’ companies still do nothave a succession plan. Furthermore, 31 per cent of those surveyed report thattheir companies’ succession plans do not fit with company strategy due to aleadership gap.IoDchief executive Andrew Main Wilson, said that while business now clearlyrecognises that well-trained and well-motivated staff, together with a coherentstrategy, are the critical elements of a successful organisation, companiesneed to ensure there is proper succession planning for management positions.Conductedwith 98 HR directors at the IoD’s HR directors’ forum and launched at itsannual conference, most respondents think employers value HR, but employees andunions value HR less. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Strategic HR taking up more prominent positionOn 10 Dec 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

12
May
2021

Arresting ideas

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Arresting ideasOn 1 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Superintendent Paul Ackerley, head of staff development services at NorthYorkshire Police is hoping to create the leading rural force in the country.Stephanie Sparrow reportsCovering the patch seen on television’s Heartbeat series, North YorkshirePolice is the second largest police force in England and Wales. The location is as idyllic as that seen on Sunday night TV, as its 3,209square miles encompass the City of York, the resorts of Scarborough and Filey,and picturesque towns such as Skipton, Settle and Harrogate. Yet, in terms of skills and training this is no rural backwater.Superintendent Paul Ackerley – who heads the force’s staff development servicesand reports to the director of HR Jon Porter – is determined to establish bestpractice in measuring and improving the performance of its people, as part ofthe force’s ambition to be “known as the leading rural police service in Englandand Wales”. He employs a wide range of training strategies to achieve his aims andbelieves he can issue more NVQs than any other police force in the country.”We can deliver them right the way across the criminal justicesector,” he says, “and management to level five.” Ackerley functions as a head of training with a difference. He wears auniform and as a silver commander and police superintendent, can be called uponto make policing decisions outside his training remit at a moment’s notice.These can range from authorising the search for a mobile phone user’s signal ina potentially life-threatening situation, to monitoring anti-US demonstrationsdemonstrations at the early warning station at Menwith Hill. Yet, despite these demands, his motivation could be understood by someone ina similar role on Civvy Street. “Training is my passion because it isabout enabling people to develop, and then watching those lights turn on,”he says. He is responsible for 60 staff who implement and manage the training of1,400 officers and up to 700 civilian support staff. This may sound top-heavy in terms of staffing, but not when the complexityof the training is taken into consideration, as police officers potentiallyconsume weeks of training every year – particularly in the intense area offirearms courses. “If someone applies to become a firearms officer they initially attenda six-week course on how to use their weapon. This involves two weeks ofshooting and four weeks of tactics,” he explains. And this is only the beginning, as firearms officers must take five one-weekrefresher courses during the year and a four-week advanced driver trainingcourse. If they want to become a VIP officer – which means looking afterroyalty – they need a further five sets of one-week blocks. “They also need to be trained in method-of-entry equipment,” addsAckerley. “A three-day course which they have to take every three years,and a four-day first-aid course, which they also need to renew. They need to betrained in use of force, because every officer needs two days’ training in thata year – and that’s before we start talking about training in relation to newlaw and procedures.” Yet after all this skills development, a firearms officer may never evenneed to draw their gun. “We have never shot anyone in 20 years,” says Ackerley.”Having said that, it might be because we have trained people in theseskills so effectively. But there is lots of build-up at various stages so youdo need that intensity of training.” The police has an “insatiable appetite for training which will never bemet”, he continues. “Every time a new piece of equipment comes in, orcriminals start using a new type of technology, we start training our people todeal with it.” The national ethos of local policing exacerbates the need for training. Soif a firearms officer, for example, moves to North Yorkshire from the WestYorkshire boundary he would have to go through Ackerley’s induction course. “Different forces use different guns, and we have different policiessupporting the way we deal with firearms incidents. If an employee moves withinbranches of a retail giant they would find everything is virtually the same,but that doesn’t apply across the police service in England and Wales,” heexplains. And as Ackerley points out, police officers can follow many career pathswhich, in turn, accelerate the need for training. “We don’t have the situation as in the US, where you join theCalifornia Highway Patrol or the FBI and follow that line. Here, after two orthree years [in the police] an officer can apply to be a CID officer and willthen have to be trained as a full crime investigator – a 15-month course. This is not to say that training is not closely monitored or tied to thebusiness case. “When anyone wants a course, they have to put in a minibusiness case and this states what alternative solutions have been considered,and what objectives it will meet for North Yorkshire Police. After training,their