Engineering and the predicted skills shortage within the UK 

Many of the world's biggest and innovative civil, biomedical and electrical engineering companies are based within the UK. But there is currently an engineering skills shortage within the market place. Industry experts say we may need to fill more than one million engineering jobs between now and 2022. The UK’s once booming engineering sector could run into problems if the shortfall is not addressed. In this article I take a look at some of the problems and potential solutions that may help us stay strong in our vibrant sector of engineering!    

The facts as they stand now 

Despite the doom and gloom that swirls around with issues like these, the UK engineering sector is still thriving. The industry employs more than 5.5 million people and the contribution from computer to civil engineering brings in a whopping £455.6 billion to our UK economy. Yes, engineering is one of the country's most successful industries and we need to keep it this way. But for this to happen we need to fill a forecasted 182,000 positions on the run up to 2022.

Shortage of Skilled Engineers Within the UK

The shortage of skilled engineers within the UK is widely acknowledged as a serious hurdle to its economic growth plans for the future. The situation is made more intriguing by the UK's decision to leave the EU.  Whereas up until recently, skilled and educated workers from the continent would happily step into the breach with realistic prospects of living in the UK, it may now be seen that the UK is no longer quite as attractive for skilled foreign nationals as it once was. But will this really be the case? We still do not know the terms of the exit as it stands and we may find this really does not affect the situation as much as some people thought. 

Is it this gloomy?

A rather gloomy outlook is put forward in a study by the the Institution of Mechanical Engineers who say that the government's efforts to encourage industry will likely fail because Britain's education system simply isn't able to turn out enough people with the right skills. And the UK Commission for Employment and Skills states that up to 43 percent of science, technology, engineering and maths jobs, or STEM jobs, are well nigh impossible to fill. So what is being done to fill the shortage of skilled engineers within the UK?

Apprenticeships

The tide has been partially turned by the growing popularity of apprenticeship schemes. According to The Tech Partnership the number of apprenticeships within the digital tech sector rose by 21 percent over the last year. According to the organisation every £1 invested by employers through apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 sees a return of £27. We have seen the government put a lot of emphasis on ‘The Apprenticeship Levy’ as mentioned on our article ‘What are the big issues for Human Resources Departments within the UK in 2016?’. The levy is being introduced in order to fund three million new apprenticeships in England by 2020. So we can see by this statement of intent that this may be one of the beacons we need to improve the situation.  

A long way to go

The Apprenticeship Levy is perhaps encouraging news, but there is still a long way to go until the shortage of skilled engineers within the UK is filled. A telephone survey carried out in 2016 revealed that 62 percent of 400 engineering employers felt that British graduates were simply not equipped with the requisite skills, also 68 percent felt that the British education system will struggle to cope in keeping up with the ever evolving engineering industry. Education needs to be addressed, we need to make engineering look exciting for kids as fundamentally this is where it all starts! 

Mixed feelings on Brexit

Of those interviewed, only 5 percent felt Brexit would have a positive impact on recruitment, while 35 percent felt there would be a negative impact over the next 4 or 5 years. Another 23 percent predicted it would have no impact at all, while 36 percent were uncertain. This really shows you nobody really knows how this will effect the industry.  We all need to shout at the government to make sure the engineering voice is heard so that they can implement the best possible solution armed with the correct statistics, facts and strategy.

According to Naomi Climer, president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), "As we are facing an engineering shortfall in the next decade and some uncertainty around skills following Brexit, it is more important than ever that we develop the next generation of 'home grown' engineering and technology talent." In efforts to fill this widening gap the IET have put forward plans to encourage companies and employers to provide work experience to give aspiring students a taste of the industry. Climer also stated there must be an increasing collaboration between employers and educators to facilitate and encourage a much needed growth of homegrown talent in the sector. 

The Brighter Side

Some have tried to look on the bright side and see an opportunity in the UK's shortfall in engineers in the UK. The chief executive of EngineeringUK, Paul Jackson said, "Engineering is a growth industry that has the potential to continue to drive productivity in the UK. This is a great opportunity, tempered only by concern about the need to train many more engineers if we are not to be left behind by countries like South Korea and Germany." If the shortfall can be addressed by implementing programs such as apprenticeships, it could be a turning point for the better. 

Stereotyping

As well as the country exiting the EU, another potential hurdle to overcome is the longstanding stereotyping that comes with the engineering sector.  The minister of state for skills Nick Boles is concerned that the industry's still being commonly viewed as the sole preserve of males and this may be holding further growth back, but backing up Climer's comments, he feels these challenges can be overcome with greater collaboration and partnership between educators and employers. I feel sure with the right incentives for kids of all backgrounds and gender this could really help towards the short fall. 

