The Morson USA client services team adds value to our clients outside of the recruitment process, ensuring the delivery and quality of service is maximized. Our team are highly experienced, with a detailed knowledge of Morson and of the industries we operate within; this enables them to offer a bespoke, consultative approach which ensures our service matches your business objectives.
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The Morson client services team is responsible for:
Written by Gareth Morris, group director of health, safety, quality and environmental compliance In the last month, we have seen the first instances of localised lockdowns introduced, with Leicester, Greater Manchester and Lancashire communities facing stricter restrictions than the rest of the country to stem a new spread of COVID-19. The threat of localised lockdowns has been present ever since the Government lifted the national restrictions implemented because of the pandemic. But the reality for health and safety teams who have already welcomed their workforces back is another wave of complexities, disruption to normal service and a need to reassure workers their personal preferences will be met. Our Group HQ is in Eccles, Greater Manchester, meaning we have been affected by this latest local lockdown. However, we’d had one eye on the chance we could face an overnight change in guidance so had already taken several steps to minimise interference with our operations. And we’re encouraging clients who work in areas that aren’t yet re-locked down to act similarly. Prepare for rapid change We are entering a new period of the pandemic. More localised lockdowns will come along, and as we head toward autumn and winter, they will only become more prevalent. Businesses have got to be ready; Boris’ statement to be ‘alert’ has never been more appropriate. Local lockdowns can come into play overnight, so the key is to prepare for this scenario and run trials to check for any bumps in the road, so you can iron them out before they happen. Implement agile working; ensure your IT systems and infrastructure are ready to handle a mass migration back to home working. Or, if you’re in an area where it’s only social restrictions that are in place, ensure your working environment is set up for daily temperature checks and ongoing sanitisation to reassure those using your space. Cater for mental health The national lockdown has affected every individual, in a very individual way. Many have reported increased mental health concerns as they struggled with the lack of normality and contact with loved ones. Those now experiencing local lockdowns may start to experience similar feelings, and employers must be prepared to cater for this on a person-by-person basis. In areas seeing spikes, particularly anxious people may be concerned about heading to work or using public transport to get there. In such instances, you must reassure your teams that every possible precaution has been made to create a COVID-secure environment. What we experienced during the national lockdown was a desire from many of the team to come back to our premises as soon as possible; some still had reservations, so to satisfy both needs, we undertook fly-through filming of our Manchester HQ to demonstrate the control measures we’d put in place. This included signage and markings, socially distanced workstations and how we would use technology – such as our Fit For Work app – to ensure complete compliance. The video was shared in a company-wide communication to show those who wanted to come back to work that they were safe to do so. Creating this staggered return has, in hindsight, better prepared us for the pinch point now created by the GM local lockdown; planning may be key but sometimes a small action can prove beneficial without you even realising it. Blanket communications Communication has been key throughout the pandemic and continued to be critical as employees were welcomed back to office workspaces. At Morson, our #SpreadJoyNotGerms campaign ran across the business to remind all employees of the importance of building into our culture safe, COVID-secure working practices. There is a duty of care amongst health and safety teams to ensure that all workers are kept abreast of company changes. We’ve shared previous guidance on how frequent you should be speaking with your teams about changes in operation during the pandemic, but when local lockdowns now have the potential to hit your business, it’s time to look at your communications strategy again. The most important thing is to take a blanket approach; and that’s not something you often hear! Whether someone is back in work full-time or remains on furlough, when it comes to health and safety, they must be treated equally. Sharing updates every week has been okay up to now; in the case of a local lockdown – when decisions are made at midnight that have ramifications before the morning comes – communicating more often is absolutely acceptable and should be encouraged. Any uncertainty in your team as to where things stand makes an already stressful scenario even harder to manage. Be clear, be concise, be consistent. The move from national to local lockdown is arguably easier to manage than the bombshell we were all dealt in March, but in both scenarios, businesses rely on the behaviour of individuals to abide by guidance. Humans are sociable beings; we like being in groups and distancing goes against our nature. Local lockdowns are being introduced for the good of our communities so while they come with unique challenges, the best way of ensuring your teams fall in line with rules is to remain transparent at every stage and show you have their best interests at heart. To find out more, contact me direct at email@example.comFind out more
