UK actors get a supporting role in strike

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Britishfilm production could be seriously disrupted this summer by an internationalstrike by members of US Screen Actors Guild. Theguild, which wants increases in pay for actors, has published strike guidelinesfor its non-US members which film companies warn could halt work on productionsacross the world. Theunion wants to prevent US studios escaping the dispute through the use offoreign actors and shooting overseas. Theguidelines require that a non-US member of the guild should only work on a filmif it is shot and financed entirely from outside the US. Equity,the British actors’ union, has advised its members to support the US ScreenActors Guild in the event of strike action by not working on US productionstrying to avoid the dispute.IanMcGarry, general secretary of Equity, said, “If the dispute in the US doesgo a head then it is bound to have an impact in the UK. American productionsthat might otherwise have come to the UK to use studio facilities or forlocation work would undoubtedly stay away.” UK actors get a supporting role in strikeOn 13 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Welcome news, or added burden?

first_img Comments are closed. HRprofessionals gave a mixed reaction to the family-friendly measures outlined inthe Budget. JohnPhilpott, chief economist of the CIPD, welcomed the extension to maternityleave to 26 weeks and the increase to maternity pay to £100 per week in 2003. Hesaid, “These provisions are a welcome move in the light of consistentevidence that family-friendly policies and flexible working practices benefitboth employers and employees.”Manyfeel, however, that the Chancellor’s measures have increased the burden onbusinesses. KatyaKlasson, head of employee resourcing at the CBI, warned that the costs ofproviding cover for extended maternity leave could be significant. MikeTaylor, group divisional HR director for engineering company Lorne Stewart,agreed. “Just how much more cost will Gordon Brown put on industry? “Thereare such low margins and it is so competitive that this is just another turn ofthe screw,”  he said.Othersquestioned the timing of the measures. David Yeandle, director of employmentpolicy for the EEF, said, “It’s disappointing that politicians made uptheir minds about maternity and paternity pay before the end of theconsultation period for the Green Paper (7 March).”Yeandleis also concerned that mothers returning to work after 26 weeks would requireadditional retraining.TheChancellor’s measures to allocate a £135m fund for the recruitment offront-line staff in the NHS, including 10,000 nurses, were betterreceived.  JohnAdsett, secretary for the Association of Healthcare Human Resources Managers,said, “This is good news for the NHS if the figures add up. “Myonly caveat would be whether the people are out there to recruit.”It’salways pleasing to get more money, but if you were cynical you could say thisis a short-term fix before the general election.”BUDGETAT A GLANCEIncometax £1bn income tax cut for 25 million workers by extending the 10p incometax band to first £1,880 of taxable incomeEducationExtra £1bn over the next three years; £200m to help to recruit and retainteachersBusinessExtension of tax breaks on share options; simplified VAT for small firms;long-term capital gains tax rate cut to 10 per centMotoringFreeze on all road fuel and other duties, with a 2p reduction in unleadedpetrol. Duty on road fuel gases will be frozen until 2004ByKaren Higginbottom Previous Article Next Article Welcome news, or added burden?On 13 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Councils say pay is only solution to staffing crisis

first_img Previous Article Next Article Councils say pay is only solution to staffing crisisOn 30 May 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The public sector’s recruitment and retention crisis has prompted all thepolitical parties to promise ambitious increases in funding. But the promises have left local government feeling like a poor relation,and HR professionals in the sector want to see definite increases in payscales. Terry Gorman, assistant chief executive of personnel and corporate servicesat Nottinghamshire County Council, said, “We are having difficulties inrecruiting and this will only get worse, especially in competitive areas of thecountry such as the South East. Extra pay is needed to attract staff to localgovernment.” Adrian Pritchard, county officer of personnel at Suffolk County Council,agrees. He said, “I would like to see real pay negotiations across thepublic sector. The Government is involved in teachers’ and doctors’ pay talks,but local government has to fend for itself.” The sensitive issue of performance-related pay will have to be considered.”Performance pay has already started with teachers and the NHS, and Ibelieve it will move over to local government – it is fitting, as there is atargets culture,” said Gorman. Many do not believe an increase in funding is the only answer. Socpopresident Keith Handley said, “Whichever party is returned to power, weneed more support to provide a better image for local authorities. “Many authorities are really struggling with recruitment issues, and thegenerally poor image of local government being constantly under siege fromcentral government does not help.” Gorman agrees, saying, “We need to be packaged and promoted better toattract younger workers. This should be done by government ministers promotingthe hard work that is being done in the public sector, instead of continuallyknocking us.” The sector is also keen to see the next government address the issue of afixed retirement age to enable the recruitment of experienced staff. Gorman said, “The retirement age was set when life expectancy was 10years less than its is now. Pensions should be flexible and allow older peopleto work part-time. Changing it would help address the recruitment issue thatlocal government has now, although I still believe we need to concentrate onre-branding to attract the younger worker.” By Paul Nelson Labour’s promise to the public sector– Increase education spending by more than 5 per cent each year for the nextthree years– Increase health spending by an average of 6 per cent each year for thenext three years– Increase police spending by an extra £1.6bn a year by 2003– Use a £400m reward fund for local government in return for signing up to cleartargets to improve local services Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

