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The Northern Echo | Jobs News

The Northern Echo /jobs/jobs_news/

Published: Fri, 27 Apr 2018 04:41:33 +0100

Last Build Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2018 04:41:33 +0100


Newton Aycliffe trainbuilder Hitachi Rail Europe on track for new landmark

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 08:54:33 +0000

A TRAINBUILDER is just weeks away from another operational milestone, The Northern Echo can reveal.


Fri, 27 Oct 2017 09:06:36 +0100

Hertfordshire’s leading residential developer, Heronslea Group, has won the top category at last week’s Premier Guarantee Excellence Awards for its ground breaking development, The Residence, in Hadley Wood, North London.

Region is ‘haemorrhaging’ manufacturing jobs, says GMB

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 18:52:11 +0100

UNION leaders who claim the North-East is “haemorrhaging” manufacturing jobs have called on the Government to invest in industry.

SPONSORED: Never the same day twice working at Celtic Manor

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:37:16 +0100

Pull quote: If it wasn’t for the amazing training, I wouldn’t be where I am today

SPONSORED: Always something new to learn at Celtic Manor spa

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:35:21 +0100

CELTIC Manor spa trainer Samantha Boyes has been moving quickly up the ranks in the year she has spent working at the five star resort.

Could you be an estate agent?

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:18:42 +0000

Are you fully up to speed with your portals? No, it’s not a quiz question for Dr Who buffs. We’re talking about the online world of selling homes.

SPONSORED: Pride and joy in giving Celtic Manor its special sparkle

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:43:53 +0000

CELTIC Manor assistant housekeeping manager Grace Fitzmaurice honed her people skills in a 400-pupil boarding school in her native Ireland before taking on a role at the five star resort.

Firm calls for new recruits on training course

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:05:19 +0000

A CITY firm is calling on new recruits to participate in its graduate programme.

Employment at record high

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:55:34 +0000

A SENIOR statistician has said the labour market “appears to be edging towards full capacity”. David Freeman, a statistician at the ONS, was highlighting how employment has risen. The employment rate rose to 74.6 per cent in the final three months of last year, the highest rate recorded since data started being collected in 1971. However it’s not all good news. New figures show wage growth has slowed. Average earnings are 2.6 per cent higher during the fourth quarter compared with the same time a year earlier. One of the reasons for increased employment is more women entering the work place. Male employment rates are actually low but the proportion of women in work stands at 70 per cent. The unemployment rate remained at 4.8 per cent, the lowest level since 2005. The increase in employment was also accounted for by a 45,000 rise in the number of people employed fulltime, while the number of people working part-time fell by 7,000. Not all regions fared equally in employment however. Employment hit a record high in London, the southeast and Northern Ireland but in the past year the employment rate has fallen other areas – such as in Scotland, the north-east, northwest and the east of England. While wages usually grow with employment, this wasn’t the case. The annual growth in average earnings during the fourth quarter to the end of December was at 2.6 per cent. Inflation also picked up, meaning earnings rose by just 1.4 per cent after inflation. This was the lowest growth for two years. It was forecast by Bank of England’s agents in surveys that the slowdown will continue in 2017. Employers predict average pay settlements of 2.2 per cent this year, down from 2.7 percent in 2016.

SPONSORED: Celtic Manor has ingredients to cook up a culinary career

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 08:57:50 +0000

WALES champion chef Simon Crockford has come a long way in the 10 years he has been at Celtic Manor Resort.

Getting interviews but no job offers? Here's why it happens

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 09:55:48 +0000

Most job seekers know the frustration of getting a second interview only to be 'pipped at the post' by another candidate.

Which financial role suits your personality?

