5 Skills That Every Graduate Should Have

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Almost 300,000 students start their journey at university across the United Kingdom every single year – but after graduation, life can be difficult. Finishing university can be a confusing time, as everything you have grown to know over the past three years seems to change dramatically. As you begin your job hunt, you’ll learn that 7 o’clock happens twice a day and you can no longer get away with eating cereal for dinner.

Graduate employers place emphasis on finding candidates with the right skills and depending on the sector you choose to work in, there will be specific skills and knowledge needed. However, complementing this knowledge are general skills that are essential to every industry. Prestige Recruitment Services understand that finding a graduate job can be difficult, especially if you don’t have much experience. But don’t fear - we have listed some essential skills that you should develop and ensure you have before you start that full-time working life in today’s modern society.

 

1)      Digital Awareness

With the development of technology over the past few years, many companies have realised the importance of the digital world. When hiring new employees, companies have an increased focus on graduates that have a deep understanding of social media and the online world. Online developments mean that a company’s digital presence is essential to pushing company branding. Therefore, every graduate should ensure they have understanding of the basic social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Even if the career you will be working in is not directly linked to social media, it is still an essential skill in understand the modern-day makings of today’s working world.

 

2)      Teamwork and Communication

In any working environment, teamwork is vital. As a graduate, chances are that you will be working in a team of diverse individuals from different walks of life and therefore, you must be able to develop your ability to work within a team. For many businesses, finding someone who embodies their company culture is vital, and for that they need people who will be able to work efficiently and effectively within their already established team. This links into the importance of communication skills – you should be able to talk to your peers and superiors efficiently in order to get tasks done while embodying the company culture.

 

3)      Self-Motivation

In today’s modern society, there is increased independent working. Although you may be part of a team within a company, you will have your own individual responsibilities. Similar to studying at university, you may not have someone checking in with you all the time and so you should be able to work independently to get everything done. 2018 has shown that there is an increase in remote working and flexible hours, and many companies actually promote these features as company benefits. Therefore, you should ensure that you are motivated enough to be able to work from home while maintaining the same working attitude that you would have if you were working in the office.

 

4)      Eager to Learn

As with any job, you must show passion and enthusiasm. When applying for graduate roles, it is important that you show companies how eager you are to learn new things with their company. The fact you have been to university already shows that you were eager to continue your education and shows that you are a hard worker who is dedicated to learning. Use this to promote your want for more information to show companies that you are excited to always be learning.

 

5)      Personality

As we’ve already said, almost 300,000 students go to university every year and so you must use your personality to stand out from those 299,999 other candidates. Allow companies to see who you are and show that you are unique to everybody else. Companies don’t want to hire just any graduate, they want someone who is interesting with a great personality that they can bring to the team. 

 

Although it can be scary moving from a learning establishment that you love such as university, when you get your first graduate job you will realise how exciting working can be. Just because your time at university has come to an end does not mean that you will stop learning – you have your whole career ahead of you! If you need help when you’re applying for jobs, make sure you look at our other blog posts to help you improve your CV and prepare for job interviews.

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

 

 

How to Get a Job That You Love

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Job Boards like Monster and Indeed are full of job vacancies and once you know what you want to do – it can be quite easy to find a job in that industry. Deciding on that job however, can be difficult. Whether you’re just starting the search for your career path or are someone who is after a complete career change, finding a job that you love is important. When you think about the fact that most of your week is spent at work, starting or changing your career can be daunting, but it’s not as difficult as you think. Prestige Recruitment Services have compiled some great advice to help you secure that perfect job.

 

1)    What subjects did you enjoy at school? What hobbies do you have?

The best way to start looking for a job that you love is to think about what it is that you enjoy. As you grow older, it’s easy to forget about the topics that you enjoyed at school or when you were studying, and this can lead into doing a job that you don’t enjoy. So try and remember what you loved. For example, did you enjoy media at school? Do you appreciate photography? If you can pinpoint exactly what you like doing outside of work, it can make it easier to decide on a career path you enjoy.

 

2)    What jobs are related to the field you enjoy?

If you’ve decided on the field you enjoy, you should research the types of jobs you can do within that area. For example, if you enjoyed media at school, there are tonnes of jobs out there. You could become a journalist, a content creator, have a role in radio or television or work in illustration and animation. Another really useful way of deciding on a job is to go and see a career adviser who would be able to show you jobs within specific industries.

 

3)    Research the jobs

Once you’ve found a few potential career routes, you should research job descriptions to see if it’s something you could imagine doing. A great way to research specific jobs is to look at vacancies for that position, which will list the duties and responsibilities of that job role. You can then break down the day-to-day responsibilities of that career and see if it sounds like something you’d want to do.

 

4)    Get some experience in that field

After you’ve researched specific jobs and their responsibilities, try and get some experience within that field. Lots of companies across the United Kingdom allow people to come and shadow their employees in order to get a deeper insight into that type of career. For example, if you think you might want to become a radio producer, look at local radio stations and see if you can go and experience the company first-hand. The best way to decide what career you want to do is to get experience within different job roles so that you know what you enjoy doing and what you actually can’t stand.

 

5)    Check what qualifications and skills you need and get them

Remember those job descriptions you were looking at earlier? You can research them again to find out what skills or experience you need for that position. Tailoring your skills to the career you want couldn’t be easier after this.

 

Now you have all your skills and qualifications and you know what you want to do! Perfect. All you have left to do is sort out your CV (We can help with that – check out our other article ‘Top Tips for Improving Your CV!’) and its time to start applying and land yourself your dream job!