We need leaders, not just managers

first_imgTheseskills are needed for all areas of a company, hence the potential power of HR,which  can look across an organisation.HR can turn that around by changing the way we run them, by appointing leadersinstead of managers, and by giving them freedom to do what they have to do toget the projects in. We need leaders, not just managersOn 5 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today DavidTaylor offers guidance on how to succeed with the projects that are essentialfor taking us into the new business age If we areto deliver in the next business age, when speed, complexity and virtual workingwill increase, something big has to happen. And this is where HR leaders can,and are, playing a huge part, because the key to successful projects comes downto one thing – people. Given the choice of an outstanding team on a project indifficulty, or an average group on a project on-track, I would take the formeranytime. As Iwrite, I have a marketing flyer for a project management course next month – itis a sad document. Before I share my thoughts on this with you, please do me a favour.Close your eyes and think about someone in your team or department who deliversevery time. Think of a person who you always call when the going gets tough, inthe times of crisis; someone you know who will never let you down, ever. One yearago, I wrote about how, when I first came into IT, four out of 10 projectsfailed to happen on time, did not meet the needs of the company, or cost toomuch. Business and IT leaders were unanimous that this figure had to change –and it has. It is now eight out of 10, and that does not include those projectsthat we have brushed under the carpet or declared a success despite the factthey have delivered very little. Now thinkabout the skills they have and the attitudes and behaviour they display. Iwould imagine you are thinking of the following: Over thepast two years, I have had the good fortune to work across a wide range ofcompanies and e-projects and I am now convinced that we need to alter ourapproach to projects at a fundamental level. DavidTaylor is president of the association of IT directors, Certus [email protected] Whenrecruiting a project manager, look for: And thismismatch between what people think is important and what works continues whenwe recruit. Too many companies advertise for project managers with specificexperience, “who have consistently delivered quality systems”. Radicalthinking:  Remember, if we do what wehave always done, nothing will change. Forget “out of the box”, doesthe candidate think as if they were on a different planet? If yes, hire them.center_img This isthe reason we are in the state we are. To me, it comes down to one thing – theneed for project leadership, not project management. Now Iglance at the flyer – it talks about: Communication: Forget the project, are they lookingdirectly in your eyes when they speak, are they confident, is their head heldhigh? Scars:  I ask people for the biggest mistake theyhave ever made in a project. If they say none, it is goodbye. The deeper thescars, the better. The secondlist is important, but not as key as the first. It comes down to the characterand talent of the person you select, over and above “traditional”views on how to deliver projects. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article – Communication,Leadership, Persistence, Inspiration, Motivation, Focus, Action – Process,Internet, Technology, Prince2, Risk reporting, Project management meetings Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Winning hearts and minds