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:19:56 +0000

IF YOU’RE keen to work in financial services, there are dozens of career paths you can follow. While many want to pursue a certain job because of the financial security it provides, others many be drawn to a position because it offers flexibility or – wait for it – fun. If you really want to find a role in which you excel, matching your personality traits with the job spec is a great help. Corporate employers have been doing personality tests on job seekers for years. It can be a helpful pointer when deciding where in the company to place a new recruit. Here is our slightly less scientific guide... Extrovert – Extroverts seek out others to bounce ideas off and thrive in a busy team environment. They are happiest when juggling several tasks at the same time. A bank teller – in constant contact with customers and carrying out a variety of different types of transactions and requests – is a great fit. Extroverts are also found in sales roles where their charisma helps them to be forward, sociable and persuasive. Sales jobs tend to be results-driven and this can be a real motivator. Introvert – Introverts particularly enjoy getting absorbed in one task and seeing it through to completion. They have great concentration and because of this can carry out their work thoroughly and meticulously. The role of an auditor requires efficiency and accuracy above all else. The job involves detailed work collating, checking and analysing data and needs a single-minded approach. Does this sound like you? Emotionally Intelligent – You can still be a people person without being a huge extrovert. Many financial jobs involve spending time with individual clients to discuss and plan their financial needs. Being able to pick up on verbal and non-verbal clues can help establish trust and make sure your deliver exactly what they need. Personal financial advisors will help clients with a whole range of financial products. It is a position of trust because of the amount of personal and financial information shared by clients. They’re also placing their trust in you to come up with savvy advice so great interpersonal skills are essential. Similarly, insurance brokers need to be observant and good listeners to meet the needs of clients. Analytical Mind – While most of us can try and improve our general analytical skills, some people are naturally more gifted than Sherlock Holmes. If you’re able to approach large amounts of data and cut straight to the chase, then a job as a forensic accountant could offer a satisfying career for your natural curiosity and analytical skills. A methodical approach, creative thinking and sound judgement are all required. In fact, it’s elementary!

Five signs it’s time to find a new job

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:28:19 +0000

AT SOME point most of us will find ourselves daydreaming about landing a new job: one where our salary is tripled and we’re universally adored. But is this simply a reaction to a bad day at the office or a sure sign we need to move on? In some ways, it’s easier to leave a job where you’re unhappy. If your current job is okay, you like your colleagues and the pay is reasonable, it can be hard to make a break. To help you decide here are five signs that show when it really is time for a change: 1. You don’t like Mondays – The end of a great weekend is always a bit of a downer. That’s normal. But if you regularly experience fear and loathing at the sound of Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday evening, you’ve a bad case of the “Sunday Night Blues”. It doesn’t have to be this way. 2. You’re stuck in a rut – Think of yourself as an X Factor wannabe. Your career should be a journey to bigger and better things, not a constant loop. Even if you’re doing a job you enjoy, you must also get a sense of pride and satisfaction from adding to your skill set. If you haven’t developed or learned anything new for a while, it’s time for a fresh challenge. 3. You don’t get on with your boss – Unfortunately, many people don’t leave their companies, they leave their boss. A bad relationship with a manager can really affect your day-to-day work and seep into the rest of your life. If you’ve tried and failed to fix the situation, your energy would be better spent looking for a new job. 4 It’s a mismatch – Like good relationships, the best jobs tap into our full potential and bring out the best in us. If there is no overlap between what we’re good at and love doing and what our actual job involves on a daily basis, nobody is happy. 5 Money’s too tight to mention – Let’s not be shy. One of the big motivators for moving up the career ladder is salary. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and money is always on your mind, it’s time to look at opportunities where your sterling work will be more handsomely rewarded.

Think small and enjoy big rewards in law

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 09:55:42 +0000

NOBODY wants to work in an environment that leaves you more stressed and worn out than an iguana fleeing a racer snake. Nor do you want your time on planet Earth to be as slow as a sloth on a duvet day. That’s why it’s important to consider the kind of law firm you want to work for before putting in the time and effort of polishing your CV for the top jobs. Does a high-flying city firm full of sharp-suited go-getters appeal? Or would you prefer a more laid-back operation where you know everyone by their first name? The right choice depends on your personal outlook, career goals and ability to adapt to your surroundings. And sometimes good things come in small packages – today we look at the top reasons for choosing to work in a small legal firm. Wide variety of work - you’ll probably get stuck right into real work, unlike in a big law firm where you may not even be noticed for a week or so. Thework is likely to cover a broad spectrum of practice areas and, chances are, you’ll have greater hands-on involvement. Own your work - the fewer the people in a firm, the greater the accountability – and the greater the rewards. It’s easier to stand out in a smaller law firm when you do a good job instead of spending years hoping to get noticed by the top floor. More client interaction -smaller firms offer more autonomy and responsibility. This means greater interaction with clients and the chance to see the human side of legal work – a relief after all those years staring at textbooks and documents. Greater flexibility - the adaptable environment of a small law firm can mean more flexibility in hours, roles and routine. There may be fewer rules and regulations sent down on high from HR and more opportunities to become involved in other areas of the business, such as IT or marketing. Better relationships - just like the bar in TV’s Cheers, everyone knows your name in a small firm and probably your fave Friday night tipple too. That’s a huge contrast to being part of a legal colossus where colleagues run into hundreds. Faster partnership track - with fewer employees vying for assignments, promotions, and a slice of the profits, legal professionals in small law firms faceless in-house competition than their big-firm counterparts.

