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Employment Statistics

September 22, 2017 | By | No Comments

Another week done which means it is time for another blog. It is interesting writing the blog each week as I get to learn new facts, or improve my knowledge on previous topics. Hopefully it is the same for you reading the blog every week. I thought this week we would look into UK employment statistics and see how stats have changed in recent years, as the Office of National Statistics have released their September updates with figures from May – July 2017.

UK employment has been up and down but recently we have seen 2017 being the highest employment rate since the comparable records began back in 1971. The stats are based on people aged between 16 and 64 and it shows that the employment rate has risen 4.2% in 5 years. In 2012 the employment rate was at 71.1%, whereas 5 years later in 2017 it is currently at 75.3%.

Between May – July 2017, 32.14 million people were in work which is 181,000 more people than earlier in the year between February – April 2017, and 379,000 more than in 2016. It’s great to see that the number of people in employment is rising and with these numbers increasing, it means that unemployment rates will have dropped. The unemployment rate is currently at 4.3% which is the lowest it has been since 1975.

As we deal with a lot of public sector work, I thought it would be interesting to look at public sector employment stats. In June 2017, public sector employment was at 5.440 million which is 14,000 higher than 2016. Although out of every person in work, only 16.9% were public sector employees, which is the lowest percentage since 1999 when the comparable records began. Public Sector employment may have a low employment percentage but private sector employment reached a record high of 26.696 million in June 2017 which is 365,000 higher than 2016. It is very interesting looking into these figures and seeing how a year can make a difference.

We like to mix up the blog each week and write about different topics, such as sharing updates that have happened within EGB, helpful blogs on the recruitment process, frequently asked questions, updates that have been in the news, and more. What blog topics do you enjoy seeing from us? Or what topics would you want to see more of? Let us know in the comments.

Have a great weekend,

Sheree

 

Sources: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/september2017#unemployment

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/publicsectorpersonnel/bulletins/publicsectoremployment/latest

 

 

Public Sector Pay Cap to be lifted

September 15, 2017 | By | No Comments

Good afternoon,

I hope you have had a good week and that this horrible weather doesn’t hang around too much longer. There was excitement this week as the new iPhone specs were released. What do you think of the new iPhone X? Do you think it is worth the money? Moving onto the blog, this week we are going to be looking at the Public Sector Pay Cap update that has been in the news recently.

Back in 2010, Public Sector pay was frozen for two years and since 2013 pay rises have been capped at 1%. In the news earlier this week we have seen that the cap on public sector pay rises in England and Wales will be lifted. Police and Prison Officers are the first to see a pay rise, the Police will receive a 1% pay rise along with a 1% bonus and Prison Officers are being given a 1.7% rise. The rises that have been offered are still below the rate of inflation which has risen to 2.9%.

On Wednesday this week Firefighters were offered a 2% pay rise, but declined as the Fire Brigades Union stated that “the offer included a whole host of strings and failed to clearly address the pain our members have experienced as a result of years of falling real wages”. Also on Wednesday the DUP showed their support for Labour’s motions for the pay cap being removed for NHS workers and it passed without having to go to a vote. The next day, unions that represent NHS workers wrote to the chancellor to demand a 3.9% pay rise along with an additional £800 to make up for previous years.

Currently there hasn’t been any updates on whether the NHS workers will be awarded the 3.9% pay rise, but it will cost a total of £2.5 billion if the pay rise is implemented and that is without bringing into consideration any other public sector pay rises. What are your thoughts on the situation? Are the pay rises enough/too much? Let us know in the comments below.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Warm regards,

Sheree

 

Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41274088

http://news.sky.com/story/labour-motion-on-nhs-pay-rise-passes-without-opposition-11033935

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservatives-suffer-defeat-on-labour-motion-calling-for-higher-pay-for-nhs-staff-a7945241.html

 

FAQ – Applying for a Role

September 8, 2017 | By | No Comments

Good afternoon, Friday has come around again already, which means it is time for another blog. Also as it is Friday, it means planning what to do this weekend, does anyone have anything exciting planned? Most of us in the office are going to have a relaxing weekend catching up on a bit of tv, having get togethers with family/friends, and a bit of shopping.

Onto the blog, we regularly get asked the same questions by candidates when they are applying for roles, so for this week we thought it would be helpful to put together some frequently asked questions for everyone applying for roles through us.

