Iceland ‘passport’ plan prevents staff taking off

first_imgIceland ‘passport’ plan prevents staff taking offOn 10 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Iceland Frozen Foods has movedtraining to the shopfloor and given staff clear skills targets in a bid toreduce staff turnover by 20 per cent.”Passport toSuccess” shifts training from the classroom to equip staff with the skillsthey need to progress.Every member of stafftaking part has a training “passport” with over 160″stamps” or training targets to aim for, instead of conventionalcertificates of achievement.Iceland’s HR managerBeverley Newman wants the scheme, and other HR policies, to reduce thebusiness’s frontline staff turnover rate, from 42.5 per cent to around 22 percent.She said, “Thescheme has improved our training system, so it is now tailored to frontlinestaff. Before, we would train staff by using equipment such as videos, which wouldmean that we were pulling them away from their jobs. “With Passport toSuccess, staff are being trained on the job.”Passport to Successcost more than £100,000 to set up and aims to train 20,000 of staff.Currently, a quarterof the retail outlet’s new in-store employees leave within the first threemonths. The supermarket wants to see that number reduced to 20 per cent by theend of the year. The scheme, whichstarted earlier this year, has “gone down a storm” with employees andmanagers alike, according to Jason Stevens, Iceland’s organisation developmentprojects manager.Stevens, who is thescheme’s co-ordinator, said, “Training was not an interactive issuebefore, but now they have the information constantly at hand.”Line managersalso love the scheme as it is so easy for them to monitor.”By paul nelson Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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How do I get to become a CEO?

first_imgHow do I get to become a CEO?On 6 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Iam 39, CIPD qualified and in the process of applying for upgrade to MIPD. I ampersonnel manager for a law firm – a role which is 90 per cent operational and10 per cent strategic. I want a greater challenge, more responsibility and thechance to grow and I find the role of CEO is increasingly appealing. What roleshould I be looking for and what qualifications will help me achieve my goal?AnnaCook, project co-ordinator, Chiumento Youhave good experience working for a professional organisation and are currentlyin a position of strength, with time to explore all the avenues available toyou. Decidewhat you enjoy and try to identify in more detail what jobs would appeal (evenif they are too senior for now). This will help you identify the most logicalroute.Youmention man management – is this managing a team or acting as a guide to linemanagers? If you want to manage a team, this will have implications for thesize of organisation you work for. If you mean coaching and developingpartners, this is an area you could develop while working for your currentemployer.Networkwith others in HR to establish what experience is required to progress and,more importantly, what opportunities exist.Movingto a CEO role in professional services could be a possibility, although you areright in thinking that you may need further study and experience.Ifyou want a more strategic overview of the general business sector, an MBA wouldbe worth considering. It is a well-recognised qualification and would open updifferent sectors to you. In any case, researching the course will help to giveyou some answers as to what you would enjoy doing and why.MargaretMalpas, joint managing director, Malpas Flexible LearningThenext challenging post for you could be a more demanding role in a largeorganisation – perhaps one with employee-relations issues. This would be goodexperience if you want to develop into a CEO role too. In general, such postsare not advertised, you need to get onto specialist agency lists or use yournetworks.Therearen’t really any specific qualifications for a CEO post, but there areattributes you need of intrinsic motivation and drive, financial and commercialacumen and possible leadership qualities. These may give you something toponder upon.JoSelby, associate director, EJ Human ResourcesAtthis stage, defining the type of role you want is very important and given you arelooking for the opportunity to grow, you may wish to consider a move to alarger organisation where you can work as part of a team and which willpotentially offer you greater scope for career development. Youmay wish to consider whether you wish to stay in the legal sector. Yourbackground lends itself to the industry, but that should not preclude you fromconsidering other environments.Thecurrent job market is not as buoyant as it has been, but there areopportunities, so while I am surprised you are finding there are noneavailable, finding the right role may take longer than you originallyanticipated. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Respiratory disease is no.1 killer

first_img Comments are closed. A new report on the incidence of lung disease in the UK makes dismal readingRespiratory disease now kills more people in the UK than coronary heartdisease or non-respiratory cancer, according to a report published by theBritish Thoracic Society. The study, The Burden of Lung Disease, by the Department of Public Health atthe University of Oxford, reports that respiratory disease now kills more thanone in four people in the UK. The number of UK women dying from lung conditions has shown a markedincrease in the last two decades (from 1984 to 1998), rising by 28 per cent. Respiratory disease is now the most commonly reported long-term illness inUK women aged between 16 and 44, with asthma more common than any otherlong-term condition, including back pain. Lung disease is the most common illness responsible for an emergencyadmission to hospital, says the report, costing the NHS £2.58bn – it is now themost common reason to visit a GP. Asthma levels have leapt by 114 per cent in males and 165 per cent infemales in the period covered by the report, while cases of respiratorytuberculosis have rise by more than a 22 per cent during the 1990s alone. Cases of occupational lung disease (especially mesothelioma caused byasbestos fibres) have also shown a rapid increase, with more than 66,000 peopledying of pneumonia in 1999. Professor Duncan Geddes, president of the British Thoracic Society, saysHealth Secretary Alan Milburn needs to hold an urgent “lung summit”to discuss ways of helping to prevent and treat lung diseases more effectively.”The lack of a national programme of treatment and care for respiratorydisease, together with a severe shortage of chest specialists, nurses andphysiotherapists, is causing patients with a lung disease to sufferunnecessarily,” he says. www.brit-thoracic.org.uk Previous Article Next Article Respiratory disease is no.1 killerOn 1 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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The talent war rages on

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. While organisations accept that talent comes at a premium, are they lookingbeyond traditional selection practices? Research exclusive to Personnel Todaysuggests a definite lack of ambition when it comes to improving the processEveryone is talking about the ‘war for talent’. But what are firms doing towin the best people? And are they using robust new ideas to identify, attractand keep this sought-after group? A survey carried out across numerousindustries by Personnel Today and talent research company Kenexa found there iswidespread anxiety about finding and keeping talent, but new ideas are thin onthe ground. The survey – carried out in January – looked at 222 senior HR professionals,working in banking, financial services, chemicals, IT, manufacturing, publicsector, retail, services, telecoms and utilities. Of those surveyed, 90 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that recruitingtalented people is a key issue for business today – and only 7 per centdisagreed, or strongly disagreed. And an even higher level – 93 per cent – seethe retention of such staff as a key issue. But despite the high priority they claim to give to talent, 57 per cent ofcompanies do not have a specific talent management strategy or plan. This suggeststhat their approach is at best ad hoc and that efforts are not co-ordinatedacross the organisation. It is also likely to mean that there is a lack ofworkforce planning and the connection between human capital needs and thebusiness plan has yet to be made. Some larger companies have developed the post of talent director, or talentchampion. However, the survey shows that only 37 per cent have anyone whosespecific remit is to manage talent. When looking at ways