Brits’ career dreams revealed

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 10:11:02 +0000

A SURVEY has revealed the career dreams Brits had as children. Research carried out by reveals that 72 per cent of Brits dreamof fighting crime or saving lives by joining the emergency services. Meanwhile 69 per cent aspired to become a celebrity superstar by working in the entertainment industry. Another 64 per cent of adults admitted to having hoped for an office job. Other top ten career aspirations included the armed forces and healthcare. However, despite having aspired to embark on the career path of their dreams, 59 per cent of Brits are not passionate about the job they currently do. Meanwhile a further one in four have no genuine interest in the current job they do. And just one ten people surveyed said they had ended up in a career that they had dreamt of as children. Simon Bubb, managing director of the firm, said: “It’s surprising to see that so many workers are choosing to remain in a role which they have no genuine passion or interest in.” The research found that many Brits don’t make a decision about their career until as late as 30. However 64 per cent of them had decided what path to take between the ages of 18 and 21. Bubb said: “For those how are looking to make a career change, or who are yet to make a decision about the path they want to follow, our advice would be to take advantage of the support services available to you and do your research.”

How important are soft skills for engineers?

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 09:10:34 +0000

WHEN you have a wealth of specialised knowledge, it can be easy to dismiss soft skills. After all, your technical talent does the talking, right? Wrong! Don’t be deceived by the name. Socalled “soft” skills, such as communication and team working, are arguably just as important in your day-to-day engineering role. What’s more, when it comes to landing a new job or being promoted, an ability to get on with different people right across the company always stands out. So, let’s see how we can toughen up on those feather-soft skills! Communication – Being able to explain ideas clearly and concisely is crucial for engineers. Whether it’s a written report or a big presentation, miscommunication can cause a whole lot of bother. Engineers are often required to communicate projects to non-engineers and being able to do so in a clear, jargon-free way is a skill in itself. Don’t forget, half of communication is about listening – accepting feedback and acting on it without being thin-skinned is invaluable. Actively listening to your colleague means taking in complex technical information, but it’s also about picking up on when they have reservations or would welcome alternative suggestions. Adaptability – “Adapt or die!” said English naturalist Charles Darwin. Actually, he didn’t, but lots of people say he did. No matter. The sentiment is true. Being able to adapt is the key to survival in both the animal kingdom and the world of work. In hi-tech engineering industries, change is constant and having an adaptable mindset can make a huge difference to your approach. Teamwork – In engineering, teamwork is the linchpin of the whole operation. There are very few successful engineering firms with a head count of one. While in “ye olden days” inventors often worked alone, today more research papers and patents are submitted by teams than individuals. Being a good team player means giving it your best, but also knowing when to step aside into a more supportive role and let your teammate take charge in their area of expertise. Creativity – Engineering is about problem solving. Being able to think creatively about a scenario and come up with a sometimes offthe-wall solution is the sign of a great engineering mind. A flash of creativity can often trump hours of logical trial and error. Some folk have creativity in abundance but like all soft skills it can be nurtured. It’s arguably the most important soft skill of all – innovation is the essence of engineering.

Master the art of managing change

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:51:32 +0000

THE Royal Mint is ringing the changes for the New Year quite literally... by replacing our £1 coin for the first time in 30 years. It will be swapped for a larger, thinner, 12-sided, bi-metallic coin in March. That’s a lot to deal with. First off, how are we going to release shopping trolleys? Undoubtedly, it will take time to get used to things. Unless you’re an HR professional. After all, one of the essential skills any HR practitioner must master is the successful management of change. This is true whether you’re seeking a starting role as an HR assistant or hoping to nail “HR director” to your office door in 2017. Achieving mastery involves first understanding the mechanics of every new change, however big or small. This means discussing every element with managers until there is a clear picture of what’s going to happen, how this will look, and what the final outcome will be. Along the way you’ll ask the questions others may not be thinking (or avoiding!): Does everyone have the skills and resources to make the change? Will extra training be needed? In fact, your greatest value at this stage will be as a pesky busy-body, insisting enough time and energy is spent on laying solid foundations. After this, communication is everything. The first thing to remember is it’s only human to resist change, so there’s no point storming in with your best Borg impression: “Resistance is futile!” Instead offer information as plainly and as completely as possible. What’s changing, how it’s changing. Once the what and the how are understood move to the why: Why the company is moving in this direction, why the change is a great idea, and why everyone must come onboard. Now be prepared to answer questions, such as: But what’s wrong with the way things are? Will I have to work longer? If the change is taking place in a specialist area, harness the talent around you to provide knowledge and expertise. Introducing a new intranet-based service, for example? Ask your IT guru to help explain the details. Often changes within a company can impact clients too, so guide them through what’s happening – if you have a communications officer, use their channels. Finally, gathering feedback will highlight areas needing fine-tuned to make the change a rip-roaring success. Master change and you master your career destiny!