The Round up!

According to EngineeringUK's 2016 “The State of Engineering” there is still some way to go before the 69,000 extra engineers needed to fill the shortfall is achieved. It remains to be seen whether the various strategies that have been proposed will have a positive impact on the UK's very real present shortfall in qualified engineers. At least people have realised this and the discussion has started about how we can bridge the gap. As a recruiter within the industry I feel it will be a mix of things that will work. One of those issues that will be facing companies will be the sponsorship of foreign students. A lot of companies dismiss this as an option but I feel it will be a necessity to look at going forward. For my next blog post I will be discussing this in greater detail and investigating the real world benefits of introducing this approach within your company.

John Wilkinson
Technical Business Manager
Springfield House, Water Lane
Wilmslow, SK9 5AG

John on Linkedin
John@prestigeltd.co.uk
01625 548282

John Wilkinson

Name: John Wilkinson

Directors Notes: John is a real fountain of knowledge in his market with a network to prove it! Not one to shy away from a good debate, he is full of quips and will “take the mick” whenever the opportunity presents itself!

We asked John

What is your job title and role: Engineering Consultant. I am developing PRS engineering capability, with some of the world’s largest engineering consultancies. I focus on the design of civil  infrastructure projects (maritime/ports, airports, highways etc)

What do you like about working for Prestige Recruitment Services: having the ability to do my own thing, while knowing I have support if I want it. Being the only man in the office (you learn something new every day, most of which, I try and forget)

What would your last meal be: A Chinese banquet or something that takes a very long time to cook

What is your favourite film: Midnight Express

Most listened to music track: Sound of Eden, by Shades of Rhythm

One item you couldn’t do without stranded on a desert island: A mirror, so I would always have someone to talk to

What famous person would you like to meet (past or present): Elvis “Ah Huh” or my Dad

Describe yourself in 4 words: Loyal, caring, inquisitive, challenging 

Warrington - The Bid to be a City of Culture 2021

The Bid to be a City of Culture

Warrington together with a host of cities from across the UK including Coventry, Hereford, Paisley, Perth, Portsmouth, St David’s and the Hundred of Dewisland, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea are all fighting to be the third UK City of Culture in 2021. But what can this cultural award do for Warrington and the businesses within it? 

The UK City of Culture Award

Launched in 2009 the initial vision of the event was to establish a British City of Culture prize, the winning city would be able to host events such as the Turner Prize, Brit Awards, Man Booker Prize and the Stirling Prize amongst many other culture based events.  Under the then Labour Culture Secretary Andy Burnham the award was inspired by the success seen in Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture in 2008, were this event showed significant social and economic benefits for the area. The award was a way of building on Liverpool’s legacy, the effect having an overall improvement to the city and its residents with cultural engagement that this type of award achieves. 

The Liverpool Effect

In 2008. Liverpool's year as European capital of culture earned the city bumper visitor numbers and a multimillion-pound boost to its economy. A five-year research programme analysed the social, economic and cultural impact of the 2008 title and found that the festival year saw 9.7m visitors to the city, an increase of 34% generating £753.8m for the economy.

85% of Liverpool residents agreed that it was a better place to live than before and the media coverage of Liverpool's cultural attractions doubled for the first time in decades. The study by Liverpool University academics found that initially, people had mixed views in the build up to the year.  This however changed during 2008 itself, showing a much more optimistic view that was shared by people in late 2008. This indicates that more people felt the benefits as the events happen across the year, leaving a real feel good factor in the city that has carried on. 

The first UK City of Culture Award Derry/Londonderry

After the government set up the UK City of Culture competition it was Derry/Londonderry that won the bid back in 2013. As the first award, Derry happily acknowledge they were "guinea pigs" for the concept but said there was no shortage of enthusiasm in the city! The list of shows, exhibitions and concerts held since January 2013 was impressive and the big events shone a light firmly on the city in terms of visitors and culture.

There were mixed views on the financial benefits of the first award, some saying that it needed to be capitalised on a bit more in the planning stage but Shona McCarthy Chief Executive of the Culture Company 2013 said, "We already know that there have been over 75 nationalities represented in the city over the year.” "From May right through to September we have broken all previous records for hotel occupancy. So that tells me we have got the visitors. That tells me people are coming here.”

Over the course of the year, about £100m was invested in the city through cultural programming and infrastructure. It is estimated that for every £1 spent, there would be a predicted £5 return. All those who have been involved in organising events are now using the word "legacy" and discussing how people can build on what has been achieved. A lot of people have the view that the simple feel-good factor created by Derry's success in becoming the first UK City of Culture was great for the city, having the effect of bringing together people in a sometimes divided city was a real step forward.  