supervisor signs off to verify what they can do. This [method] isinternal to us and Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary has commented onit.” To an outsider it must seem Ackerley has the budget to suit such detailedwork. He has secured a £1m increase for 2003-2004 to bring the annual trainingbudget to £2.8m. Out of the 29 areas of training covered by this sum, there are six that takeup the lion’s share: probationer training, leadership and managementdevelopment, senior management training, IT training, firearms training anddevelopment, and driver training and development. The impetus for training needs comes from government principles and theforce’s strategy. For example, training 120 newly appointed probationaryconstables during 2003-2004 supports the Government’s aim to increase thenumbers of police officers, offering visible reassurance to the public. “The Home Office sees that police leadership and probationary trainingare two of the key issues facing the police service at the moment. Centrex [theHome Office body which produces training packages] is currently devising a newleadership programme which will cover all ranks and grades, and has justrevamped its senior leadership programme at the police staff college atBramshill,” says Ackerley. Sector skills body the Police Skills and Standards Organisation (PSSO),estimates that by 2007, the high levels of recruitment will mean some 51,000police officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have less than fiveyears’ experience. It has urged all forces to identify leadership andmanagement skills needs and shortages as soon as possible “to ensure aneffective service to the public”. Ackerley is already on the case with North Yorkshire’s own leadership anddevelopment training strategy. Its aims include empowerment, engendering aculture of continuous development and developing innovative thinking. Coursesare available to all current and newly appointed police officers and supportstaff managers at any stage in their career. To this end, Ackerley runs a leadership forum to promote the strategy,”set up to help develop the leadership skills of our senior managers andthe leadership style of North Yorkshire Police as a service”, he explains.In addition, he is working with The Work Foundation’s Campaign for Leadershipand offers staff the opportunity to take part in a Work Foundation liberatingleadership profiling activity, which involves participating in self-assessmentand peer feedback in 38 key areas. He also runs his own leadership summerschool. He is candid about challenges ahead. “Some of our officers have beenvery task focused. We are trying to broaden their horizons,” he says. Ackerley believes discretionary behaviour is the key. “If you look atthe liberating leadership behaviours, the 38 areas involved have nothing to dowith carrying out tasks, it’s about the way we do them that has theimpact.” His work is having an effect as demonstrated by this July’s summer school –to which chief officers, chief superintendents, inspectors and principalofficers from the civilian staff were invited. “Two of the mostsought-after subjects [on the programme] were ’emotional intelligence’ and ‘thepersonal aspect of change’,” he says. Ackerley’s work on helping others to find their definitions of leadership,based on self-awareness, starts at probationer level. He gives the newrecruits, aged from 19-40 years and drawn from all walks of life, quite amoving definition of what it means to take command of a situation, and to leadothers, perhaps complete strangers, out of a potentially distressing situation.”Probationers come here for an induction programme on what I call thelearning journey,” he says. “I ask them which skills they think theyare going to need and they’ll probably say ‘decision-making’ or ‘communication’skills and miss out leadership.” “I tell them: ‘in 12 months’ time you could be in a police car withblue lights flashing and [sirens wailing], and be the first person to arrive atan accident. “Everyone is going to look to you to take control of the situation.They won’t care how many months or years of experience you’ve got, because apolice officer has arrived – and you’ve got to be thinking about casualties,obstruction to roads, the health and safety of people and yourself. That’s abig responsibility,” he adds, “but that’s leadership.” Competency frameworksOver the past two years the Police Skills and StandardsOrganisation (PSSO) has linked and mapped a National Competency Framework andNational Occupational Standards.The suite of standards has now been approved and the PSSO hasintegrated the units to create the new Integrated Competency Framework. North Yorkshire Police used the relevant National OccupationalStandards as a point of reference. For example, it has attracted the attentionof the Home Office for its work on mapping a probationer’s developmentportfolio across to a customer service NVQ, which should give them anencouraging start to their careers.”Its about accrediting prior competence really and now probationerscan get an NVQ out of it,” says Ackerley. It is also believed to be the first force in the country to askfirearms incident commanders to not only go on a firearms incident commanders’training course, but to then complete a portfolio of evidence to be matchedagainst the relevant national occupational standards.”It’s done the same way as an NVQ and will put us in a farmore robust environment to show that people are more occupationally competentand have been deemed to be so,” says Ackerley, referring to a processwhich has internal and external verification.He believes this will be invaluable if the PSSO sets up aprofessional register for firearm incident commanders, as those commanders withthe portfolio will be eligible for registration. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