Five ways to shine in video calls

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:44:02 +0000

READY for your close up? You better be because the world of call and contact centres is changing. No longer are you just a line of webchat or a voice on the phone. Now you could soon be centre stage and in the spotlight. So how do you feel about taking on such a visible role? Would you like to see your customers and for them to see you, or are you much happier being an invisible presence? Don’t let camera shyness cripple your career. If you have your sights set on one of the many call and contact centre vacancies that now involve video calling, here’s how you handle those closeup shots. Smile – nobody likes talking to someone who looks grumpy. By making your best smiley face your default setting you’ll instantly convey the impression of being warm and helpful. Speak slowly – you don’t need to speak like HM the Queen or change your accent, but you do need to speak slowly. Customers will be calling in from everywhere and they’ll quickly get frustrated if you talk so fast they can’t make out your words. Sit up straight – slouching in your chair gives the impression you don’t really care and swivelling on it could actually make callers feel sea-sick. Sit upright but relaxed at the front of your seat. Chin down – nobody wants to look up your nose. Callers will also get distracted by untidy hair and clothing, so check in the mirror before you start your first call. If you wear glasses, make sure they have an anti-glare tint or swap to contact lenses. And don’t fiddle with your jewellery, it makes you look anxious or guilty and that’s never a good look. Elbows in – if you have a tendency to throw your hands about while explaining something, you can prevent the habit from becoming distracting by keeping your elbows tucked close to your side. That way your flying hands won’t disappear out the edge of the frame.

Why not re-train as a social worker?

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:17:48 +0000

THE start of a new year gets everyone feeling more reflective than a glitter ball in a torch factory. Well, if you’re caring by nature but your current job doesn’t satisfy your urge to help people, this is the perfect time to consider a change. The role of a social worker is to work with individuals, families and groups to improve their lives. Often those who require help are at their lowest ebb or are vulnerable because of addiction or illness. One day you could be working with an adopted person to help trace their birth family, the next assisting someone to rebuild their life after a long stay in hospital. There’s one constant you can be sure of though: Social work is never dull. Equally, there are few things as satisfying as helping people change their lives for the better. Social workers are gatekeepers to a variety of services. They can help individuals claim benefits, access legal advice and navigate the maze of local authority departments. They can also arrange hospitaltreatment or services, such as home care assistance. If you’re keen, but still feeling nervous about how you might fit into a new role, it’s helpful to know many people enter social work after a career elsewhere. This is a field that attracts a whole range of people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. To work as a registered social worker, you must complete an approved degree. If you already have a degree in another subject, you can study for a post-graduate qualification. Just as important, life experience or volunteering will make you a compelling candidate for any course or position. Salaries start at between £23,000 and £25,000 for a new graduate. This rises quickly to £29,000 or more in the first few years, depending on the field. You can find yourself working with children and families, those with addiction issues, the elderly or individuals with a mental health diagnosis. This means empathy and communication skills are naturally great personal attributes to bring to the job. Be warned: The work can be demanding, and occasionally upsetting, so perseverance and a rhinothick skin are also good qualities to have. The administrative side of the job means planning and organisation skills are essential to get the best for your clients. Above all, as a social worker, you will have the power to transform lives.

Co-op to create 1,500 jobs

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:48:36 +0000

THE Co-operative Group has big plans for 2017, with 100 new stores set to open across the country – creating 1,500 jobs. Co-op will invest £70million in the new shops, which will be spread throughout the UK in London, South East England, Yorkshire and Scotland. If they keep to schedule the Co-op will have opened five stores in London by the end of March. Other new stores will open in Swansea, Kings Bromley in Staffordshire, Beverley in East Yorkshire, Northfields in East Lothian and Sheffield. The business opened a similar number of stores in 2016. The company is entering the last phase of a three-year turnaround programme after a period of disorder mostly to do with Co-op banking. Stuart Hookins, property portfolio and development director at the Co-op, said: “While other retailers are scaling back their expansion plans, the Co-op continues to open new convenience stores. “We opened 100 stores in 2016, and we plan to open hundreds more new stores over the next few years. “The Co-op has a clear food strategy, which is to deliver a great and convenient shopping experience for millions of members and customers on a daily basis. As part of this strategy our acquisitions programme is fundamental to its success, and we are actively seeking new opportunities. “We are the fastest growing non-discounter and most frequently visited. Our new stores will ensure even more shoppers can visit the Co-op.” Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The Co-op’s decision is fantastic news for our retail sector and a further vote of confidence in the UK economy. This Government is determined to create an economy that works for all, which is why our upcoming industrial strategy will focus on creating an environment where businesses big and small can thrive.”

