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T-Levels and T26 Frigates

July 7, 2017 | By | No Comments

With another Friday comes the return of the weekly EGB Blog, bringing you news, interesting facts and all round good spirits for the weekend, at least we hope. Along with the blog, this week has brought the warm weather back to us. I have no doubt that will cause a mixed bag of emotions from you all, while I do like the warm weather, it isn’t the most fun to work in. Though the timing couldn’t be much better as it has coincided with the start of Wimbledon, time to break out the Strawberries and Cream with a side of Pimm’s (Other brands of drinks are available :p). All eyes are on Konta and Murray to do well this year as the British favourites but I can’t help but root for Federer in hope he continues to set unbelievable records in the Tennis world. Well anyway back to the blog…this week will be like the previous week’s post just with less defence.

With the Brexit talks underway it is no surprise that some of the newer projects that are being announced by the government are to do with preparing a Post-Brexit Britain. The Education Secretary Justine Greening, has announced a £50M fund to help create more Vocational work placements to run alongside Apprenticeship schemes. The goal of these injection of funds is to help increase the work skill sets of Britain to make up for the perceived decline in certain skills which will occur after a Brexit deal has been completed. We have started to get a few roles through for the DfE so maybe there will be more on the horizon as the department goes through change to meet these new targets.

Going back to defence news (you knew it had to happen), the MoD have greenlighted their Type 26 Frigate project. The initial contact which is valued at £3.7bn has been awarded to BAE Systems, which will start to build the first 3 of the 8 Type 26 Anti-Submarine frigates that the government has committed to. These Frigates are being built to replace the Type 23 Frigate which have been in service for over 25 years. There are some concerns of the tight deadlines on this contract as the planned retirement of the first Type 23 is for 2023. With the first Type 26 to be coming into service somewhere in the “mid-2020s”. Fingers crossed they get it all together and we aren’t left with half a fleet, perhaps they will need some very capable candidates to help them along. We will be keeping an eye out for any upcoming MoD roles.

So, with that we bring a close to another interesting blog that gives little insights into what the various departments of the Government are doing…mainly the MoD. Hopefully in a long few years we will see the fruition of those going through more vocational courses and see them become engineers on projects such as the Type 26 Frigate. Well we do have one last little bit of news, we are not posting Job Listings to twitter any further and will be keeping that for LinkedIn. We haven’t quite decided what we want to replace it with, so kindly let us know what you would like to see. If you do want to keep up with our job postings, keep an eye on LinkedIn or the Jobs page on the website.

Cheers,

Dan

Sources: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/justine-greening-urges-companies-to-help-create-army-of-skilled-young-people-35900770.html

https://www.ft.com/content/d4d380a2-5f0f-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895?mhq5j=e2

Umbrella Company Owners Jailed for Massive Payroll Fraud

June 23, 2017 | By | No Comments

We are coming to the end of a very warm week, luckily for our office, we have Air Conditioning to keep us cool. I hope that you all have had a way to keep cool under this strong summer sun, if not, you may be like me and letting out a sigh of relief as it gets a little cooler.  Moving swiftly on from the weather onto the actual topic for the blog this week, we are looking at a particular Umbrella Company and its unscrupulous owners.

The trio of directors, at the Umbrella Company Quality Premier Services, were jailed for almost 30 years between them for carrying out Payroll Fraud to the tune of a whopping forty five million pounds!  The directors, Geoffrey, Joshua, and Andrew, were keeping hold of VAT that was paid to them by recruitment agencies. Now, we all know VAT is supposed to be passed on to the HMRC but apparently that slipped their mind. And then not only did they fail to pay VAT but from 2009 until 2015 they only managed to pay £15,930 in tax. Wow.

The initial enquires were into the younger director, Joshua, after information was passed to the Essex police. It probably didn’t help his case when he posted an image on Social Media posing next to 6 luxury cars (Including a Lamborghini valued at £165,000). The initial investigation found that over the span of 2013 and 2015 over £10m was transferred into his account.

