Number of full-time jobs rises
BRITAIN’S “underemployment” problem of reluctant part-time workers is easing, new research has shown, as more full-time jobs were created for a seventh month running in April.
Demand by companies for permanent staff increased more quickly last month than in March and the number of full-time appointments also rose, according to a study by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
The study will help allay fears that falling unemployment has been largely down to a growing volume of part-timers and the self-employed who want more work.
According to recent analysis, the “underemployment” rate – which measures those who need more work as well as those out of work – is 9.9pc, compared with the official unemployment rate of 7.9pc.
Kevin Green, REC chief executive, said: “Demand in the economy is returning, slowly but surely. Businesses are feeling more confident, hence the seventh consecutive month of permanent jobs growth.
“It really is one in the eye for the naysayers who talk down our labour market and dismiss improving employment figures as being ‘the wrong kind of jobs’.”
Unemployment rose last month, according to official figures, and average pay rises fell to just 1pc – the lowest rate of growth since records began in 2001. However, KPMG and REC’s research showed that starting salaries increased in April for a 12th month running.
According to the survey of UK companies, compiled by Markit, the permanent job vacancy indicator stood at 54.5 in April, where anything above 50 indicates growth. Permanent job placements also quickened, with a reading of 52.5.
The number of temporary job placements declined, however, and the rate of growth in temporary vacancies slowed.
Career Building Strategies
Peter Forshaw explores the case for training and qualifications in the context of job finding and career building within the FM industry.
Facilities management is enjoying an increasingly high profile in the UK and is certainly one of the most successful arenas of growth and opportunity. With an emphasis on adding value while maintaining or reducing costs, facilities management is expected to increase from a market value of £106 billion in 2012 to £117 billion in 2017 according to research from Market & Customer Insight.
A developing market demands an increasing number of highly effective professionals. Unsurprisingly the BIFM states that it oversees one of the fastest growing professions in the UK. Naturally enough, the BIFM produces a wealth of information on career development, including apprenticeships, degrees, postgraduate diplomas and BIFM-specific qualifications. The question for aspiring and new entrants to the field is what’s better, experience or a qualification?
Facilities management is similar to other careers in that there are a number of routes into it. Education is one way, and those with experience in a highly business-focused environment or from building services, estate management or engineering backgrounds do transfer in without specific qualifications. The debate, then, is fixed on whether the cost of a qualification serves you better than building experience and working your way up.
The qualifications route
In line with other professions, such as human resources and accountancy, the BIFM encourages flexibility in the way you can achieve professional accreditation. To get qualified, you can take one of the following options:
A foundation degree in facilities management. Universities have been responding to employer demands and a good number of them now provide undergraduate degrees, which will give you Level 5 qualification at the BIFM.
A postgraduate qualification in facilities management. From diplomas to MSc degrees, there are a number of universities recognised by the BIFM to deliver to Level 7 professional standard. These include University College London, Liverpool John Moores, Edinburgh Heriot-Watt and Sheffield Hallam.
BIFM Award, Certificate and Diploma qualifications. These are delivered by BIFM recognised centres through day and evening classes and distance learning, giving students more flexibility. These give membership from Levels 2 through to 7 and are geared towards your particular career point. Level 2 is aimed at school leavers while Level 7 is suitable for strategic facilities managers.
ILM qualifications in facilities management. These courses were developed by ILM in partnership with BIFM.
To get an idea of costs, you can expect the BIFM Award level to cost upwards of £800, while the Diploma level can result in a bill of several thousand pounds for distance learning courses.
The experience route
There are a number of ways of breaking into facilities management, depending upon your current career stage. These are:
Apprenticeships for younger people. An apprenticeship with an appropriate employer earns BIFM membership at a Level 3 qualification. With an ageing facilities management workforce, employers are looking to encourage young talent into the sector. Higher level apprenticeships are also available. Further information can be obtained from the BIFM or Asset Skills websites.
Experience in lower level facilities management jobs. If you’re a school leaver or graduate, you can access facilities assistant roles, as they generally require no previous experience. You will need to have good problem-solving, IT and organisational skills. Salaries start at around £16,000 and can rise to £22,000. From there, it’s possible to progress to the role of assistant facilities manager, although it’s more common for employers to ask for some level of BIFM or health and safety qualification.