Keep and attract employees in 2017

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:32:29 +0000

RETAINING employees will be of top concern in 2017. Here are four ways companies retain their current employees and win talent this year, according to Forbes Offer better pay If you don’t pay employees fairly, they will leave – and no perk will change their mind. A new poll by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair found the best way to keep an employee motivated is money, and 35 per cent of respondents said it was the most important thing they look for in a new job. Employees can review websites such as and to see the average pay for different professions in various industries. They can also speak to their peers or current employees to compare and contrast their pay, and leverage it in a negotiation with their employer. Promote career mobility When employees, especially millennials and Generation Zs, aren’t able to advance at work, they immediately start searching for other opportunities. That is why companies are offering more career mobility opportunities, which support employees who want to move across different departments or even change their occupation. A study by Cisco and Future Workplace found this mobility helps increase engagement, productivity and teamwork. This result makes sense, because employees want new challenges and opportunities in order to stay engaged in their work, grow their skills, and advance in their careers. Encourage flexibility While technology has allowed us to work wherever and whenever, it has meant many of us can’t switch off from it. In light of these new work demands, employees are seeking ways to better manage their personal time and relationships. Flexibility is crucial because employees are expected to respond to emails and phone calls after hours for no additional pay. Flexible work could include flexible hours, working from home and other types of work arrangements. Provide learning opportunities One of the best ways to increase retention is to enrich employees with the education and tools required to thrive in your organization. A recent study by Udemy uncovered that 46 per cent of employees cite limited opportunities to learn new skills as the top reason why they are bored in their current roles and looking for a change. Training and development opportunities can help companies not only with retention, but also with developing their next generation of leaders.

Pay close attention to your body language

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:22:51 +0000

UP TO 30,000 jobs in the learning disability sector could be at risk in the next four years, a charity has warned. In a report entitled It Doesn’t Add Up: The financial crisis crippling the social care sector, the learning disabilities charity Hft says the rising cost of adult social care services means providers are facing increasing financial pressures. Among growing costs, it cites the National Living Wage (NLW) which will add £460m to wage bills in the learning disability sector by 2020. Because the social care sector has the highest proportion of staff aged over 25, it will more adversely affected by the NLW. Robert Longley-Cook, Hft chief executive, said: “Hft wholeheartedly supports the introduction of the NLW. However we have grave concerns about its implementation at local and Westminster level. The social care sector is facing increasing demands. This situation is simply unsustainable.” The charity is looking for a five per cent increase in funding per year for the social care sector until 2020. Hft carried out the research in conjunction with the Centre for Economics and Business

Students to get factsheets about career opportunities in Essex

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 09:50:50 +0000

PUPILS across Essex will be given an exclusive careers booklet to help them get on the right track to their dream job. The Essex Employment and Skills Board (ESB) has created the booklet to give year nine pupils in all schools in Essex, Southend and Thurrock the information they need about jobs in growth sectors in the region to let them know about the wealth of opportunities available to them. The booklet contains competitions where students can enter to win one of 14 £30 Amazon gift vouchers as well as details of more than 70,000 local vacancies in Essex, Southend and Thurrock, demonstrating the excellent opportunities which exist for an exciting and fulfilling career in the county. The factsheets provide localised career information for each of the ESB’s priority sectors: Advanced manufacturing and engineering; care; construction; health; finance and insurance; IT; digital and creative; and logistics. It is part of the ESB’s response to ensuring key sectors across Greater Essex have the future workforce they need and young people aspire to amazing, well-paid career opportunities which are available locally. Suzanne Jude, ESB’s chairman, said: “We are really excited to be launching these fantastic new resources, responding to feedback from young people and schools that they’d like localised information. What we have on offer in Essex is incredible and we want to ensure that young people can benefit. “These factsheets will be a great way for schools and young people to learn more about their local economy and career opportunities. “We are very fortunate in Greater Essex that such localised resources are being developed through the strong partnership of employers, educators and local authorities as represented on the Employment and Skills Board.” Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader at Essex County Council and councillor responsible for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Partnerships, said: “Essex is a national economic powerhouse boasting businesses as diverse as finance, advanced manufacturing, bio-tech firms, creative companies and a thriving retail sector. This diversity creates fantastic employment opportunities for young people in Essex. “These factsheets will help them learn about the wide range of opportunities available and make sure that they have the skills they need to secure employment and benefit from Essex’s ongoing success story.”