To have a little foray into what they were spending all that money on, aside from the luxury cars. Geoffrey bought four homes in England and Spain with a combined value of £3m, £300,000 on private jet flights to Spain, along with owning several race horses. Joshua’s collection of cars was worth £1m and within his home they found 10 watches with a combined value of £400,000. Andrew purchased four homes for just under £1.4m and six luxury cars.

It’s because of situations like this that you should double… no…triple check that your Umbrella Company is kosher and working above board, as the old saying goes, “when something is too good to be true, it probably is”.  A former tax official had this to say on the matter: “I’ve always thought it impossible that companies which charge £15-£30 per worker could pay huge kickbacks for referrals and offer 30 day credit terms without dipping into the VAT held on account, “ she said. “It seems that some of the cases coming to light are even worse than that.”

We allow our Contactors to use whatever umbrella company they wish to use, just make sure that you are using one that is safe and trusted. If you are not with an umbrella company at the moment and would like to be, we recommend our partner Parasol. They are a multi award winning umbrella company who have worked with a range contractors and agencies. If you would like to know more, let us know and we can pass your details onto our contact at Parasol.

Cheers,

Dan

Sources: https://www.essex.police.uk/news/brought-to-justice/trio-jailed-for-%C2%A345million-tax-fraud/

http://www.contractoruk.com/news/0013059umbrella_bosses_jailed_45m_paye_swindle.html

Top UK Government Project Failures

June 16, 2017 | By | No Comments

So, I’ve been away on annual leave most of this week and my first day back I got hounded to start preparing the blog. I may have mentioned it before but the office gets a little heated when it comes to choosing a topic. A few of us are standing up and shouting about moving into Vlogging but I’m not sure about that. What do you guys think? Would you be interested in seeing an EGB Vlog? After a tense office-wide discussion, we settled on something relevant and decided to look at Government projects and just how badly some of them failed. We got really lucky and found that the Software Advisory Service had already done the leg work and listed the most catastrophic Government Projects and just how badly they went over budget. As an added extra, they’ve included the end cost to you the taxpayer.

7. Department for Transport Shared Services Centre

This project was created to combine the DfT’s human resource and financial services together in a single site based in Swansea. The idea that the cut in administration costs and in the end overall save the taxpayer £57 million. Initially costed at £53 Million, the project overspent by £28 Million coming to a total cost of £81 Million. The Public Accounts Committee’s comments on the reason for such an overspend was due to “stupendous incompetence”.

6. Common Agricultural Policy Delivery Programme

This particular programme was an IT scheme that was to help allocate subsidies to the farming industry. It’s original planned cost was to be £155 Million but due to issues between the three main key bodies, ended up with a £60 Million overspend coming to a total of £216 Million. The cause for the issues, as according to the Public Accounts Committee, lack of consistent priorities between the main bodies. On top of the overspend, the programme ended up delaying payments to farmers as well as incurring penalties from the European Commission.

5. Libra System for Magistrates

The Libra system is a case management system that was created for the Magistrates Court, the project was originally tendered for by Fujitsu for £146 Million. This was the start of an ever-inflating price for the project as before the deal had been signed Fujitsu upped the cost to £184 Million as Fujitsu’s board said it couldn’t support the charging basis of the original bid. 10 months into the project, Fujitsu asked for a higher amount again as they were running a £39 Million deficit on the project. At this point, there were warnings about the financial model used by Fujitsu but the project was too important to let go. This led to a further two quote increased culminating at £389 Million, this was rejected and another company was contracted to fulfil the task.

4. Edinburgh Trams

The Edinburgh Tram project was a seven-year long project to bring a tram route to the city of Edinburgh. The project was projected to cost £375 Million. By the time pen was put to paper the cost had risen to £489 Million and at completion the project has cost £776 Million, this is not including £200 Million in interest costs on a 30-year loan. The project was plagued with issues including contractual disputes, safety concerns and complaints from the local populace.