Hull Followed With The 2017 Award

This year the 2017 winners Hull kicked off their UK City of Culture program with the city is expecting to see a significant increase in visitors and events over 2017 generating a positive economic impact. Hull is the second city to host the title and it will be hosting 365 days of cultural events that started with a fireworks event. It is estimated that the UK City of Culture 2017 win will deliver a £60 million boost to Hull’s economy throughout 2017, with a £13.5 million investment into the project. The city has also seen a £1 billion investment since winning the title in 2013. Keep an eye on what Hull is achieving throughout its year here at https://www.hull2017.co.uk

The Benefits to Warrington

Warrington’s initial expression of interest to run for UK City of Culture 2021 has been submitted to the government. There are two further stages with an initial bid submitted in April and the final bid from shortlisted cities by 29th September. The Heritage Lottery Fund has committed £3 million to the holder of the UK City of Culture title from 2021 onwards to boost local heritage, this would have a benefit of bolstering the area and all our cultural attractions. 

It looks to me from the outside that a successful bid brings real benefits to the economy and business. It brings investment in local infrastructure, together with a big uplift in tourism and the local economy. If we then add the feel-good factor into the equation and how the previous awards have had a profound effect on their residents, then I would say this would be a massive benefit to the whole of Warrington! 

A quotation on the http://www.warrington2021.com/our-bid/ website says the award would have "significant economic and social benefits, complementing existing physical regeneration plans as well as highlighting the cultural elements of the current developments as an essential part of the overall growth of the borough." The timing of the 2021 award seems to be perfect for Warrington and complements existing plans and projects to deliver and support:

  • More than £100m of investment in the centre of Warrington before 2020
  • More than 100 unique events across the borough every year in the run up to 2021
  • The 50th anniversary of the new town in 2018 
  • Plans for a brand new heritage hub with a target opening date of 2019
  • Final Thoughts

I feel putting culture at the heart of the transition from a new town to a new city and being highlighted as a “go to” destination for culture would have a long lasting positive effect for us all, in terms of economic growth and people's pride in their city. There seems to be real synergy with the bid, linking it to the growth of Warrington over the next four years. This tells me that it could be an amazing gift to those expansion plans and would give real inertia to the city’s proposed projects. I’m getting right behind this bid and would love to get more businesses involved with spreading the positivity and pushing hard to win a place in the history of British cultural events. As a business community as a whole, let us show our support and help in any way possible.  

Janette Channell
Operations Manager Warrington
01925 419900

 

Get the best from your recruiter - 5 Tips

Five top tips for recruitment

  • How can HR professionals get the best from Recruiters?
  • With an estimated 78% of businesses using recruitment agencies to support the attraction and recruitment of new talent………what’s really important? 
  • Formulate a working partnership – it’s important for both parties to understand processes and limitations 
  • Clearly define your expectations – what are your objectives? the whole experience needs to work not just the end result  
  • Make time for a face to face meeting: 30 minutes spent together can prove invaluable for building trust and “buying into” your recruiter 
  • Ensure your recruiter becomes an ambassador for your business – you want them to understand the position of your business and how to sell it to potential candidates 
  • Be prepared to give honest feedback - it’s vital early on in the relationship for recruiters to make sure they get it right on every level
  • When a relationship between HR and a Recruiter works it can provide a real return on investment resulting in the recruitment partner becoming an extension of a HR department.  

Covering Letter or Not?

How to compose a covering letter

Should I write a covering letter? It can be a contentious issue as some employers really see the value in having one whilst others don’t if you are filling in an application form. We at Prestige Recruitment Services do not require one as we have many applications and CV’s to look through on a daily basis and the criteria is always skill set first. 

Quick tips for writing a covering letter:

  • Ensure it doesn’t contain any spelling mistakes or bad grammar
  • Be clear about what you are applying and show you understand what the job involves  
  • State why you think you are suitable, which will usually involve transferable skills  
  • Get to the point…… don’t write war and peace 
  • Always make sure it accompanies your CV

A Basic Interview Checklist!

Be prepared, this is basic but important for a successful interview! 

PREPARATION FOR YOUR INTERVIEW:

  • Be sure you know the time, date and location of the interview and name of interviewee.
  • Check out how you will get to the location and when you need to set off to be there in good time - do a dummy run if necessary. Plan to get there no earlier than half an hour before the interview time, anticipate delays. 
  • Have you got what you are going to wear ready.  
  • Do not go to the interview laden down with baggage - psychological as well as physical. Take the bare minimum of belongings necessary. Concentrate on the interview at the interview - nothing else. 
  • If you are well organised and have planned for the day your confidence will increase.