12
May
2021

Career focus: Scotland

first_img Previous Article Next Article Career focus: ScotlandOn 20 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today A region by region look at working in HR in the UK. This month we look atScotland.  Edited by Ross Wigham e-mail:[email protected] in Scotland may be a breath of fresh airWorking life in Scotland is similar to the rest of the UK, with a diversemix of employers, occupations and industries. The recent economic situation hasfollowed a similar pattern to that in England. Since official devolution in 1999, the country has had its own Parliament,based in Edinburgh, as well as its ruling body, the Scottish Executive (SE). Although economic, trade and industrial policies are still controlled byWhitehall, the SE has a £20bn budget and extensive powers in education,training and local government. The Executive aims to ensure long-term sustainable economic growth and tocreate an innovative business environment. It has also implemented a range ofpolicies to drive up skills and increase productivity levels. The Labour Force Survey, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS),suggests that both employment and unemployment were stable throughout the lastquarter. Data from the end of last year shows that the seasonally adjusted employmentrate was 74.2 per cent or 2.4 million people, up by 0.6 per cent compared tothe previous year. According to the figures, the unemployment rate has droppedto 5.8 per cent, also a 0.6 per cent per fall from the same period in 2002.However, it also reported that employee jobs had fallen by around 12,000,although this figure was partly offset by rises in contract workers inconstruction and other industries. Alan Hogarth, a spokesman for CBI Scotland, said the economy was standingfirm, despite pressure and the continuing downturn in some sectors. He said thefinancial sector played a big part in the economy of Scotland, with the RoyalBank of Scotland and HBOS some of the biggest employers based there. The retail sector is also a major employer and there is a large brewingindustry, with the traditional whisky market and large corporate firms such asScottish & Newcastle. Tourism is also a fundamental part of the economy, and it could be set for afurther boost with experts predicting a growth in domestic travel because offears across global terrorism. However, the once strong manufacturing sector continues to suffer job lossesand tight margins, as it has done across the rest of the UK. “The manufacturing sector is still facing challenges. There have been alot of job losses but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Like other partsof the UK, it’s suffered from cheaper labour overseas,” said Hogarth. A large number of the UK’s call centres are also based in Scotland, butHogarth said the quality and expertise of its operators had shielded theindustry from some of the problems suffered elsewhere across the UK. “Thesector is holding up because it has more high-value call centres that are lessvulnerable to offshoring,” he said. Earlier this month, the SE launched a drive to relocate public sector jobsaround Scotland, with many organisations reviewing the current locations. It is hoped that this will offer more opportunities for people livingoutside of the traditional business areas such as Edinburgh and Glasgow. Living in the regionEducation: The education system up tosecondary level in Scotland is independent of the rest of the UK and hasdistinct differences at all levels. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)awards its Standard Grade (broadly similar to GCSEs) to pupils in their fourthyear of secondary school. After this scholars advance to Highers and thenAdvanced Highers. In tertiary education, there are 14 universities and 46 furthereducation colleges in the country. Around 54 per cent of Scots go on touniversity (not all in Scotland) and they are joined by a large number ofstudents from the rest of the UK and overseas.Transport: A major consultation on the future of transport inScotland has just been completed, but the picture across the country is mixed.According to the Scottish Parliament the number of motor vehicles licensed in2002 was more than 2.3 million, 3 per cent more than the previous year, and isestimated to be about 27 per cent higher than the number in 1992  There were roughly 259,000 new vehicleregistrations in 2002, the highest number ever recorded. The total number ofrail passenger journeys