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Offer Feedback to Unsuccessful Candidates

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Many companies within today’s busy working world don’t supply interview feedback to unsuccessful candidates. This is problematic for businesses, employees and society as a whole - and many working professionals believe that this should change. In fact, research undertaken for the Debut Guide to Interview Etiquette revealed that 77% of 18-23 year old’s think it should be a legal requirement for employees to provide feedback after a face-to-face interview.

The student and graduate careers app Debut are targeting this problematic procedure and are campaigning for feedback. Their campaign, titled ‘Fight for Feedback’ is currently being considered by the policy team at the Department for Work and Pensions and is backed by very important stakeholders such as The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) and The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Here at Prestige Recruitment Services, we understand the importance of feedback for both clients and candidates and so have compiled a list of 5 Reasons Why You Should Offer Feedback to Unsuccessful Candidates.

 

Feedback Offers a Great PR Opportunity

The more positive an individual’s experience is with a company, the more positive their review is likely to be. Websites such as Glassdoor allow you to leave reviews of your interview process, which can show other potential employees how to prepare. If a candidate has had a negative experience with your company, they can leave a bad review, which can affect the company’s reputation.

As well as this, word of mouth is a great marketing tool. Even if a candidate doesn’t take the time to write a review on a website, they may still be asked by friends about their interview experience at your company. If your company has taken the time to be transparent and honest during the interviewing process, they are likely to say positive things. This may attract other candidates to want to work for your company, meaning you are attractive to a wider audience of individuals.

 

Future Prospects

When an individual applies for a job, they are a potential candidate for a vacancy. Beyond that, they are also a potential consumer. When a candidate prepares for a job interview, they research your company, products and services. While doing this research, they may like what they see and want to use your company. If after the interview, things are left on bad footing and you don’t supply feedback, they are less likely to want to use your company for their own personal needs.

Candidates may also be potential clients. You never know whether one day your company may want to work with another business – which now happens to be run by a candidate you rejected many years ago. If this candidate has had a negative experience due to lack of feedback and communication, they are unlikely to want to work with your company.

 

A Great Way to Say Thanks

When an individual has an interview with a company, they are likely to spend time and effort preparing for their job interview. Whether that is researching the company or preparing answers for potential questions (or reading our other blogposts), it all times time! A candidate may also have to take time off their current job and spend money getting to the interview location. By giving feedback to a candidate after they have invested money, time and effort into your company, it shows that your company is prepared to mirror this and invest in every person, regardless of if they get the job. It makes candidates feel like they haven’t wasted their time, which all increases satisfaction with your company. 

 

It’s Not as Time Consuming as You Think

By supplying feedback to candidates, you are investing time into them – but it’s not actually as time consuming as you think. Often during an interview, the interviewer will be making notes on the candidate’s responses and the interview process. If you send these notes back to a candidate, it supplies the candidate with what they really want without having to waste a substantial amount of time or resources.

 

It’s the Nice Thing to Do

Many candidates will not hear back from an employer, which often affects their chances with other jobs. Some people will hang on after an interview, hoping to hear something back from their dream job at your company. By supplying feedback and responses to unsuccessful candidates, you are giving them closure in a positive way. Although they may not be a great fit for this specific role, if you supply feedback, the candidate may be able to work on their weaknesses and so something good can still come from their rejection. Supplying feedback to a candidate is the best thing to do as it gives them something substantial to take away from the whole interview experience.

 

As a candidate, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for feedback after an unsuccessful job application. If you have been to an interview and spoken to employees from the company, you should treat rejection as a learning curve. By asking for feedback, you can learn from your mistakes and ensure you have the best chances for future job interviews. If you need advice for other job interviews, be sure to check out our other articles like ‘The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For!’ or 'What Questions Can I Ask at the End of a Job Interview?'

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Dublin Port Increases Investment into Infrastructure

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Ireland’s Dublin Port Company are accelerating their investment plans to ensure appropriate port capacity. Based on its Masterplan, the Port has invested EUR 75 million in port infrastructure in 2017, and a further 132 million will be invested during 2018.

Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, says:

'Dublin Port’s multi-million euro infrastructure investment programme is matching our customers’ continuing investments in new ships.
Irish Ferries has committed €165m in a huge new ship for the Dublin-Holyhead route due by mid-2020. 
Later this year, the €150m W.B. Yeats will commence a service from Dublin to Cherbourg. 
In October last year, CLdN introduced the enormous 8,000 lane metre MV Celine on its Dublin to Zeebrugge / Rotterdam service.’

 

So what is the Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan?

The Masterplan illustrates plans for future operations at the Port and examines how existing land use can be optimised for future trade. It states:

  • Plans for future sustainable growth in facilitating seaborne trade in goods and passenger movement to and from Ireland and the Dublin Region
  • Provides detailed information and context for future investment decisions
  • Reflects for current national and regional guidelines
  • Ensures there is harmony between the plans for the Port and those for the Dublin Docklands Area, Dublin City and the neighbouring counties within the Dublin Region
  • Gives certainty to customers about how the Port will develop in the future to meet their requirements.

 

2017 Figures

The latest figures show that cargo volumes through Dublin Port hit record levels for the third successive year with growth of 4.3% to reach a new record level of 36.4m gross tonnes in 2017. This means overall growth at Dublin Port in the five years since economic recovery began in 2013 to +30.1%. Imports also grew by 3.9% to 21.5 million gross tons while exports grew more strongly by 4.9% to 14.9 million gross tons.