3. Scottish Parliament Building

Love or hate the design, the Scottish Parliament Building had exponential overspend compared to the original cost of the project. Originally the Scottish Parliament Building was projected to cost only £10 Million but at the end of the project it came to a staggering £414 Million. This was attributed to poor management of the project, especially in fulfilment of costs and the way major design changes were implemented. You think that would be the end of it but figures have revealed that the average repair bill comes to £141,000 per month.

2. NHS National Program for IT

The NHS were looking to create a patient record system to handle the vast swathe of information they have to deal with. This system would have been the largest non-military system IT system to have been created. This system was eventually canned as it was plagued with many issues, the project ended up costing £10 Billion which was £3.6 Billion more than the proposed cost. Out of 169 trusts that the system was to be implemented to, only 13 received a full patient administration system. Though this caused more issues for the NHS as it caused issues for these trusts, prompting The Milton Keynes Foundation to warn others not to use it.

1. Defence Information Infrastructure

The MoD’s Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) is a secure military network user by all branches of the military as well as MoD civil servants. When the project was initially proposed (2005) to Parliament the cost for this project was £2.3 Billion, though a report has shown that even at this juncture they knew the cost would be more than double at £5.8 Billion. By 2008 the programme was 18 months late and had delivered less than half of the project and none of the Secret capability of the system. Part of the blame for the issues came down to a lack of a suitable pilot for the programme.

A lot of money having to be funnelled into projects that have growing issues, or in the NHS’s case thrown down the drain. Many of these programmes could have been partially saved by better management and communications between contractors and departments. This is why we look for top calibre candidates to make sure the government keeps on track. If you think you are up to the challenge of keeping the government in check, send us your CV and we will add you to our database.

Cheers,

Dan

Source: http://www.softwareadvisoryservice.com/blog/biggest-uk-government-project-failures/

Defence Contracts and the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier

June 9, 2017 | By | No Comments

Welcome to the latest edition of the EGB Blog, I hope that everyone is doing well and can finally be calm as the election has officially ended (sort of). With any luck, the rain staved off enough that you didn’t get soaked trying to vote, it was pouring down most of the day in South Wales yesterday. To move onto the topic of this week’s blog, we are taking a look at some recent Defence News, mainly because we have recruited for a few roles that were linked to the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Carrier project.

After a long time under construction the HMS Queen Elizabeth has finally been finished and fully fitted and ready to head out for trials this summer. In the source below there is a pretty interesting video which shows a time-lapse of the build. Hopefully they will not have any issue in getting it under the Forth Bridge or there may be another delay to the start of the trials. We have seen quite a few roles come and go for the QEC project so it was good to see that the work of candidates was finally coming to some fruition.

In a similar set of news combined with recent roles we have recruited for; the RN are looking to purchase further F-35b fighter jets for use with the QEC carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The B variant of the F-35 is the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) version which was designed for use with Aircraft Carriers due to the obvious limited space for take-off and landing. It was a short time ago that we were recruiting for a Project Manager that was to manage the integration of F-35 onto the F-35. As they are looking to purchase further F-35b fighter jets, we should hopefully see more roles open up for this project in the future.

This blog was just a little look into the varied and interesting roles that we recruit for at EGB Consulting. These sorts of roles are some of the reasons why people prefer to be a contractor (at least according to the poll we looked at a couple of weeks ago). Have you worked on any interesting/different projects whilst contracting, if you have let us know in the comments below.

Warm Regards,

Dan

Sources:
https://sputniknews.com/military/201705301054117153-uk-aircraft-carrier-bridge/
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/19/uk_buys_17_more_f35b_lrip_12_14/

Public Sector Employment Statistics

June 2, 2017 | By | No Comments

June is already upon us, time is sure flying this year and we can only be happy with how it has played out so far. The roles are flying in and we are securing more and more interviews and job offers for our candidates, even the weather is getting better, though I hope it stays that way and we have a nice long summer. That way we can get a few BBQs in, a few of the team have already had some. Moving onto the topic for this week, we are looking into data that the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released not long ago with regards to public sector employment.