of assessing and predicting talent, companies arerelying on traditional methods. The most widely used ways to assess talent areformal qualifications or performance appraisal. More progressive approaches –such as talent or trait profiling – are only used by 10 per cent of firms inthe survey. Performance appraisal is used by a large proportion of organisations, but itshould be noted that many appraisal systems only rate people against limitedorganisational benchmarks and rely heavily on subjective opinion. Paper qualifications are still the bedrock of talent assessment, rather thanscientific methods. But about 30 per cent of companies are using psychometricsor assessment centre approaches. Overall, it seems that companies are notupdating their talent management practices. Despite all the hype about talent, the most acute shortages are still inmanagement and executive areas. Talented team leaders are also in demand.Shortages of operational staff appear to be less severe. There is also a big demand for frontline staff and for graduates andprofessionals. Frontline staff may be highly sought after because of theincreasing importance of customer-facing employees, and the shift toservice-based companies away from manufacturing. A lack of action is indicated by the fact that 58 per cent of respondentsare not entirely happy with their capacity to find and keep top performers.This means that in most organisations much more needs to be done. And the factthat 23 per cent of HR managers are neutral about the link between talentresourcing and business performance suggests there are many HR managers who arenot convinced that talent management is a priority if companies are to succeedcommercially. There is strong agreement that the war for talent is reality. Only 4 percent of those surveyed disagreed with this, while 75 per cent agree or stronglyagree that they are in competition with other organisations for a limited poolof talented staff. Opinion is divided when it comes to finding ways of tackling this. Thesurvey found that 31 per cent of respondents believe their company needs toturn to external consultants to solve their talent-seeking problems. But almosthalf are undecided, suggesting that the preferred option is to develop internalsolutions. Overall, the findings of the survey suggest that, while there is awarenessof the vital importance of talent management, the majority of companies are nothappy with their progress. And there is little evidence of a willingness tobreak with traditional approaches. The talent war rages onOn 19 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

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New model trainers

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. New model trainersOn 16 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today For too long training has been the Cinderella of HR, but that is set tochange. We profile some training and development directors who are showing theycan add value and credibility to their organisations. Nic Paton reportsAs training and development practitioners sit down to discuss the latestdevelopments in their profession at this week’s CIPD event they may well bepondering some recent statistics. A CIPD study published in March shows a substantial gap between training‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Employees working in smaller businesses, part-timersand those with fewer educational qualifications are less likely to receivetraining than those in large companies or the public sector. At the same time, the Industrial Society has found that, where proper coachingand mentoring of senior staff is carried out, most companies fail to evaluatethe results and do not have a coaching strategy or policy in place. And, despite the hype and excitement caused by the arrival of e-learning,coaching and mentoring, face-to-face learning and on-the-job training remain byfar the most popular methods, says the CIPD. How, then, should training and development professionals respond? Traininghas often been looked down on by managers as a cost that has to be toleratedand that, in harsher economic times, can be swiftly cut back upon. Similarly, acommon complaint among training and development professionals is that they areundervalued, under-paid in relation to their HR colleagues and under-recognisedfor the value they bring to a business. But it doesn’t have to be this way, argues Martyn Sloman, adviser ontraining and development at the CIPD, who has been involved with the professionsince 1985. “In the past, training and development has not been anexciting profession – it has often been considered a bit of a careerdead-end,” he agrees. “But we now have a unique window of opportunityto create new credibility and value.” In Sloman’s view there are two current pressures at work that have thepotential to move training and development up the agenda, if practitioners arewilling to grasp the opportunity. First, there is more emphasis than there has been on people as a resourcebeing a key driver of competitiveness. “Developing and managing people isarguably the only source of competitive advantage left to many companies,”says Sloman. The second pressure is the emergence of new technology, particularlye-learning and other training platforms. These have radically changed the wayorganisations can deliver and perceive training, says Sloman, offering cheaper,more accessible, more flexible learning. Yet there is also a danger of businesses and trainers being blinded by thetechnology and spending a fortune on something inappropriate. This isparticularly the case where organisations may have rushed in and boughtgeneric, off-the-shelf e-learning packages, he suggests. “In the past it was true that, as a trainer, you could just scootalong. Now it is about anticipating demands and being able to speak to themanagement. Trainers are also required to be less technical andjargon-free,” he says. As is apparent, both from Sloman and the training and development directorsprofiled below, trainers are reporting a significant shift in attitude towardslearning. The paternalistic approach – with training delivered centrally to theclassroom and workers simply taking the medicine – is giving way to a sensethat learners must take at least some responsibility for their learning. Programmes that encourage staff to sit down and work out what it is theywant, or need, to learn, rather than letting their line manager spoon-feedthem, are becoming more common. “It is a shift to a model centred around the learner,” saysSloman. “We are having to find out a huge amount about how people learn.”Similarly, successful training and development directors appear to have onething in common – a sharp and overriding sense of their organisation’s businessstrategy and where training and development fits into that mix. As Amber Moore, national training and development manager at law firm DLA,and a speaker at HRD 2002, puts it: “Training and development managershave got to be chameleons. You have to adapt your personal style to match theindividual’s. You have to be a sales person, financier and diplomat. But mostof all you have to link your strategy to the business. “If you want to be seen as one of the most important parts of thebusiness, then you need to get out there and make sure you deliver.” Alison Winch Director of learning and development, Interbrew Good training and development practitioners, argues Alison Winch, directorof learning and development at Interbrew, need to have a real openness and anability to connect with the business and those within it. “Often when a person comes to you who is struggling with their team,they have done everything they can to make it work. To come to you, with allthe politics that might entail, takes quite a lot,” she says. Belgian-owned Interbrew is one of the world’s oldest beer companies and ismost famous for its Stella Artois brand. It has a presence in 17 countries andin the UK the business is split into eight areas: head office; marketing;selling to pubs, bars and hotels; selling to off-licences and supermarkets;customer services; call centres; servicing; and logistics. In the UKthe companyemploys some 5,000 people at 20 sites, including around 1,000 managers. Winch, 39, has been director of learning and development since 1998, havingworked at Whitbread, Marriott and Travel Inn. She was also HR director at TGIFridays for seven years and recently completed a masters degree in learning anddevelopment. While reluctant to divulge a figure, she describes herself as “verywell paid”, adding: “My performance is very much linked to companyprofitability. More than 40 per cent of my salary is on bonus.” There is a small central learning and development team, consisting of herplus two others. This is complemented by teams in each business unit