Month: May 2021

CBI and TUC call for adult learning funds

first_img Previous Article Next Article TheGovernment should provide sufficient funding for all adults to receivepublicly-funded education up to GCSE level, according to a joint Budgetsubmission by the CBI and TUC. It is thefirst time they have published a joint submission, and is in response to arequest from Chancellor Gordon Brown. They alsocall for the Government to provide incentives for companies to achieve theInvestors in People standard. Recommendationsinclude extending tax credit for research, making more firms eligible fordiscounts on energy tax, and improving the funding of regional development. Related posts:No related photos. CBI and TUC call for adult learning fundsOn 6 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

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first_img Previous Article Next Article NewsOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. This months newsUnsafe laboratory London’s Imperial College has been fined £20,000 after pleading guilty to acharge brought by the HSE of failing to ensure that a laboratory was properlysealed to permit disinfection and fumigation without the release of spilt agents.Universal Safety Consultants, the college’s safety adviser, was also fined£20,000. Electrical hazard The death of an electrician working in offices of Doncaster MetropolitanBorough Council has led to a fine of £400,000 being imposed on the council, theHSE has said. Cement safety An £11,000 fine imposed on a Kent company should serve as a warning toeveryone who works with cement that proper safety precautions are essential,the HSE has said. The fine against Astell Scientific (Holdings) followed anincident in February last year that led to a man having to have his legamputated after receiving chemical burns following exposure to cement. Roadwork dangers Three companies have been fined a total of £120,000 following an accident inCambridgeshire that led to a man having his leg amputated. Ringway HighwayServices, Hewden Plant Hire and Phoenix Engineering were fined. last_img read more

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Civil Service study shows progress in race equality

first_imgBy Katie Hawkins Sir Richard Wilson, head of the Home Civil Service, said,”This is ground-breaking research. It shows the Civil Service ReformProgramme is making progress on diversity and is outscoring other public andprivate-sector organisations on employee perceptions of fairness and equality. Comments are closed. The Diversity Study was carried out by ORC International andwas sent to 16,484 civil servants. The response rate was just under 50 percent. But 71 per cent of civil servants agree that theorganisation is an equal opportunities employer compared to an average of 67per cent for other public, private and voluntary sector organisations. Sixty-one per cent feel they can balance their home andworking lives without hindering their career, although 19 per cent do not feelthis is possible. The Civil Service claims that its ground-breaking staffresearch shows that good progress is being made on fairness and equality in itsworkplace. Furthermore, 60 per cent of respondents feel they aretreated with fairness and respect, compared with 52 per cent of employees inother organisations. More than a fifth of ethnic minority staff in the CivilService believe they have been treated unfairly as a result of their race,claims the research.center_img Previous Article Next Article Civil Service study shows progress in race equalityOn 3 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today The diversity study looked at staff perceptions of the CivilService as an equal opportunities employer, and the organisation claims itshows it has achieved higher than average levels of fairness and equality forstaff. Seventeen per cent of disabled staff say they have beendiscriminated against due to their disability, and 20 per cent of staff who areprimary carers say they have been treated unfairly as a result of theirresponsibilities. “Using the findings of this research, we have been workingwith every department and agency to develop new and innovative ways of ensuringfairness and equality for all and making the best use of the diversity oftalent we have in the service.” But the figures also suggest discrimination against ethnicminority and disabled staff. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Would-be soldiers to ‘try before they buy’ in chatroom

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. An Internet chatroom is to be used as part of an Army recruitment drive inScotland. Glasgow-based recruitment agency Search Consultancy, which recently won aground-breaking recruitment contract to advertise for 2,000 soldiers, is settingup a website where potential applicants will be able to talk to young recruitsabout their experiences. As well as press and TV adverts, Search is instigating more innovativeapproaches, including cinema days which show films about Army life and a”try before you buy” recruitment scheme, which allows people to spenda day in the force before signing up. Peter Cruickshank, director of Advance, the division of Search Consultancyset up to recruit for the Army, said, “The Army offers the widest numberof career opportunities of any UK organisation and provides the chance to studyup to degree level while earning upwards of £198 per week from the age of 17. “Whether it’s electrical or mechanical engineering, telecoms or IT,there is a huge choice for young people looking for a challenge,” he said. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Would-be soldiers to ‘try before they buy’ in chatroomOn 21 Aug 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Union heralds a new partnership between employer and worker