PREPARING TO MEET THE EMPLOYER:

  • The interview is a chance for you and the employer to get to know one another
  • Research and gather information about the business before you are interviewed - what do they do, what are their current projects, what future plans do they have, who are their competitors 
  • Make sure you know what the job entails, your Consultant should go through all the details of the job, the company culture, future expectations and some tips on what your interviewer is like. Take this information on board and use it to prepare.

Choosing a Good Recruiter, if you are looking for a job

At Prestige Recruitment Services we like to think that all our Consultants are great but of course, there are good and bad Recruitment Consultants out there….you choose!

Things to consider:

  • They should be well informed and knowledgeable within their market sector and offer you unbiased advice. In your initial enquiry, they will be polite and courteous and answer any questions you have.
  •  If you fit the criteria for a certain role they will spend time understanding your experience and future career goals either by a telephone interview or face to face meeting
  • They will never ask you to lie at an interview
  • They won’t pressure you into a job or attending an interview unless you feel it’s right for you however this should not be confused by them offering a well-informed insight into the role and company as they will have visited the client.
  • They will never ask you for money!

All Consultants who work for Prestige Recruitment Services, have been trained to the highest standard and support real business ethics. Our areas of expertise include Office Support, Fashion & Retail, Sales & Marketing, Technical Engineering, Technology, HR and Hospitality.

Looking back on the trends of 2016  

Branding

Every recruiter started to experience a shortage of talent in their respective market places which has meant that branding become the “buzz” phrase of the year! Not only did social media go into overdrive but content marketing began to take on a life all of its own. Branding is a showcase for any business and from a recruitment perspective we have both clients and candidates that we look attract. A strong brand give you a strong identity.

Candidate experience

Whilst is should always be an inclusive journey from initial contact to job placement, a lot of recruiters have always considered the client to be of more importance. Obvious mistake of course, candidates can make or break your brand as they often share their experiences with friends and family then it becomes far reaching. Making extra effort to keep your candidates engaged in the recruitment process has become of paramount importance, coach, advise and guide, our candidates are our ambassadors.    

Flexibility  

Finding good Consultants with the right values become an issue and the main reason for movement of experienced Consultants come from those striving to find a real work/life balance. Recruitment businesses have now had to look outside of the “norm” with the offer of flexible working hours, part time roles and remote working. Finding talent and more importantly keeping talent has meant recruitment leaders have been forced into a rethink!

Pressure points 

Understanding what our clients experience on a daily basis has become more important for recruiters to truly understand how they can claim to add value to a business. It’s not just about filling a job but knowing how we can help, it’s about providing sensible advice to our clients which can only happen when we really understand the issues they face on a daily basis. Knowing our recruitment market place means we can become a real business partner.

Meet The Team Janette Channell

Name: Janette Channell (AKA: JC) – this also helps differentiate me and one of the Directors who has the same name!

Directors Notes: Affectionately known as “JC” she is a passionate ambassador for Prestige having pretty much been with us for 12 years. In that time she has become respected leader whom everyone genuinely loves working for.

We asked Janette

What is your job title and role: Operations Manager – Responsible for the Commercial Consultants/Support teams in Warrington and Wilmslow.

What do you like about working for Prestige Recruitment Services: To work amongst a group of talented, successful and passionate people that still know how to have fun and genuinely enjoy (and are great at) what they do!! Plus, having been with Prestige for many years it has increased my circle of friends (both candidates and clients alike).  It’s nice to know I have made a difference to some people’s lives!!

What would your last meal be: Christmas Dinner like my Mum used to make with ALL the trimmings (Washed down with lots of bubbly obviously!!!)

What is your favourite film: Difficult one that one but I am a big fan of chick flicks so something like; Love Actually, Bridgett Jones, Pretty Woman, The Holiday, Notting Hill, Sliding Doors - all of which I have watched so many times I know them word for word. 

Most listened to music track: Uptown Funk – Cheesy I know but I just love it!! Or The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Leona Lewis – saw her do it in concert – it made my hairs stand on end!

One item you couldn’t do without stranded on a desert island: Bear Grylls! (Or mascara/lip gloss equally)

What famous person would you like to meet (past or present): Dawn French – I have a feeling we’d be really good mates.  She just makes me laugh so much!

Describe yourself in 4 words: Genuine, Generous, Fiercely loyal, Patient.


Contact Details:

Call Janette:  01625 548 282 Wilmslow
                     01925 419900 Warrington

Email: jc@prestigeltd.co.uk

Linkedin: Janette on Linkedin

Do you really want to leave your job? Go through our 7 steps first to really make sure

Do you love your job?

