Construction Sector Seeking Flexible Freelancers

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, has reported that the construction sector is seeking flexible freelancers with a first-rate career history and experience in the public sector.

Ongoing investment in the public sector has generated a demand for experienced individuals to work on a range of refurbishment, rebuild and extension projects, including local authority buildings, hospital renovation projects and the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Social housing is another area that has remained resilient.

“Site managers with Decent Homes or Responsive Repairs experience working with contractors on behalf of housing associations, councils and schools are sought after,” said Tony Keel, Regional Manager at Hays Construction.

On the commercial side, the demand for estimators, bid managers and business development managers has also remained steady, as many contractors are preparing their bids for future project work.

“There is a demand for pre-contract and tendering expertise as well as estimating and bid management skills in the current marketplace”, continued Keel.

A visible trend in the market is how the way in which the role of the temporary and interim workforce has evolved, due to the flexibility they offer an employer.

“Temporary roles are more in demand than permanent positions and we are seeing an increase in registered temp to perm jobs,” continued Keel. “Candidates need to remember that the temporary option offers them a foot in the door and those with strong CVs will be in a great position to benefit when the market recovers.”

There is still activity in the residential market, particularly in the larger cities, with affordable housing and shared ownership through house builders’ refurbishment activity providing constant project work. The demand for trades and labouring jobs has remained steady overall, although the average length of a contract has been reduced.

“Contractors working on these developments are still busy and this has fuelled demand for quality trades in this area. There are also excellent opportunities for companies with strong cash flow to upgrade properties now and resell when prices rise again,” added Keel.

Employers can afford to be more selective as to the calibre of applicants they recruit and the specific requirements needed given the volume of experienced site staff in the marketplace.

“Candidates need to focus on their CV’s, clearly outlining how their skills differentiate f r o m others and also concentrate on their interview technique – creating a positive first impression is critical,” concluded Keel.

Via EPR Network
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Acas Helps Businesses Avoid Employment Tribunal Claims

Acas, the employment relations service, has revealed it has helped businesses avoid more than 2000 employment tribunal claims in just seven months since the introduction of the Pre-Claim Conciliation (PCC) service. Due to its overwhelming success, Acas recently expanded the service to include all major types of workplace issues.

The PCC service aims to save businesses time, money and stress by tackling workplace issues early to prevent costly and stressful employment tribunals. On average employers spent just over three days using the PCC service, compared to nearly 14 days on a claim which escalates to an employment tribunal hearing.

Since the introduction of PCC, Acas has handled 3500 PCC referrals from the Acas helpline and 70 per cent of these were resolved without going to an employment tribunal. In fact, even when the PCC service was not able to settle a workplace dispute, only four in ten referrals progressed into a claim by the end of August.

Ed Sweeney, Acas Chairman, said: “It’s reassuring that Acas’ PCC service has already helped businesses save a great deal of money – particularly in this economic climate.

“Furthermore, the new Code of Practice should also help encourage better communication and relationships, ultimately making businesses and employees happier and more productive.

“Over time, as managers, HR professionals and employees become further accustomed to resolving workplace disputes internally, savings will be even more significant.”

In addition to the expansion of the PCC service, Acas has also expanded its helpline to ensure impartial information on employment relations issues is more readily available to employers and employees.

The PCC service was launched in April 2009 alongside the new Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures following the Government’s Dispute Resolution Review in 2007. There are also a number of workplace training courses, which aim to help businesses manage conflict in the workplace and update on employment law.

About Acas:
Acas’ aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

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Christmas Party Blues for Britain’s Small Businesses

It’s been a tough year for Britain’s small businesses, but even with the end in sight, hardworking business owners and staff are not in the mood to party. Almost half of SMEs (42%) are not going to have a Christmas party and 46% will not be paying any bonuses, according to new research from, the dedicated SME price comparison and switching service.

80% of SMEs have found 2009 to be a tough year. As the impact of the recession took its toll, 58% of business owners were forced to find ways to cut costs and only a third (33%) were able to leave staff perks unscathed. And it seems that 2009 is going to end on the same sombre note, with business owners keeping a tight lid on celebrations and bonuses so that they can continue to balance the books.

Staff may be disappointed, but in the longer term there should be much better news. 43% of small businesses can see some signs of economic recovery. As these greenshoots strengthen jobs should become more secure, companies will be able to ease back on cost cutting and hopefully be in a position to start rewarding loyal workers again.