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Winning hearts and mindsOn 1 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article You’ve chosen your provider, the technology’s in place and you’re ready togo. But there’s just one problem – your staff are far from convinced. Lucie Carringtonasks how you can woo employees over to new methodsIt doesn’t matter how much you spend on an e-learning programme, or how manyhours managers put into aligning it to business needs, it’s not going to workif the workforce doesn’t buy into it too. “Many firms sell e-learning to their finance departments as a cheaperoption. But if you don’t take people with you and you have a high failure rate,then it becomes expensive,” says Mick Durham, a consultant withFuturemedia. Employers shouldn’t underestimate the support e-learning needs – bothtechnical and interpersonal, Durham says. “If you think about it,classroom learning has been around almost unquestioned for thousands of years,so e-learning is a major cultural change,” he says. The first barrier when selling the whole concept of e-learning to theworkforce is fear. However computer literate we think we are, many people arestill afraid of e-learning technology. Then there is the fear of isolation that e-learning engenders. “Theyworry that there will be no one to turn to for help if they don’tunderstand,” Durham says. But there is ego in there too. It may be easier to learn at your desk inyour own time, but having your manager recommend you for a two-day course makespeople feel valued. “These kind of thought processes lead people to thinkthat e-learning is just not as good as traditional learning,” Durham says.There are ways round this. To start with, don’t be too ambitious when youfirst set out. “Make sure there are some early and achievable goals tokeep people motivated,” Durham says. This is an approach KPMG Consulting took when it designed its Internet 101e-learning programme. It’s a massive programme, training 22,000 employeesacross 783 countries in e-business skills. But KPMG used a tightly focused andcontained pilot project to introduce e-learning to the workforce. Nonetheless, motivating staff to use the system was one of the problemsfirst time round, says senior partner Grant Ritchie. “Never underestimatethe change management aspects of something like thisÉ In this second phase [ofthe e-learning programme], staff are much more self-driven,” he says. As KPMG found, how you introduce e-learning to staff makes a hugedifference. Ian Clague, chief executive at blueU, says e-learning is still anew concept, so awareness raising is vital. It could begin with a good use ofe-mail or the corporate Intranet, but don’t forget the importance of humancontact. “Some clients hold awareness-raising sessions or face-to-face launch days,’he says. “It’s also worth arranging some test sessions – employees find itquite exciting.” Another way of taking employees with you is to create a community ofe-learners. This is an approach Royal & SunAlliance took with itscommunications skills programme. Programme manager Katherine Plant and her team organised face-to-faceworkshops for staff before they began e-learning. “This enabled people tofind out more about how it worked but also to make some e-learningbuddies,” she says. Blending e-learning with traditional training sounds eminently sensible whenit comes to getting employee buy-in. But it does have a hint of flavour of themonth about it, and Clague warns against training firms that claim they can doit all on their own. “It wouldn’t make sense for an e-learning company like blueU to employa staff of training experts too. “However, there are plenty of established players in the training arenaand we are proud of the fact we are able to co-operate with some of them,”Clague says. Whatever employers do, there will always be people who don’t enjoye-learning, but let’s not overplay the problem, Clague says. We are probablytalking about 10 per cent of the people we are addressing. “By and large, the feedback is very positive because people aremotivated to improve their skills and e-learning is a convenient way of doingthat,” he says. Case studyChinese whispers can’t stop successRoyal & SunAlliance is in themiddle of a three-tier e-learning project for 2,500 staff to improve IT andcustomer service skills. The first tranche of learning, a one-hour customer relationshipmanagement course, has already been delivered. The second is also nearlycompleted – a communications skills programme. And the third tranche oflearning, designed to deliver a new IT system, will be rolled out early thisyear.”There is always going to be a certain amount ofuncertainty because it’s new,” says programme manager Katherine Plant. “When we announced the programme, people said it wasgreat, but when it got out to the [customer service] centres, then the Chinesewhispers started and somehow the message fell flat.”Plant and her colleagues overcame staff anxieties in severalways. To start with they designed the training with people from the business.”They’ve gone back to their centres telling everyone how brilliant itis,” she says. R&SA opted for a blended solution for the communicationstraining. E-learning sessions were topped and tailed with practical workshopsthat gave people the chance to discuss what they were going to learn and thenwhat they had learned. “We talk about how people feel about the training,whether  it would be useful to theirwork and how it could be made more beneficial,” Plant said. In hindsight, there are things Plant would have donedifferently. She thinks a roadshow or video introducing the training would havestalled some of the anxiety people felt. And she would have rolled out the moreinteractive communications programme first. “It would have sold thee-learning idea better because the more interactive you can be and the more funthe blended solutions, the happier people are,” Plant says.last_img read more

