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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.

Sacked doctor was unfairly dismissed
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:30:59 GMT

A sacked heart specialist was unfairly dismissed after raising concerns about patient safety, an employment tribunal rules.

Labour hires Obama poll guru Axelrod
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:04:45 GMT

David Axelrod, the strategist who masterminded Barack Obama's presidential victories, will be a key adviser on Ed Miliband's 2015 general election campaign, the Labour Party says.

Royals visit Sydney Easter show
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:53:40 GMT

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Sydney Royal Easter Show on their third day in Australia.

Second earthquake hits East Midlands
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:06:52 GMT

Experts confirm the Rutland town of Oakham has had its second earthquake in two days.

Teachers' unions meet amid disputes
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:00:24 GMT

Calls for more action over pay and pensions are expected this weekend when the two biggest teachers' unions meet for their annual conferences.

British teenager killed in Syria
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:17:39 GMT

An 18-year-old British man has died in Syria, the Foreign Office confirms.

Bullied children still suffer at 50
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:01:11 GMT

Children can experience the negative effects of bullying on their physical and mental health more than 40 years later, says a study from King's College London.

Channel Tunnel due back to normal
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:36:59 GMT

Channel Tunnel rail services are expected to return to normal on Good Friday morning after being hit by severe disruption.

Man charged with firearm possession
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:45:22 GMT

A man is charged after police seize firearms and ammunition from an address in east London.

Missing prisoner alert took 20 hours
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:05:22 GMT

Police admit they were "slow off the mark" in alerting the public that a convicted robber serving eight years, had failed to return to an open prison in Suffolk.

Rape accused boy, 14, due in court
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:39:07 GMT

A boy of 14 accused of raping a 10-year-old girl on disused land in Shrewsbury, is due to appear in court later.

'Nothing to hide' over bird deaths
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:00:19 GMT

A farmer whose properties were raided by police investigating the deaths of 20 birds of prey, calls for more resources to be directed at the investigation.

Chick knit plea response 'fantastic'
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 03:23:08 GMT

An online appeal by a Manchester children's hospice for knitted chicks boosts its flock to an "unexpected" more than 6,300.

Sci-fi fans to descend on Glasgow
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:01:31 GMT

Hundreds of science fiction fans from around the world are expected to descend on Glasgow this weekend for a major sci-fi convention.

Independent MLA David McClarty dies
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:26:59 GMT

The independent unionist Northern Ireland Assembly member David McClarty has died after an illness.

Car destroyed in petrol bomb attack
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:28:53 GMT

A 4x4 vehicle is destroyed in a petrol bomb attack in County Antrim.

Breakthrough in leukaemia treatment
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:56:27 GMT

Scientists at Cardiff University say they have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of the most common form of leukaemia.

Easter visitors urged to take care
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:21:19 GMT

Holidaymakers are urged to take care over the holiday weekend, as good weather is expected to attract crowds to resorts and attractions in Wales.

Power cut due to 'transient fault'
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:19:10 GMT

The mass power outage which affected more than 200,000 homes across the Highlands and Islands was caused by a "transient fault", according to the Scottish government.

Kelpies lit up for launch event
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:41:52 GMT

The Kelpies, a massive new art installation overlooking the M9 near Falkirk, are lit up as part of a pyrotechnic launch event.

Killer patient 'released too soon'
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:39:38 GMT

A mental health patient who went on to kill a man was released too early from a secure hospital, a report finds.

Cancer surgery halted indefinitely
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:38:55 GMT

Keyhole surgery for upper gastrointestinal cancer is stopped indefinitely at a Kent hospital after the deaths of five patients.

Hamilton top in second practice
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:39:59 GMT

Lewis Hamilton heads Ferrari's Fernando Alonso as the Mercedes driver sets the pace in Friday practice at the Chinese GP.

Mata backs Moyes to revive Man Utd
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:28:25 GMT

Record buy Juan Mata is confident Manchester United will become a force under David Moyes with the addition of new signings.

Trott to take break from cricket
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:10:19 GMT

Jonathan Trott is to take a break from cricket because of a recurrence of the anxiety issues that forced him to leave England's Ashes tour.

The level crossing wars
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:01:41 GMT

Battles to save level crossings are being waged across the UK, despite many considering them dangerous anachronisms.

The spooky world of the 'numbers stations'
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:27:32 GMT

This is the era of hyper-tech espionage, encrypted emails and mindboggling cryptography. But you can hear a very old-fashioned form of espionage on shortwave radio.

Uplifting letters of hope sent to children of Syria
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:10:37 GMT

Somali children living in the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya have sent letters of encouragement to Syrian refugee children who have also had to flee their homeland.

Female MPs shunning PMQs - Bercow
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:53:22 GMT

Some female MPs have stopped attending Prime Minister's Questions because it is so "bad", says Speaker John Bercow.

Lucas cleared over fracking protest
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:17:31 GMT

Green MP Caroline Lucas and four co-defendants are cleared of obstructing a public highway during an anti-fracking protest in Balcombe, West Sussex.

French far-right 'opens arms' to UKIP
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:57:25 GMT

The leader of the right-wing Front National party in France says she would welcome collaboration with UKIP in fighting against the EU "with open arms".

VIDEO: House of Commons
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:55:29 GMT

The PM is challenged over his support for Maria Miller following a row over her expenses.

VIDEO: Royals watch sheep shearing at show
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:37:34 GMT

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made an appearance at Sydney's Royal Easter Show, during their tour of Australia.

VIDEO: Eisteddfod crown found on eBay
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:48:49 GMT

A crown awarded to a poet at a Welsh cultural festival in Blaenau Ffestiniog 116 years ago is being returned to the town after being spotted for sale on auction website eBay.

VIDEO: Easter story in a shipping container
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:54:03 GMT

The North East town of South Shields is commemorating the Passion of Christ on Good Friday in a different way.

VIDEO: Row over Irish dancing make-up ban
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:32:18 GMT

The Irish Dancing Commission has recently stopped children under the age of 10 from wearing make-up during competitions.

VIDEO: Easter weekend weather
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:38:08 GMT

Dry start, sunny spells, turning wetter later

VIDEO: Warning over foreign doctor training
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:59:34 GMT

There are calls for stricter assessments of foreign-trained doctors before they practise in the UK.

VIDEO: Babylab studies development of ADHD
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:22:51 GMT

Scientists at a London laboratory carry out tests to try to discover how and why some people develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

VIDEO: Leukaemia treatment 'breakthrough'
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:35:38 GMT

Scientists at Cardiff University believe they have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of leukaemia.

In Pictures: Great North Passion
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:48:34 GMT

Artists customise 12 shipping containers to tell Easter story

Celebrating Easter in Spring
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:06:00 GMT

Australia's Bishop Kay at Westminster Abbey for Easter

10 sartorial moments that tell us a lot about politics
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:33:31 GMT

10 sartorial moments that reveal the superficiality of politics

Ballet and business: A perfect match
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:02:04 GMT

How the arts rely on sponsorship to survive

Quiz of the week's news
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:42:52 GMT

Sir Alex Ferguson's 3m wine cellar has most bottles from where?

VIDEO: The book shop on a boat
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:27:08 GMT

The bookshop on a barge that travels the canal system

Foreign doctor 'safety fears' - front pages
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:40:21 GMT

Papers examine concerns over foreign-trained doctors