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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.

'Threats' against BBC boss investigated
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:18:12 GMT

Police investigate alleged death threats against BBC director general Tony Hall, reportedly made after Jeremy Clarkson was dropped from Top Gear.

Meningitis B vaccine deal agreed
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 03:56:03 GMT

An agreement is reached with the drug manufacturer GSK to provide a vaccine for meningitis B for all babies in the UK, the health secretary says.

Europol chief warns on encryption
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:38:11 GMT

A European police chief says encrypted online communications are the biggest problem faced by security agencies tackling terrorism.

Heads' threat to parents over gaming
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 03:07:51 GMT

Head teachers in Cheshire warn parents they will report them to the authorities if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

Retailers call for review of rates
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 01:51:34 GMT

Scottish retailers call for a "fundamental review" of business rates, ahead of a 2% rise which is due to come into effect on Wednesday.

Man charged following slavery raids
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:26:19 GMT

A man is charged with slavery and fraud offences following raids in Oxford.

Graphene light bulb set for shops
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:46:01 GMT

A light bulb made with graphene - said by its UK developers to be the first commercially viable consumer product using the super-strong carbon - is to go on sale later this year.

Dr Crippen letters sold for 11,000
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:42:30 GMT

Prison letters written by one of the 20th Century's most notorious murderers are sold for 11,000 at auction.

Policeman charged with wife's murder
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 12:35:24 GMT

A police constable appears in court charged with murdering his wife in Northamptonshire.

Briton's father in plea to airlines
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:07:26 GMT

The father of a British man killed in the Alps air crash urges airlines to look after pilots "properly", saying the victims of the disaster should "never be forgotten".

Dickens' desk saved for public view
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:37:21 GMT

The desk where Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations is finally on public display thanks to a 780,000 grant.

Couple marry in supermarket aisle
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:22:41 GMT

A couple marry in the Easter egg aisle of the Cambridgeshire supermarket where they shared their first date.

Guns found in dissident search
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:27:11 GMT

Firearms, ammunition and improvised explosive devices are found by police in the Republic of Ireland investigating dissident republican activity.

Three held over gun attack released
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:21:33 GMT

Three men arrested by police investigating a shooting in Coleraine, County Londonderry, are released on police bail.

Israel 0-3 Wales
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:29:24 GMT

Gareth Bale scores twice to send Wales two points clear at the top of Group B with a comfortable win over 10-man Israel.

Weapons and drugs seized in raid
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 08:46:10 GMT

Weapons, drugs and cash are seized following police raids on a bar and a home in Cardiff.

SNP will make change 'for all UK'
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:10:42 GMT

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says her party will reform the "discredited Westminster system" for ordinary people, wherever they are in the UK.

Jobseekers perks in Scotrail deal
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:51:43 GMT

The new ScotRail franchise will offer free rail travel to interviews for jobseekers, amongst other passenger benefits announced.

Hundreds walk to remember Becky Watts
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:45:29 GMT

An estimated 300 people take part in a fundraising walk to remember Bristol teenager Becky Watts.

Thieves steal five tonne sculpture
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:45:49 GMT

A five tonne copper and bronze water feature is stolen in a night raid on the grounds of the Watts Gallery in Guildford.

Hamilton says Rosberg did not block
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:50:16 GMT

Lewis Hamilton denies he felt team-mate Nico Rosberg deliberately blocked him during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Brook retains his IBF world title
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 23:30:35 GMT

England's Kell Brook successfully defends his IBF world welterweight title with a fourth-round win against Jo Jo Dan.

We can be best since 1958 - Coleman
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:29:31 GMT

Chris Coleman tells his players to prove they are the best Wales team since 1958 by qualifying for Euro 2016.

The challenges of election polling
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:52:58 GMT

The BBC's David Cowling looks at the challenges facing pollsters during the 2015 general election.

What not to do on the campaign trail
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:51:20 GMT

As the general election campaign officially begins, here's a handy guide for would-be MPs on the pitfalls to avoid while on the campaign trail.

Where will 'winding up' Westminster lead?
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 01:04:38 GMT

Alex Salmond has been enjoying himself recently, doing what seems to come naturally, winding up Westminster.

VIDEO: Treasury Committee
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:45:58 GMT

The Treasury Committee hears from the Chancellor, George Osborne.

VIDEO: Father: 'He should not be forgotten'
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:14:43 GMT

The father of a British man killed in the Alps plane crash that claimed the lives of 150 people, says his son and all the victims should not be forgotten.

VIDEO: 'We married in our local supermarket'
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 23:27:36 GMT

A couple have married in the Cambridgeshire supermarket where they used to go on dates together.

VIDEO: Sick boy's online campaign takes off
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 09:48:37 GMT

People from all around the world wore yellow to support a sick boy from Corby in central England.

VIDEO: 'Super councils' seek public money
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:05:54 GMT

In the wake of greater powers being devolved to Scotland, councils in England have been banding together to demand extra power for their local areas.

VIDEO: BMA warning on 'seven-day NHS' plan
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:54:22 GMT

Dr Paul Flynn from the British Medical Association welcomes David Cameron's pledge for "a truly seven-day NHS" by 2020 but warns significant extra funding will be needed.

VIDEO: Push to promote UK ice hockey
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:08:12 GMT

Ice hockey is seeing a push to get more people involved, the BBC's Mike Bushell reports.

VIDEO: Kate at last events before baby due
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:13:54 GMT

The Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by Prince William, has attended her final official events before the birth of her second child, as Nicholas Witchell reports.

VIDEO: 1980s games reviewed by six-year-olds
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:51:14 GMT

Children try out some 1980s games at the new National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham and see how they compare to their modern equivalents.

What to expect when you're electing
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:47:28 GMT

What to expect when you're electing

Your pictures: Docks
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:44:05 GMT

Readers' photographs on the theme of docks

VIDEO: Trends of the week - in 60 seconds
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:24:08 GMT

Trends of the week in 60 seconds

The friends who sign up for jihad
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:48:26 GMT

The clusters of friends being drawn to jihad in Syria and Iraq

Game of Thrones' factual fantasy
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 03:00:39 GMT

Games of Thrones' real-world parallels