Transfer from a relevant field. Successful applicants for facilities manager jobs sometimes also come from sectors that demand the same types of skills, such as surveying and commercial financial management. Because the demands of facilities management roles are so broad, people who have solid experience of high pressure management and good technical understanding can break into the sector this way. facilities manager salaries depend upon the scope of the job but can often start between £40,000 and £50,000.
Getting down to tactics
So which route is better? The answer may depend upon which stage of your career you are at, but the reality is that the BIFM is professionalising what is still to the outside world a fairly new sector. It has ambitions to see membership become the standard requirement, just as CIPD membership has become pretty much obligatory to succeed in human resources.
A review of senior facilities manager roles reveals that employers are more often than not asking for BIFM membership at qualification Level 5, so the question is really whether it’s more suitable for you to obtain a specific qualification early in your career or to gain experience and then use the BIFM’s more flexible route to become qualified as you work.
If full-time studying is not for you or you can’t afford to go to university, pursue an apprenticeship, particularly if you want to reach the top of the career ladder in facilities management. Your career progression won’t be halted temporarily as you gain the qualifications that you need to get into those senior management levels.
If facilities management appeals but you’re not sure about committing to a life career, it would probably be better to gain work experience as a facilities assistant. If you want to take facilities management further, you can then access the BIFM’s flexible learning methods. If not, you’ll have gained a lot of transferable skills that you can take to a different career.
If you’re a graduate in an unrelated subject, your career route will, quite simply, depend upon your finances. The cost of postgraduate courses is roughly comparable with the BIFM qualification route and both of them can be achieved through part-time study. If you’re already carrying a student loan from your undergraduate course, you may want to earn a salary for a few years before you contemplate further studying. If you perform well, you may be able to persuade your employer to pay part or all of the costs of the course or offer you an interest-free loan.
Working your way up
Not surprisingly, the most common route is for people to get work experience in facilities management and then study while they work to allow them to progress to a senior management level.
The conclusion, then, is that a career in facilities management is possible without qualifications but the professional membership route is becoming the standard in the sector. Furthermore, the experience versus qualifications answer will be unique to your circumstances and learning style. By devising the right tactics for your career aspirations, you can get the best return on your efforts and hopefully reach those higher management salaries.
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Britain’s Changing Economy
Expectations and Possible Solutions
The UK’s economy has been a hot topic of discussion for a while now, and with the first-quarter’s GDP figures having just been released. It has been a few years that the recession hit the country and the economy is still suffering the consequences.
Last year saw a major shock as the growth fell to a 0.3pc in the last quarter of 2012. This is why all eyes were on the new numbers as the condition of the UK’s economy is clearer with the new figures.
The prospects of Britain’s future are good, as the economy seems to be changing gradually
Employment statistics seem to work against the recession. Statistics show 29.7 employed individuals, 2.56m unemployed, with youth unemployment rates less than 1m.
In simple words, the economy seems to be suffering from a lack of lending, demand and confidence. All three of these are interlinked and need attention. Improved lending, demand and confidence can help give the economy a major boost. The country also needs to match footsteps with other nations; however, the signs are not too good when one looks at the IMF’s global growth forecast.
The changes in the global economy, such as the fall in the prices of oil, have helped the country’s economy as it improves the purchasing power. Still, high debt is a major issue with no easy way out. The Chancellor has brought several changes in the policy, such as a shock amplified and a shock absorber, with the purpose of guarding the British economy, but results aren’t very positive.
On one hand, the government has been trying to rein in public spending, as the shock amplifier. However, such spending is not very easy to control as it includes expenditure on health and other such sectors. Public spending impacts greatly on economic performance and public finances are majorly affected if the economy faces downturn.
On the other hand, the monetary policy acts as the shock absorber. Low rates have been prevailing for years in the country, but Mark Carney is expected to change that; however, not in the immediate future.
Borrowing has to be increased but the monetary policy is not helping the cause with businesses giving tough lending policies, rising business rates and slow spending as their reasons for not borrowing. A solution to this would be the expansion of the bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme.