first_imgSir Ken Jackson believes that new super-union Amicus will change the shapeof employment relationsA new union with a million members opened for business on New Year’s Day. Two unions have merged – the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union(AEEU) and the Manufacturing, Science, Finance (MSF) – to create Amicus. Amicus is the ancient word for friend, supporter, partner and wisecounsellor. We shall be membership based, relying on an industrial structure ofworkplace-based activists, with huge conferences and ballots of the membersbacking up day-to-day activist democracy. The new union has a huge mandate of support with members voting by more thanfour to one to set up Amicus in a massive ballot. What will be the implications of our new union for the HR profession? Most importantly, we shall have the resources to support our workplacerepresentatives. They will need a new depth of support to give our membersauthoritative advice on the many issues thrown up by the global economy.Accomplished and confident reps are needed in the modern process ofconsultation, with managers needing to be coolly challenged on theirunderstanding of the business by staff who have the company’s future at heart. Amicus will also have the best trade union education service in the UK andthe best research, pensions, lifelong learning and lobbying facilitiesavailable. Our assets are valued at more than £100m and our annual income will exceed£66m. We include over 110 MPs and MEPs as members. The new union expects to build on more than 200 AEEU and MSF recognitionsuccesses, which in 2001 included companies as diverse as Virgin Atlantic,Tibbett and Britten, Penguin Books, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Honda. Amicus’ breadth of appeal is based on the positive competencies we can bringto the party. We don’t instinctively trade on managers’ petty tyrannies – realor imagined – but prefer to trade on our practical services. All of this is available to the employers we deal with. We shall be theunion of partnership both with employers and employees. Our partnership approach is not a tactical manoeuvre, but a preferred way ofindustrial life. It is not a new word for deference either. Partnership will promotemutual help, respect and deliver better work from people because they feelvalued. One of our biggest challenges will be to boost productivity through skillsdevelopment. Our representatives will all be taking advantage of skills andprofessional development at every level of business. We shall do our bit and spend around £4m of our own money to show companiesthat our dedication to skills reform is not just rhetoric. The newly launched union is not the finished article. We are already inmerger talks with other British unions that will make us the biggest union inthe UK. Our structures are robust enough to welcome every group into our fold. Everyone of our initial 21 industrial groups will have its own consultationprocesses, yet every group will be able to call on the best full-time officersand general support services available. As the largest affiliate of the Labour Party, we have immense politicalinfluence in Brussels and Whitehall alike. With professional and skilled members in both the private sector and publicservices, we effectively represent the attitudes of the UK workplace – we areBritain in microcosm. We are determined that our new strength is placed at thedisposal of this country’s economic reform and future success. I am looking forward to introducing Britain’s management teams to Amicus –your new friend. Sir Ken Jackson is joint general secretary of Amicus Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Union heralds a new partnership between employer and workerOn 8 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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The sorcerer’s apprentices

