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Latest website and industry news at a glance..
Budget 2013: 'UK government should build more homes'
Date: 03/11/2013

Boosting homebuilding and infrastructure spending should be the main goal of the forthcoming Budget, according to business lobby groups.

The CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) want tens of thousands of new homes to be built to create new jobs and provide affordable homes.

But they say that the government should stick to its plans to cut borrowing.

However, the BCC says that the government should borrow more if there is no growth within six months.

The BCC is advocating a range of measures, including the building of 100,000 new homes, which it says will cost almost £30bn over three years.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said: "If within the next six months there is no prospect of growth... you might have to consider actually borrowing more money but you should only do it to fund areas that the market would forgive."

Building confidence

The CBI says £2.2bn should be moved from current spending to "high-growth areas". Some of this money should be used to build 50,000 new affordable homes, which it says would create 75,000 jobs.

The group also wants more investment in roads and infrastructure and a cap on business rates.

The CBI said money could be found from savings within government departments as well as sales of land and property, and insisted there would be no need for further borrowing.

Tax incentives should be provided to encourage the refurbishment of existing properties, the CBI added.

CBI director general John Cridland told the BBC the plan would address a range of problems: "We need Housing Associations to be freed up going forward to build the affordable housing needed.

"If we want nurses and firemen to be able to live in London we need to build these homes. You create construction jobs - and jobs for young people because these are entry-level jobs - and you build confidence."

He said the government should stick to its fiscal plan, but that these measures were also needed to boost the housing market and would benefit first-time buyers, those trapped in negative equity and those looking to refurbish their homes.

Last month, the CBI said that the UK would avoid falling into a so-called triple-dip recession.

The group believes that the UK economy will grow by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year, after the economy shrank in the last quarter of 2012 - the first period in what some feared might be another six months of negative growth.

Spending debate

The suggestions come as the coalition partners continue to debate whether the government's austerity plans are the right course for the current flat economic conditions.

Both Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor, George Osborne, are determined to keep to their plans to rein in spending.

On Monday, the former defence secretary, Liam Fox, a Conservative, called on the government to freeze the level of public spending for five years and spend the money saved on cutting taxes and the deficit.

He wants all public spending frozen - as against the current freeze for Whitehall departmental budgets.

He is also urging an end to the ring-fencing of certain budgets, including the NHS, schools and universal benefits such as the pensioners' winter fuel allowance.

The Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is also against ring fencing, although for different reasons.

He told the BBC that protecting some departments intensified the burden on others: "When you have 80% of all government spending that's ring-fenced it means all future pressures then come on things like the army, the police, local government, and skills and universities.

"So... you get a very unbalanced approach to public spending... I think as a long-term approach to government spending, it isn't very sensible."

George Osborne will announce the Budget on 20 March.

.. read more

Portsmouth administrators rack up £2.2m in fees
Date: 02/28/2013

PKF ADMINISTRATORS have racked up £2.2m in fees for their work on the collapsed football club Portsmouth FC, according to the latest creditor report.

The administrators have incurred the £2.2m of fees in time costs for the period 17 February 2012 to 2 January 2013. This is for 7,295 hours of work which is an average of about £297 an hour.

However, the administrators have managed to draw £775,000 so far following approval from a creditor committee. At the end of the administration the administrators will decide on the percentage of their fees to be repaid with that figure needing creditor committee approval before it can be drawn. 

The club entered administration for the second time in two years on 17 February, with PKF partners Trevor Birch, Ian Gould and Bryan Jackson appointed.

Fees for the six months ending 2 January 2013 amounted to £851,671 for 2,905 hours of work at an average hourly rate of £293 per hour.

The administrators are currently awaiting a court hearing which will determine whether a rescue deal will be viable through a sale to the Portsmouth Supporters Trust (PST).

The administrators said in the latest creditor report that "if a sale can't be achieved a liquidation is the most viable option."

PST has funded some of the trading costs amounting to £244,061. However, preferential claims so far come in at about £52,000 and unsecured creditor claims are about £35m, which £11.4m as football creditors.

In a football insolvency, football creditors such as players, managers and other clubs, are paid first and in full.

Other costs highlighted include solicitor fees for Pinsent Masons which for the year come in at about £1.24m and £79,000 for George Davies, who acted for the Professional Footballers' Association, on negotiation of player wage deferrals and agent fees.