focusingon technical training needs, such as brewing and supply chain management,forklift truck driving and so on. The main challenge, she says, “is putting people in a room, having aconversation with them and taking them somewhere new – getting people to buyinto something, before they know what it is”. For instance, two years ago Winch began developing an innovative nine-monthmanagement action learning programme that saw candidates choosing what theywanted to learn and being coached and evaluated by senior people throughout.The first 11 people from this scheme graduated last month. “The board had to take a blind leap of faith. We were talking aboutsomething they did not understand and would not understand until they hadcompleted it.” Nevertheless, there are problems to contend with. Winch cites impatience atgetting people to understand where she wants to take them, and people notmoving as fast as she would like. Another barrier, ironically, is when a business is successful. A sense of ‘ifit ain’t broke don’t fix it’ can be hard to change even if it is obvious thatchanges need to be made for that success to be sustained. She adds: “I am a woman in a very male-orientated business. There arewomen in the middle manager ranks, but certainly at senior level there is onlyme. So when you are trying to bring in something different, and you aredifferent, it is easier to be rejected. I have had to work hard to get beyondthat and I feel I have done that.” Despite this, she says Interbrew is the kind of company where, if you knowwhat you want to do and how to do it, you can do anything you want – and sinceJanuary, she has been running leadership courses for managers using horses, aconcept she has worked on for the past five years. Candidates are tasked to lead a horse around an arena without using ropes,bridles or other control devices, for example. “It really shows people up.They have to find something within themselves that will make the horse followthem,” she says. So far, about 25 managers have been through it, with 75lined up. Winch has started a doctorate in equine-based coaching and hopes to strikeout as a leadership guru in the future, promoting the idea of training withhorses. “I engage my whole self in it – this is my purpose, my passion, mylife. The only downside, is asking ‘why am I forcing myself through this?’ whenyou are trying to lead people through a new thing. The worst part is what weface in ourselves.” “What I am most proud of is that learning and development at Interbrewhas changed from being something you did on a wet weekend in January tosomething that is integral to what people want.” Alison Winch is speaking at the HRD seminar: How e-learners learn.Tuesday 16 April (a5) 11.00-12.15 Bob NelsonController of training and development, BBCWith 350 staff in seven locations, aturnover of £40m and some 28,000 employees to train, Bob Nelson’s role is aboutas big as it gets for a training and development specialist. Nelson, 52, iscontroller of development and training at the BBC, now one of the world’slargest trainers in audio and visual skills.As well as meeting internal training needs, Nelson and his teamoperate training schools overseas and run skills development courses for manycharitable organisations around the world.Nelson has been with the corporation for 14 years, five of themas controller. In March this year, he was awarded a lifetime achievement awardby Skillset, the best practice training body. His salary, between £120,000 and£140,000, reflects the prominence of his role at the organisation.”It is a long time since I have stood up and run atraining course, to be honest. My role is mostly about strategy, leadership,budgeting and setting out staff and finance issues. It’s about working out howto get the money for the things we need to do. In many ways, it is much more ofa general manager’s role,” he explains.Nelson has a degree in politics and economics and a Mastersdegree in occupational psychology. Before the BBC he worked at BA, helping tooversee the large culture change programme put in place by then chief executiveColin Marshall.A good training and development specialist must be persuasiveand authoritative, he argues: “You need to cause other people to do whatyou want them to do without them realising that you want them to do it. Youneed to make a real connection to the business,” he says. “There isabsolutely no point in turning out fantastic training if it is irrelevant tothe business.”One of the main challenges is ensuring the skills being taughtproduce real competitive advantage, he argues. Being seen to be attuned to theneeds of the business may also help protect the department in a downturn.His main headache is getting people to realise that training isnot something they should do when all other avenues have been explored.”Training is one of those things that people put off. It is just fightingagainst that.”And when an organisation such as the BBC is staffed withintelligent, creative, independently minded people, convincing them they needtraining can be tricky. “There is sometimes a sense of ‘I didn’t get whereI am today by going on a training course’,” he says. The job, then, isvery much about hammering home the message that training is not a chore butsomething that will actually benefit them.Other irritants include the fact that, at this level, Nelsonoften finds himself chained to his desk dealing with e-mails – he receivesabout 60 a day – and other correspondence, rather than being out in the fieldpushing forward the training agenda.But there are also many highs. Nelson cites in particular onetraining initiative, through the BBC’s non profit-making World Service Trust,in India that was designed to tackle the stigma of leprosy. The team puttogether an EastEnders-style soap that succeeded radically in changing people’sperceptions.Nelson is encouraged to develop his own skills too. Six yearsago he went on a six-week general management programme and a few weeks ago heupdated his keyboard skills. He hopes the future holds an HR director role in aplc or a more specialised training and development role.Managers are increasingly realising that share options, fancytitles and bonuses can only go so far in motivating people, he argues. Trainingand development, if handled well, can help drive the business too.Soon after he started, for instance, Nelson was tasked by thendirector general John Birt to, as he puts it, “pump the organisation fullof digital skills”. Fine in principle, but this was before the resourcesor capability to go digital were even in place. In effect, Birt was adopting abottom-up approach.”We were giving people the skills before the demand wasthere,” he says. “But once we had put the skills in, it dragged inthe demand. We were using training to drag up demand for those skills.”SarahSimpsonDirector, training and resources, Suzy Lamplugh TrustIt was while teaching a TEFL(Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course in the early 1970s that SarahSimpson hit on what is her overriding mantra for training and development.”I learnt that if you are talking, then your students arenot,” says Simpson, director of training and resources at the SuzyLamplugh Trust. “If you contribute you feel more valued and you learn morebecause if you are speaking you have to think about it.”Simpson, 55, started off her career in retail management beforemoving into the charity field with the YMCA. She has been with the SuzyLamplugh Trust since 1993, founding the trust’s training department.The trust is the national charity for personal safety, createdin the wake of the death of Suzy Lamplugh, the estate agent who disappearedafter going to meet a ‘Mr Kipper’ to view a house.Unusually for a training director, Simpson’s responsibility isfocused less on the training needs of her staff – who are mostly administrators– and more on external training provision. Despite being a charity, the trustis now the UK’s largest provider of personal safety training.The charity has more than 600 ‘tutors’ dotted around thecountry, aged between 17 and 80, who have been trained by the trust but notactually employed by it. Tutors are regularly updated and trained in the latestpersonal safety information or techniques, but spend most of their time out inthe field.There are a further 23 self-employed trainers who work with thetrust delivering training in the workplace, offering courses ranging frombetween two and 10 hours. The training of tutors is carried out by othertutors. All courses are customised to the specific needs of the organisationbeing visited. Some 600 training events were held last year.Simpson declines to reveal her salary, but does admit it is”very low” and that her trainers generally earn more than she does,as the trust has to remain commercially competitive to retain good trainers.Good