 

Do I need to hold the relevant security clearance to apply?

BPSS and Disclosure Scotland – You do not need to hold these clearances to apply, you will go through these clearances during the on-boarding stage. If you are successful, we recommend applying for Disclosure Scotland at interview stage to avoid any delays during the on-boarding process.

CTC & SC – It depends on the client as some will put you through the clearance once you have been offered the position, others would prefer you to hold the clearance at application stage.

DV – It is preferred that you hold this clearance at application stage.

If you would like any further information on Security Clearances, click here.

 

Is there any movement on the rate?

Unfortunately, there is no movement on the max rate that is advertised. The rate will be decided by the client depending on the budget that is available in the department.

 

Would they consider an alternative location?

We will advertise the locations that are available for a role. The majority of roles are only offered at one location, although some do offer a choice. If a role has a choice of multiple locations, please state on the application form or inform the recruiter which is your preferred choice.

 

The closing date has passed, can I still submit an application?

Unfortunately, we cannot submit applications once a closing date has passed. Our online portal closes the role and will not allow us to submit any more applications.

 

How do I know if this role is Inside or Outside IR35?

The IR35 status will be displayed on the job posting on our website and within the job specification.

 

Can I use my Limited Company if the role is Inside IR35?

Unfortunately, since the IR35 legislation was updated for contractors working in the public sector back in April 2017, you can no longer use your own Limited Company. If the role you are applying for is Inside IR35, the 2 operating methods you can use are Umbrella or PAYE. For more information on what Operating Method to use, please click here.

 

Do you offer a referral scheme?

Yes, we do offer a referral scheme. If you are sent a role but it is not quite right for you but you know someone who may be interested, either send an introductory email to us and your referral, or send us their CV or contact details and we will do the rest. To find out more about the referral scheme, click here.

 

We hope the answers above have been helpful and if you have any other questions, please feel free to comment below, drop us an email, or give us a call and one of the team will be able to help.

Remember all of our roles are advertised on our website and on our LinkedIn page, so don’t forget to follow us so you don’t miss out on any updates.

Enjoy your weekend.

Sheree

 

Welcoming Alexandra to EGB

September 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Good afternoon,

I hope everyone had a great bank holiday weekend. Here in South Wales we had lovely weather for it. What did everyone get up to? We had a mixture in the office, from BBQs, to baking, to day trips out, and days spent relaxing.

We have now officially entered September and everyone should be settling back nicely into the office after taking their summer holidays. We can certainly see that the hiring managers are back in full swing as we have had a very busy week on new roles opening up. We hope this continues into next week to give you a better chance at securing a new position.

In last week’s blog we announced that Dan would be making his way into a recruiter chair. He has settled into the role and has enjoyed his first few weeks as a recruiter. As Dan moved away from the Recruitment Administrator position, this meant we had an opening and we would like to welcome Alexandra to the team. Alex is excited to get settled in and is looking forward to the new challenges ahead. Feel free to give Alex a call or leave a comment below to introduce yourself and make Alex feel welcome.

So, the past few weeks have been busy but exciting and we love a fast paced office at EGB. We hope you have a great weekend!

Sheree

 

Office Update!

August 25, 2017 | By | No Comments

Good afternoon,

We’re almost at the end of August already which means Summer is almost over, although we have got a bank holiday weekend to look forward to this weekend. Hopefully we’ll have some warm weather to finish off the Summer nicely. The blog this week is going to be a quick update on what has been happening here in the office. Over the past few weeks we have had a bit of change with the team, hence why I (Sheree) have picked up the blog today.

We said goodbye to one of our recruiters Chris earlier this week and we would like to wish him the best of luck for the future. This meant that our Recruitment Administrator Dan has had the opportunity to move into a recruitment seat. Dan is looking forward to getting into the full swing of things and to help you find your next contract, so from this week you can expect to hear from Dan about new roles. Feel free to give him a call or drop him an email to introduce yourself and have a chat about what roles you will be looking for.

In our blog earlier this year, we mentioned that Ed had secured himself a new contract. We had good news this week that his contract is being extended, so this will be keeping Ed busy over the next few months.