ONS’ latest Workforce statistics release gave us insight into where the public sector is employing its staff for both full time and contract workers. The public sector employs 5.44 million people in total, this is compared to the 26.42 million employees of the private sector. Within the Public Sector these jobs are mostly split into two categories, those considered to be Local Government which stands at 2.18 million employed and Central Government which currently employs 2.95 million.

The sole largest employer in the Public Sector is (perhaps unsurprisingly) the NHS which alone employs a staggering 1.59 million. Combine that with the recent news of the NHS removing their blanket IR35 status is good news for contractors. Other Public Sector bodies such as the Police only employ 245,000 and the Civil Service employs 416,000 people.

It is also interesting to note that there is quite a shift in public sector employment depending on region. Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of employment being within the public sector, with nearly a quarter (24.8%) being employed by the public sector. Scotland are next with 21% and Wales then with 20.8% respectively. London has the lowest rate with 14.5%, though that may come down to the higher population count compared to other areas. The north east takes the highest employment percentage in England with 20.2%.

That was just a little look into some statistics in Public sector recruitment, nothing too heavy for this lovely weather we are having. Does anything surprise you of the details that we presented, maybe the low public sector workforce in London or on the other side the high Northern Ireland employment? Either way we would love to hear your thoughts.

Warm Regards,

Dan

 

Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/wellbeing-at-work/2017/apr/26/who-works-where-uk-public-sector

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/may2017#public-and-private-sector-employment

Top Reasons Why Professionals Choose Contract Work

May 26, 2017 | By | No Comments

We offer a warm welcome back to the EGB blog this week as we close in to another bank holiday weekend. I am not sure if it is a blessing or a curse to have so many bank holidays close to one another. This week’s blog is going to take a look at some of the reasons why professionals have chosen to go into temporary or contract work. Recently the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) published a report on research they had been carrying out. They were looking into the main reasons why those in temp or contract work had chosen that particular path. In doing so they came up with a list of top ten reasons, you can find the list below:

  1. 34% are looking for a permanent job role
  2. 14% can only work on a short term basis due to a domestic or personal commitment
  3. 13% find temporary work to be more interesting than a permanent role
  4. 9% are doing contract or temporary work until they move house or go abroad
  5. 9% are filling in between other jobs such as acting and similar
  6. 8% work on contracts and in temporary roles to gain more experience and develop their career and CV
  7. 6% are on a working holiday
  8. 3% use temporary work and contracts to fill the time before they start a new permanent job
  9. 2% find that temporary or contract work pays better
  10. 2% have ‘another reason’ for choosing temporary or contract work

A quick look at the list shows that flexibility of contract roles play a big part, as it helps fit into commitments outside of working more easily. With only 2% of respondents reporting money being the driving force, it suggests that money isn’t the driving factor as is commonly thought.

Have these findings shed a new light on contractors for you or does it reinforce the ideas that you already had? Personally, I think it is surprising to see that money is not higher as it certainly does pay a lot better than permanent work. We would love to hear your reason, so please let us know in the comments below!

Warm Regards,

Dan

Sources: https://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/news/reasons-talented-professionals-choose-temporary-or-contract-3233/

The Cyber Security Sector

May 19, 2017 | By | No Comments

There is no surprise that this week’s blog is going to focus on Cyber Security with the big news of the NHS cyber-attack. The world is becoming more reliant on technology and we can see that when issues or an attack occurs. When these systems are hit, they usually grind to a halt and have massive knock on effects. We easily saw this with the NHS attack which saw procedures and appointments cancelled and rearranged, A&E shut for certain hospitals, and redirections for ambulances to different hospitals.