Innovative technology and processes allowed a large bridge, part of the HS2 infrastructure, to be constructed in just two days - almost a full day ahead of schedule and avoiding weeks of delays. The 65-metre, 2,750-tonne bridge across the M42 in Solihull was installed by HS2 enabling works contractor LMJV (Laing O’Rourke and J.Murphy & Sons Joint Venture). Companies from the Midlands and across the North helped in the construction of the deck components, comprising some 1,130 tonnes of steel plate girders and 1,610 tonnes of precast and in-situ concrete. Rather than using traditional methods of construction, which would have led to weeks of motorway closures, the bridge was moved into place on a 448-wheel, self-propelled modular transporter. The transporter moved the bridge 150 metres, after which it was fixed to the concrete deck and secured. The process was a departure from the usual techniques used to construct bridges over motorways. With more traditional methods, the M42 would have faced weeks of closures and delays to commuters. Instead, the process was completed in just two days. This bridge is the first of four bridges in the area, which is close to the brand-new Interchange station. The surrounding road network has been remodelled concurrently with the HS2 enabling works and will in turn improve traffic circulation in the area and connect them to the new Interchange Station. Additional work in preparation for the arrival of HS2 is scheduled to take place later this year. Supporting over 20,000 jobs at peak construction, over 9,000 people across 2,000 UK businesses have been engaged already as part of the HS2 project. The project is already having a positive economic affect on Birmingham and its surrounding towns, spearheading regeneration. Interchange station is at the heart of the UK Central Hub growth area which will create 70,000 new and safeguarded jobs, up to 5,000 new homes and 650,000 square metres of commercial space. HS2 CEO Mark Thurston said: “This new road bridge is the first permanent structure to be installed along the route of Britain’s new railway. Today represents an important milestone for the project and the West Midlands region – which is already benefiting from thousands of jobs and renewed investment as a result of HS2. Constructing the bridge off site and using innovative engineering practices to install it over the motorway enabled us to carry out the work in just two days, keeping disruption to a minimum for road users”. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: “Today’s work comes at a critical time for the West Midlands, as we look to bounce back economically from the coronavirus crisis. Major infrastructure projects like HS2 have a critical role to play as they help stimulate demand and create and secure local jobs for local people”. As the UK's leading rail recruiter, we're uniquely placed to help you find your next role in rail. Search our latest jobs now. Morson Training is a leading supplier of training to the UK rail network and offer an award-winning rail apprenticeship. Find out more about how you can join this growing industry and be part of HS2.Find out more
Often, a crisis is the perfect opportunity for a rethink and a reset. As the world attempts to pull itself out of the other side of the coronavirus pandemic, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed to ‘build, build, build’ our way out of the recession. But what about the way we build? Building Better Chancellor Rishi Sunak has committed £3 billion to retrofitting schools, hospitals and privately-owned homes to make them more energy efficient. The scheme sees the government paying at least two thirds of the cost of any energy-saving retrofit work, and the Green Homes Grant is expected to run for at least a year. Under the scheme, hundreds of thousands of homeowners will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 to cover at least two thirds of the cost of energy-efficient home improvements, including double glazing and insulation. With the built environment accounting for a third of the UK’s emissions, the news was welcomed by Green authorities as the nation pushes to be carbon net-zero in the near future. The news is also welcoming to the employment sector, with estimates that the scheme could support over 100,000 jobs. For the last few years, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has been investing government money into projects to enable the modernisation of the construction sector. The aim is to allow building projects to be delivered 50% faster and with half the average lifetime emissions. The UKRI is supporting a shift towards a digital platform-based approach where one system is utilised for all components across all parts of the building life cycle. This would bring down the costs of planning, development and construction and help speed up the efficiently of energy optimisation. A standardisation of buildings would also make it much easier to refit them in the future. Supply Chains The efficiency of supply chains is also under review. In a bid to limit emissions, the concept of more localised or streamlined supply chains is being discussed. This aligns with the need to introduce more standardisation across the industry and reduce wastage where several companies make separate components for a construction without collaborating. Gareth Morris, HSQE director at Morson, said: “It is important in this post-Brexit world that we have a national, holistic policy in the construction sector for future energy efficient buildings. Currently there is too much emphasis on upfront costs rather than the whole life costs of a building. Future value considerations need to also include a building’s impact on humanity, society and the environment.” Morson is a leading recruiter in the construction sector. With the UK pledging to build the way out of the recession, find out how you can be part of the new green construction revolution by searching our latest jobsFind out more