The key for economic success lies in spending more on infrastructure to increase demand. However, many are struggling to accept that borrowing more and increasing the deficit could be the solution.
Therefore, an easy way to control the economy is to run fiscal surpluses, which can be used in tough times. There needs to be confidence in investors so that they spend. International investors are taking keen interest in the country and have made a lot of investment in recent times. A good example is the London Gateway project which has the potential to give a big boost to the economy. More such construction is already underway in different areas of the country, especially London.
International firms are taking advantage of the growing population and demand, but one wonders why the government and local firms are not following suit. Many people believe the weight of regulations and taxes is the real burden that needs to be decreased to give the country a new lease of life.
Businesses Raise Concerns About Pay Rise
The government has announced an increase in the minimum wage, up to 12p per hour for working adults. Whilst this was aimed to improve customer demand and foster economic growth, businesses are protesting against the pay rise. In today’s uncertain economy, an increase in the national minimum wage has been deemed as “unwelcome” and “illogical” by most businesses.
Minimum Wage Pay Rise
The government confirmed that from October this year, the following pay rises would be put in place:
Category Pay Rise Revised Minimum Wage
Adult 12p £6.31
Young Adults (18-20) 5p £5.03
16-17-Year-Olds 4p £3.74
Apprentices 3p £2.68
Businesses across the nation are concerned about the pay rise and industry groups state that such measure is likely to have a negative impact on businesses, especially SMEs working on a tight profit margin.
Speaking for the welfare of UK businesses, Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, reinforces that this minimum wage rise is likely to affect business profits and financial stability. Many businesses already struggle in today’s uncertain economic climate, and an increase in employee costs may be beyond their financial capabilities, especially if profits are small.
One of the concerns that arose among business groups, including the British Chambers of Commerce, is that the 1.9 pc rise is even higher than the current pay growth. From a business point of view, the minimum wage rise could represent a definite setback for SMEs, as they may not have the financial stability to withstand the pressure.
The BBC director of policy, Dr. Adam Marshall, asserted that inflation is affecting every class of the society. He also added that this rise in the pay scale adds up to the business cost, which in turn could affect the hiring process. Dr. Marshall predicts that the pay rise could negativelyinfluence employment rates, as employers are going to be more reluctant to hire, given the increase in employment costs.
According to the CBI, a restraint in pay has been crucial in creating jobs in the difficult economy, but a rise in pay will lead to opposite consequences. They urge the Low Pay Commission to monitor carefully the impact of this minimum wage rise.
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, stated that recent figures suggest a 15.8pc increase in chief executive pay, mostly as a result of bonuses. He debated the concept as a current economic problem that needs to be changed. While speaking at a Business event in London, he explained that one of the purposes of this new pay rise is to decrease the executive pay. He reassured executive pay packets should be reduced upon the implementation of the pay rise policy, which will be put in place from October, following the binding shareholder votes.
However, later in the event, he found himself in a controversy, over a comment on the amount of money made by the boy band One Direction, which is stated to be around £5m per band member for the last year.
He has been very critical in the past about this topic. Initially in the discussion, Mr. Cable seemed to agree with his fellow speaker, Simon Walks, who is the director-general of the Institute of Directors. Mr. Simon Walker is a very outspoken critic of expressive pay and thinks that it was outrageous that the members of this band earned so much in the last year. Mr. Cable supported Mr. Walker’s view by categorizing One Direction’s earnings as immoral and beyond the norm that the current economy can face.
However, the controversy was settled later in the day. Aides stressed that the Minister had misheard the question and was actually talking about the earnings of the chief executives, not One Direction’s income.
Senior Employees – The Future of Successful Recruitment and Retention Practices
Employee retention has taken a new angle in Britain. The British Government has suggested that companies should retain employees until the age of 70, as statistics foresee a severe shortage of available workforce in the near future, especially as the government is restricting immigration. It is estimated that in next 10 years there will be approximately 13.5 million job vacancies, with only 7 million young people, college and University graduates, available for the jobs.
The ministers are warning the organisations to keep their senior employees, or they may face a looming shortage of qualified staff. This also encourages staff to remain in their jobs until the age of 70, as the employers no longer have the right to impose their retirement.