We all can have bad days and think we want a new job but are we sure we really don’t like the one we already have? Try these tips before you decide if the grass really would be greener in a new job:

Have a positive frame of mind  

Negativity is a most likely the way to becoming demotivated, things feel different if we have the right attitude. It can be hard to turn it around, but look at all the positives and don't focus on the negatives.

Plan your time

Feeling “snowed under” is counter productive, have a “to do list” to ensure you prioritise and organise. It is amazing how you start feeling in control again.

Stay focused

Stay focused on that “to do list” and feel a sense of achievement when the list shrinks, start really looking at where you need to spend your and time make sure you prioritise the important work that really counts. If you have not heard of the 80-20 rule, read up about it because it is true! You can use it for everything, Implement the concept into your to do lists making sure the important work is top priority, now give yourself a big tick! The 80-20 rule here

Keep perspective

If people around you aren’t happy it is usually about them not about you, focus on what’s important to you and don’t involve yourself. Other people can easily bring you down, in fact some people love bringing others down with their negativity. Keep perspective, feel positive and don't let other shape your life.  

Take a break

Never think you don’t have time…. Even 5 minutes away from your desk really can make a difference. Get some fresh air, take a few nice deep breaths, smile and you will be amazed how it can put a spring in your step again.   

Beat the stress

Talking about taking a break, at lunchtime why not download an app called Headspace?! It’s a 10 minute meditation app made easy. (come on, you have 10 minutes!) It’s a great stress beater. As stress is common in fast paced working environments this could be just the antidote you need to start seeing the wood through the trees again! Don't say we don't look after you! https Headspace app here

Be clear 

Be clear about what’s expected of you and the role you are employed to do, don’t worry about something you don’t need to. Try managing your workload, if you are already at breaking point don't take on extra work for someone that’s not in your remit. Sometimes you have to be a bit ruthless (in a nice way) to make sure you can cover your own work without blowing a gasket! 

Achievement of the day

Pick your main priority of work to do as your first job of the day. You know, the one that is a pain, the one you don’t like doing, the big bad complicated one! You're fresh in the morning and although you don't feel like it, getting the main jobs all sorted first thing gives you a more relaxing afternoon on more enjoyable work. At the end of the day you will have a big grin on your face knowing the nasty stuff is sorted, not continually haunting you day by day! Now, give yourself a pat on the back and go home feeling good!

Still No?

If the answer is still NO I don’t love my job, (don’t say we did not try) the time will have come to talk to a Prestige Recruitment Consultant, we deal with jobs across multiple disciplines: Office Support, Fashion & Retail, Sales & Marketing, Technical Engineering HR, Technology and Hospitality. Come and talk to us, we like to think we do things a bit differently. 

Meet The Team: Louise Robinson

Name: Louise Robinson

Directors Notes: Louise is a real positive influence in the office. Her steely determination and no nonsense approach are demonstrated daily and if you really want a truthful opinion ……  you will get one!!  

Hotel General Management / Cluster General Manager
◉ Operations Manager , Deputy General Manager or Hotel Manager  Permanent & Interim
◉ Financial Controllers- Permanent & Interim
◉ Human Resources – All levels
◉ Sales Managers , Business Development Managers, Director of Sales
◉ Conference Sales Management at all levels including Wedding & Special events Executives and Coordinators  
◉ Revenue Managers  & Front Of House Management including Reception , Reservations and Night Managers
◉ Maintenance Managers and Assistant Maintenance Managers
◉ Food & Beverage Management including F&B Managers ,Bar Managers, Assistant Bar Manager , Conference & Banqueting Managers, Events Manager, Restaurant Managers and assistant levels
◉ Executive & Head  Housekeepers

We asked Louise

What is your job title and role: Managing Consultant – HR & Hospitality

What do you like about working for Prestige Recruitment Services: Friendliness and camaraderie of the team, autonomy and the opportunity to be the best!!

What would your last meal be: As much Red wine as I ask for, onion bhajis, Chicken tikka Saag Balti, Nan Bread , pilau rice and loads of Poppadum’s!!!

What is your favourite film: Arthur Christmas -  “ 3 pieces of sticky Tape!!”

Most listened to music track: Currently anything by Jess Glynne or 80’s music

One item you couldn’t do without stranded on a desert island: Endless supply of Mascara! Cos my tan will look great!

What famous person would you like to meet (past or present): David & Victoria Beckham (hopefully she will bring me a handbag as a gift for me too!)

Describe yourself in 4 words: Generous, Resilient, Fun-loving & Passionate


Contact Details:

Call Louise:  0121 244 5004

Email: Louise@prestigeltd.co.uk

Linkedin: Louise on Linkedin


Challenges Facing HR Departments in 2016

What are the big issues for Human Resources Departments within the UK in 2016?