Following the recent news that a number of leading aerospace and defence companies have joined forces to help develop the next generation of combat aircraft, the Tempest, there was more good news for British-based engineering companies. Virgin Galactic are working towards developing a Mach 3 passenger aircraft and have a non-binding MOU with London-based Rolls-Royce to develop a collaborative propulsion system. The project is currently in the first stage design scope, which follows the completion of its Mission Concept Review (MCR) and gaining the requisite authorisation from the UK Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The initial design of the aircraft would feature a delta-wing style with a capacity for between 9 and 19 people sitting in custom cabin configurations and flying at an altitude in excess of 60,000 feet. The aircraft would be able to reach speeds of over 2,300mph (3,700kmph). Virgin Galactic said the aircraft would take off and land like any other passenger aircraft and be expected to integrate into existing airport infrastructure and international airspace globally. George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer, Virgin Galactic said: “We are excited to complete the Mission Concept Review and unveil this initial design concept of a high-speed aircraft. We are pleased to collaborate with the innovative team at Rolls-Royce as we strive to develop sustainable, cutting-edge propulsion systems for the aircraft, and we are pleased to be working with the FAA to ensure our designs can make a practical impact from the start.” The next phase of the design involves designing specific system architectures and ascertaining what materials will be required to address the key challenges faced when developing supersonic aircraft: noise, emissions and thermal management. As well as their involvement with the Virgin Galactic project, Rolls-Royce recently entered into an engagement to work on Overture, an aircraft being developed by Boom to allow for affordable supersonic flights in excess of Mach 2. Expected to be completed in 2029, the aircraft has already been pre-ordered by Japan Airlines and Virgin Group and it’s anticipated that the airlines will be able to offer fares that are comparable to long-haul travel in business class today. Morson is the leading recruiter in aerospace and defence, working with some of the largest companies in the industry. Find your next role now by searching our live jobs.Find out more
The UK government has given the green light to over 9,000 additional places at UK universities to cover courses of ‘strategic importance’ that include STEM subjects and engineering. More than 1,300 extra university places for engineering courses have been secured, with over 750 dedicatd to bio-sciences and nearly 500 for maths. This forms part of the governments aim to increase the uptake in STEM subjects. In its report titled Educational Pathways into Engineering, Engineering UK reported that in 2018 to 2019 there were 165,180 students enrolled in engineering and technology degrees. The aim is increase this figure over the next few years. Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said: “The coronavirus will not stop us from boosting growth in vital subjects like science, engineering, and maths. These courses not only deliver some of the best outcomes for students, they will also be integral to driving innovation, helping our public services and building the skills the country needs.” Rates of continuation and outcomes for graduate employment were among the criteria from which the Department of Education assessed which providers would be eligible for the extra courses. The announcement follows the introduction of temporary student number controls in which educational institutions were given the opportunity to bid for 10,000 extra places. The temporary cap is in place to prevent universities from over-recruiting in a bid to make up for lost revenue after the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as engineering, the 9,000 extra places include healthcare workers. Morson is committed to supporting the next generation of engineers. In 2015, late company founder Gerry Mason set up a scholarship at the University of Salford aimed at supporting the brightest and best in engineering through a degree course that they otherwise would have struggled to finance. As of 2020, there have been three cohorts of students graduate in subjects like Aeronautical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering. Graduates of the scholarship have also ended up receiving both work experience and full-time roles at Morson’s dedicated engineering design consultancy Morson Projects. With thousands of live roles, we're uniquely placed to help you find your next career move. Search our latest jobs now.Find out more