During August we have seen a slight decline on roles due to a number of hiring managers being on holiday, but as September hits, everyone should be settling back into work and we should see the roles to start picking back up. A lot of the contractors we have been speaking to over the last few weeks have also had a couple of weeks off and gone on a holiday. Have you been on holiday yet this year? We’d love to hear where you’ve been, let us know in the comments below.

I hope you have a great bank holiday weekend!

Warm regards,

Sheree

UK Government cut down on Legacy Tech Contracts

August 18, 2017 | By | No Comments

The weeks seem to be moving so quickly this year, it feels that as soon as I put out the blog I am writing the next one. Well that only means we are working hard and getting things done at EGB and look forward to even further success. Maybe the reason it feels so fast is that there are two birthdays close together, last week mine, this week our Operations Manager Sheree. She loved the gifts and the Beauty and the Beast themed birthday cake that the office gave her.

Onto this week’s blog, it is taking a look into the Public Sector disaggregation of contracts which have started to affect some large businesses. A recently published report by TechMarketView has shown that certain business that handle contracts for the Public Sector are getting hit by the Government’s contract disaggregation. Simply put, the government wanted to remove the Oligopoly that certain business had gained over the IT contacts that the government were offering. To name a couple of the businesses that were affected are: BT and DXC (Merger of Hewlett Packard Enterprises and Computer Sciences Corporation). This would be down to the fact that these two companies held a large share of government contracts.

The hit hasn’t been insignificant either, with DXC’s revenue (Based on TechMarketView’s UK Public Sector Software, IT & Business Process Services (SITS) top 20 ranking) dropping 11% for the year of 2016 to $1.2bn. The BT group saw a drop of 20% in its sales through the public sector coming to £513m, with Serco suffering the worst drop of 45% down to £194m. “It was those that had a large legacy footprint in central government, that continued to suffer heavy declines: most notable are DXC and BT,” said the report.

This could spell out good news for contractors as with these IT contracts being split up maybe some requirements will trickle down to be handled internally rather than outsourced to a company. Or perhaps with small organisations taking on the contracts there will be more chance for Contractors to be assigned. It will take time to tell if there is a benefit, though it may not be realised at all with Brexit on the horizon.

There are some comments that suggest the disaggregation of contracts will come to a pause as Brexit throws too many spanners into the works. The mind set being that it would be far easier to renew current contracts rather than to retender them for different businesses which would be a far more complex process.

It wasn’t all bad news, at least based on the figures, for companies who are part of SITS list. Capita who are on the top of the list had a 3% increase of its Public Sector Sales taking it to 1.8bn, this accounts for roughly 47% of their total sales. Though the report emphasises that this gain is not a true one as “Capita acquired Trustmarque, the software reseller and services arm of Liberata Group in June 2016.” If balanced out would infer reduced revenue rather than growth, so we take that with a little bit of salt.

What are your views on the disaggregation of contracts by the government; do you think it is a waste of time or do you think this will end up providing better services? Whatever your view let us know in the comments below, as always, we are happy to hear from you. I am not too sure where I stand on it, just hope that it means there are more opportunities to help you all get some contracts.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Sources:  https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/15/big_legacy_tech_companies_in_gov_start_to_feel_pinch_report/

Dress code Discrimination

August 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

Welcome back to the EGB Blog and this one happens to land on my Birthday, Happy Birthday to me! We like to celebrate the birthdays of our colleagues in the office and do so with a gift and some cake, can’t ask for more than that! So, while I am kept in suspense, lets head towards the more typical contents of the blog. This week we are taking a look at discrimination in the workplace, specifically aimed at the way dress codes can seem far more specific for women than they do for men.

These issues first came to the lime light when receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home without pay because she decided against wearing high heels. Unfortunately, her employer’s dress code made it a requirement within the dress code for her role, this prompted Nicola Thorp to create a petition for the ban of such a practice. This petition garnered a lot of attention and ended with 150 thousand signatures when it came to an end. This prompted investigations by the Petition Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee into the allegations.

The two committees asked for those who had felt that they had been discriminated against to send their accounts of situations they had gone through. The committee received responses showing that female employees throughout the country had been told to dye and straighten their hair, wear revealing clothes, and constantly re-apply makeup. This prompted the committees to make recommendations to government to update the existing laws.