CEO Eamonn O’Reilly, said, 

'Growth of 4.3% in 2017 confirms that the longstanding trend of compounding annual growth in Dublin Port is back. 
Every year from 1993 to 2007 was a record year in Dublin Port. In the past three years we have seen this pattern re-emerge, with 2017 the third year in a row for record growth.
We are projecting another record year in 2018 with growth of about 5%. Dublin Port’s growth is driven by domestic demand and both population growth and a stronger economy will continue to drive volumes up for the foreseeable future.’

 

Brexit’s ‘Impending Doom’

Brexit brings many challenges and over the next few months, Dublin Port Company will finalise their plans for the required re-introduction of border controls on trade with Britain. Their CEO Eamonn O’Reilly is positive that Brexit will not significantly hinder movement through the Port. O’Reilly states ‘While BREXIT brings uncertainties and challenges to our business, the combination of investments by our customers and by Dublin Port is underpinned by a shared confidence in the future.’ 

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Diversity - The Top Trend Shaping the Future of Recruitment

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If you look around your workplace - whether that is an office, a school, a restaurant, a bar or a shop, you’ll probably see a mix of people. That’s because the value of a diverse workforce is widely acknowledged across many work forces and sectors. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s global recruiting trends report, diversity is the number one trend shaping the future of hiring and recruitment. The survey of nearly 9000 talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers found that in today’s society, diversity is directly linked to company culture and financial performance. The global recruiting trends report showed that:

  • 78% of companies prioritise diversity to improve culture
  •  62% of companies prioritise diversity to boost financial performance
  • 49% of companies prioritise diversity to better represent its customers.

 

But what does diversity mean?

For many years, diversity in recruitment meant how well your company embodies a range of different people. However - today diversity goes even further and there are three elements involved within it. These three elements are:

  • Diversity Representation
  • Inclusion
  • Belonging

It is important that companies not only represent a diverse community but that they also ensure the individuals within that workplace feel like they are both included and belong within that community. Even at the most diverse of companies, employees are likely to disengage and leave if they do not feel included and accepted within that company’s culture. LinkedIn’s global recruiting trends report found that more companies than ever are focusing on all three elements of diversity to ensure new hires stick with that company. The report found:

  • 51% of companies are very focused on diversity
  • 52% of companies are very focused on inclusion
  • 57% of companies are very focused on belonging.

 

Where is diversity focused?

From the global recruiting trends report, it is clear that gender and race are the red-hot topics within diversity:

  • 71% of companies focus on gender
  • 49% of companies focus on race and ethnicity
  • 48% of companies focus on age
  • 43% of companies focus on educational differences
  • 32% of companies focus on disabilities
  • 19% of companies focus on religion

 

Why aren’t more companies diverse?

Very few companies have actually cracked the code on diversity. LinkedIn’s data found that many companies wish that they could be more diverse but they struggle to find diverse candidates for some job roles. The study found that the biggest barriers to improving diversity are as follows:

  • 38% of companies believe the biggest barrier is finding diverse candidates to interview
  • 27% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is retaining diverse employees
  • 14% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is getting diverse candidates past interview stage
  • 8% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is getting diverse candidates to accept the offer
  • 14% of companies believe it is none of these.

 

How do companies support diversity?

So the report shows that diversity is important and that more companies should embody it into the way their company is run. The question this leads to is how? How can companies ensure that they are supporting diversity within the company? The LinkedIn global recruiting trends report found that:

  • 67% of companies foster an environment that respects differing opinions
  • 52% of companies encourage people to be themselves at work
  • 47% of companies have leaders acknowledge importance of diversity
  • 45% of companies embed diversity in company mission and values
  • 44% of companies emphasise diversity of leadership team.

 

How do companies show candidates they value diversity?

Once you have an inclusive culture, recruiting diverse talent is much easier. The global recruiting trends report found that companies show candidates that they value diversity by:

  • 52% of companies use diverse employees in web and print materials
  • 35% of companies present diverse interview panels
  • 30% of companies talk about employee resource groups
  • 28% of companies recruit at schools with diverse student bodies.

 

So what can we do?

Unfortunately, no easy answer to the global lack of diversity exists which is why inequality is still so alive in 2018. However, the positive trend of companies starting to address this matter does seem to be building momentum to help balance this issue. Putting this on the agenda at your company and highlighting the positive values of other companies that are striving to achieve diversity is a great way to start and move things forward in the right direction.

The best advice is not to have a diversity strategy – but to embody it into your company culture and mind-set. Ensure that your company uses inclusive language, empowers employees to tell their stories and promote inclusion. Think about unconscious bias in your workplace and deliver clear messages to all members of staff about the importance of diversity. 

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Is Every Day becoming ‘Dress-Down Friday'?

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According to recent research carried out by Travelodge, just 50% of workplaces have a dress code policy in place, and a massive 76% of these workplaces say their dress code is actually casual dress.

Travelodge found that comfort dressing triumphed over power dressing as 69% of workers reported that dressing casually for work makes them feel more comfortable and 22% reported that they could express their personality through casual dress.

6 in 10 people said that they believed a more laid back dress code enables a more relaxed office environment and that they felt colleagues were friendlier towards each other.

In fact, 43% of workers said that the business suit no longer had a place in the office and if they saw a colleague wearing a suit they would stand out.

 

So why is it happening?

Culture Change

Professor Karen Pine, Psychologist at Hertfordshire University said the changes to dress codes reflect under changes to business culture.

‘The biggest changes have included decline of hierarchy, the boss being less of an authority figure and more of a coach, all colleagues being called by their first name and the biggest change, the transition from a formal dress code to a casual one.
Having a dress down Friday, every day enables workers to the independent and showcase their personality & attributes by how they dress rather than the position they hold. This leads to stronger bonds between co-workers to remove barriers, enabling everyone to get on with their jobs.’
 