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a £1.5billion infrastructure investment package with the London Recovery Board to kick start the economy after lockdown and work to reduce the city’s emissions and water footprint. The investment will be spent improving the water infrastructure in a bid to slash leakage by 20% and pollution by 30% while readying the city’s electricity infrastructure for a move towards electric vehicles. The London Recovery Board is conducting a public engagement exercise with 50,000 city inhabitants informing their plans for the programme through online consultations. The details of how the funding will be divided will be dictated by this consultation and are yet to be revealed, although it has been confirmed that Cadent, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, UK Power, Thames Water, and SGN are set to be the businesses who will deliver the programme. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown resulted in a downturn in pollution across the UK and has made many organisations look ahead to kick-starting a greener, more environmentally friendly future. London is aiming to become the greenest city in the world by the middle of the 21st century, and to this end they aim to introduce zero-emissions zones by the end of 2020, cut emissions by 40% and increase London’s solar PV capacity twenty-fold. City Hall said in a statement: “Once the specific projects have been identified and agreed, they will be delivered with the support of the Mayor’s recently established Infrastructure Coordination Service, to promote collaboration and minimise costly road network disruption, particularly at a time when Sadiq is encouraging more Londoners to walk and cycle." The London Mayor also welcomed the UK Government’s £2bn investment in initiatives designed to incentivise walking and cycling. This investment includes a bike repair voucher scheme, measures to help doctors prescribe cycling, funding for bike infrastructure and an e-bike rental scheme. Khan said: “It is essential that infrastructure initiatives are utilised to serve all Londoners as we work to recover from this pandemic and to build back better with a fairer and greener economy.” In a bid to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2023, Morson and Vital Human Resources recently become the first million litre per year user to adopt the Shell Destination: Carbon Neutral fuel card scheme. This scheme involves spending just 1p more per litre of fuel, and based on emissions throughout the year, Shell purchase carbon credits to offset carbon emissions through a variety of global programmes. Find out more about our Carbon:2023 scheme and how we aim to become a carbon neutral business by 2023.Find out more
No matter how big or small your business is, the launchpad for success is internal communications. Get it right, and your engaged and motivated workforce will deliver on productivity. However, get it wrong, and workers will become disengaged, unmotivated and ultimately unproductive. Planning an internal communications strategy can be a challenge. Here we give your planning the best possible start by identifying some common mistakes to avoid. Relying On Guesswork Do you know the most effective communications channels in your company? How about which channels prompt the most action from staff? And do you know how workers like to receive information? You may think you know the answers, but there's only one way to be sure: ask your employees. Avoid guesswork by involving staff in the process. Gather views and invite feedback with focus groups, surveys, polls and pulse checks. Making It Too Complicated Try not to over-complicate your internal communications strategy. Instead, look to provide transparent information and keep it simple with a few overarching goals. Many a good plan failed to deliver because it tried to tick too many boxes. It’s better to set one or two overall objectives that you can really get stuck into. Whether it’s improving customer service or developing employee engagement, an overall goal provides a strong sense of direction. Irregular Communication Make sure you communicate with the workforce consistently and regularly. Establishing a set pattern of communication demonstrates the value and priority you have. And, in turn, it will increase employee engagement as well as participation and a sense of ownership. Use management planning tools like G Suite Calendars to plan, schedule and organise your communications. And if you have employees based around the globe, then schedule communications at a time that makes sense locally. A tailored update means your important messages don’t get lost among all the noise. Disconnected Communications Two-way communications are essential. Traditional top-down communication leads to a sense of disconnection in the workforce. Poorly understood messages, lost information and a lack of trust are often the result. Rather than communicating with staff, all you are doing is sharing information. Excellent communication is all about a genuine dialogue that makes staff feel connected to executives. Look to develop two-way conversations with activity feeds staff can share, comment or like. Blogs and forums are other possibilities, along with instant messaging apps and #channels like #employeevoice. Overloading Staff For maximum impact, internal communications need to be timely, consistent and above all relevant. Make sure you align your internal communications strategy with employees’ current workload and projects. Your staff are busy getting the job done, so be thoughtful and selective with your communications. If you have been charged with developing an internal communications strategy, then proper planning is essential. Get off to the best possible start by avoiding these common communication mistakes. Find your next role with Morson - search our latest jobs nowFind out more