The Government has since responded to the petition, they rejected the calls for new laws stating that the current ones were adequate to cover these issues. While this seems all well and good, it seems that many businesses and organisations simply don’t have full understanding of the law or simply disregard it. To combat the former, the government intends to introduce a set of guidelines for employers, this will help them create Dress Codes which are not discriminatory.

Do you agree with the findings that enforcing a dress code policy that contains items like High Heels is discriminatory? Perhaps there have been times that you have been on the receiving end of such dress codes (hopefully you haven’t), but let us know your stories and thoughts below. I personally believe there should be equal requirements for whoever is fulfilling the role, which we fortunately have at EGB (and Causal Fridays!).

Thank you for reading,

Dan

Sources: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/health/women-ban-high-heels-work-office/

http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/discriminatory-dress-codes/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39667912

GDPR: The big digital changes that are on the horizon

August 4, 2017 | By | No Comments

A busy week at EGB is coming to an end and we are all relieved that we have managed to get everything done. “Why are you so busy?” I hear you ask, I can’t really say too much yet but all will be revealed in an upcoming blog. Unfortunately, you will have to wait a few weeks to find out, but I will give you a small hint, change is on the horizon. On the topic of change (I am sure you could see that segue coming) there is far bigger and more wide-reaching change coming in 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into force in the UK on the 25th of May and it will completely change the way that data is kept.

One of the major changes for organisations is how consent is given for the processing of information. When consent is being requested, it must be made clear what information is being stored and the reason for storing it. Consent has to be given in a positive manner, which means that a specific action needs to be taken to give consent. This means that consent cannot be based on Silence, Inactivity and pre-ticked boxes, which can be caused by consumers missing the option to opt out. Consent has to be verifiable, so if proof was requested it could be provided to show that consent was received. There also needs to be a system in place that allows consumer’s whose data has been stored, to revoke consent in an easy manner.

The GDPR will give a lot of control to the consumer in regards to the data which is being stored about them by an organisation. This control comes in a list of rights that the individual has over the data. To name a few; the right to access the information that has been stored, the right to be informed about the information that is stored, and the right to have the information erased. There are instances where these may not have to be abided by but that is very circumstantial compared to the existing rules in place.

The changes that the GDPR bring are wide spanning and complex, so much so that it is suggested that it would take around 15 months to properly prepare an organisation. There is a high chance that many businesses and organisations are going to need data protection specialists to help them prepare for the new rules. This is especially so as there is a requirement for certain organisations to have a Data Protection Officer to oversee the data handling processes and ensure compliance is kept.

The punishments for failing to meet the GDPR can be significantly more severe than the current punishments under the Data Protection act. Initially a warning would be sent to the organisation but if there are repeated or intentional infractions it can rise to a 20 million Euro fine or 4% of Annual Worldwide turnover, whichever is greater. So, we hope and expect to see some roles for data protection come in as organisations which will want to stay clear of these lofty penalties.

While the GDPR is an EU regulation it will apply to any and all businesses that deal with EU Citizens. This means that even after Brexit these rules would still apply to many business and organisations in the UK. What are your thoughts on the new regulations, Bureaucratic Nightmare, a safeguard for consumers or maybe it is somewhere in the middle instead? Whatever your thoughts, let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading,

Dan

Sources: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation

Parliament Launches Enquiry into the Future of AI

July 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

The poor weather is back and what a surprise that is when we live in Britain, well at least it has cooled off enough to remove the muggy feeling that had been lingering. Looking back at the previous blogs we have been quite focussed on the defence sector so we are going to try and spread it out. To remedy this, we are going to look at including more expansive array of topics for the blog, with the hope to better suit the interests of the wide range of sectors we deal with. We hope that you enjoy the topics that we will be looking at and if there is anything you would like us to look at specifically, just drop us a comment.

Today’s topic is based on the news that the House of Lords has launched an enquiry into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what it holds for the future. They are giving the chance for experts to offer their opinions on the effects that emerging AI will have on all walks of life. The enquiry will consider the implications that AI has from Ethical, Economic and Social stand points. They will try to achieve this by examining the state that AI is in at the moment and looking into how it could develop in the future. The committee is already taking submissions of evidence for the enquiry and will be looking to finish their report by the end of March 2018.