was 62.2 million in 2002-2003, a 5 per cent drop.Scotland also has good rail links with London, via the east coast of England,as well as having several major airports including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeenand Prestwick. Culture/lifestyle: Scotland is the home of some of the UK’smost outstanding areas of natural beauty. Edinburgh is also recognised as oneof the most historical cities with its famous castle and the Royal Mile. Theannual festival is one of the main dates on the European arts calendar whileGlasgow is a huge metropolitan city and former European capital of culture. Housing: Although the market varies massively across thecountry, nationwide research shows that prices have increased by 14 per cent inthe past 12 months. Currently the Edinburgh housing market is particularlybuoyant, while across Scotland as a whole the average price for a detachedhouse is around £135,767, with a semi-detached home costing around £93,739. Theaverage price for a flat is £65,048. Company profileStandard LifeStaff: 8,000Based: EdinburghThe financial services company has been based in the Scottishcapital for more than 178 years and is one of the city’s largest privateemployers. Stephen McCafferty, the HR development director says it’s the bestplace to work in the UK.”It offers a really good lifestyle and that means peoplewant to stay,” he said. “It’s also a very cosmopolitan city. There’sa lot of history and culture to Edinburgh with the famous castle and the annualfestival. I also think people generally have a bit more time for you up here.”After working in various parts of the UK, McCafferty saysScotland is the ideal location for business and a great place to start a careerin human resources.”I spent four years in the South East and theinfrastructure here in Scotland is just as good. I’d definitely recommend acareer in HR here. Because the city is smaller than others and is activelylived in, unlike the square mile in London, there is more of a community feelingat work.”We have a good atmosphere. People want to work here andthat helps our staff retention,” he explained.During the last few years McCafferty has noticed more peopleopting out of the London rat-race to work in Scotland.”It seems we do have people who are getting sick of thelifestyle in London and other places and are moving up to Scotland,” hesaid.Move here for…LifestyleCompletely different from the rest of the UKHeritage and cultureSome of the UK’s most famous tourist spotsThe fresh airThe rugged countryside is famous the world over But beware of…The food Haggis and deep fried Mars bars may not be your idea ofculinary delightsFrostbiteYou may encounter some problems moving to a colder climateBeing EnglishThe rivalries between the two nations still run deepHR contacts and local informationCIPD South East Scotland branch, [email protected] West of Scotland branch, [email protected] Mid Scotland branch, [email protected] North of Scotland and Islands branch, [email protected] Comments are closed. 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12
May
2021

This week’s news in brief

first_img Comments are closed. This week’s news in briefOn 21 Mar 2006 in Personnel Today Call for pensions get-outEmployers should be given a chance to go back on pensions promises made to staff, according to a leading pensions expert. Watson Wyatt consultant Alan Pickering, who is on the board of the Pensions Regulator and author of a 2002 government report on pensions, said there should be “a one-off opportunity for employers to renegotiate the past”.www.personneltoday.com/34449.articleSecurity registration chaosAn estimated 75,000 private security guards will be operating illegally after the introduction of new legislation this week. From 20 March, it became illegal to work as a security guard without a licence from the Security Industry Authority. A last-minute rush for licences has created a massive backlog. Employers who take on unlicensed security staff could be jailed for up to five years.www.personneltoday.com/54450.articleSex-for-visas scandalThe Home Office has admitted three immigration officials had sex with visa applicants wanting to extend their stay in the UK. Officials offered applicants visas for sex, but failed to provide the papers afterwards. One was dismissed, a second resigned and the third is the subject of internal disciplinary proceedings. www.personneltoday.com/34440.article Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