training and development directors need to havecreativity, flexibility, energy, enthusiasm, self-belief and, critically, anability to listen and be receptive to ideas, she argues.Her main responsibilities lie in directing the futuredevelopment and training needs of trainers and tutors, dealing with conferencesand looking at where training opportunities are likely to develop. For instance, since 11 September, many organisations havestrengthened their security. This has led to more work being carried out on howto respond to aggression in the workplace, either from customers, passengers,colleagues or, even security guards.The main challenge of working in this environment is trying toensure the training that is delivered is backed up by the organisation.”Staff often think they are going on a training course, but the managementis only paying lipservice to it,” she says. “Unless the management isthere listening, there is a sense that things are not going to change. Thereneeds to be a recognition that they themselves need to change their behaviour.”People are often also unwilling to admit to incidents for fearof being seen as unprofessional, an issue that must be addressed by thetrainer, she adds.The trust is currently working with call centre staff helpingthem manage stress caused by aggressive or hostile callers. Firms areencouraged to set up ‘destressing’ rooms where staff can go to bash cushionswith wooden spoons or a ‘stress drawer’ full of chocolate treats. Often thesimple fact of having a separate area, signalling a recognition that stress isa problem, helps immensely, says Simpson.The best element of the job for Simpson is the opportunitiesshe sees for progress every time she steps into the office. The downside, sheadds, is achieving all the things she wants to on a limited budget.She is particularly proud of a series of conferences she helpedorganise with local education authorities for their teaching and sitesupervisory staff this year. “The value of coming in from the outside and working withpeople that perhaps knew each other but had never shared their interests orpractices together was great – it was a chance for people to get recognitionfrom their authority,” she says.Sarah Simpson is speaking at theHRD seminar: Dealing with aggression in the workplace. Wednesday 17 April (b8)13.45-15.00Elaine MooreTraining and development director, NOP Research GroupElaine Moore has been with researchorganisation NOP for the past 10 years, shifting from a research role totraining and development. She took up her current role of training anddevelopment director four years ago. The team consists of her, one permanent ITtrainer and two training co-ordinators.The training is split into six distinct programmes: IT, marketresearch, technical skills, general business skills, coaching and mentoring. Ofthese, technical skills training is perceived as being the core skill employeesmust have.The company, founded in 1957, employs 600 people in the UK andhas offices in London, Oxford, Barking, Luton and Chelmsford.Moore’s key responsibility is putting in place a targetedprogramme of training and development that links closely with business needsand objectives. “A lot of people are now much more concerned with taking astrategic approach to training and development. Clients expect to seeimprovements in efficiency and productivity all the time, and, quite rightly,they should be able to see that in training and development too,” she says.Training at NOP is split between classroom-based study andPC-based learning, with trainers generally working with small groups. “Alot more of our training is interactive. There is nothing more tedious thanlistening to a lot of presentations,” she says. Coaching and mentoring isdone on a one-to-one basis.A key challenge is trying to keep information and trainingfresh. “How do you collect the appropriate information and disseminate itwithout being bureaucratic? How do you collect histories, evidence, make ituseful and avoid endless forms?” she asks. It certainly helps if training and development is championed ata senior level within the organisation, something that has always been the caseat NOP. “We are beginning to move from a passive approach – where peoplewait to be found a course – to a more proactive stance,” she adds.For the past nine months, for instance, NOP has been testingthe viability of making coaching courses for new managers in the businessresearch division mandatory.The best part of the job for Moore is the fact she gets tothink strategically. “It’s about designing the next training programme soit links to where the business is going,” she explains. “It’s aboutbridging the gap wherever possible.”A constant bugbear is that market researchers as a breed tendto value their individuality and ability to think freely, meaning the deliveryof any training has to be carefully pitched so as not to create hostility.”They can resent the notion they should be having classes in what managersshould be like. In the past we have put managers through ‘sheep-dip learning’programmes or have given them a random array of courses and workshops that havebeen incoherent, or not given them enough information,” she admits candidly.Successful learning, in this context, is therefore very muchabout allowing the trainee to set their own goals and looking closely at how,or indeed if, the learning will be remembered and applied back in the workplace.”People find it hard to diagnose their development needs –you often do not realise your management skills are poor. So you need to designmanagement development programmes that address those obstacles,” sheargues.Moore, for instance, developed and instigated a managementself-learning programme, something she is justly proud of. Participants were asked to draw up a personal learning contractwith their line manager, setting out, through 360-degree feedback, learning.The managers were then split into learning groups of betweensix to eight people, meeting six to eight times over a nine-month period,overseen by a group adviser. At the end of the programme, each learning grouppresented what they had learnt to an audience of senior managers and board members.As to the future, Moore sees her role as helping to push thebusiness forward so it is offering clients a greater range of services –particularly more consultancy-type services rather than just dry intelligenceor statistics. While she concedes training and development is not, and neverwill be, a core business in any organisation, it is gaining ground. “Themore businesses have to cope with change, the more they need training anddevelopment programmes. Whatever happens, training and development is going tobe increasing in importance in the workplace,” she asserts. Elaine Moore is speaking at theHRD seminar: Developing senior managers Wednesday 17 April. (b12) 15.30-16.30GrahamPeekeDirector of professional and organisational development, Learning andSkills Development AgencyTraining and development has oftenbeen undervalued and is frequently one of the first things to go in times ofeconomic difficulty. “You have to push the economic and the business casefor it.”So says Graham Peeke, director of professional andorganisational development at the Learning and Skills Development Agency(LSDA). He should know. A number of years back the agency, then called theFurther Education Development Agency, was strongly criticised over itsperformance by the Parliamentary select committee on education.Now, however, it has turned its reputation around withinGovernment circles and in the further education sector as a whole. It has areputation as a body that adds value when it comes to training and developmentand which can put policy into practice, Peeke adds.The agency was renamed in November 2000. It provides trainingand runs conferences for further education personnel and co-ordinates researchand development projects. It is also the largest UK provider of training forgovernors, managers and practitioners in the further education sector, runningresidential courses, one-day courses and networking events.Peeke, 50, spent 23 years in the further education sector,working in colleges first as a lecturer and subsequently in a number ofmanagement roles. He joined the LSDA in 1997, moving to his current job in 1999.He oversees three teams covering professional development,quality improvement and the agency’s regional directors. Within the eight-strong professional development team, Peeke isresponsible for ensuring the delivery of programmes in areas such asleadership, governance and management development. Courses are generally aimedat college principals or middle managers.The quality improvement team, of about eight full-time staff,involves itself in large training contracts, mostly but not solely withGovernment, for improving the quality of adult