What causes culture change?

Technology

With the development of young, hip and exciting technology – businesses may be trying to mimic it and so develop the culture and aesthetic that comes with new technology.

Millennial and Generation X

Some believe the reason for a more relaxed dress code within businesses is due to handing over the economies reigns to the millennial generation. Millennial’ or ‘Generation X’ have relaxed social standards when compared to previous generations and so businesses are changing as their employees do.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of casual dress in the office?

Advantages

  • Improves morale – by allowing room for freedom and expression, many employees are much happier.
  • Increases business attractiveness – by keeping your employees happy within the workplace, you are likely to build your business reputation which is a great tool during recruitment as it attracts candidates to your business.
  • Improved effectiveness – some studies have shown that employees feel happier and so perform better in the workplace.

Disadvantages

  • Some companies have actually noted a decline in employee performance. They believe that by allowing casual dress, employees act more relaxed and so are less likely to meet deadlines.
  • Clothes may reflect badly on the firm – with client facing businesses, it is important to ensure there is still some level of professionalism within the workplace as many clients may prefer business dress at all times.
  • Confusion about what is appropriate – Difficulty in establishing a clear policy around casual attire can damage employee/employer relationships.

 

So what do you think?

Many businesses are run differently, and just because something works for your company may not mean it works for everybody else. Does your company embody a casual dress code every day – or is it just on Fridays? Or do you not get casual dress? Let us know what you think works best!

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

 

 

 

5 Skills You NEED to be a Great Administration Assistant

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As an administrative assistant, you perform a variety of clerical duties and tasks to support your organisation every single day. Everyone knows that admin staff must have top notch computer literacy skills, as a huge duty within the role includes creating spread sheets and using word processing software – but here are five other skills which are equally as important to be a great administrative assistant:

 

1)     Communication Skills

As an administrative assistant, you will interact with a wide range of people both online and in person. Therefore, your communication skills are vital, as you must always come across as both friendly and professional at all times. Being a good communicator, you should also be a good listener. You must listen carefully to every person you talk to and ensure you remember correct, accurate information. This also links into written communication skills – your spelling, grammar and sentence structure are integral aspects of online correspondence. Therefore, in order to be a great administration assistant, you should be able to communicate clearly, accurately and professionally across all mediums – whether that’s speaking on the phone, sending an email or filling in written forms.

 

2)     Organisational Skills

When undertaking multiple tasks with similar deadlines, it is easy to forget things. Admin staff can’t do this, as they must stay on top of everything at all times. You must have exceptional organisational skills in order to keep schedules straight and everything running smoothly around the office. You should know how to keep everything organised, whether that’s managing a filling system or coordinating paperwork flow throughout the office.

 

3)     Attention to Detail

To be a great administrative assistant, you have no room for mistakes. When filling in forms and paperwork, you must ensure everything is correct at all times – as a mistake from you could affect the business. You need exceptional attention to detail to ensure the right information, materials and data is gathered for co-workers. A great administration assistant can keep on top of all their responsibilities while ensuring that detail does not slip through the cracks.

 

4)     Self-Motivation

As admin staff, you are unlikely to have management working directly above you. This means you will have to be self-motivated in order to ensure you get things done on time and to the highest standard. If you do start to lose motivation, the business will immediately realise as it becomes clear you haven’t completed your tasks.

 

5)     Problem-Solving Skills & Intuition

Great administrative staff must have extraordinary problem-solving skills. You will have to use these skills if clients cancel meetings or if appointments need juggling. Without a direct manager, it is extremely unlikely that you will be told what to do and when, and so to be a great administrative assistant, you need to use your intuition at all times to prioritise tasks and get things done on time.

 

Although challenging at times, being an administrative assistant is a thoroughly rewarding career choice, especially if you like to stay busy. You have a lot of responsibility and multiple tasks to do simultaneously but a business couldn't last without it's admin staff! If you are currently looking for work or need to recruit for an administrative assistant, get in touch. 

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

The Top Fashion Events to Look Out For in 2018

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January marks the start of the New Year, and with January events like London Textile Fair, Haute Couture and Fashion Showcase & Networking Night, it’s clear that 2018 is going to be a massive year for the fashion industry. We’ve listed the key events to look out for over the next year, so keep your eyes peeled and let us know which events you love!

 

February 2018

New York Fashion Week – Fall 2018

When? 8th February – 16th February.

Where? Mainly Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria in New York City.

London Fashion Week– Fall 2018

When? 16th February – 20th February.

Where? Mainly Brewer Street Car Park, Brewer Street, London W1F 0LA and Somerset House, London.

Fashion’s Finest LFW Show

When? 17th February.

Where? Grand Connaught Rooms 671-65 Queen’s Street Holborn, London WC2B 5DA.

Milan Fashion Week – Fall 2018

When? 21st February – 27th February.

Where? Various locations in Milan.

London Fashion Week Festival

When? 22nd-25th February.

Where? The Store Studios, 180 Strand, WC2R 1EA.

Paris Fashion Week– Fall 2018

When? 27th February – 6th March.

Where? All around Paris in different locations.

 

March 2018

StockXChange

When? 11th March – 12th March.

Where? ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD.

Wearable Technology Show

When? 13th March – 14th March.

Where? Excel London, Royal Victoria, Dock, 1 Western Gateway London E16 1XL.

London Hat Week

When? 22nd March – 28th March.

Where? Various locations in London.

 

April 2018

Menswear Revolution: The Transformation of Contemporary Men’s Fashion

When? 5th April.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF.

The Future of Textiles: Textile Art 2028

When? 19th April.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey street, London SE1 3XF.