12
May
2021

The HR software journey: Introducing sophisticated technology on-demand webinar

first_imgThe HR software journey: Introducing sophisticated technology on-demand webinarOn 28 Feb 2017 in Personnel Today Watch this webinar now to learn tips and tricks on what to look out for during your search and selection process, such as:how to get “buy-in” from management and end users;the best ways to identify technology needs through requirement analysis;how to handle product demonstrations; andhow to make your HR team more efficient.This free webinar will include a presentation by Pritul Khagram, as well as a live Q&A session where you will be able to submit your questions.Download webinar slides here Related posts: Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a…center_img Previous Article Next Article No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitelast_img read more

12
May
2021

Outdoor dining to resume in Manhattan after winter storm

first_imgShare via Shortlink Full Name* However, it seems like such structures have stood up to the storm.“For the most part they held up” through last night’s storm, Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson said during a press conference on Thursday.But businesses have yet to weather the financial storm. Indoor dining was once again suspended earlier this month, forcing restaurants to rely on takeout, delivery and outdoor dining.“There’s a lot of businesses hurting,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during the press conference. “Nobody wants restrictions.”Contact Sasha Jones Message* Snow and sleet temporarily paused outdoor dining yesterday, but it’s back on in Manhattan now that the storm has passed. (Getty)Outdoor dining can continue — in Manhattan, anyway — on Thursday after a temporary, storm-related pause. The resumption of curbside eating is still to be determined in the outer-boroughs, however.Starting Wednesday, restaurants were forced to suspend outdoor dining and remove or consolidate curbside streeteries, as the city anticipated eight inches of snow from a winter storm.An accumulation of snow could have led those structures to collapse, and the city worried that snow plows would hit and damage such structures, the Wall Street Journal reported.Read moreIndoor dining will shut down again in NYC54% of NY restaurants expect to close in six months88% of NYC restaurants could not make October rentcenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* TagsBill de BlasioCommercial Real EstateNYC RestaurantsRetail Real Estatelast_img read more

12
May
2021

Tishman Speyer’s half-empty Hudson Yards tower tops out

first_imgLeasing at the skyscraper was off to a good start in 2018, when the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer inked 800,000 square feet as an anchor tenant. AllianceBernstein and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP soon followed.Rob Speyer, the company’s CEO, took a bullish perspective on the dearth of leasing activity.“We’re over 50 percent leased, and we have more than a year and a half to deliver,” Speyer told the Post. “We have several conversations going with companies that are broadly representative of the city’s commerce.” He also noted that there may be “pent-up demand” for office space after the pandemic is under control.Once the Spiral is completed, Pfizer — which was among the first companies to develop and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine — will move into its new digs from several old buildings on East 42nd Street. [NYP] — Akiko MatsudaContact Akiko Matsuda TagsCommercial Real EstateOffice Real Estatetishman speyer Tishman Speyer CEO  Rob Speyer and The Spiral as seen on January 21, 2021 (Photos via Getty Images; Illustration by Kevin Rebong)The Spiral, Tishman Speyer’s 1,041-foot-tall tower across from the Hudson Yards megaproject, is getting closer to completion.The 2.85-million-square-foot office building at 66 Hudson Boulevard, between 34th and 35th streets, recently marked its topping out, the New York Post reported. It’s expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.But finding tenants to fill the building is slow going in the pandemic-battered office market. Nearly 50 percent of the space in the Bjarke Ingels-designed skyscraper has not yet been leased, according to the publication.Read moreAllianceBernstein nearing massive relocation deal at The SpiralDebevoise signs big lease at Tishman Speyer’s SpiralTishman Speyer picks up Pfizer as anchor tenant for Spiral, lands mammoth construction loan Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address*center_img Message* Full Name* Share via Shortlinklast_img read more