learning.The agency has eight regional directors who are in contact withcolleges around the UK – a valuable source of intelligence. Training anddevelopment issues here include working with players such as the regionaldevelopment agencies, he says.Peeke’s role is largely one of overseeing management, budgetingand staffing issues surrounding training and development. “There is aleadership element to it. What are the key issues we are facing, where are wegoing, are we contributing to the corporate direction of the agency?” hesays.A major challenge, as he sees it, is that, inevitably in such asector, many of the projects or events that the agency is involved with arequite high profile so that, when they do go wrong, it can be a major headache.Another key challenge is securing contracts to make sure thebusiness continues to function. The agency gets a core grant of £4m from theGovernment but has a turnover of £25m. It gets the rest through competitivetendering of contracts, primarily with Government but also elsewhere.The best part of the job for him is its variety, fromspeech-making and writing to co-ordinating with other national bodies, he says.”You have a chance in a national organisation like this to influencepolicy. You are in a position to have some influence on what is going on indifferent organisations throughout the sector,” he explains.When it comes to his personal training and development, theagency holds ‘learning days’ every couple of months where staff can share bestpractice and ideas, look at key problems, solutions and policy initiativesacross the agency. There are also many informal learning opportunities, atconferences or through meeting other organisations as well as on-the-joblearning, stresses Peeke.He is proud of the shift in attitude he has brought about atthe agency, particularly towards professional development. Before he arrivedthere was a relatively small number of training programmes in this area and theagency had to spend a lot of time chasing customers because this part of theoperation was not centrally funded.Now, working with the Government, the agency has repositioneditself on how it identifies development needs. The funding has been put on acentral footing so it can be more strategic in its thinking, going direct toorganisations to address their needs. It has also worked to develop partnershipwith consultancies.”We have worked hard to reposition ourselves in the eyesof the Government as a body that is really good at translating policy intopractice,” he says.”Investing in training and development can really benefitbusiness. The number of people who are only responsible for training anddevelopment is shrinking – they are now more likely taking responsibility forthe whole HR area and quality improvement,” he adds.RayCampsieSenior executive responsible for group training and managementdevelopment, HSBCWithout active and enthusiasticsupport from the management executive, a training and development directorfaces an almost impossible task. Ray Campsie, the senior executive responsiblefor group training and management development at banking giant HSBC, countshimself lucky for the level of support he has from senior management.”These are people who have literally changed their diariesto take part in training and development activities. If you do not have thatsort of support, do not bother,” he says, citing the example of a recentcourse where the group chairman came down to give a briefing. HSBC spends some £90m a year on training, averaging out atabout £500 per person a year, or four to five days’ training each.Campsie, 54, joined the bank – then the Hong Kong Bank – in1986, having previously been head of UK management development in the waterindustry. He took on his current ‘concept’, as he calls it, in 1993.He is responsible for the overall quality and frequency oftraining for HSBC’s 173,000 employees worldwide. The bank has 7,000 offices in81 countries.The training and development function has a core central staffof about 20 trainers, complemented by training and development teams located inthe 15 business units. These may have as many as 400 people or as few as nineand report directly to group training officers, with ‘a dotted line’ leading toCampsie.The majority of HSBC’s training is split into two areas: specialisedfunctional training and general management training. At this level, inevitably,Campsie has moved on from a hands-on training role. “I do none whatsoever– I have been banished,” he jokes.Instead, his role is largely about strategic planning. He takesresponsibility for any relevant initiatives that come down from the seniormanagement team and has specific responsibility for the bank’s graduate intake.This year HSBC is expected to recruit some 250 graduates to its commercial bankand between 70 to 100 on the investment banking side.His is not a board-level position and he reports to the groupgeneral manager of HR. He declines to go public on his salary, simply saying”it is the norm” for his level in his sector.The key challenge, he argues, is much the same as that faced byany training and development director. “It’s about getting more with less.More with less money and less people. It’s about trying to get a global reachto ensure people network and communicate across their natural boundaries andgeographical functions,” he says.One of the key drivers of this process has been the war fortalent, a war that has been particularly acute in the banking sector. All thebig banks have had to take a hard look at how they retain and motivate theirstaff, and training and development, as a result, has moved rapidly up theagenda. “The war for talent is not just about those with highpotential. You cannot just create an elite and focus on them, you still have aresponsibility for the other 99.9 per cent who run the organisation,” heexplains.In an organisation of this size, a major headache is simplyensuring his message keeps getting home, says Campsie. Then there is theongoing debate about how training should be best delivered. HSBC has taken a conscious decision not to, as Campsie puts it,”spend bucket-loads on e-learning”. Subsequently, most of the group’straining still takes place face-to-face. There is also a debate over how muchshould be bought in from outside and how much kept in-house.Campsie himself recently attended a three-day conference inBrussels on leadership development. Otherwise, most of his own training anddevelopment comes from relevant journals and others in the industry.Three years ago, HSBC launched a five-year strategy. As part ofthis, Campsie helped organise a two-day worldwide seminar. “Thecommunication and preparation for that was fun afterwards, but not at thetime,” he laughs.More recently, he has been instrumental in putting in place a‘collective management’ project, bringing together groups of 12 people fromfunctions across the world. The 12 take part in a three-day intensiveprogramme, including meeting a range of senior management, undertakingprojects, forming business learning groups and running simulations to emphasisethe benefits of collective working. So far more than 50 managers have beenthrough it.Effective training and development, he argues, is “acombination of coaching, counselling and consulting skills” as well ashaving the vision to see what the real needs of an organisation are. “You must either get involved in the business, or get out.You are either a business partner or you are not. If you cannot provenumerically or emotionally that you add value then you do not deserve to bepart of the game,” he explains.AmberMooreNational training and development manager, DLAGetting training and developmentright is not rocket science, insists Amber Moore, national training anddevelopment manager at law firm DLA. “The business practices and the basicprinciples are the same irrespective of what sphere you are working in,”she says.She identifies four key elements: setting a strategy that linksin with the business, budgeting it sensibly, integrating it within the businessand, crucially, delivering on your promises.”I think to a certain extent people in the training anddevelopment function have to be proactive in changing perceptions of them. Youcannot afford to sit back and say I am undervalued or underpaid,” she adds.This is particularly the case in the legal profession, not asector known for its indulgence of under performers. But Moore, 33, has neverbeen one to shy away from challenges. After graduating in French and GreekStudies from Keele, she found herself managing 300 shift workers on theshopfloor in a manufacturing plant. “I was responsible for making sure thework continued smoothly, because if they stopped they did not get paid,”she laughs.After that daunting experience, she went back to college tolearn IT skills and ended up at a company called Central