Prestige Recruitment are committed to supplying the highest quality HR recruitment services within the industry. We have an ongoing commitment to thoroughly research and understand our market sector holistically. Our focus is not just the recruitment piece of the jigsaw, it is also looking at all the challenges and pain points that are faced within HR departments as a whole. This gives us the ability to understand the HR industry in it’s totality, allowing us to be better informed and more relevant in our services. This article gives a flavour of our findings through our 2016 research on the challenges the industry faces. We believe sharing this information with the HR industry will inform and create discussions, leading to ideas and solutions regarding the issues that we face.   

The chart below is an indication of what hot issues are trending in 2016. We collated this chart by talking to a large array of leaders within HR departments. 

HR Departments Issues 2016

The Issues

Of course recruitment is always talked about but this year there seems to be a few stand out issues. There are some issues that feature less on the radar at the moment but could profoundly affect certain business sectors. 

Absence Management

Absence Management was one topic which was high on the agenda. We noted that some clients were implementing the 'Bradford Factor' into their business and finding it had helped after a period of integration. We have a comprehensive article coming soon on absence management which also takes a look at the 'Bradford Factor' within the document. Sign up for our soon to be published free copy of 'Keep Absence Management Under Control'. 

Lack of Time and Resources

A big pain point for HR departments this year seems to be the lack of time and resources to roll out projects and to keep up with workflow. There were a mix of reasons for this but the increase in the amount of actual work, reduction in department staff, and a lack of issue ownership within departments seem to be the core issues. We will be looking at this in more detail over the year,  trying to discover time saving ideas and software that may help.

Staff Retention

Staff retention was another problem within the industry, this was due to many factors depending on the market sector. We have decided to look at deeper research on this subject and produce a comprehensive article and resource on this issue. We will be looking into a wide range of dynamic topics from staff retention through engaging company culture, to the skills shortages found in some industries. Keep a look out for this soon. 

Management Ownership

Around ten percent of issue discussed were attributed to the lack of management ownership. HR departments are seeing issues passed over to them prematurely which is adding to the workload of their departments. Is this because managers themselves are overloaded with work? Or are there other factors at play? More research on this subject is needed, one thing is for sure, businesses managers need to work more cohesively to make the best of their resources.
 

The following potential issues are low on the radar at the moment but a few people have raised concerns about them.  We feel these could have a large impact over the coming years in certain industries and larger sized businesses.

The Apprenticeship Levy

In last year's budget, the government announced its intention to introduce a levy on large employers in order to fund three million new apprenticeships in England by 2020. This was part of its commitment to developing vocational skills and to increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships.

The government carried out a consultation on the proposed levy in the autumn last year, following which it has now published draft legislation. The levy is effectively a new tax on employers to fund apprenticeships. This may bring a substantial amount of additional work to HR departments.

Gender Pay Reporting

Larger employers in the private and voluntary sectors will have to publish details of their gender pay gaps. By April 2018, affected employers will need to report their annually mean and median gender pay gaps, also gender bonus gaps and the number of men and women across salaries. This will undoubtedly add to the workload of those HR departments affected. 

Modern Slavery and Worker-exploitation

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has introduced a new annual duty for organisations with a turnover of £36 million plus, this is to report the steps the organisation has taken to ensure that slavery or human trafficking is not taking place. For effected businesses with manufacturing bases overseas this could turn out to have a large affect on reporting and administration duties. 

The Round Up

As you can see, we have a lot to analyse and work on. Prestige will be talking to more departments over the next few months and hopefully publishing interesting articles on the main pain points that are hitting the HR industry. Having now seen the results of the European vote we feel there may be more issues on the way with our exit from the Europe Union.

To keep on top of our reports for the HR industry sign up to have them emailed to you as soon as they are produced.

If you would like to contribute to the debate or highlight any issues for our reports please email us here. 


Head of Prestige HR Louise Robinson 

Head of Prestige HR Louise Robinson 

Louise Robinson 

Managing Consultant – HR & Hospitality

Call:  0121 244 5004

Email: Louise@prestigeltd.co.uk

Linkedin: Louise on Linkedin

More information: Louise on meet the team!

 

  

Meet the Team: Lucy Ratoff

Name: Lucy Ratoff

The Directors Notes: Lucy really gives the word loyal a new meaning! 16 years with us this year she has remained steadfast through all the ups and downs and to know we can rely on her, come what may speaks volumes. Over the years we have witnessed her mature into a respected leader. 

We asked Lucy

What is your job title and role: Divisional Director of the Fashion & Retail division, which I helped set up 16 years ago!! 