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released the lowest ever recorded number of workplace fatalities. Between 31st March 2019 and the same date in 2020, the HSE's official figures listed a total of 111 individuals who lost their lives in workplace accidents, a 25% decrease on the 149 fatalities recorded in the 12 months previous. This reflects an overall fatal injury rate of 0.34 deaths per 100,000 in Great Britain, a welcome continuation of the long-term downward trend which has occurred since 1981. The worst year since then was 1988 where the fatality rate was almost 2.5 deaths per 100,000 people. The HSE clarified that the year-on-year fall in fatalities may not reflect a major shift in the inherent dangerousness of workplaces and could have been affected by the COVID19 pandemic which saw a great decrease in work activities in February and March 2020 before the nation was put into lockdown. However, the figures were already on track for a lower annual fatality rate. Following the release, the HSE’s chief executive, Sarah Albon, said: “In these extraordinary times, we have seen many workers risking their lives to help others during the coronavirus outbreak. Although these statistics are not a reflection on Covid-19 related loss of life, it is a pertinent time to reflect. Every workplace fatality is a tragedy and while we are encouraged by this improvement, today’s statistics is a reminder that we cannot become complacent as we look to continue to work together to make Great Britain an even safer place to live and work.” According to the HSE stats, falling from height (29) and being struck by a moving vehicle (20) were the two most common causes of workplace fatalities in 2019/20. The statistics also show a spike in construction fatalities (40) exceeding last year’s total of 31 and the five-year average of 37. Overall, construction deaths account for 36% of the year’s total. The HSE plans to publish data on work-related COVID-19 deaths ‘at a later date’. Gareth Morris, HSQE director at Morson, said: “It is great to see that the number of fatal accidents is falling in the UK. Even pre-pandemic the trend was downwards. We however must remember that each statistic is a loved one lost, a household hurt, and colleagues traumatised. We must never stop striving to eliminate harm at work.” We're committed to making sure all of our employees and contractors work safely and get some safely every single day. Find out more about our Safety Matters app that allows the quick logging of a health and safety concern on-site on in the workplace that goes directly to our HSQE team.Find out more
It’s a scenario that’s familiar to most people. You’ve updated your CV with your latest experience and skills. You’ve crafted the perfect cover letter. You’ve shortlisted several roles that you can imagine yourself working in. You submit your application and wait. Then, nothing. At all. The loud silence that can follow applying for a job can be frustrating to say the least, particularly if you aren’t currently in a role. It’s very easy to feel demoralised. Here are some tips for improving your job interview success rate: Do your research It’s important that you do your research on both the nature of the role and the organisation itself before applying. Firstly, the nature of the role itself may be different from company to company, with different expectations coming with the position. Have a look at similar roles with other companies to see how they compare. Look for elements that appear in these other roles but might not appear in the one you’re applying for. These extra little bits might present the opportunity for you to demonstrate extra capability. It’s also usually obvious to a recruiter or hiring manager when a person has not done their homework on the organisation they claim to want to work for. It shows a lack of attention to detail and will likely trip you up in interviews. Do your homework. Knowing a bit about the latest developments in the businesses can be a great conversation starter for your interview, too. "It's important that you research both the role and the organisation. Do your homework." Be selective and creative Spam-applying for any role that vaguely seems within your skill set might sound like a sure-fire way of maximising your job interview success rate. In reality, this can be a huge waste of time and resources. Not only will your enthusiasm for searching for a job be diminished by this repetitive, thankless task, it also won’t necessarily mean a higher chance of getting an interview or an offer. Plus, hastily filled out job applications often lack that spark and hiring managers can often tell when someone has merely applied for a role because it’s ‘there.’ Instead, be more selective about what you want to apply for and take the time to really craft your case for why you deserve an interview. Going above and beyond at this early stage is sure to make you stand out from a crowd – and being noticed among a potentially huge pile of similar CVs and applications is the first battle. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing role, take the time to put together a short presentation about how you see the organisation’s brand evolving, or how you would extend their social reach, even if the application criteria doesn’t include this. It might take a bit of preparation and time invested but it’s guaranteed to separate you from the multitude of other, more ‘by-the-books’ submissions. "If you haven't already got a LinkedIn, you really should get one." Utilise your network We’re fortunate to live in the most connected world ever, and this is much the same when it comes to job hunting. If you haven’t got one already (and you really should), create a LinkedIn and connect with as many people as you can. Start with current and former colleagues and then go from there. Ask your network for recommendations (though if you’re currently in a role and you haven’t handed your notice in, it’s not advisable to publicly state you’re looking for work on your profile or status). Recommendations are a great way of hearing about roles and also give you the added advantage of being able to make a personal introduction to accompany your application. Go straight to the hiring manager When faced with innumerable CV’s, hiring managers are often looking for something that sets you apart from the mountain of other applications in the system. Often, a personal introduction can help. When researching the business (and I stress, you really do need to do your research) find out who is likely to either be your line manager or hiring manager. Drop them a line on LinkedIn or email to introduce yourself. It’s important to caveat this point with: do not harass people. If you haven’t heard back or don’t receive a reply from your approach, it’s best not proceed with your approaches. There’s nothing likely to put a hiring manager off a candidate than the feeling that they’re being stalked by them. Once is enough. "A brief note of regards demonstrates that you have connected on a personal level with the interviewer." Follow up after the interview Once you land the interview and successfully get through it, you might think the job is done and that it’s down to fate whether or not you land the role. But the process doesn’t have to stop there. Simply sending a brief note of regards to your interviewer demonstrates that you’ve connected on a personal level and that this wasn’t just another in a string of interviews that you’re attending blindly. At this point you might have even decided that the role isn’t for you. Either way, a courtesy email is a great touch and makes sure you are well thought of in the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager, and you never know if your paths will cross again… Also be sure to follow up after an interview with additional information that you might have discussed. When I applied for my most recent job, a conversation arose in the first interview about other skills outside of the job specification I might have. A quick email with some examples of content later and not only did I secure a second interview, but I was also offered an altered, more varied and engaging position at a slightly increased salary. Ready to take on your next interview? Take a look at our latest job opportunitiesFind out more
Earlier this month, the Chancellor announced a series of measures that have been introduced to encourage increased spending and keep cash within businesses which will, in turn, give employers more reason to bring staff back from furlough and even make new hires. Consumers have been gifted with generous discounts in the leisure and hospitality sectors throughout August, while a dramatic reduction in the VAT rate for food, accommodation and attractions, from 20 per cent to 5 per cent until next January, will help some of the businesses severely impacted by COVID-19. Meanwhile, there has been a rise on the stamp duty threshold for all buyers, for six months, to £500,000, to get the housing market moving again. If these new cash-generating techniques have their desired effect, businesses will be able to use them in conjunction with new recruitment incentives to normalise or even increase their staffing levels. For example, the Job Retention Bonus awards employers a £1,000 bonus for every furloughed worker they choose to keep on past lockdown, while the Kickstarter scheme will encourage business leaders and management teams to create new jobs for people aged 16-24, so the youngest in society are given an opportunity to source employment. While for many, these are very welcome introductions to get the UK economy moving again, we are encouraging businesses to look beyond these top-level announcements, ensuring they pay attention to the finer detail – as that’s often where the devil lies. Here, three of our Group’s figureheads assess the benefits to certain sectors from this latest economic update but analyse the wider impact of their introduction on the UK economy and its labour markets. Ged Mason OBE, CEO “It was a positive for us all to see Rishi Sunak take additional steps to rebuild businesses and consumer confidence. That said, many of the initiatives were geared towards hospitality rather than a broad spectrum of sectors; what benefit do these schemes have for aviation, for example? “Furlough has been a vital lifeline for many, but it shouldn’t – and cannot – go on forever. The way businesses look today is an almost ‘new world’ and companies need to be proactive and plan