Law Training, buildingup the company’s legal training department.Head hunted twice, she eventually landed at DLA in 1998, firstas training and development manager, then as national training and developmentmanager. She is, she adds, “very well paid for what I do” butdeclines to name a figure.Unusually for a law firm, training and development at DLA isintrinsically intertwined with the HR function. She reports to the HR directorand is one of four national managers. Her team consists of five people: threesenior officers and two training and development officers.Her role is to design, with the HR department, the wholetraining and development strategy for the firm and implement it among DLR’s2,616 staff, including 303 partners. The way she has done this, she explains, is to take an holisticapproach to training and development. “Training is often seen as very mucha pill to be taken to cure an ailment. But I had a fantastic opportunity tolook at having an HR and training and development strategy that was integratedinto the business strategy.”Moore developed a curriculum-based approach. She consulted witheveryone in the practice and put together a curriculum pack for each individualmember of staff outlining their training and development needs, competencies,and career development plans.The biggest challenge was in changing behaviour, she argues.”You cannot approach something like this overnight. It took a tremendousamount of hard work, having to demonstrate on a constant basis the value of it.”The skills and management pack was launched at the end of 2000and this May will be extended to the fee earners – the solicitors – within thebusiness, who up until now have only had a pack devoted to IT training. Moore is working on developing the company’s three-yearstrategy to make it one of the top five law firms in Europe. “The nextchallenge is to take the model we have into Europe and make it fit thepractices there.”Unsurprisingly, she has access to the curriculum herself and,indeed, often pilots some of the courses on offer. She is also doing apostgraduate diploma in HR development at the University of Manchester BusinessSchool.For Moore, the worst part of the job is the need to constantlybe re-evaluating what she does and how she does it. “You can never affordto sit back and relax and say that is it,” she says. “It isexhausting.”At the same time, worst can also be best. “When you areable to deliver on something that you can actually see and make a difference,it is hugely rewarding. When people who have been sceptical and cynical come upto you and say ‘that really worked’, you get a real buzz,” she enthuses,adding: “Lawyers are not generally very liberal with their praise.”AmberMoore is speaking at the HRD seminar: Learning Strategies that work. Thursday18 April 13.45-15.00               Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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City banks back recruitment drive

first_imgCity banks back recruitment driveOn 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Someof London’s leading investment banks are hoping to prompt more women toconsider a career in the City by taking part in a work experience initiativeaimed at female graduates.CapitalChances – women in investment banking will give 300 female undergraduates fromleading universities experience of working at 20 investment banks and fundmanagement companies that are part-sponsoring the scheme.Theinitiative, which is also sponsored by London Business School and Reuters andsupported by Opportunity Now, aims to challenge stereotypes that have built-upover the years about the City’s male-dominated work culture.ClaraFreeman, chairwoman of Opportunity Now, commented: “We are enormouslyencouraged by the positive response to Capital Chances. Investment banks seethat recruiting, retaining and developing women is central to their futuresuccess and are seeking ways of doing it.”Eachfirst year student taking part in the scheme will experience life at twoorganisations.Overan intensive 24-hours, they will participate in business games and tour thebanks’ offices. They will also have the chance to meet senior City figures, andtalk to recent graduates and graduate recruitment teams.Asa result of last year’s initiative, 68 per of students who attended applied forinternships.www.doctorjob.com/targetlive/capitalchanceslast_img read more

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Religious discrimination

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Inthis series, we delve into the XpertHR reference manual to find essentialinformation relating to one of our features. This month’s topic…Future developmentsA European Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment inemployment and occupation was formally adopted by the Council of Ministers on27 November 2000, almost exactly one year after the European Commission firstproposed it. The directive, which must be implemented by member states by 2 December2003, or 2 December 2006 in the case of its age and disability discriminationprovisions, outlaws discrimination on a wide range of grounds, considerablyextending the EU level framework for protection against discrimination. All member states will have to introduce new laws in order to comply withthe aims of the directive. The purpose of the directive is to establish a general framework within theEU for protection against discrimination on the basis of religion or belief,disability, age and sexual orientation. It covers: – Conditions for access to employment, self-employment or an occupation(including selection criteria and recruitment conditions in all branches ofactivity and including promotion) – Access to all types and to all levels of vocational guidance, training,advanced vocational retraining and work experience – Employment and working conditions, including dismissals and pay – Membership of and involvement in a workers’ or employers’ employmentorganisation or any professional organisation, and any benefits provided bythose bodies Religion or beliefDiscrimination on grounds of religion or belief includes discrimination ongrounds of not belonging to a particular religious group, as well asdiscrimination on grounds of practising a particular religion. These provisionsmust be implemented by 2 December 2003. The major impact in the UK of this part of the directive will be inproviding increased protection against discrimination for the Muslim community.In respect of direct discrimination, it will allow claims to be brought byMuslim women, for example, who are subjected to harassment because of theirattire. As regards indirect discrimination, practices that fail to accommodate theneed for time off to observe religious holidays will be subject to scrutiny. There is a limited scope of derogation in that member states will be able tomake religion a genuine occupational qualification for particular posts, wherethis is justified by the nature of the activities or the context in which theyare carried out. So it would allow a Catholic school to require its teachers tobe practising Catholics, but is unlikely to allow them to impose similarrestrictions on, for example, ancillary staff such as cooks or cleaners. Religion and race discriminationThe UK does not currently have legislation preventing discrimination on thegrounds of religion or belief, except in Northern Ireland. A person discriminated against on account of their religion has to try torely on the Race Relations Act 1976, which provides protection for individualswho experience discrimination on grounds of colour, race, ethnicity or nationalorigin but not religion or beliefs. Jews, Sikhs and gypsies have all fallenwithin the Act, but Rastafarians have been held to be a religious group and nota ‘race’ under the Act. Muslims are a religious but not a racial group.However, action taken by an employer that adversely affects Muslims as a class(such as a refusal to allow time off work to celebrate a religious festival)could constitute unlawful indirect race discrimination – J H Walker Ltd vHussain and others, 1996, IRLR 11 EAT. In Seide v Gillette Industries Ltd, 1980, IRLR 427 EAT, the EmploymentAppeal Tribunal said that ‘Jewish’ could mean membership of either a race or aparticular ethnic group, both of which fell within the Race Relations Act 1976,as well as membership of a particular faith, which did not fall within the Act.It is therefore important to establish which religious groups are alsorecognised as racial groups. Problems often occur in this area in relation to time off for example toattend mosque or as part of the Jewish faith to leave work at sunset onFridays. It may also extend to longer periods to participate in religiousfestivals. However, if a claim is brought, the employer may be able to justifythe requirement of attendance. In