With this sort of attack, it is expected to see a rise in Cyber Security roles released as organisations will look to shore up their cyber defences to fight against such attacks. If this is a sector that you work in, you may see an influx of roles for this industry pop up. If they do we will make sure to put them out on our website & social media, and email anyone who has signed up. It is always useful to enhance your CV and experience by gaining qualifications in the area which makes you more valuable compared to those without.

The threat of these attacks is not solely focussed on organisations and due to the natural spread of these sorts of viruses can easily affect domestic PCs. So we have got together a few basic tips to help you protect yourself from these sort of attacks, these may seem basic but can never be said enough:

  1. Make sure your PC is up to date and have automatic updates enabled – This is to ensure the latest security updates are installed for your Operating System.
  2. Make sure that you have an anti-virus and firewall installed and up to date – These do not have to be paid for, though paid for services usually offer higher levels of protection.
  3. Take care opening attachments or clicking links in emails – Generally you should only do either when you know that the link or attachment is safe.
  4. Take regular Backups – This is recommended so if anything happens to your data, you have a copy of it preferably on an external drive or the cloud.

We hope that there are no further attacks in the future and if they are, that they will be quickly dealt with by the technology sector. The tips we have given should help you keep safe or at least mitigate the loss if unfortunately, you do get hit by a virus. Though for the silver lining we hope that those looking for work in Cyber Security will be in demand shortly. Let us know your views in the comments below and tell us if there is anything you would like us to cover in future.

Warm Regards,

Dan

Mental Health in the Workplace

May 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

That Friday feeling is kicking in and to accompany it we have got another blog, which perhaps you can unwind to as the weekend closes in. With this week being Mental Health Awareness week, we decided to do our part in helping raise awareness by making it the topic of our weekly blog. As seen in the news recently with Professional Footballer Aaron Lennon, there is no job that is safe from the issues of mental health. Fortunately, Lennon is now receiving the treatment he needs and the swell of support from the football community has been outstanding.

There recently has been a push for making the work environment less intimidating for those that are currently suffering Mental Health Issues. A recent survey carried out by ComRes, on behalf of Radio 5 Live, found that roughly half of those interviewed would be unlikely to talk to their Employer (49%) or Colleagues (55%) about Mental Health issues. On the other hand, more of those that were surveyed found that their work place was supportive of people with Mental Health issues (43% vs 27%). Though nearly half (49%) felt that their employers did not have sufficient training to properly support employees that have Mental Health issues.

The above is quite an alarming statistic on its own but it is compounded by the statistic that; 1 in 4 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year. This suggests there is a large number of workers who are currently suffering Mental Health issues but are unlikely to speak up about them. This then has a knock-on effect in increasing absences due to stress, which costs an average of £1,035 per employee per year. This would be hard to identify as an employer since 95% of employees off sick who are dealing with stress will give a different reason to their employer.

There are a number of initiatives currently on going to try and help this issue, one of them is Time to Change who offer advice to help with Mental Health issues in work. So, check them out if you would like to get involved or get your employer involved. What are your views on the issues that people face with Mental Health in the work place? Let us know in the comments below!

Cheers,

Dan

Sources:

(ComRes. “BBC Radio 5 Live Mental Health In The Workplace Survey”. Accessed 12/05/17. https://www.comresglobal.com/polls/bbc-radio-5-live-mental-health-in-the-workplace-survey/)

(Time To Change. “Employer Pledge”. Accessed 12/05/17. https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/employer-pledge)

Interview Availability

May 5, 2017 | By | No Comments

Another Bank Holiday down and we are quickly back round to the end of week ritual of the Blog, I hope the short week was as enjoyable for you all as it was for me. After discussing (Read: heated debate) with the team about what we wanted to be the topic of this week’s blog we came to Interview availability. This may seem like a strange topic to have as a choice for the blog but we want to ensure that anyone that we put forward has the best chance to securing the role.