New police officers will have to have degreelevel education from new year

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 09:44:12 +0000

ALL new police officers will have to be educated to degree level in future under changes to recruitment. A paid three-year “degree apprenticeship” is among three options open to people wanting to join one of the 43 forces in England and Wales under changes unveiled by the College of Policing. Would-be police officers can alternatively do an unfunded degree in policing or a funded postgraduate conversion course if they already have a degree in a different discipline, the professional body said. Chief Constable Alex Marshall, the college’s chief executive, said the changes would ensure forces were better placed to address changes to crime-fighting. He said: “At the moment, it is very lopsided and we don’t do a lot of professional development in policing. “If you compare it to medicine or the military (where) there is massive investment in training and development, in policing there is a tiny investment. “The nature of police work is getting quite complex. “We don’t think the investment has been made in policing in terms of professional development and this is one of the ways that we start to address that.” Mr Marshall said the college would use its powers to force through the changes, which would mean “the public should receive the same level of service regardless of where they live”. The apprenticeship, due to be introduced next year, will see recruits undertake a three-year course, while receiving a salary and having the university academic component funded by their force. The postgraduate course would last six months and would also be funded. In contrast, the policing degree would have to be self-funded and the student would still have to successfully apply to become a police officer after completing it. Mr Marshall said the college was in talks with 12 universities.

Workers want more flexibility on retiring

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 09:38:59 +0000

HALF of workers would stay in their jobs longer before retiring if they were offered flexible arrangements. A survey of 1,400 workers also revealed a similar number would want to work parttime, while a third were keen to take on a less demanding position. The research by the Department for Work and Pensions showed almost a third of under 24-year-olds expect to work into their 70s before retiring. Employment minister Damian Hinds said: “There are more older people in work than ever before, but we know that many leave the workforce earlier than they’d like. “Having greater flexibility over when and for how long they work is clearly something that appeals to many people. “Encouragingly, we’re seeing more employers taking on older workers as they recognise the benefits of having them on the payroll. “But we want to go further to help more older people stay in employment, which is why in the new year we will publish a strategy led by employers on how we plan to do it.”

Leading tool firm gives industry boost to construction centre

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:05:34 +0000

SOUTH Essex College’s new construction centre in Basildon is to get another industry boost by partnering with Draper Tools. The centre, opening in January 2017, will provide construction training opportunities for local people, allowing students to study building trades such as painting and decorating, carpentry and joinery, brickwork and plastering, plus construction management. Draper Tools will be providing trade tools for the centre at the college’s Nethermayne Campus including trowel sets, hand saws, chisels, levels and hammers to the value of nearly £8000. Together with Redrow Homes, Draper will link up with the college to provide industry level training, facilities, equipment and opportunities to students. Chris Bartlett, commercial marketing manager for Draper Tools, said: “Draper Tools have been involved in working with colleges for some time. We believe students bring great benefits to the industry by boosting the skills and knowledge of the workforce. We are particularly impressed with the work that South Essex College is doing and we are very pleased to be working with the team at the new centre.” Anthony Ogbuokiri, head of construction at the college, said: “We’re really excited to link up with Draper Tools and that our students get to use their quality products. We want to offer industry level training at the new centre so this is another step on our way to doing so.” The construction entry level award will be offered at the new centre in Basildon. The course starts in January so apply now at One lucky applicant will win a full toolkit from Draper Tools to get them started on their career pathway.

Melanie’s joy as she lands new legal role at Colchester law firm

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:01:35 +0000

SOLICITOR Melanie Francis is a happy woman, not only did she follow her dreams and change careers from banking to law, qualifying as a solicitor this year, but she has now just joined Essex law firm Birkett Long. Melanie, who recently joined the firm’s Colchester office, decided ten years ago that banking was not for her and began a three-year law degree at Anglia Ruskin University whilst reducing her working hours to part-time to help fund it. After graduating, it was a waiting game for Melanie. After a further year working full time she returned to the lecture room on a part-time basis to study for her Legal Practice Course. A couple of years later her patience paid off and she became landed a role as a paralegal. That eventually led to a training contract and now she is part of the residential real estate team at Birkett Long. She said: “It is incredibly rewarding once you have exchanged on a property for a client. “Moving house is one of the most stressful things a person can do in life.” To anyone else dreaming of changing careers in 2017 she had this advice: “Do it. “Follow your dreams and your heart – you are never too old to make a change and start a new career.” Birkett Long is a full service law firm which has offices in Chelmsford, Colchester and Basildon. With 21 partners, it provides a wide range of legal and independent financial services for business including corporate and commercial advice, dispute resolution, education, insolvency and employment and for individuals: family law, wills and conveyancing. For more information, visit or call 01206 217300.