The government officials clearly state that this is not a forceful arrangement, but rather an opportunity for the senior employees to remain in work if desired. This new suggestion is definitely not a ‘work until you drop’ directive. The ministers present it as an opportunity for the older generation and a benefit for their income and overall wellbeing.
According to Steve Webb, who is the Pensions Minister, the older workers are “the untapped resource of an organisation”. He believes that organisations should encourage their senior employees to remain in employment, and even recruit older employees, as the benefits are great. Not only do older employees possess a great palette of skills and experience, but they can participate in training and mentoring new recruits. Their knowledge and board experience can help to guide the younger employees towards the growth and success of the organisation.
The Pensions Department has published a new guide for employers, which advises them to hire and retain older workers and build a “multi-generational workforce” that can benefit from the experience and hard work of the senior generation. The statistics state that currently 27% of the workforce is over the age of 50, and this is going to rise constantly, expected to reach 1/3 by 2020.
The government encourages organisations to consider the fact that the senior generation living in the country is increasing, as opposed to migrants that live in other countries. Research states that most of the older employees remained as productive as they used to be when they were young, at least until the age of 70, which once again reinforces the benefits of employing senior staff.
The guide warns that a failure to change the recruitment and retaining practices for older employees will lead to acute shortage of skills, and risk age discrimination claims in the future.
The retaining of older employees also results in reduced staff turnover and a better morale. Many big brands, such as McDonald’s, encourage senior employment and report that their outlets are performing better when serviced by a mixed workforce of young and senior employees.
Mr Webb goes on to tackle another issue on the topic, such as the idea that this new directive could affect employment opportunities for the young generation. He confirms that there is no evidence suggesting that older people are taking the jobs away from the fresh graduates. He believes that hiring older people does not mean that the young generation is ignored; it just means that with this practice a company gets both the experience and the energy in a single team of efficient employees.
Research suggests that most employers believe that older employees are an asset to the company yet never seem to put it in practice, and there are barely any recruits over the age of 50. The Pensions guide suggests that the organisations should offer jobs to anybody who qualifies for the role despite their age. The time has come for Britain to change the corporate culture and enhance the opportunities for senior and highly experienced professionals, who wish to remain in employment until the age of 70.
Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013 – The Current Climate of the Job Market in the UK
The 2013 Barclays Job Creation Survey, which questioned over 700 UK businesses, reveals that mid-sized business are leading the creation of jobs in the UK.
Statistics show that 71% of mid-sized businesses are creating new job opportunities and 79% of all businesses in Britain are not planning any lay-offs. In spite of this encouraging statistics for the job market, the reluctance of the private sector to employ ex-public sector workers remains a current issue.
Projected Hiring Patterns in 2013
Here are a few insightful facts unveiled by the Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013:
Only 56% of the overall businesses in UK are creating new jobs in 2013, a figure slightly lower than 2012, where 58% of the companies were filling in new vacancies.
Only 48% of small businesses and 65% of large businesses plan to create new vacancies in 2013. Both these statistics are lower than last year.
Among the largest companies in Britain, only 50% are planning to hire in 2013. Previous 2011 numbers show much positive statistics, where 85% of companies were recruiting, and in 2012 still 71% of the large businesses opened their doors for new employees.
Hiring Patterns for Ex-Public Sector Workers
In spite of some encouraging statistics for the future of Britain’s job creation market, ex-public sector workers are still struggling with being recruited by private sector organisations.
Here are some interesting facts of the current situation, as revealed by the Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013:
57% of all businesses are reluctant to hire ex-public-sector workers, and this issue has remained the same over the past two years.
In the UK, 52% of all businesses are also doubtful about recruiting ex-public sector employees, as they perceive them less equipped to work in their private sector companies.
Slight improvements in employer’s perception are shown from the UK’s largest businesses, as 60% of businesses surveyed show an open mindset toward shiring ex-public sector workers. This is a substantial change in the attitude of private sector businesses. The largest organizations are rating the ex-public sector workers to be very well equipped at taking up an active role in their business.