The Chairman of the Committee, Lord Clement-Jones, said “This inquiry comes at a time when artificial intelligence is increasingly seizing the attention of industry, policymakers and the general public. The Committee wants to use this inquiry to understand what opportunities exist for society in the development and use of artificial intelligence, as well as what risks there might be.”

“We are looking to be pragmatic in our approach, and want to make sure our recommendations to government and others will be practical and sensible. There are significant questions to address relevant to both the present and the future, and we want to help inform the answers to them. To do this, we need the help of the widest range of people and organisations,”

Obviously one of the larger concerns with the development in AI is that certain larger companies are ahead of the curve like Google. These companies are also large enough with powerful enough resources that they may be able to create a monopoly. This has already become apparent with Google creating a deal with the NHS to gain access to Sensitive Data Sets because in return they are developing a Clinical System. This is something that smaller companies would not be able to do which gives larger AI an advantage with the data they have access to.

Another of the concerns which I am sure you have heard before, is the replacement of certain jobs with robotics and AI. We have already seen a few areas (especially in manual labour and production) jobs being replaced by robots and we could certainly see service based industry affected in the same way by AI development. An insurance firm in Japan has already begun with replacing 34 of its staff with AI to calculate insurance pay-outs. The 200m yen AI system is estimated to be 30% more productive while saving the company 140m yen a year on salaries. While there would be a 15m yen maintenance cost per year it would be profitable in two years versus keeping the employees.

It will be these sort of issues as well as many other issues and benefits that the committee will have to consider when they create their report for the Government. What are your thoughts on the development of AI and robotics? Do you think that this is a good thing or perhaps you think that in the long run it would be negative? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Sources: http://www.ukauthority.com/news/7358/house-of-lords-launches-artificial-intelligence-enquiry

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2017/july/uk-parliamentary-committee-opens-inquiry-into-ai-/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-38521403

Boost to the Space Sector

July 14, 2017 | By | No Comments

Another week down and another blog to help you count down the hours till the glorious weekend. Do you have anything planned for this weekend? Our office is having a mini night out after work tonight and our Recruiter James has a BBQ on the weekend, so for us it is quite active. I am a big tennis fan so I have been following Wimbledon closely, unfortunately Murray lost, though credit that he soldiered on through his injury to finish the match. Konta also went out in straights to Venus Williams (which caused a rewrite so that was double disappointing) which leaves no Brits in the draw, well there is always the US Open! For the Men’s draw all the major players bar Federer are out so you would think it would be a shoe in for him. While I would like that to be the case he has had issues with both Cilic and Berdych before so makes me a little nervous.

Taking it back to the recruitment/business world, we bring you more news and you can be sure one of them is Defence. The first article that we are looking at is the boost in funding for the UK Space Sector with Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson outlining investments of over £100m. This is a part of a push to keep the UK at the forefront of technology developments and secure the UK as a focal point for Satellites and Space technology in the world. The main outlay is on the creation of a National Satellite testing facility that will be based on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire. The idea that having a British based facility will give smaller business the ability to start moving into the Space Sector without having to use facilities abroad for the creation and testing of satellites. Hopefully this will mean that we will see more roles with the UK Space Agency, fingers crossed!

So, onto the Defence segment of the blog. I wonder how long we will go with having at least one part of the blog being about the Defence sector, as a recruitment company specialising in Defence…we will have to see. The government has sealed a £40m contract to improve the Defence capabilities of the RAF Typhoon. The two-year contract has been awarded to Leonardo which will sustain 65 jobs at their Luton site as well as 41 jobs at BAE Systems in Lancashire. Leonardo will be looking to upgrade the Typhoon’s Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS), which controls the Defence sensors and countermeasures for the aircraft. This is another project that we will keep a close eye on in the future, on the chance that there will be some related roles released that we will need candidates for.

Another compelling week of news for Government departments with projects and contracts being announced and awarded. Is this just a spike as now the new government has been cemented in or will this be on going, we hope for the latter. Are there any interesting projects that you have seen, let us know in the comments below as we like to hear about them. Keep an eye out on our Company LinkedIn page and on our website for roles as they pop up and we hope to hear from you soon.

Cheers,

Dan

Sources: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/40m-investment-in-high-tech-typhoon-defence-system

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/100m-boost-for-uk-space-sector-to-ensure-uk-is-equipped-to-stay-ahead-of-the-competition