 

May 2018

Fashion and Textiles: A Designers Story

When? 3rd May.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF.

Colleges Council Preview Day

When? 11th May.

Where? TBC.

IMATS

When? 19th May – 21st May.

Where? London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX.

 

June 2018

London Fashion Week Mens

When? 8th June – 11th June.

Where? BFC Show Space, 180 The Strand, London WC2R 1EA.

The Beauty Exchange

When? 15th June.

Where? KPMG, 15 Canada Square, London, E14 5GL.

 

July 2018

The Fashion Exchange

When? 6th July 2018.

Where? KPMG, 15 Canada Square, London, E14 5GL.

 

September 2018

New York Fashion Week - Spring 2019

When? 6th September – 14th September.

Where? Mainly Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria in New York City.

Fashion Together

When? 11th – 18th September.

Where? 20 John Princes Street, London, W1G 0BJ.

London Fashion Week - Spring 2019

When? 14th September– 18th September.

Where? Mainly 180 Strand London WC2R 1EA, Somerset House and other locations within London.

Milan Fashion Week - Spring 2019

When? 19th September - 25th September.

Where? Various historic, open air and other venues in Milan.

Paris Fashion Week Spring - 2019

When? 25th September – 3rd October.

Where? In various galleries around Paris.

 

Ongoing Exhibitions

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T-Shirt: Cult/Culture/Subversion

When? 9th February – 6th May 2018

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF.

Fashioned From Nature

When? 21st April – 27th January 2019.

Where? Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL.

Ona Kiely – A Life in Pattern

When? 25th May – 23rd September.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey street, London SE1 3XF.

Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe

When? 16th June – 4th November.

Where? Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL.

Harper’s Bazaars – 150 years

When? 20th October – 21st January 2019.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF.

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

What Questions Can I Ask at the End of a Job Interview?

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Although it may not always feel like it, interviews are a two-way street. They are a great way for a potential employer to get to know you and your working history, but they are also a great way for you to get to know your potential employer and their company.

As your interview draws to an end, it’s common for the potential employer to ask whether you have any questions for them. If you’ve seen our previous article The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For, you’ll know that when the employer asks this – the answer should always be yes. Grab this question and take full advantage of it! If you’re not too sure what to ask, Prestige Recruitment Services have you sorted and we’ve created a list of different questions that you could ask:

 

Questions about The Job Itself

·      What are the challenges of this position?

·      Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?

·      What is the typical career path for someone in this role?

·      What are your top priorities for the person in this position during the first 30 days?

·      What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?

 

Questions about The Company

·      How would you describe the company’s culture?

·      Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?

·      Who do you consider to be your top competitor, and why?

·      How do you celebrate accomplishments and achievements here?

·      Is there anything we haven’t covered that you think it important to know about working for yourself?

 

Questions about The Interviewer

·      How did you get into this field of work?

·      What do you find is the biggest challenge working here?

·      What do you like about working for this company?

 

Best of luck with your job interview! If you need any more advice, check out our other blog How to be the Best Candidate for a Job to ensure you are as prepared as you can be!

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

How to be the Best Candidate for a Job

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When you’re applying for a job, the chances are that you’re not going to be the only person applying for that role. Your potential employer is probably going to be interviewing a bunch of people who all want the exact same job that you do. The way to be the best of that bunch is to plan an interview strategy. Luckily for you, we’ve written some advice on things you should think about before you even get into that interview room and what you should do while there.

 

Before You Get There

Learn about the Company

Whatever role you are applying for, you should research the company before you get to interview. A very common interview question is to ask what you know about the company already – so make sure you know something. It shows your potential employer that you are passionate and serious about the job because you’ve done your homework! A good place to start when looking up the company is their history and what they do. Who set up the company? How long has the company been around? What do they specialise in? If you can, try and look at their future development plans too. This gives you something to bring up when they ask if you have any questions – it ensures the interview is a two-way street and you’ll come across as a really strong candidate.

 

Prepare Answers in Advance

By thinking about the type of questions that the potential employer is going to ask – you can prepare answers in advance. If you haven’t already, read our article ‘The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For!’ and prepare answers for every single one. Don’t memorise your answers word for word– you don’t want to sound too rehearsed – but prepare answers so that you have an idea of what to say for each question. This means that there won’t be any awkward silences when you don’t know what to answer. If a question comes up that you haven’t prepared for – don’t worry. The preparation you’ve done might inspire some answers!

 

Think About Your Experience & Be Prepared To Give Examples

Everyone knows that in an interview, you’re going to be asked about your past working experiences. So before you go, think about your main skills and what evidence you have to show them. This shows to the potential employer that you’re not just saying you have the skills – you can provide strong evidence of how and when you’ve demonstrated them.

 

While You’re There

Keep it Concise

When you’re answering questions, keep it straight to the point - you don’t want to waffle too much. By being concise and showing evidence and examples, you’ll come across as professional, organised and experienced. It shows that you’re not lying about your skills and are confident in answering their questions.

 

Showcase Your Ambition

In your interview, you should illustrate your passion and ambition for the job. Show to the employer that by hiring you, they’re investing in their future. Asking questions about career growth and development opportunities shows them that you’re in it for the long haul and want to start your future there. By doing this, it shows the potential employer that you are genuinely passionate about your career and that you won’t just be a short-term member of staff, which makes you look like a great candidate.

 

Focus On Your Uniqueness

The interviewer wants to know how you stand out among the other applicants. Therefore, you should focus on qualities that you have that are different to what other people may offer. For example, if you’ve taken a course and are very experienced in Microsoft – explain this to the employer while talking about your skills. This is your chance to show your potential employer why you’re different to everyone else. 