Fluss v Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants, 1987, 30561/86 COIT, Flusscomplained he was not offered a job because he had to leave work before sunseton Fridays and, on this basis, had been indirectly discriminated against. Thetribunal said, although the requirement to work 9.30 am to 5.30 pm had adiscriminatory impact on Jews, it was a justifiable requirement in all thecircumstances. Human Rights Act The Human Rights Act 1998 has the potential to provide more protection thanthe amount given in relation to religious belief by the Race Relations Act1976. It came into force on 2 October 2000 and incorporates the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights into UK law. It affects the way in which UK courtsinterpret domestic legislation. They are obliged to: – Take into account any judgment, decision, declaration or advisory opinionof the European Court of Human Rights – So far as possible, interpret primary and subordinate legislation in a waythat is compatible with the convention rights If a court decides that UK legislation is incompatible with the convention,it can make a declaration to that effect. If a declaration of incompatibilityis made, parliament is likely to amend the offending legislation. The HRA primarily applies to ‘public authorities’. Individuals can bringfree-standing claims in the courts for breaches of the HRA by a publicauthority. The courts and employment tribunals are public authorities and arerequired to decide if all cases before them are compatible with conventionrights as far as possible. Therefore, all employees will potentially be able to raise human rightsissues to support claims under any part of UK employment law. Freedom of religionArticle 9 of the European Convention relates to freedom of religion: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.This right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom,either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifesthis religion or belief, in worship, teaching or practice and observance.” This gives employees of public authorities the entitlement to practise theirreligion and, more importantly, not to be disciplined for doing so. It providesstaff of private bodies with some protection if they are dismissed, since adismissal for grounds that infringe a convention right will be unlikely to befound fair. Therefore, in a claim under Article 9, it is likely that Rastafarians, aswell as various denominations of Christianity and other world religions, willbe able to claim protection. However, case law on Article 9 highlights itslimitations. In Ahmad v UK, 1982, 4 EHRR 126, a Muslim school teacher wanted to pray athis mosque for 45 minutes every Friday. The local authority refused and reliedon his contract of employment, which required him to work on Fridays. The European Court of Human Rights held that the local authority’s refusaldid not infringe Article 9, since the employee had voluntarily accepted ateaching post which prevented his attendance at prayers and he had notcomplained, or requested time off, during his first six years at work. The court identified the issue as being whether, in relying on the contractof employment, the local authority was arbitrarily disregarding the right tofreedom of religion. In Stedman v UK, 1997, 23 EHRR 168, the applicant was dismissed for refusingto work on Sundays in accordance with her religious beliefs. Her claim wasrejected, on (it seems) the ground that she was not dismissed because of herreligious beliefs, but because she had refused to work her contractual hours.The court did not consider at any length the point that her refusal to workcontractual hours was because of her religious beliefs. This is an extract from the Equal Opportunity chapter of the XpertHRemployment law reference manual (chapter author Hilary Slater) Action point checklist– Take into consideration requeststhat have a religious connection– Be aware that certain religious groups have been held to comewithin the Race Relations Act 1976– Take into consideration the Human Rights Act 1998 as thiscould be used to support other employment claims– Take into consideration the wording of the equalopportunities policy and whether actions would be in breach of this policy– Take into account forthcoming changes in discrimination lawand amend policies accordinglyQuestions and answersDoes legislation currently existthat protects an employee from religious discrimination?Currently, the UK does not have legislation preventingdiscrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, except in NorthernIreland. A person discriminated against on account of their religion must relyon the indirect discrimination provisions contained in the Race Relations Act1976, which provides protection for individuals who experience discriminationon grounds of colour, race, nationality, ethnic origins and national origins,but not religion or beliefs. However, a European directive will extendprotection against discrimination from 2003.Are there any other ways thatemployers may be found to be acting unlawfully regarding employees’ religiousbeliefs?The Human Rights Act 1998, which came into force on 2 October2000, has the potential to provide more protection than the limited amountcurrently available in relation to religious belief by the Race Relations Act1976. It incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, andaffects the way in which UK courts interpret domestic legislation. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Religious discriminationOn 1 Dec 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Case round-up

first_img Previous Article Next Article This week’s case round-upCareer break scheme broke continuity of employment Curr v Marks & Spencer plc, Court of Appeal, 13 Dec 2002, All ER (D)205 Cheryl Curr joined Marks & Spencer in 1973. In 1989, during maternityleave, she decided to take part in her employer’s new career break scheme. Thescheme, which was unpaid, required Curr to resign but guaranteed her amanagement post if she wished to return at the end of the break. Following a four-year break, Curr returned to work in 1994. In 1999 Curr wasmade redundant and her redundancy payment was calculated based on continuousemployment from 1994. Curr brought a tribunal complaint arguing her redundancypayment should have been calculated on the basis of continuous employment from1973 rather than the return from her career break. The tribunal dismissed her complaint, but the EAT held the scheme amountedto an arrangement under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (s212(3)) and foundCurr’s continuity was preserved from 1973 onwards. (Section 212(3)c providesthat where an employee is absent from work in circumstances in which, byarrangement or custom, he is regarded as continuing in employ-ment for anypurpose, continuity will be preserved, even though no contract of employment isin existence). The Court of Appeal disagreed. For the scheme to be an ‘arrangement’ therehad to be mutual recognition by the parties that, despite Curr’s absence fromwork, she nevertheless continued in M&S’ employment. This was not the case.Curr had clearly resigned and the scheme offered future re-employ-ment whichdemonstrated that she was not regarded as continuing in employment.Accordingly, Curr was not entitled to a redundancy payment based on her serviceprior to or during her career break. Holiday pay for ‘self-employed’ joiner Torith Ltd v Flynn, EAT, 21 November 2002, EAT website,16 Dec 2002 Flynn undertook work as a joiner for Torith, a firm of building contractors.Throughout his engagement, he was registered as self-employed for tax purposesand was perceived that way by the firm. When Flynn’s engagement came to an end he brought a tribunal claim forholiday pay under the Working Time Regulations 1998. The regulations provide that a ‘worker’ includes “an individual whounder-takes to do or perform personally any work or services for another partyto the contract whose status is not, by virtue of the contract, that of aclient or a customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on bythe individual”. The tribunal conducted a careful review of the working arrangements betweenFlynn and Torith, arriving at a number of findings of fact. In line with thecase of Byrne Brothers (Formwork) Ltd v Baird and others, 2002, IRLR 96, thetribunal found that Flynn was a “worker” under the regulations.Torith’s appeal was unsuccessful. The EAT commented that the regulations appeared to create a hybrid categoryof protected persons somewhere between employees and the genuinelyself-employed. The chairman was correct to approach the definition of ‘worker’ by firstlyassessing the factors surrounding Flynn’s engagement much as he would have donein determining a contract of service from a contract for services. Having established that in Flynn’s case these factors weighed more towardsemployment status than self-employed status, the decision that he properly fellwithin the category of ‘worker’ was a reasonable one. Related posts:No related photos. Case round-upOn 21 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

