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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

BBC News - UK

John Bercow 'to quit as Speaker next summer'
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 18:34:44 GMT

News of John Bercow's plans follows damning report into the Commons' handling of bullying cases.

Russell Bishop 'murdered two Brighton schoolgirls in 1986'
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 16:33:57 GMT

Russell Bishop was cleared of killing the nine-year-olds but his acquittal was quashed, a court hears.

Man Booker Prize: Anna Burns becomes first winner from Northern Ireland
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 22:08:23 GMT

Anna Burns, the writer of Milkman, is the first author from Northern Ireland to win the prize.

Anjem Choudary: Radical preacher has assets frozen
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:16:49 GMT

He is due for release after serving half his sentence for inviting support for the Islamic State group.

Republic of Ireland 0-1 Wales: Harry Wilson free-kick wins Nations League tie
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 21:51:19 GMT

A depleted Wales beat the Republic of Ireland as Harry Wilson's beautiful free-kick illuminates an otherwise drab Nations League match in Dublin.

Unilad web publisher bought by LADbible
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:07:33 GMT

The move safeguards more than 200 jobs at the viral publisher, which collapsed with debts of 6.5m.

London Victoria power failure leaves hundreds stranded
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:24:35 GMT

All lines from Victoria station are reporting cancellations and delays of up to 45 minutes.

Mundell 'did not threaten Brexit resignation'
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:46:12 GMT

Scottish Secretary David Mundell says he is in step with the prime minster and did not threaten to quit.

Women told they aren't thin enough for eating disorder treatment, MPs told
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 16:23:34 GMT

MPs debating the stigma surrounding eating disorders say the "medical profession are failing patients with eating disorders".

Hundreds attend veteran Royal Marine's funeral after appeal
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 15:14:20 GMT

More than 200 students, ex-servicemen and serving soldiers honour David McLaren Kerr at his funeral.

Brexit: 'No optimism' for summit breakthrough, says Donald Tusk
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:25:45 GMT

The European Council president calls for new ideas but Theresa May is standing by her plan.

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews celebrate baby boy's birth
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 16:07:54 GMT

Her sister and brother-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, say they are "thrilled".

Anna Burns wins Man Booker prize for Milkman
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 21:30:39 GMT

The author from Northern Ireland took away the award for her book set during the Troubles.

Watch Simon McCoy's reaction to baby news
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:10:35 GMT

The BBC newsreader can't hide his reaction while announcing the birth of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews' son.

Royal tour: How to catch the eye of Meghan and Harry
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 12:16:45 GMT

People in Sydney offer their advice for how to catch the eye of royals Meghan and Harry.

Pepper the robot tells MPs about artificial intelligence
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 10:54:56 GMT

Pepper the robot answers questions from MPs on the education select committee about helping to care for older people.

Herefordshire firm launches biodegradable crisp packet
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 15:24:31 GMT

The manufacturer says the bags once disposed have a six-month lifespan.

Peter Jackson: World War One footage brought to life by Lord of the Rings director
Tue, 09 Oct 2018 22:55:02 GMT

Silent film footage from World War One is painstakingly restored by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.

Blue Peter: Former hosts celebrate 60th birthday of TV series
Mon, 15 Oct 2018 22:20:46 GMT

Former hosts of the children's show remember the gaffes and the laughs in a BBC One Show special to mark the anniversary.

BBC News Channel
Wed, 10 Oct 2018 20:19:03 GMT

BBC coverage of latest developments

Woman, 100, marries partner of 30 years in Prestatyn
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 16:57:20 GMT

Former school cook Norah Yates arrived at the ceremony in her wheelchair to Abba's Dancing Queen.

Joan Eardley painting: Woman sees her child self 63 years later
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:50:56 GMT

Margaret Livingstone fights back tears as she finally sees her child self in a Joan Eardley painting from 1955.

Newspaper headlines: 'No-deal Brexit could lead to 36bn bill'
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 23:05:46 GMT

The Daily Telegraph details a warning from the chancellor, while other papers lead with a celebrity divorce.

The Circle: Alex Hobern on how he became 'Kate'
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 15:22:53 GMT

The psychology behind Alex Hobern's deception on Channel 4 reality show The Circle.

UK's worst stations: Passengers react to rail delays
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 15:31:04 GMT

Frustrating, expensive and unsurprising - just some of the words used by commuters about Britain's busiest rail stations.

Why you shouldn't hug your colleagues
Mon, 15 Oct 2018 23:08:42 GMT

Whatever happened to the simple handshake at work? asks author Alison Green.

The men hunting down stolen motorbikes
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 01:36:40 GMT

Thieves film their exploits and post them online. But motorbike enthusiasts are fighting back.

Celebrating 60 years of Blue Peter in pictures
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 01:16:28 GMT

We look back over six decades of the world's longest running children's television show.

Royal baby: Did announcement upstage Princess Eugenie's wedding?
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 10:18:56 GMT

It comes as some people wondered if the royal baby announcement had upstaged Princess Eugenie's wedding.

Reality Check: What business does the UK do with Saudi Arabia?
Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:37:53 GMT

Trade links between the UK and Saudi Arabia have increased over the last decade.

Young and black in Northern Ireland
Mon, 15 Oct 2018 05:34:20 GMT

Young black people talk about what it's like for them living in Northern Ireland.