Government backs project to help disabled people into work

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 09:58:08 +0000

A NEW two-year project to support people with learning disabilities and autism to find work has been launched by the government. The project, backed by £280,000 of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investment, will include four new picture books to promote group discussions on finding and keeping a job. Beyond Words is a social enterprise which already produces unique books, services and training for people who find pictures easier to understand than words. Their new project builds on the success of book groups for people with learning disabilities and autism and will be the start of a new focus on four stages of employment including leaving school or college, volunteering, finding work and staying in a job. As part of the project, new book clubs focused on work will be developed across England, where the books will be used to start conversations. People with learning disabilities will be trained as a national network of peer supporters to work with the clubs. At the launch Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green, said: “A disability should not dictate the path a person is able to take in life. What should count is a person’s talent and their determination to succeed. “It’s a brilliant project that offers people with learning disabilities the support they need. I look forward to working with them.” People with a learning disability are more excluded from the workplace than any other group of disabled people. Visit

Easyjet aims to recruit many more female pilots

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 09:54:38 +0000

EASYJET has pledged to increase the number of female pilots, setting a new target after receiving an increasing number of applications from women. It wants 20 per cent of new cadets by 2020 to be female, which it described as a “stretching” target. Women make up six per cent of easyJet’s new pilot intake, and the airline has 164 female pilots, of whom 62 are captains, around 14 per cent of the world’s total. The company named an aircraft after renowned aviator Amy Johnson, revealing it had received over 600 applications from women since launching a campaign a year ago. EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “I am delighted to be unveiling this specially-named aircraft after one of the most accomplished female aviators in history. “Fifty years ago almost all professions were dominated by men and over the last five decades there has been significant progress in almost every sector with women entering and attaining senior positions in professions like law, medicine, education, and politics. “However, the proportion has not changed for pilots and it is hard to think of another high-profile profession where women are so under-represented. “We would like to understand why this is and to do what we can to redress the balance. “We have been encouraged by the success of our Amy Johnson initiative since we launched it in October 2015 and the results so far suggest that the demand from women to become pilots is there. “We will be recruiting around 50 annually, which will really start to change the face of our industry.”

LifeSkills Basildon has courses for young people

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 09:48:25 +0000

IF you’re leaving school or out of work then the New Year could be the ideal opportunity for a new start. LifeSkills Basildon is offering study programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds in a wide area of trades. Study programmes are designed to help individuals progress into employment with training, an apprenticeship or further training. Construction, motor vehicle, customer services, health and social care and independent living/employability are all covered. Level one and level two routes are available depending on your starting point and there are interview techniques and CV advice included. Individuals could receive a participation allowance of up to £40 a month and all travel expenses are paid for the duration of the course. One learner said: “I would highly recommend for anyone who wants to pursue a career in customer service, to join a LifeSkills customer service programme. “It has boosted my confidence when communicating with people and it has allowed me to meet new faces. “The work is straight forward and I have learnt a wide range of different things to do with customer service. “You also get the chance to put your skills that you have learnt into action with a bit of work experience on the main reception. It’s a brilliant way of being prepared for any job.” LifeSkills Basildon is rated Good by Ofsted and is holding an open day on January 17 between 10am and 2pm. Find out more by calling 0800 6226493 or 01268 272200.

Jobless rate at ten-year low as unemployment falls to 1.62m

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 10:14:26 +0000

Employment rate for women now almost 70 per cent... best since records began

More than 15m people now have security of workplace pension

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 10:10:18 +0000

NEW figures show the number of people saving into workplace pensions continues to rise and has increased by 4.4 million since 2012. A key reason behind this huge rise is the number of people being automatically enrolled into workplace pensions. Recent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that between 2012 and 2015, 95 per cent of the rise in private sector membership was the result of automatic enrolment. This policy – which was launched in 2012 and will be fully rolled out by 2018 – has arrested the decline in pension saving during the past decade. With millions of people set up in a workplace pension, workers can benefit from years of saving which will give them greater financial security in retirement. Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington said: “The report demonstrates how automatic enrolment is helping millions of working people save for their retirement, so they can look forward to extra income on top of their State Pension and a better standard of living as a result. “It is clear automatic enrolment is playing a key role in shaping the retirement landscape for generations to come. However I want to build on this success and will be looking at how we can get even more people saving, and saving more.” In 2015, the annual total amount being saved by employees was £81.8 billion, an increase of £1.4 billion from 2014 and a further £7.1 billion since 2012. The amounts people are saving are set to increase as minimum contribution rates are scheduled to rise from two per cent to five per cent in April 2018, and from five per cent to eight per cent in April 2019.