Jake Ridge, SME expert at, says: “2009 has been a difficult year for SMEs so it’s not surprising that many feel forced to pull the plug on the traditional Christmas party and end of year bonuses. These are difficult decisions to make and could have an impact on staff morale and loyalty. For those employees hit by the double whammy it’s going to feel like a real damp squib of a Christmas.

“Things are looking up for next year though with 43% of companies saying they can see some signs of recovery. However, it’s early days so it remains vitally important that they continue to keep a tight lid on essential running costs. One very easy step is to cut down on the amount they are spending on energy by making sure they are paying the lowest possible price and by cutting down on the amount they use. By getting independent information and support in switching to a cheaper supplier, SME owners could save up to 70% on their energy bills.”

Via EPR Network
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Virtual Career Fair Platform For Veterans

Astound llc is proud to introduce the latest application of it’s virtual career fair platforms. was developed and designed for veterans and employers to meet online in a fully interactive 3D environment.

“We are extremely excited to launch and are happy to work with industry leading employers and the thousands of veterans who leave active duty each month who are looking to re-enter civilian life” says Kevin O’Brien, CEO Milicruit.

Virtual Career Fair Platform For Veterans

Through this revolutionary new technology, veterans will have the opportunity to build a profile to register for the virtual career fair, and employers will be able to fully interact with the veterans as if in person. The career fair will offer the following for the attending veterans and employers

Virtual Booths
Job Postings
Company Videos
Company Presentations
Live chat with company reps
Video interviewing
Resume and interview assistance

“With all that our veterans have sacrificed for us, this is a great opportunity for us as employers to give back and to demonstrate our commitment and gratitude to the men and women of our armed forces who have so proudly served us” states O’Brien

Unlike many other career fairs, the Milicruit fair will run for an entire year. The career fair is limited to 75 industry leading employers who have made a commitment to give back and hire veterans for the obvious skills they bring.

Veterans who are interested in participating in the virtual career fair should register at the address below. Employers who wish to participate in the event should also call or email to discuss the different options.

About Milicruit
Milicruit was developed and designed to serve those brave men and women who have so proudly served us with honor and distinction in our Armed Forces. Many of our veterans returning to civilian life often find it difficult to compete in the open job market, and Milicruit provides an opportunity for employers and veterans to come together in a virtual setting.

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Blair Rewards Unwanted by Middle Class with New Labour Government Changes

It seems as though the Blair rewards program is coming to a head. Influence across too many political camps gets noticed over time. By switching and trying to bridge the gap between the Labour party and the Conservatives with influential power across all camps is a gutsy move stemming from the historic blair rewards that Tony Blair is becoming more and more well-known.

The blairrewards have come about full circle with a lucrative and suspicious appointment to JP Morgan. It is a sweet package that further entices additional political figures to potentially reconsider their participation in the Blair rewards program. The Blair rewards program is a bit like follow the leader that many individuals played as children. The only difference is that the consequences of follow the leader as a child are far less devastating and typically much less devious than when the leader of a world power manipulates the system to create death and destruction in Iraq only to manage assets in the area for a sizable return.

It is true that the typical political salary is not competitive to the top ranking business men in the world, which is perhaps why blair rewards worked so well. The middle class is tired of footing the bill for system manipulation for self-serving constituencies. Perhaps the appointment for several million dollars a year to consult on foreign investments in Iraq would not be such a bad reward if the means to which one got to the appointment was not through such unjust and diabolical means.

It seems as though JP Morgan is essentially following Tony Blair’s lead by putting together their own Blair reward program designed to give Blair rewards for allowing them to make so much money as a result of the war in Iraq. Logically, it makes sense that he would have some type of golden parachute for using government money to fund businesses to fight a war. Why wouldn’t the businesses give Blair rewards? He scratched their backs and now they are scratching his.

It is sad that politicians and big business is unable to generate more creative means from which to take money from the public and turn it into profit for organizations. The blairrewards that has become popular through Tony Blair’s actions are clearly not his own brainchild. The Blair rewards program happens every day in business and politics. This is why there are ethics training courses and policies and procedures that are in place.

The Blair rewards program is clearly something that occurs on a daily basis all over the world. The most tragic thing about it is that the Blair rewards result in a horrible direction for humanity and society. Where one can forgive a luxury vacation in order to get a deal closed in business, the extent of this type of manipulation in world politics with tragic means is unforgivable

Bobby Blair is political analyst conscious individual that is intolerant for abuses of political power such as the blair rewards program. As our society continues to try to understand itself blairrewards helps to show us that we are not progressing as one would hope. While the rest of the world is suffering during the present economic downturn, the individuals responsible for getting us there are getting paid-out in full.

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