Read more: 

.. read more

What makes a good temp?
Date: 03/17/2012

With the economic situation still having a massive bearing on the jobs front, temporary work could be a lifeline, but is it for everyone?

If you are considering temporary work, what can you do to make sure you’re the one Recruitment Consultants think of first when a new assignment comes in? Is temping really for you?

Sell yourself in a professional way to your recruitment agency.
When an agency are looking for a dependable temp, tell them why you are good. Are you flexible? Versatile? Quick at picking things up? Do you have the skills that are required? Easy to get along with? Are you available at short notice?

Sell yourself to the recruitment consultant as you would in a job interview: make a list of your previous jobs and highlight key accomplishments and skills you’ve gained.

Understand how recruitment agencies work.

Picture the scene; A company have a problem, it may be that they have an increased workload, a project that needs to be completed ASAP or a key employee has gone off sick. The want someone with relevant skills to help them. This is where you come in.

Think of yourself as a mercenary!
You have skills that are transferable; you have the experience that would benefit the Company. You have good communication skills. You have the skills that are needed, you are good at creating and developing relationships, you are available at short notice. You can help them!

Be flexible in every way you can!
Flexibility is the key to being a successful temp. It’s not just about being flexible in terms of when you start on a new assignment, either. If you want the work to keep coming your way, you need to be flexible in terms of the rate you’re paid for short term assignments; and the role you have.

How keen are you to get work?
What can you do if, on a Friday afternoon, you find yourself without an assignment or any work for the following Monday? Perhaps you are considering temping whilst looking for your ideal permanent role?
It seems clear that if you go the extra mile to get the work, by keeping in close contact with your consultant and contacting the agency on a regular basis, you’re more likely to be successful in ensuring the money keeps coming in. Remember, be persistence.

Will temping look bad on your CV?
We are often asked about this point. Some people do not want to temp as they believe it will detract from their stable work history. Our advice is to keep on working (if that is what you want/need) Gain more skills, gain more experience on different computer packages and more business sectors. If you have been temping for some time, group your experiences together and list your key skills and experience. Good employers will understand.

What happens next?
Many of the temporary people we work with at Ba Recruitment, we have known for some time. We have developed relationships with people we have found dependable and versatile. However, we are always looking for good people. It’s up to you to develop a relationship with your agency and whilst you are temping a good agency will always keep you in mind when a suitable permanent jobs comes in.

Happy job hunting!

.. read more

News From The BBC

BBC News - UK

The latest stories from the UK section of the BBC News web site.

Miliband 'call to arms' for young voters
Sat, 28 May 2016 11:49:26 GMT

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband issues a "call to arms", urging young people to register to vote in next month's EU referendum.

Officer dismissed for 'ignoring' stabbing
Sat, 28 May 2016 11:58:15 GMT

A Metropolitan Police sergeant is dismissed for failing to respond to a fatal attack in which a man was stabbed more than 200 times.

Rider dies in pre-TT race practice
Sat, 28 May 2016 12:31:03 GMT

A rider dies and another is seriously injured in a crash during the pre-TT races.

Blair warns against Corbyn 'experiment'
Sat, 28 May 2016 07:30:30 GMT

It would be a "very dangerous experiment" for the UK to give Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn power, former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair warns.

Children 'denied mental health support'
Sat, 28 May 2016 12:54:21 GMT

Mental health services turned away more than a quarter of children referred for support without help in England in 2015, a report says.

Thailand speedboat British victim named
Sat, 28 May 2016 13:51:25 GMT

A British woman who died after a speedboat capsized near the island of Koh Samui in Thailand is named as Monica O'Connor.

Huge gas explosion 'shakes homes'
Sat, 28 May 2016 10:53:34 GMT

A gas mains explodes into flames causing homes to "shake" in Whitstable, Kent.

Events mark Battle of Jutland centenary
Sat, 28 May 2016 15:03:00 GMT

The centenary of the largest naval battle of World War One is being officially commemorated in Rosyth and South Queensferry.

Bus driver 'saves passengers' from blaze
Sat, 28 May 2016 10:19:56 GMT

A bus driver is credited with saving the lives of about 20 passengers when he rushed them off the vehicle moments before it went up in flames.

Butchart wins Children's Book Award
Sat, 28 May 2016 15:12:12 GMT

Pamela Butchart's My Head Teacher Is a Vampire Rat, illustrated by Thomas Flintham, has won this year's Children's Book Award.