Good luck with your job interview! If you need anymore advice, keep an eye on our blog for more information to help you secure your dream job. 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

Ten Top Tips for Improving Your CV!

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1)   Prepare your CV before you start actively job searching

If you need a job, you are most definitely going to need a CV. You should make sure you have a completed CV before you start browsing for jobs. This means that when you start actively job searching, you can apply to anything that takes your fancy immediately. This is so much better than having to rush to finish the document before job vacancy closing dates. It also means you can take your time to create the perfect CV and don’t have to rush it all into a couple of hours or a day. (Now, if you’re reading this and you are up against a deadline – don’t worry. We still have 9 other tips to help you create the perfect CV. However, for future reference, try and update your CV every six months, even if you’re not job searching. This makes it easier for when you are! )

 

2)   Make sure your details are displayed clearly across the top of your CV.

This is really important as it means you are easy to contact. It saves the employer having to search through your whole CV just to find your number, which means they are more likely to pick up the phone and call you.

 

3)   Start with your most recent information

Regardless of the career you want to go into, you should always format your CV so that the most recent information will be the first thing the employer sees. You can do this by simply placing it first. You really don’t want the employer looking at something you did years ago and thinking you have no relevant experience in the field when you do – it’s just below everything else.

 

4)   Don’t be afraid to use bullet points & make sure you use keywords

It’s okay to use bullet points as long as the lists aren’t too long. Bullet points are a great way for you to embody keywords into your CV so that the employer can skim read through to check you are suitable. Don’t forget that your employer is probably going to read hundreds of CV’s and so will spend most of their time skim reading. In fact, some companies use a piece of software before a human even sees it. These programs look for specific words or phrases that relate to the job spec and industry so make sure you include them!

 

5)   Trim your CV & get rid of the irrelevant stuff

Your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages. Use plain English, avoid clichés and make sure you're not waffling. Remember you don’t have to detail every qualification and piece of work experience – if you have a degree, the grades you got for GCSE probably aren’t too important. Also, references aren’t necessary at this phase - you can simply write a sentence at the bottom saying ‘references available upon request.’

 

6)   Format your CV & make it look clean and clear

The presentation of your CV is just as important as the content. Try and space items evenly and fragment long paragraphs with line breaks and bullet points. DON’T USE colours and a big edgy font. Use a simple, clean font which will make your CV easy to follow.

 

7)   Tweak your CV & make it relevant

If you are applying to multiple positions, you should tweak your CV slightly to include keywords from the relevant job description. All of your employment history will stay the same, but you should slightly rearrange words so that you can show the employer that you have the exact skills they are after for that specific job.

 

8)   Check your CV & make sure there’s no mistakes

Once the content is written, you should check, double-check and even triple-check that the grammar and spelling of your CV is perfect. Mistakes in your CV do not make you come across well. It doesn’t matter if you have all the relevant skills and experience, if you can’t spell and write properly – you could lose out on the perfect job.

 

9)   Take a break and come back

If you’ve been spending a lot of the day editing your CV you may have missed something really small like chopping the end of a sentence off. If you’ve got time, leave it overnight and come back to the CV in the morning.

 

10)                  Have a friend/family member check over it

Once you think you’ve completely finished the document, it’s always worth having a friend check over it. They will supply a fresh pair of eyes and will spot mistakes you might have missed. If you are both happy with it – it’s time to find your perfect job!

 

Prestige Recruitment Services wish you the best with your job search. If you need help with interview prep, be sure to check out our other blog posts such as The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For!

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

How to Attract Candidates Who Are Looking for a New Job

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Grow Your Company Brand

If you have a strong company brand, more people will recognise your company and in turn, want to work for you. A great way to ensure your brand comes across as positive is to motivate current employees – that way when they leave reviews on websites such as Glassdoor or tell potential employees what it’s like to work for your company, it will all be positive. This will attract candidates who are looking for a new job – as the more your company is recognised for positive employee experience, the more likely you are to attract all the right candidates. 

 

Get Online & Get Connected

As we move into 2018, digital technology is becoming more and more essential when recruiting for jobs. Constantly engaging and sharing connections online is a great way to attract candidates. By sharing information across your online platforms, you continue to nurture your company brand and allow individuals to get to know the company. Establishing these online relationships will attract candidates who know about your company and thus, you will be first point of call when they are looking for a new job.

 

Be Mobile Friendly

With the development of mobile technology, job searching has never been easier. Many individuals now browse for jobs on their phone while commuting or in bed or watching television and so in order to attract candidates who are looking for a new job you must offer full mobile functionality. 

 

Great Job Description

The job description is a vital opportunity to attract potential employees to your company. The best advertisements should include the best features of the job, it’s duties and the company. Describe the company’s benefits, wages, hours and work environment. The clearer you are, the more candidates you will attract. 

 

Streamline The Company’s Hiring Process

In order to attract candidates who are job searching, the job hiring process should be as easy as possible. Candidates applying through social media or online job posting don’t want to apply to a complex application process. If the process is too long, you run the risk of boring potential employees! Make sure you fully explain every stage in the selection process to job applicants and keep them informed of the company’s decisions.

 

Competitive Pay & Benefits

With most jobs, the primary thing that attracts candidates into applying is the salary. In order to attract candidates, offer a competitive salary with other benefits. Over the past few years, there has been a growth in companies that offer benefits that improve an individual’s quality of life. These include gym membership, car parking and free drinks.  Offer small benefits like this and it will often attract more candidates into applying for your vacancy.