What do you like about working for Prestige Recruitment: Being part of the Prestige family.

What would your last meal be: Roast dinner.

What is your favourite film: Couldn’t tell you as can’t stay awake.

Most listened to music track: Bang Bang by will I am.

One item you couldn’t do without stranded on a desert island: Intravenous drip of gin. 

What famous person would you like to meet (past or present): Anne Frank!

Describe yourself in 4 words: Gin loving gutter mouth.

Meet The Team: Hannah Knight

Name: Hannah Knight

The Directors Notes: Hannah brings lots of fun and a touch of craziness to the office. That said she is a top recruiter who has a conversion rate like no other, getting it right first time is a must for her. Known for her office “singing” we can gladly say her recruitment prowess is by far her greatest asset! 

We asked Hannah

What is your job title and role: Senior Perm Consultant – I find people permanent jobs within the office support sector up to management level☺  I also manage Charlene, my recruitment resourcer.

What do you like about working for Prestige Recruitment:  Everyone is crazy/amazing and we get to finish at 4:30pm on a Friday so I can make my 6pm spin class. 

What would your last meal be: fajitas (3 combo – steak, prawn and chicken).

What is your favourite film: Amelie and Stepbrothers!

Most listened to music track: ….. Des’ree – Kissing you. 

One item you couldn’t do without stranded on a desert island: My makeup bag (including contents). 

What famous person would you like to meet (past or present): Danny Dyer and Amy Winehouse!

Describe yourself in 4 words: Confident, tenacious, cat crazy and always hungry– more than 4 words I know.

Prestige Recruitment Services 20th Anniversary Celebration

The Celebration

Friday the 15th of April was the 20th year to the day that Prestige Recruitment Services opened for business. To celebrate this landmark year we took all our employees down to London for a VIP day which kicked off with a 4 hour cruise around the Thames, on board the beautiful MV Edwardian boat. The wine flowed, the food was sublime and then we headed off for a champagne and nibbles reception in a private pod on board the London Eye, by which time most of us were “pie eyed”! 

Back In 96 - This Year in History!

 In 1996 the recruiting landscape looked so different, life was different. For a start it was a leap year, John Major was PM, the US president was Bill Clinton, DVD's were Launched in Japan, Dolly the sheep was cloned and Nintendo released the Nintendo 64. In entertainment The English Patient and Independence Day were big at the cinema, and the top tracks of that year were The Spice Girls - Wannabe, Fugees -Killing Me Softly and Mark Morrison - Return Of The Mack. If you liked a good read The Green Mile by Stephen King was one of the best selling books. As for the news,  Terry Venables announced he would resign as England manager, Prince Charles and Diana got divorced and Mad Cow Disease hit Britain. That then begs the question, were we mad to have an idea that we could open a recruitment company with different values to the rest of the herd!

In The Beginning

Having had nearly 10 successful years in recruitment I (Jeanette Wharrad) took a year out to travel Europe and on a sun drenched beach the idea was born for a recruitment business that would take on a fresh,  honest and consultative approach, to challenge the “norm”, using recruitment techniques that nobody was using at that time. I knew I definitely wanted “a partner in crime” and approached Annejulie Webb whom I had previously worked with for 5 years. Together we pooled our money, planned our strategy and opened the doors in a humble office in Solihull, just a few desks, phones and a rolodex !!  we also blew the first months’ petty cash on very expensive fresh flowers….well we wanted to create the right impression!! After 3 months we employed our first two Consultants and within 4 years had 4 offices and 42 staff! The Journey had begun in ernest with an amazing start, we found our gut instinct for a new consultative approach really resonated with our clients. In turn we were rewarded with great client retention and a plethora of new business.

The Journey

We always describe our journey as a roller coaster ride, amazing thrilling highs and at times gut wrenching lows! The first 10 years were fast, invigorating and trouble free, we rode the crest of the wave peaking at 7 offices; again, always trying to look at things in a different way. We were the first agency to introduce a guaranteed speed of service: 15 minutes to fill a temp booking and 24 hours to get CV’s out for permanent roles and when the recession hit we then introduced a “unique guarantee period” to give clients an extra safety net. All these new introductions and our commitment to an ethical consulting approach really hit home. At our height we employed 75 staff, turned over £6 million and went from an agency providing office support staff to having specialist divisions focusing on niche markets. In 2005 we had to drag ourselves into the 21st century and invested in our first CRM system, goodbye rolodex, sorry to see you go! Our staff were a collection of talented, unique and colourful people,  we had a great office vibe and a strong company culture…. then in 2006 we saw it coming, as we know, it was no ripple in the pond, it was more a tidal wave that hit the recruitment shores hard. We had to take drastic action to survive and keep our heads above water, we reduced our office network to 3 as we had to make very painful business decisions to ensure the survival of the company. After the highs this was one of the gut wrenching lows, but we now look back on it as an amazing learning experience in how to survive.  As the saying goes “What does not kill you makes you stronger” and this period of time made ready to come back strong. We learned to be nimble, to keep open minds on new working paradigms and to keep focus on the one thing that matters, delivering the best service to our clients with that consultative approach that we were always known for.  No short cuts for quick wins, just keeping to our principled approach to business knowing this would serve us well.