Two-way success for CSR initiative

first_img Previous Article Next Article Two-way success for CSR initiativeOn 24 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. London Electricity Group’s middle managers are giving schoolchildren lessonsin business. The scheme, which is linked closely with the firm’s corporate socialresponsibility (CSR) charter, aims to give middle managers skills to becomesenior managers. The company hopes the exercise will improve managers’ presentation,communication and time management abilities. To date, 10 managers have each given lectures on issues including theelectricity business and employment legislation to primary schoolchildren. The managers say the scheme has helped with problem-solving, thinking ontheir feet, communication and simplifying complicated issues. Two-thirds claimit has made them feel better about working for the company. Isabel Brown, employee community involvement co-ordinator at LondonElectricity Group, believes the scheme has helped improve the retention ofmiddle managers: “It has proved very successful and I think has helped thecompany not only to retain managers but to improve their skills and helped makethem better managers.” Next year the project will be rolled out to the company’s graduate traineescheme to teach them management skills while managers may be given theopportunity to become school governors. Other aspects of the firm’s CSR include giving staff two days a year offwork – if they commit two days of their own time – to get involved in communityprojects. last_img read more

HR qualification

first_img Previous Article Next Article HR qualificationOn 4 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today MSc HR Development, The Institute of Policy and Management, University ofManchesterHow long? This is an intensive, full-time course that runs for 12 months. The finalthree months of the course are dedicated to completing an extensivedissertation. Entry requirements Applicants need a good first degree in a relevant discipline although postgraduatestudy, research experience or professional experience may also be considered.Applicants who do not meet the requirements for direct entry to the Masters maybe admitted to the Diploma/MSc programme. Modules Students take compulsory core units in HRD, focused on individual andinstitutional learning, and HRD strategy and implementation. During the firstsemester, an additional three modules are chosen from a range of subjectsincluding: adult education and development, economic planning and HR, genderand educational issues in the developing world, non-governmental organisation(NGO) management and strategy, public service reform and management, andtraining and development. In the second semester, a further three modules arechosen from a range including: educational development, HR planning, andcommunity development and personnel policies and practice. A 15,000-20,000dissertation is also required; usually addressing performance and HRD issues ina participant’s own country. Career opportunities This MSc programme is particularly focused on developing skills and conceptsfor human resource development in developing and transitional Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