 

Flexibility & Room For Growth

As we progress further into 2018, more and more companies are offering flexible working hours. This is a really great feature for a company to have, and employers that understand the needs of a modern workplace will appeal to more candidates. Another important element in attracting candidates is to illustrate the chance of progression when working for your company. Often, a starting salary isn’t too important to a potential employee as long as they know there is a chance for growth within a company.

 

Now What?

So you’ve attracted a variety of candidates to your job role – and even offered one of them the job. It’s important that from the very second you offer the role to a candidate, you have an onboarding strategy in place. Onboarding is the action of integrating a new employee into an organisation and is vital to keeping employees motivated within the workplace. Prestige Recruitment Services are in the process of creating a document with information, data and facts about the onboarding process. If you’re interested – sign up to receive the free document as soon as it’s completed!

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

5 Skills You NEED to be an Efficient Office Manager

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As an office manager, your knowledge of the office is top notch – you know who to call and when. Whether calculating payroll or hiring new employees, you must perform your duties with the upmost accuracy for a business to perform well. Everybody knows that office managers must be multi-taskers, but here are five other skills that are equally as important to be an efficient office manager.

1)   Exceptional Communication Skills

There is no denying that miscommunication can lead to terrible problems for a business. So in order to combat this, it is important that as an office manager, you listen well and provide clear input, answers and advice. This goes further than face-to-face conversation, as written communication is just as important, especially in an office environment. With emails, you want to incorporate the most important information up front as the recipient is probably going to pay more attention to the words that they read first. Re-read your email before you send it. If you think you’ve sent something misleading or confusing to a member of staff– just pick up the phone or visit their desk to explain.

2)   Organisation and Time Management Skills

Tracking your time over the duration of a few days will help you assess exactly how long a task takes. If you and your staff understand how long a task takes to complete – you can schedule your time more productively and accurately. This carefully links into organisational skills as they are both critical in completing tasks on time and making sure your day runs smoothly. Keep items and documents in their proper places to allow easy access by any staff member who needs them. This will get rid of ‘wasted time,’ when an individual is busy looking for something particular rather than being able to work.

3)   The Ability to be an Innovative Thinker and Have a Creative Mind

As the office manager, there are going to be difficult situations that you can’t control, as well as challenges that you need to overcome. The best way to overcome these difficult situations is to approach them with an innovative mind-set. You should try and think outside of the box as often as you can – you should constantly expose yourself to new ideas and industry trends to continue to develop your creativity and innovative mind. This will bring increased positivity to your office environment.

4)   The Ability to Stay Optimistic

Sometimes in a stressful situation, it can be easy to forget to smile and stay happy. Using humour in the workplace, smiling and embodying a positive attitude will lift morale in the team. This means you should be able to keep the positive attitude on your bad days. Being an office manager – you need to continue to motivate your members of staff regardless of personal circumstances or bad situations so remember to stay optimistic.

5)   The Want to Continue Learning

Nobody is perfect. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the top of the ladder – you can still learn. The best office managers know this and embrace the chance to continue learning. Seek related education and work experience, find courses that may be relevant and read everything and anything! You should also be open to learning from your staff members - accept that sometimes they might know things that you don’t – and that’s okay.

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

 

Leader of the Year Award

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Massive congratulations to the associate director of our sister company Zoot Recruit, who has been nominated for the Leader of the Year award at the Women in Business awards!

This year marks the sixth annual Women in Business awards and they will be hosted on Friday 9th March at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Liverpool City Centre. The lunch is designed to reward female entrepreneurs, business owners and decision makers and we couldn’t think of anyone more deserving for a reward than Zoot’s Kerry!

Our sister partner Zoot specialises in Accountancy and Finance, Insurance, Financial Services and Legal Recruitment within the North West. Their Liverpool office was established in January 2014 – and since then Kerry and the team have done nothing but grow!

Four years ago, Kerry Swift opened Zoot Recruit. After working for a national agency for most of her working life, she received the motivation she needed from Annejulie Sambrooks and Jeanette Wharrad, who set up Prestige Recruitment Services back in 1996. When Zoot first opened, they were made up of two small desks, a phone and a computer with no database and no candidates. Fast-forward 4 years of determination and hard work and they are now at bigger offices, have three divisions, a bigger team and even have plants in the office!

Kerry has got over 17 years experience of specialist recruitment within accountancy and finance in the North West market. She has developed strong, professional relationships with an extensive list of both clients and candidates. Here at Prestige, we believe Kerry is truly a credit to the recruitment industry.

Prestige Recruitment would like to say a huge congratulations to Kerry for her nomination, and a happy anniversary to Zoot who have now been open four years. Please vote for Kerry by clicking the image below:

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

How Your Fashion Business Can Attract Top Candidates

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Fashion is an extremely sought after industry - it’s fast paced, exciting and will continue to develop as the years pass. Due to it’s fast development, every company within the fashion industry wants to attract the very top candidates and so Prestige Recruitment Services have compiled a list to ensure that your company can choose from the very best.

 

1) Be Worth Working For

There are a lot of companies within the fashion industry, with some offering completely different benefits to others. In order to attract the best candidates, you have to make your company worth working for. As there’s a lot of competition, you can do this by offering competitive salaries and benefits. You need to show that you are a fashion brand that recognises hard work and commitment. All these factors will make your fashion company appear attractive, and so top candidates will be more inclined to want to work for you.

 

2) Keep Your Current Staff Happy

It’s a well-known fact that within the fashion industry people are constantly networking, particularly at the numerous fashion events that are held throughout the year. If a potential employee asks a current employee what it’s like to work at your company – their response needs to be positive. Happy employees networking within the industry attracts the top candidates.