Dahl's swashboggling words celebrated
Sat, 28 May 2016 12:46:28 GMT

Swashboggling, squishous and frobscottle are among thousands of Roald Dahl's gobblefunk words in a dictionary celebrating the centenary of the writer's birth.

'World's biggest' bouncy castle arrives
Sat, 28 May 2016 11:12:48 GMT

The "world's biggest" bouncy castle is unveiled at the Common People music festival in Southampton.

Ricciardo takes maiden pole in Monaco
Sat, 28 May 2016 13:20:55 GMT

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo takes a sensational pole position for the Monaco GP ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

NI boss O'Neill names Euro 2016 squad
Sat, 28 May 2016 11:32:47 GMT

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill announces his squad for Euro 2016, with Will Grigg and Lee Hodson included as expected.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
Fri, 27 May 2016 22:16:06 GMT

Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres says their Champions League final against Real Madrid is the "game of my life".

Vote Leave launches 50m football contest
Fri, 27 May 2016 12:32:09 GMT

Vote Leave offers a 50m prize for correctly guessing the results of every Euro 2016 game - but the contest is called a "con" by the Remain campaign.

Boris Johnson 'confuses fact and fiction'
Fri, 27 May 2016 21:53:51 GMT

Vote Leave campaigner Boris Johnson does not seem to know the difference between fact and fiction, former Conservative Party chairman Chris Patten says.

EU campaigns 'misleading voters'
Fri, 27 May 2016 15:42:45 GMT

The two sides in the EU referendum campaign have been accused of peddling "implausible" figures by a committee of MPs.

VIDEO: Giant cruise ship 'a construction site'
Sat, 28 May 2016 07:43:56 GMT

Some of the first paying passengers on the world's biggest cruise ship have described it as "a construction site" and a "serious risk to those on board".

VIDEO: 'Huge variation' in mental health support
Sat, 28 May 2016 07:50:37 GMT

More than a quarter of children referred for mental health support in England last year were turned away, according to a report from the Children's Commissioner.

VIDEO: 'World's biggest' bouncy castle arrives
Sat, 28 May 2016 10:36:28 GMT

Festival-goers are invited to have a go on what is claimed to be the world's largest bouncy castle.

VIDEO: Young fans on Roald Dahl's weird words
Sat, 28 May 2016 10:03:50 GMT

The BBC asks some of Roald Dahl's biggest fans what they think of his language.

VIDEO: Why 'funslinger' is taking off in schools
Sat, 28 May 2016 08:23:50 GMT

The game of "funslinger" is coming to a growing number of UK schools and claims to feature one of the longest throws of any sport.

VIDEO: Booker winner on rejection and patois
Sat, 28 May 2016 10:55:52 GMT

Marlon James' novel based around the attempted assassination of Bob Marley saw him become the first Jamaican author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

VIDEO: Tom Hiddleston's 'gift' of an education
Fri, 27 May 2016 16:34:22 GMT

Tom Hiddleston's tells tales at the ceremony crowning the winners of the BBC's 500 Words competition.

VIDEO: UK's oldest working theatre celebrated
Fri, 27 May 2016 18:34:08 GMT

The UK's oldest theatre, the Bristol Old Vic, celebrates its 250th birthday.

Riot's legacy of shame and pride
Sat, 28 May 2016 00:02:14 GMT

The riot with a legacy of shame and pride

How much do models really get paid?
Fri, 27 May 2016 20:34:33 GMT

How easy is it to make a living as a model?

Cooling technologies become red hot
Fri, 27 May 2016 20:23:28 GMT

Sainsbury's tests new ways to keep food cold

Will ethnic minority voters decide EU vote?
Sat, 28 May 2016 00:23:46 GMT

Will ethnic minority voters decide EU vote?

Fracking go-ahead: What happens next?
Fri, 27 May 2016 20:31:10 GMT

Why old industrial sites may be next for fracking

VIDEO: What people in the Middle East really think of Tony Blair's latest idea
Fri, 27 May 2016 23:49:22 GMT

What people in the Middle East really think of Tony Blair

Could French fuel strikes affect travel?
Fri, 27 May 2016 14:21:21 GMT

How will Britons travelling in France be affected?

Five ways to survive a three-generation household
Fri, 27 May 2016 11:21:22 GMT

Five ways to survive life in a three-generation home