first_imgThe sorcerer’s apprenticesOn 4 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Anyone who applies for a job in one of B&Q’s DIY stores is in for ashock. Not for B&Q the terse little letter, asking promising candidates tocome in for interview, or informing the unsuccessful of their doom. Instead,candidates will receive a document with a graph on it plotting theirpersonality against population norms on such factors as conscientiousness,cleanliness and integrity, and a commentary explaining why they may or may notbe cut out for a life in customer service. Thanks to an ‘Automated Telephone Screening Interview’ – a telephone-basedpsychometric questionnaire – the store claims to be able to tell which of the200,000 applicants each year might be suitable for one of 15,000 jobs. Bypressing numbers on a phone, B&Q tests personalities to see if applicantsfit with the kind of ‘culture’ it wants in its shops. “I prefer to have myclosest relationships outside work rather than with a colleague,” thesystem asks, or “I believe most people will steal if they can get away withit.” You press five for ‘very like me’ or numbers down to one for ‘nothinglike me at all’. Brave new techniques Following the ‘interview’, the system works out a score and generates thedocument. The successful go on to a database so managers at one of the 320stores can pick from a shortlist. Only then will candidates be asked aboutdrill bits, paint finishes and pyracanthas. There is always a section of the HR community who become incontinent withexcitement about go-ahead psychological sorcery like this. Imagine, they say tothemselves, a whole shop of people sharing personality traits – everybodyyes-siring and can-doing and going the extra mile – but not swiping stock orimpregnating their colleagues. Fantastic! But isn’t it all a bit too Brave New World? Recruitment is becoming atool for breeding social stability in the workplace, a kind ofpseudo-scientific caste system. The next step might be hatching employees inincubators. It is with a certain cheek, that the company has ‘respect forpeople’ as one of its five ‘values’ adorning wall plaques in stores across theland. Prospective scoffers should not be too quick, though. B&Q has beenoutspokenly progressive on HR. It is in the vanguard of employers who havetaken up the cause of older workers (they know more about DIY), has verygenerous profit-share policies and has pioneered flexible working and elearning. Moreover, its automated recruitment scheme has the advantage ofconsistency and does not discriminate on race or gender. Store managerswhittling down a pile of applications by the time-honoured method of capriceand prejudice is not exactly ideal. The psychometric commentary is part of an effort to provide feedback toapplicants (part of psychometric best practice). Yet the most powerful argumentin its favour is a simple one: since the psychometric system was adopted in1999, staff turnover has fallen, from 35 per cent a year to 29 per cent. Psychometric tests, of course, remain controversial. To some they are wickedbecause they are darkly accurate, boiling down personalities to theiralchemical essence. To others they are wicked because they are inaccurate, withas much predictive veracity for employment as sorting by birth weight. But assuming the technical bona fides of B&Q’s test, it seems to methere are two good grounds for questioning if this sifting mechanism is, well,quite up to the job. Dubious wisdom First, it is very intrusive. Prying into the quirks and ticks of humanindividuality for the sake of an entry-level job does not seem proportionate,let alone wise. How would you like it if you went for a job selling paint, werequizzed about your relationships, and received an analysis of your personality?Second, it is dubious how this system fits with the guidelines of the BritishPsychological Society (BPS), the body that supposedly promotes responsible testuse. The BPS code of good practice says test users should “use tests only inconjunction with other assessment methods and only when their use can besupported by the available technical information”. In B&Q’s system, more than 150,000 applicants are being rejected on thebasis of a psychometric instrument alone. Fortunately for B&Q, the BPS is not clear what its own guideline means.Does it mean psychometric tests should not be the only tool used to accept orreject someone? Or does it mean a company should use interviews and referencesin addition to psychometrics in its overall recruitment armoury? David Bartram, chairman of the BPS steering committee on test standards andresearch director of SHL, says the latter: it’s a question of overallrecruitment and B&Q is safe. Yet Colin Selby, a member of the division ofoccupational psychology at the BPS and a consultant with Penna, says theformer: no-one should be rejected solely because of a psychometric test score. To have such a confused message is a fudge of real psychological genius onthe part of the BPS, leaving organisations to invent their own rules – ablyassisted by suppliers with an interest in marketing psychometric applications.The truth is neither efficient nor modern: there are significant ethicaldownsides to relying on psychometrics as an initial filter that never existedwith old-fashioned manual short-listing. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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The last word

first_imgThe last wordOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Trainer and writer John Charlton gives some advice on what not to wear whenconducting a training course Imagine my horror recently when I unwrapped a birthday present  and discovered a pilot’s shirt. Or rather, ashort-sleeve shirt in the pilot style.  Naturally, I stuffed it in the charity clothes bank. It’sprobably now being worn by a sweaty moustachioed taxi driver in Bucharest’sLatin quarter.The sight of this item set me thinking about  trainer stereotypes and the ongoing debatesurrounding ‘smart casual’ business dress. This phenomenon, too often a socialand professional minefield, is still in favour, according to recent research byIRS. Yet very often good trainers let themselves down by theirchoice of attire and they underestimate the importance of appearance at theirprofessional peril. Image consultant Lesley Everett says 55 per cent of impressionswe form about  people are based onpersonal appearance and 38 per cent on voice quality. That leaves 7 per centfor words. Add the truism that decisions at interviews are made within 30seconds of candidates introducing themselves and it’s clear that we tend toplace far more emphasis on what we see rather than what we smell or hear. Sightis the most powerful sense. So how can trainers hit the right couture note?The simple answer is to dress appropriately for the audienceand environment in which they’re performing. Casual wear is probably OK in a blue-collar type environmentbut not in a business one. There co-ordinated conservative attire is the rule,and ties are a must for males. As Oscar Wilde said : “A well-tied tie isthe first serious step in life.” Although I think he would have made Open University lecturers anexception to that rule.It’s also imperative to minimise colours, wear matching shoesin good condition and to keep clothes clean. In her book Walking Tall – Key Steps to Total Image Impact,Everett recommends an image audit and self-critique analysis which involvesseeking and taking advice from a trusted source. Sounds fine – just make surethat source isn’t an Open University lecturer wearing a pilot’s shirt. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Boundless Curiosity

first_imgBoundless CuriosityShared from missc on 25 Feb 2015 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article I found this article the other day from Diane Coyle (@diane1859). She points to a 1959 controversy sparked by CP Snow’s observation about a preference in English education for Humanities over Sciences and a consequential lack of scientific literacy in the society of the time. It got me curious, particularly in the light of this brilliant piece from Wait but Why and some recent politics […]Read full article last_img read more