Third of bosses will play scrooge in the workplace

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 10:03:55 +0000

A THIRD of British bosses will be bringing Scrooge to work this year by banning Christmas festivities. A survey of 1,005 employees, carried out by artificial Christmas tree etailer, Christmas Tree World, asked Brits about their employers’ attitudes to Christmas festivities in the workplace and found one in three employers will put a stop to all Christmas traditions this year. The poll asked workers about the Christmas celebrations they are allowed to take part in and found just a fifth will attend a work Christmas party or festive lunch with colleagues, while only 17 per cent will listen to Christmas music in their workplace. And, while 15 per cent of businesses will have Christmas decorations in their workplace, just nine per cent of respondents will buy presents for their colleagues via Secret Santa and five per cent will wear a Christmas jumper. Those who do embrace Christmas fun start their celebration early in the workplace. The survey found three-quarters of those who are allowed Christmas tunes at work, usually turn them on as early as November, and five per cent already had Christmas music playing by October. The data revealed the further north you go; the more festive workplaces are. Scottish bosses are most likely to embrace Christmas at work, while Londoners are the least likely. Stephen Evans, owner of Christmas Tree World said: “It’s surprising to see the number of workplaces that won’t be embracing the festive season with music, parties or even a touch of tinsel. “There are a number of ways to bring the festivities to the workplace without it being over the top.

Apprentices’ joy at chosen career paths

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:46:52 +0000

Local girls shun university for apprenticeships at local law firm

Number of workers in poverty rises

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:41:16 +0000

THE number of workers living in poverty has reached a record high as the UK’s housing crisis fuels growing insecurity. Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) showed 3.8 million workers, or one in eight, are in poverty after an increase since the economy started recovering six years ago. A total of 7.4 million people, including 2.6 million children, are living in poverty despite being in working households, said the report. The study said there was growing insecurity underneath the positive economic picture, including rising levels of employment. The problem is being driven by the housing crisis, especially in the private rented sector, where the numbers living in poverty have doubled to 4.5 million in a decade, said JRF. More than half of people in poverty in England live in London and southern England, and the capital has the highest poverty rate at 27 per cent - six per cent above the UK average. The charity has urged the Government to reduce poverty by taking measures including reversing cuts to the Work Allowance, end the freeze on working-age benefits and build more affordable housing.

Virtual reality part of the course

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:38:04 +0000

Basildon’s Procat is leading the way in the development of digital learning

Expats rate UK good for career

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:44:42 +0100

UK ranked third place in expat career progression with Hong Kong at the top

Workers with tattoos raises debate

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:38:30 +0100

EMPLOYERS are missing out on talented workers because of negative attitudes towards people who have a tattoo, says a new report.

Women pressured to dress ‘sexier'

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:33:15 +0100

EMPLOYERS regularly tell women to put on more makeup, wear high heels and short skirts, according to new research.

Jobless figure at eight year low

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 11:05:52 +0100

UNEMPLOYMENT continued to fall in the run-up to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and there was a record number of people in work.

International search for teachers

Thu, 05 May 2016 09:39:46 +0100

Council and schools team up in bid to attract more to roles across the county

Self-employed in pensions crisis

Thu, 05 May 2016 09:38:04 +0100

Number of self-employed men in pension schemes dropped to less than a quarter

From Armed Forces to property world

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 09:17:28 +0000

Beresfords joins online mentoring scheme to help people leaving services plan new career

Carpenters, chefs, builders...coolest of jobs waiting for you in Antarctic

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 09:14:42 +0000

TEMPERATURES have dipped considerably in the past week, but could you stick the sub zero climate and work at the coolest place on earth?

Record numbers in work as jobless rate dips to new low

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 09:06:44 +0000

A RECORD number of people are in work and unemployment has fallen by another 60,000 to its lowest rate for a decade, new figures have shown.

Banking expert’s consultancy role

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 08:48:55 +0000

AN experienced specialist from the banking world has joined the Chelmsford team of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton in a consultancy role to help further progress the firm’s strategy for growth.

Choosy graduates turn down jobs

Thu, 04 Feb 2016 09:43:44 +0000

Despite 1,000 unfilled roles, bosses to offer record number of degree-level jobs this year

Sophie brews up scheme to wow college dragons

Thu, 04 Feb 2016 09:36:44 +0000

STUDENTS recently entered the den to pitch entrepreneurial business ideas to the South Essex College dragons.

Start a college course

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:02:21 +0000

South Essex College has launched its new year programme of adult evening and weekend courses where you can improve your job prospects or learn a new skill or hobby.

College courses help fulfil your potential

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 09:57:19 +0000

At Adult Community Learning Essex, prospective learners are being encouraged to register for courses and fulfil their goals.