The first point at which Interview availability comes up is right at the start with the application for the position. There is a spot in the application form for filling this out, alternatively if you have been contacted by one of our recruiters they may ask for these details over the phone or by email. This may seem to be an easy question to answer but it is important to note all the dates and times when you are unable to attend an interview for the next 4 to 6 weeks. This can range from holidays, festivals, appointments or business meetings, though this is far from an exhaustive list (if anything comes up in the interim between the application and the interview, please let us know so we can pass on the changes). When considering what days and times are off limit for an interview, it will also be important to consider the location of the role as travel time will need to be taken into account for availability.

When you receive an offer for an interview we will give you the details for the interview, such as date, time, location, interview type and who will conduct the interview. Sometimes there may be a conflict with the date and time for the interview, in cases like this we would strongly recommend that you try to keep to the original interview slot. The reason for this comes to the fact that the original interview time slot has to be declined in order to request a new date and time. In some cases if the hiring manager is unable to re-schedule, the original interview request will have disappeared and the interview will now be unavailable. We don’t want this to happen to candidates, so we recommended accepting the original time slot offered.

A main reason why interviews are difficult to rearrange is the Hiring Manager would have arranged a date and time which ensures that their meeting rooms and the interview panel are available at the same time. This would have taken into account the details that were submitted by you in your application. Another reason is that some Hiring Managers like to interview the other candidates before making a decision on re-arranging an interview. In this case if they find a candidate they think is suitable for the role in the original interview time slots offered, they can offer this candidate and not re-schedule other candidates.

This isn’t to say that interviews cannot be rearranged at all, it is just that there is an element of risk that is involved with doing so and we would like to give you the best chance of securing a role. With this overview on the interview availability we hope that it creates a smooth process between application to offer. If you have any questions about what we have covered today or if there is anything in particular you want to see in future blogs, let us know in the comments.

Warm Regards,

Dan

Salaries in the UK

April 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

It is always fun putting the blog together as I get to look into some interesting topics or learn about the finer details about EGB and how we work. Then I get to share all that with you and once it is put out and live on the website, it’s the countdown to the weekend. This week’s blog is taking a look at some recent information that the Office of National Statistics has put out in regards to the average salaries for a large variety of jobs throughout the UK.

ONS assessed over 20 million people’s earnings throughout the UK and calculated what the average salary was for 145 common jobs in the UK. Along with that they also worked out the average salary overall, which came out to be £27,271. For the list there doesn’t seem to be any real shockers in the ranks of each role with the top three being Brokers at £133,677, Chief executives and senior officials at £107,703 and Aircraft pilots and flight engineers at £90,146. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have Cleaners at £7,919, Waitresses at £7,554 and Bar staff at £7,404.

Below we have listed a number of roles that we recruit for and where they come on the list.

10. Human resource managers and directors – £56,315
11. Sales accounts and business development managers – £51,576
14. Business and financial project management professionals – £47,795
18. Finance and investment analysts and advisers – £45,490
19. Property, housing and estate managers – £44,423
23. Mechanical engineers – £43,029
24. Financial accounts managers – £41,389
25. Quantity surveyors – £41,086
26. Information technology and telecommunications professionals – £40,957
27. Programmers and software development professionals – £40,748
28. Construction project managers and related professionals – £40,519
29. Advertising accounts managers and creative directors – £40,510
31. Civil engineers – £40,200
32. Rail transport operatives – £40,060
35. Chartered and certified accountants – £38,692
41. Chartered surveyors – £36,470
43. Business, research and administrative professionals – £35,545
45. Journalists, newspaper and periodical editors – £34,639
46. Engineering technicians – £34,355

We can see a lot of the contract roles that we recruit for are on the higher end of the scale which is nice to know, and we can certainly see that reflected in the day rates for the roles that we recruit for. So if you would like to work your way up the list, perhaps you could get in touch and we can help find your next role. You can find all the appropriate details to get in touch on our contact us page.

Warm Regards,

Dan

Sources:
https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/3341994/average-salaries-uk-jobs/
http://www.lsbf.org.uk/blog/news/education-careers/ons-figures-reveal-average-pay-jobs-in-uk/109969