David Roust, Head of Recruitment Industry team, Barclays Corporate Banking, says that according to their survey only the largest companies of UK are willing to hire ex-public sector workers. However, the downturn is that these companies are not planning to hire this year, leaving these ex-public sector employees in no better condition than last year.
Large businesses prefer ex-public sector employees because of their versatility and they believe that these workers are multi-skilled and have the potential to become a great asset to their businesses.
In today’s volatile economy, 56% of businesses believe that job growth in the private sector will not be able to compensate for public sector job losses. Although this is a much more optimistic perspective than 2012, where 71% of businesses supported this view, the situation is still problematic.
Moreover, although the Government has made public efforts for promote job creation in the UK, the Barclays Job Creation Survey shows that still up to 83% UK organisations feel that these initiatives had no impact on their business.
For instance, 36% of businesses doubt that the ‘’Shares for Rights’’ scheme will actually bring any benefit to SMEs, and only 26% of businesses are in favour of this new initiative. In addition, almost a third of the UK companies have not even been made aware of the ‘’Shares for Rights’’ scheme.
Despite the major policy changes and the economic improvements, UK businesses remain hesitant about hiring overall. The research clearly suggests that only the mid-sized businesses have faced the economic storm bravely and are still showing scope to grow and hire in the future.
However, the recent Chancellor’s Budget announcement to relinquish the first £2000 of employer’s National Insurance contributions brought a sense of optimism among companies. 26% of businesses believe that this reduction will positively influence the job market.
The issue at hand is that companies are cautious in taking action for job creation. They are working on safe grounds, where 73% of organizations are letting sales growth define the future of the company’s job creation practices. Therefore, they do not employ to increase sales, as theyprefer to wait for increased sales performance to raise the need of new vacancies.
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Calling all Shopping Centre Management Professionals
WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?
Salary Survey 2013
To get the answer to this and to help us gauge the compensation of Shopping Centre Management professionals across the UK, Maxwell Stephens invites you to participate in this Salary Survey; the largest of its kind ever carried out.
We are surveying professionals to compare pay conditions, training, qualifications and general financial well-being to determine what matters most? Whether it’s the centre, location or how much you are paid?
In order to ensure that the data is relevant and accurate, we do need the involvement of the people that really matter – Shopping Centre Professionals. If this is you, we would be very grateful if you would spare the time to complete this questionnaire before May 3rd 2013.
Simply complete the questionnaire by clicking the following link:
In return for taking part, we'll provide you with a copy of the complete results. We thank you for your contribution.
All personal data will remain 100% confidential and will only be used for the purposes of producing the survey.
The Eurozone Crisis Continues
Unemployment and Growth Figures Are Still Concerning EU Leaders
The issue on unemployment emerged recently at an EU leaders’ meeting, where the members debated the austerity measures. The unemployment trend continues to accelerate in the Eurozone.
The European debt crisis puts in financial jeopardy many countries in the Euro area. The countries struggle to refinance or repay their debts with the government, due to lack of assistance from third parties. This financial crisis is often referred to as the Eurozone crisis.
The Eurozone crisis is the result of a few complex factors that include finance globalisation, laid-back credit conditions causing high-risk borrowing and lending practices, global financial crisis in 2007-2008, imbalances in the international trade, recessions in 2008-2012 and methods utilised by nations to save problematic private bond companies, among others.
Eurostat, an EU statistic agency, published some figures that revealed the unemployment levels in some of the countries in the Euro zone. The statistics are showing a fall in employment by 0.3pc during the fourth quarter of 2012, meaning it slid by 0.8 pc year-on-year.
The statistics get even more alarming when joint together with the results of another study carried out by Eurostat, where joblessness peaked at 11.9 pc in January. The figure is highly disappointing for the EU leaders, and a rather setback from the slight improvement on the Eurozone market turbulence.
In addition, at the EU leaders’ summit, it was disclosed that employment in southern European Mediterranean nations continues to drop. Employment records in Spain, Greece, and Portugal during the fourth-quarter show a drop at 4.5 pc, 6.5 pc, and 4.3 pc, year-on-year.
To address this continuing unemployment issue, EU leaders have been gathering at the regular European Council. They tackled strategies regarding Eurozone crisis, the current debts and methods to balance growth with the measures on fiscal austerity.
Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of European Commission, discussed the sovereign debt crisis that threatened the Euro. He mentioned that although EU implemented efforts towards the progression of the crisis, some countries are still in a critical position and are facing breaking point.
On a bright note, Barroso also disclosed that the indebtedness of the private and public sectors in some member states has been reduced. In addition, more than a few countries that had large deficits on trade experienced an increase in exports. However, whilst this is indeed good news, Barroso expresses concern regarding unfavourable figures on unemployment and growth.
Thus, it is crucial for EU to stick with the austerity measures, as insisted by Mr. Barroso. However, efforts on promoting growth within the short-term period and reinforcing commitment on social responsibility are also essential to accomplish positive results in this time of sovereign debts.
Barosso reinforces the need of implementing these drastic measures to foster growth on raise employment, as there are cases in the EU where the situations are beyond what is deemed as sociably acceptable.
The Eurozone crisis did not only affect the economic aspects of some nations, which were awfully hit, however, the crisis also caused great political effects. Eight out of the 17 countries in the Euro area were affected and manifested some power shifts in Ireland, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and the Netherlands.
The Eurozone debt crisis is definitely a common concern to everyone, Barroso reinforces, and strategic action needs to be taken.
The Vital Role of Recruiters
The Recruitment Consultancy Industry Will Not Wither Due To Up-and-Coming RPOs and In-house Recruiters
Sourcing talent is still a leading challenge, according to executive boards of most organisations and companies. Even so, cutting recruitment costs seems to be the current priority. Outsourcing the recruitment process is one manner in which organisations save costs. They either develop an in-house recruitment team or contract out to a recruitment process outsourcing organisation, known as RPO.
Many recruiters actually doubted the efficiency of both in-house teams and RPO. However, despite the controversy of the topic, it is important to admit that RPOs and in-house recruitment teams play a vital role in the future of recruitment.
In fact, it is noteworthy to make public that with their presence within the industry they will keep the ecosystem balanced in a delicate manner.
Both in-house recruitment teams and RPO models are expected to provide process-driven service at low-level, sooner or later. The idea of gathering all labour costs and contingent permanent hires in one invoice to be paid monthly seems quite advantageous; not to mention the benefits beneath transferring the responsibility of scaling the recruitment organisation up or down to a third party.
Furthermore, it is essential for both in-house resourcing team and RPO models to acknowledge their symbiotic relationship with recruitment organisations. Flourishing companies admit that their existence on site with their clients depends on the key performance indicators, known as KPIs. These performance metrics portray the developing quality of service and costs.
The tenure on site of the in-house recruitment teams and RPO models also depends on the distribution of future talents. This reinforces the need to acknowledge and recognise expert recruiters who can effectively and efficiently serve the hard-to-source talent.
At board level, talent succession planning, filling ratios and the time to hire are fundamental areas of analytics. Actually, in a PwC global survey conducted recently, it was revealed that more chief executive officers are likely to use new techniques in retention strategies and talent attraction, instead of adjusting their techniques in managing risks.
This is due to the fact that CEOs desire to hire high potential employees or middle-management professionals. Another reason why CEOs covet this type of employee is that they are afraid of losing. These professionals have the potential to innovate and the future of the company depends on them. If they stop sourcing high-potential leaders, companies will strain.
This is the crucial fact of talent souring today. One in four CEO respondents, who participated in the survey, admitted that many business practices are held behind due to lack of talent. The inability to pursue market opportunities and the need to delay or cancel strategic initiatives were leading examples given by the CEOs.
Another concern of one in three CEOs is the fact that the shortage of skills weakens the company’s potential to innovate.
Thus, the current recruitment ecosystem is still not proficient enough to solve the requirements on talent attraction for the biggest companies in the world. It seems that the system is not sufficiently effective in mobilising the right talents in line with right opportunities, and in the right environment. Moreover, unemployment persists among highly skilled individuals.
What is essential to the system is the presence of niche professional recruiters such as Maxwell Stephens. Unquestionably, the entire ecosystem will become more efficient if the recruitment industry adjusts its processes to ensure the core needs of the clients are fulfilled. The prior need of every company is to deliver talents effectively.