 

3) Be Transparent Through the Hiring Process

Communication is vital to finding the top candidates. The fashion industry is constantly growing and moving, and so the best candidates don’t have the time to waste on vague conversation and unclear job roles. Let candidates know the specifics, be clear on salaries and be honest about the downsides of the position. The best talent can see straight through your company and so you should always be clear, precise and honest.

 

4) Remember that Interviewing is a Two-Way Street

The best candidates within the fashion industry probably have options. In order to make your company seem like a viable option you need to remember this. Assuming that interviews are a one-way street may make your company come across badly and generally turn off the top candidates. The top candidates will interview and assess your company the same way your interviewer is going to assess the potential employee – so be ready. Send out a great interviewer who can communicate clearly about everything your company offers.

 

5) Use a Specialist Recruitment Company

In order to ensure that your company gathers the best candidates, specialist recruitment companies such as Prestige Recruitment Services help considerably. By using a recruitment company, your fashion company widens the pool of candidates as recruitment agencies have a large database of candidates. Some of these candidates may not be actively job searching, but would be interested if the right job for the right company came along. By using a company such as Prestige, your fashion business has access to this pool of candidates that you would never be able to find without the agency. Specialist recruitment agencies save time and money and ensure you get the best talent.

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

 

The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For!

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No matter how many you’ve been on, job interviews will make even the most confident person, slightly nervous. This is your one chance to really impress your potential employer and that’s why it is so important that you are thoroughly prepared.

If you’ve seen our other blog posts, you’ve probably already read our Basic Interview Checklist, which gives a brief overview to preparing to meet the employer.  Now the Prestige Recruitment Group are taking this even further and to help you really prepare for your interview, we have created a list of ten of the most frequently asked interview questions. We’ve even offered support on HOW to answer them. So have a read through and make sure you prepare answers to all of them!

THE QUESTIONS

1)   Tell me about yourself.

This question usually sets the groundwork for the whole interview. Make sure you keep your answers to the point, being work specific. The employer wants to know about where you are professionally, what you have learned from your past work experiences and why you are there today.

 

2)   What do you know about our company?

Here the employer is gauging for how serious you are about the job. They want to see you’ve done your research. The best way to prepare for this question is to DO YOUR RESEARCH! Have a quick look across the company’s website and social media pages and remember three or four key facts that you can bring up during the interview. It shows that you’re prepared for the interview and serious about the job.  

 

3)   Why do you want this job?

The best way to answer this question is to be completely honest. This is the perfect opportunity for you to show that you are seriously passionate about the role you have applied for. Bring up the work the company has done in the past and stress the ways you’d be able to make an impact.

 

4)   Why did you leave your last job?

Whatever you do with this question, don’t lie. If you were fired, own up to it and show what you have learned from the experience. If you voluntarily left, be sure to explain why. Link this into why you are applying for the vacancy you are being interviewed for – perhaps explain a specific characteristic that the new company has that the old one may not have.

 

5)   What are your strengths?

Grab hold of this question and guide the interview where you want it to go. Make sure you highlight a strength that is crucial to the position you are being interviewed for.

 

6)   What are your weaknesses?

The question that everyone dreads! Don’t pick something that isn’t really a weakness, like ‘I’m a perfectionist.’ The employer can see straight through that! Try to pick a weakness that isn’t too crucial to the job and make sure you let the employer know that you’re working on it. This question is the perfect opportunity to show that you are ‘self-aware.’

 

7)   What is your biggest achievement?

Talk about something you are genuinely proud of, so that your passion shows through! Talk about an accomplishment that exhibits how you will be a perfect fit for the company and the position you’ve applied for.

 

8)   What motivates you?

Try and let your passion come across and explain how the job will make you happy and allow you to develop skills, which are your key motivators. Talk about how you want to learn things and talk about how much the company can teach you.

 

9)   What do you do outside of work?

This isn’t a trick question! The employer wants to get to know you more as a person. If you play a sport, tell them. If you like reading, tell them. Talk about spending time with family and friends. Let the employer know that you’re human.

 

10)                  Do you have any questions for me?

The answer to this question should ALWAYS be yes. This question gives you an opportunity to show your knowledge and passion for the company you are interviewing for. Bring in the research you’ve done about the company – perhaps ask about projects or exciting things they are working on at the moment. You could also ask about how the employer feels about being an employee of the company.

 

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

The Prestige Team Build

The Team build Video!

Friday 4th August was the day, The Studio in Birmingham was the venue - bring on the teams!! Our annual summer get together was split into a 3 part affair. In the morning we had a fantastic, fun and very competitive team building exercise which saw the teams build a giraffe, put together a compass, do a catchphrase and solve puzzles of various guises!! Plenty of creativity was to be seen in problem-solving and the odd bending of rules here and there! 

Then we were off to Bistrot Pierre for a some what boozy lunch (much needed after the frenetic morning) at the canal side, Gass Street. Fantastic food with a lovely water way setting, everyone enjoyed their lunch and their preferred tipple after a brain intense morning! 

Out of the Bistro, we took a short stroll down to our narrow boat. The afternoon was spent "cruising" around Birmingham's canal network!! There may have been a bit more alcohol consumed, together with some great conversation and strong relationship building. To add to the relaxing atmosphere we hired an amazing on-board massage therapist!  The whole day was a huge success and whilst we had a few staff missing due to holidays we all ended up as one big happy buzzing team sipping bubbles in the sun!! 

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

Meet The Team: 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.

What is your most listened to music track? Sound of Eden, by Shades of Rhythm.

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

What famous person would you like to meet? 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