Where We Are Now

To say we have had to evolve as a business more than once would be an understatement, if we hadn’t the waves would have crushed us! We have learnt big lessons and whilst we are obviously older….. we are definitely much wiser and better business people for it!! After steadying the ship for a long period of time the last few years have seen us on the expansion trail again, fuelled by our success and dogged determination to create a leading client focused service. Technology now rules what we do, as well as our CRM system we have data management, multi posting & search software and an integrated website supporting social media and content marketing campaigns. We are proud to say our values never wavered though all the turmoil, we have been truly lucky to have a team of dedicated Consultants who have stayed loyal and helped us rebuild the great business that it once was. We are really looking forward to the future, we know there are more exciting times ahead and if we get the waves crashing in on our shores we will be ready! I still pine for that rolodex, the smell of tin and well used cards always brings a smile to my face (unlike when your network goes “down” and you cant do anything!) and Annejulie loves the fact she doesn't have to manually type up hundreds of time sheets any more (technology does rock!!) Let us see what we can do in the next decade, what new ideas we can bring to our industry as it changes and morphs within the fast changing environment that we all are part of.  

The celebrations were a day to remember and of course the boat trip wouldn’t have been the same without those expensive fresh flowers courtesy of petty cash!!

We would like to thank all our clients, candidates and staff, past & present for a fantastic 20 years!   

  

  

Prestige Recruitment Services celebrates 20 years in business

Friday 15th of April kicks off the celebratory year for Prestige Recruitment Services, who opened their doors in Solihull 20 years ago. All four offices and their sister company Zoot Recruit, will close on Friday as the staff are set to enjoy an all expenses paid VIP day in London. 

Whilst the business has enjoyed much success in that time, it has had to constantly evolve and reinvent itself to deal with the many trials and tribulations of the worst recession in history, only to come out of the other end much stronger and wiser!  

Founder Directors, Jeanette Wharrad & Annejulie Webb have always stuck by their principles of providing a professional, efficient and friendly service whilst never compromising quality for quantity, which they both admit in the hard times was a tough proposition! Now the business is once again in a renewed stage of growth both Directors are proud to say that the company to this day remains self-financed, which for them has meant their principles have never had to be diluted.  

As Jeanette and Annejulie have been in recruitment for over 50 years between them, they often reminisce about how the world of recruitment is almost unrecognisable now; so Friday is not only about celebrating the achievement of 20 years in business but also about saying a big thank you to their loyal team of staff, many of whom are now part way through their second decade of service. 

How to choose a good recruiter

How does a Client choose a Good Recruiter?

It’s a general fact that over 70% of HR professionals and businesses as some point will look to a Recruitment Agency to assist with their recruitment needs. Whilst most of them are bombarded with calls and promises just how do you choose a Good recruiter.

Things to consider:

Is your recruitment specific or general - unless your recruitment needs are very general, make sure the agency you choose understands your industry. If they don’t have experience or an insight into your business, then they’ll struggle to identify the most suitable candidates.  They should also be knowledgeable on the current market place.

High street or Independent 

High Street or mass market suppliers may mean brand recognition and a cheaper fee but can also lead to a poor service, as you are just one of hundreds of clients they deal with.  Independent or Specialist agencies usually means they genuinely appreciate your business and make you a priority. 

Check their Process  

What are you paying for? What is their process for attracting candidate’s, do they practice diversity, what are the turnaround times and level of service should you expect.

Recommendation  

Any competent recruiter will have a raft of testimonials or clients happy to vouch for them.

Have they asked to visit you? 

This is vitally important and allows a Consultant to truly get “a feel” for your business enabling them to find candidates that really fit every criteria.  

Negotiate

Will they or won’t they? Most are willing to come to a reasonable agreement…. but remember rates that are cheap will be cheap for a reason.

Develop a working relationship

Of course not all agencies are the same but the best ones will be keen to develop a working relationship, offer commitment and provide great service.

All Consultants who work for Prestige Recruitment Services have been trained to the highest standard and support real business ethics. Our areas of expertise include Office Support, Fashion & Retail, Sales & Marketing, Technical Engineering and Hospitality.