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More police join beat through IT schedule project

first_imgThe North Wales Police force is hoping to increase the number of officers onthe beat and save at least £400,000 after introducing a computerised employeemanagement system. The duty management project will save time by replacing manual staffscheduling with an IT system to ensure the force always has enough officersworking at any given time. The system, which caters for 1,500 officers and 1,000 civilian staff,ensures police spend as much time as possible in the community while keeping upwith other commitments such as court appearances and training days. Ruth Purdie, acting superintendent at North Wales Police, withresponsibility for HR, said the system will help HR track and manage sicknessand injury. “It will make the police more efficient in managing its personnel andimprove performance and quality of service. It also helps us deal with all thecomplexities of police regulations and reduces paperwork. “We estimate saving at least £400,000-worth of admin time over the nexttwo years,” she said. The system, Open Options, links directly to payroll, calculates complexovertime payments and ensures compliance with the Working Time Directive. More police join beat through IT schedule projectOn 6 May 2003 in Police, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Career focus: Yorkshire & the humberside

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. A region by region look at working in HR in the UK. This month we look atYorkshire & the humberside.  Editedby Ross Wigham e-mail: [email protected] of transformation blows across the NorthThe economy of Northern England has been in a period of change for severalyears and the region is a prime example of this transformation. The economy of Yorkshire and the Humber has consistently outstripped theEuropean growth average for the past five years and attracted significantforeign investment. Because of the cheaper costs associated with the region and a workforce of2.3 million, many large firms have moved north. The area’s10 universities and40 colleges now provide around 10 per cent of the UK’s graduates and theregional development fund has awarded £7.5m to skills development schemes. The latest Labour Force Survey shows that employment is stable in the regionat 71.4 per cent, up by 0.6 per cent in 12 months. The seasonally adjustedunemployment rate was down by 0.2 per cent to 5 per cent. The claimant countalso dropped. The survey reports that around 2.3 million people are employed inthe region and that there has been a rise in the number of self-employedpeople. Like other growth areas in the UK the region is pitching itself as aworld-class business location with cities such as Leeds, Sheffield and York atthe forefront of this investment drive. In the east of the region, Hull is one of the UK’s principle ports. One ofthe main areas of development within the local economy has been the growth ofthe service industries and retailing which now employ more people thanmanufacturing. Lesley Hayhurst, branch secretary of the South Yorkshire branch of theChartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which has around 2,000members, says: “There are a lot of organisations around the area and somegood opportunities for HR professionals. House prices are reasonable, andalthough there are plenty of towns and cities, you’re never too far away fromthe countryside.” Hayhurst said HR is a real growth area because a great deal of cultural workis being done as the region’s economy changes and develops. “There’s a real challenge around culture change and that presents someimportant roles for HR, and people coming into the profession.” Helen Thornton, chair of the 3,500 strong West Yorkshire branch of the CIPD,which includes Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Dewsbury, reports major growthacross the area. “There are lots of financial institutions now based in the region andthat sector has been growing in the past few years,” she said. “Thepublic sector is another major employer, but the economy as a whole has a goodmix.” There is also support for HR professionals from the Northern AreaPartnership – an informal network of seven CIPD branches. Sarah Attwell works as an HR assistant for Gamestation in York and iscurrently studying for her CIPD qualification. She believes the area is a greatplace to start a career in the profession because it’s so central in the UKwith good transport links. “I think it depends on the company you work for to a certain extent. Inmy experience training and support is available,” she says. Living in the regionEducation: The Region in Figuresreport by the Office for National Statistics shows that the pupil/teacher ratiois slightly above the national average at primary schools on 22.7 (UK average22.0) and secondary schools 16.9 (average 16.4) The Local Education Authorityspend per pupil and average class sizes are also around the national average.Some 40.2 per cent of boys and 51.3 per cent of girls leave school with five ormore grade A-C GCSEs, and 29.2 per cent of boys and 36.6 per cent of girls passtwo or more A levels.Transport: The area is connected to London and Scotland via theEast Coast railway which has a major station at York. There are also largetrain stations at Leeds and Sheffield as well as an extensive local network.Leeds/Bradford airport serves the area, but has limited routes. The M62, the M1and a recent link to the A1 are the main roads.Culture/lifestyle: Yorkshire is traditionally known for it’sbeautiful countryside and friendly people, but a new image of the area isemerging. Traditional tourist hotspots such as York are now being complementedby the vibrant, modern cities of Leeds, Sheffield and Hull. Housing: According to figures from the Land Registry, theaverage price of a house in the region is around £108,876. The average detachedproperty is £188,925 while a flat or maisonette will cost about £98,519. Anaverage semi will be £101, 639. York, North Yorkshire and East Riding are themost expensive areas.Company profileFirst directStaff: 2,600Based: LeedsFirst Direct, part of the HSBC banking group, has been based inLeeds since 1989. Jane Hanson, the organisational development manager said thegroup was based in Leeds from its inception because the area offered severalkey benefits.”Initially, there was an available workforce and we neededthat because it was 24-hour opening with customers using the phone and theinternet.”We felt the people here were suitable for the challengeand research suggested that the [Yorkshire] accent was perceived as verytrustworthy,” she said.Hanson went on to explain that there were lots of young peoplein the area and two very good universities to recruit from. Leeds was also seenas an up-and-coming city with superb transport links to the rest of the country.Hanson moved to the area four years ago and admits thelifestyle had a big part to play in her decision. “It’s a really excitingcity and there have been lots of changes in the past few years. It’s probably abit of a clich‚, but people are much more friendly here. That really helps whenyou’re trying to build a culture within an organisation,” she says.Move here for…RamblingThe area has three National Parks and its famous countrysidehas featured in countless TV shows, such as Last of the Summer Wine andHeartbeatConferenceGet the best seats at the annual CIPD conference in HarrogateSweet stuffYork is home to one of the UK’s largest confectionery factoriesBut beware of…FootballIf Leeds United are relegated, as looks increasingly likely,then there will be no Yorkshire representation in the Premier League The Grit The legendary hard-nosed Yorkshireman might scare’soft’SouthernersLancashireEven mentioning the place could start a second War of the RosesHR contacts and local informationRegional development agency www.yorkshire-forward.comRegional Assembly www.rayh.gov.uk/index.cfmNorth Yorkshire CIPD http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/nyork/West Yorkshire CIPD http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/wyork/South Yorkshire CIPD http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/syork/Humber CIPD http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/humber/www.hrdirectorsclub.comwww.ytb.org.ukwww.yorkshirenet.co.uk Career focus: Yorkshire & the humbersideOn 17 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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