How to coach foreign talent

first_imgAs an expanding European Union Brings a new pool of talent to employers inthe UK, Margaret Kubicek asks how foreign workers are bring prepared to dotheir jobsThe chronic skills shortage facing UK employers, particularly in sectorssuch as construction, health and hospitality, is showing no signs of abating.It’s not surprising, then, that many employers are looking abroad to expandtheir talent pool – something that will become easier with the accession of 10new countries to the European Union last month. A recent survey by recruitment specialists Barkers, found that while only 39per cent of employers had firm plans to recruit from accession countries, morethan double that amount – 72 per cent – see enlargement of the EU as a steptowards a greater global flow of labour. This suggests that training will takeon an increasingly international dimension. We ask what employers need toconsider when planning training for overseas recruits. Yvonne WimbletonAssistant director of nursing, Guys and St Thomas’ NHS TrustAll nurses that we recruit from overseas must undertake a period ofsupervised practice for up to six months to get up to speed with regulatoryguidelines and the framework of practice within the NHS. They also have cultural diversity training covering communication skills –not English language, but body language, eye contact, those sorts of things.The police also come in and talk about personal safety and the main elements ofrisk here that might not be an issue in their home country. General advice is given on opening a bank account or registering with a GP.And there’s time built in for discussion of issues – it’s all very wellbuilding a structured training programme, but they need to be able to askquestions that may seem daft but are essential in terms of settling in. Nurses also have mentors on the wards who are responsible for discussingprofessional issues and we also have clinical facilitators who take on apastoral role. Our last group had an ‘away-day’ of leadership training led by a managementconsultant to get them used to working as a team. In various countries, nursesare used to following the doctors’ orders, but we’re trying to teach them thatthey are responsible for their own practice. Nick IslesAssociates director, The Work FoundationTraining will need to address how you are going to integrate people fromdiverse backgrounds into a multicultural environment, like the constructionindustry. Arguably, you need some sort of inclusion strategy. For example, youmay want to provide English language lessons, but there’s also the need formore sophisticated cultural training. John GuthrieHead of international management development, Hilton GroupAs part of the Hilton online university, we’ve joined forces with a globalonline English language provider called Global English. There are a number of team members throughout the world who are givenlicence to learn English online. That’s a tremendous life skill. Language isthe glue that binds us together, and it gives a great opportunity to overseasworkers to progress their careers within the company. Louis ArmstrongCEO, Royal Institution of Chartered SurveyorsA skills shortage in many UK industries is here to stay, for better orworse. Demographic and economic factors mean that industry will relyincreasingly on controlled immigration of labour and skills from abroad to fillthe gap. This is inevitable and indeed desirable if the Government’s infrastructureand housing targets are to be met. The construction industry would do itself ahuge favour by helping employees learn the language of the country in whichthey are to live and work. This would result in a safer and more productiveworkforce and should be devised to cover the specialised technical andprofessional communication required by a particular industry. Robert PeasnellManaging director, Barkers LondonTraining should include an understanding of social issues that most of ustake for granted. Integrating workers from abroad is going to involve inductingthem culturally into the UK and just helping them settle in a bit more easily.You’ve got this inevitable cultural adaptation that’s going to have to takeplace and to a degree, that mitigates against [foreign workers] being seen as aquick fix to fill skills gaps. Employers will need to assist with things likefinding a place to live, helping them open UK bank accounts – almost a ‘Welcometo the UK’ pack. It’s a lot of basic, almost administrative, support, but it’sgoing to help them focus on doing their job. Sue LabettCorporate services manager, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue ServiceIt can be quite difficult to carry out the mandatory health and safety trainingfor foreign workers. It may take longer than usual and because of the legalrequirement, you may need to provide an interpreter. You need to be very particularwhen you’re undertaking that kind of training that everyone understands itfully. It’s about being flexible as an employer, for example, allowing a longerprobation period. We’re taking more care, doing more checking and includingmore exercises for overseas workers in the process. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article How to coach foreign talentOn 1 Jun 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

On the move

first_imgOn the moveOn 5 Oct 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Thisweek’s on the moveLynetteLloyd has been appointed to the position of HR development manager for hoteloperator Moat House Hotels. Prior to joining the company, Lloyd worked forForte Hotels before acting as an independent training consultant for fouryears.  HewittBacon & Woodrow, part of global HR outsourcing and consulting firm HewittAssociates, has appointed JamilHusain to lead its talentand organisation consulting business. Husainhas more than 20 years of HR consulting experience in a wide range of areas,including remuneration and strategy. He previously worked for Barclays Bank.JohnRenz has joinedprofessional services group Mourantas director of HR. Renzheld previous senior positions with Standard Life, City law firm Linklaters and accounting companyGrant Thornton. He joins the company from international law firm CMS CameronMcKenna.ChrisMills has joined the team at listings provider EspottingMedia as European HR director. He brings to the company more than 20 years ofoperational HR experience. Previous postings include stints as HR director forsoftware developer Micromuse,and as global HR director with SemaWebTech, a division of ITservices company Sema. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

This week’s news in brief

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article This week’s news in briefOn 10 Oct 2006 in Personnel Today Discriminating employersEmployers are still discriminating against women with cancer, despite changes in the law aimed at protecting employees from unfair treatment. Figures from the Disability Rights Commission’s (DRC) helpline show that, thisyear, the DRC has taken an average of two calls a week from women with breast cancer complaining of being treated unfairly in the workplace. HR in publishingHR is becoming increasingly high-profile in the publishing industry, according to Rachel Stock, HR director at Random House Group. The function has historically been seen as administrative in publishing, and fairly unstructured and ad hoc as a result, Stock said. But companies are starting to take issues such as diversity, pay and talent management more seriously, and HR is becoming more strategic as a graduate assessmentThe NHS has launched a graduate assessment process which aims to save hours of senior managers’ time. The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme attracts more than 6,000 applications every year. The programme is open to postgraduate and mature students as well as those who are already working in the NHS. The new assessment process uses online situational judgement and motivational trait tests to select candidates. read more