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Silverstein’s Tal Kerret seeks $250M for SPAC

first_img Proptechsilverstein propertiesSPAC Silverstein Properties’ Tal Kerret and Silvertech’s Charles Federman (Getty, Silvertech)Scott Rechler has a SPAC. Rob Speyer has two. And now, Silverstein Properties’ Tal Kerret is joining the craze.In a regulatory filing Tuesday, SilverSPAC Inc. said it intends to raise $250 million for a blank-check firm that aims to take a proptech firm public. In addition, SilverSPAC will target fintech startups and enterprise tech companies that have real estate applications.Developer Larry Silverstein, who founded Silverstein Properties in the 1950s, will not be involved. His development firm has been investing in proptech since 2015 via Silvertech Ventures, an accelerator and VC firm co-founded by Kerret and longtime VC investor Charles Federman. (Kerret is president of Silverstein Properties and the developer’s son-in-law.)Silvertech has worked with 29 startups to date, according to the regulatory filing. Through an affiliated venture fund, it’s also backed 17 companies, including Fundrise, a real estate investment platform, and The Guarantors, an insurance startup that acts as a co-signer on rental apartments.SilverSPAC will draw on its relationships with Silvertech and Silverstein Properties to source and evaluate business deals. “The adoption of technology and innovation in real estate and financial services has recently reached an inflection point,” the filing said. “In this environment, the power of data and the ability to manipulate and analyze it for rapid insights has become a necessity to industry participants.”Read moreScott Rechler formed a $250M proptech SPAC These SPACs firms are hunting for proptech deals Blank-check firms make comeback in real estate Full Name* Tags Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Silverstein Properties has developed 40 million square feet of real estate, including the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. The developer owns and manages 3, 4 and 7 World Trade and is working on 2 World Trade. Silverstein is also the developer of 30 Park Place, a Four Seasons Hotel and condo tower where Larry Silverstein lives.After blank-check firms made a comeback last year, real estate players have been swarming to the space. Nearly 20 are seeking proptech deals, citing the need to adopt digital tools in the post-Covid world.As of Feb. 16, a total of 146 blank-check firms have gone public, raising $44.7 billion, according to SPACInsider. That’s compared to 248 blank-check firms that went public and raised $83 billion in 2020.In the real estate world, Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty is among the latest to join the fray. Tishman Speyer has raised two SPACs (including one that will take smart-lock maker Latch public). CBRE and Crown Acquisitions have also formed blank-check vehicles. Last week, Fifth Wall Ventures’ blank-check firm raised $347 million in an IPO.Contact E.B. Solomont Email Address*last_img read more

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Manhattan’s luxury market streak continues for 8th week

first_img Luxury Real EstateManhattan Condo MarketResidential Real Estate Share via Shortlink Donna Olshan, author of the report, said the streak is largely being driven by the “New York metro area buyer” and said she would expect the volume of contracts to taper off as the summer approaches. She noted that could change if international travel restarts.“We’re only operating with one arm,” she said. “But the streak could be sustained if the market opened up to the global audience.”The average discount from initial ask to final for the 41 contracts dropped to 8 percent, down from 11 percent the week before. The median price was $5.94 million and the homes spent an average of 598 days on the market. Of the deals, there were 32 condos, 12 co-ops and three townhouses.The most expensive contract was for a four-bedroom co-op at 998 Fifth Avenue. The sprawling apartment with a 38-foot living room and 33-foot master bedroom faces Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was listed for $29.5 million in November 2018 and was last asking $24 million.The second priciest deal was for a three-bedroom condo at Extell Development’s One57 tower. Unit 66B was initially seeking $28.5 million when the developer launched sales in 2013. It went into contract asking $20.9 million. The 4,193-square-foot unit has views of Central Park.Contact Erin Hudson Full Name* Email Address* Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* From left: 998 Fifth Avenue, One57 and Extell’s Gary Barnett (Photos via Beyond My Ken and Godsfriendchuck/Wikimedia)An Upper East Side co-op and a sponsor unit at Extell Development’s One57 were among the priciest contracts signed last week, as Manhattan’s luxury market closed two straight months of elevated activity.Last week there were 47 contracts signed, up from 41 the week prior, according to Olshan Realty’s weekly report on contracts for Manhattan properties asking $4 million or more.It was the eighth consecutive week in which more than 30 contracts were signed. It’s the longest such streak since Olshan began tracking Manhattan’s luxury market in 2006.Read moreManhattan’s luxury market continues 7-week contract streakFormer Goldman exec behind Epstein townhouse buy: reportVince Viola’s UES mansion was Manhattan’s priciest deal last weeklast_img read more

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