rather than rely on state aid to survive. We were hoping for a review of National Insurance to add a real difference to the wider job market and general levels of incomes; while this didn’t happen, any help that the Government is offering should be seen as a bonus. “Of particular note was the apprenticeship contribution announcement – this is undoubtedly a positive, but for it to be effective depends on sales and revenue generated by businesses. Apprenticeships are crucial to the wider functioning of society as they are relevant in so many sectors, where new skills are needed to cushion retirement cliff edges. We need to start training young people now to enter these markets or we simply won’t have enough new labour and resource for several industries to thrive, so this is a tenacious move from Government.” Rhys Harris, Associate Director – Engineering, Process & Construction “The Summer Update was welcome news to the construction sector, especially as it had a particular emphasis on boosting recovery in the housing market. Construction is a key signal within public perception that economic prosperity is on the up, and the PM has already laid out his plan to ‘build, build, build’ – something that will play a key part in repairing the wounds inflicted by this crisis. “The temporary cut to stamp duty for houses priced up to £500,000 should certainly help housebuilders sell homes and will be a real incentive to the public to invest in property, both old and new. This should be a welcome introduction to the wider supply chain in construction – everything from manufacturers of building products through to the home improvement industry. “Some worry about a surge in the building of new homes, wondering whether our country’s infrastructure is fit to handle it. But the Chancellor himself said he would be investing in all areas of the country – better roads, better schools, better high streets. Better infrastructure all round. “This accelerated infrastructure expenditure in something other than the HS2 programme is a very welcome message to the sector. Major construction players are desperate to retain key skills in the industry, so the Government funding is critical to the stabilisation process as we emerge from this period which will be forever etched in our history. Matt Leavis, Group Training Director “The apprentice bonus of £2,000 per hire represents another incentive for businesses to recruit apprentices under the age of 25. In some sectors, this additional value represents a significant contribution to the initial employment costs, with it potentially offsetting up to 40 per cent of the salary of an apprentice on an apprentice wage. “By bringing apprenticeships back into the spotlight, it may serve to better break down some of the stigmas attached to this method of recruitment and we may one day see an apprenticeship viewed as a viable alternative to university. There are many stereotypes around apprenticeships, but we need to change this mindset within businesses, especially as senior leadership teams themselves can upskill through graduate or degree level apprenticeships whilst in employment. “However, the Government must be careful with its implementation of this scheme. Some training providers will, sadly, look to cash in on this, meaning there will be a high volume of apprenticeships offered but the result will be swathes of low skilled apprentices who remain on the job market for years through poor training. This just doesn’t work and doesn’t tackle our existing skills problems – it adds to them, and the individual who was supposed to benefit loses out. “Instead, we need to prioritise sustainable and gainful employment pathways. Businesses and people on the lookout for employment need to work with professional partners, like Morson Training, who can take proactive steps to look at their skills gaps with a holistic, long-term view, suggesting relevant industries where they could flourish and bring much-needed skills. “It will be interesting to see the finer detail of this scheme as it’s released, but hopefully, the Government will introduce phased funding, making training providers hit certain milestones that are in the best interest of the apprentice before getting paid.” Our COVID-19 Support Hub contains information for employers and employees alike on how to prepare and manage as we enter a new working normality. See how we can help you hereFind out more
A selection of the UK’s leading aerospace and defence companies have joined forces to develop the next generation of high-tech combat aircraft for the Royal Air Force. Seven companies, including GKN, Bombardier Belfast and Thales UK have have joined the ‘Team Tempest’ project to work alongside core partners BAE Systems, MBDA, Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce and the Ministry of Defence. Their aim is to work together to develop the cutting-edge technological innovation in combat aviation to secure the UK’s leading position. The project was first announced in 2018. Upon completion, the Tempest aircraft is set to join the RAF fleet from 2035. It will replace the currently in operation Eurofighter Typhoon, which first flew in 1994 and entered service in 2003. The Tempest will introduce and utilise emerging technologies to make the aircraft the most sophisticated in the world, including a customisable virtual cockpit and directed energy weapons. In December 2019, partner Leonardo unveiled new radar sensing technology which was four times as accurate as existing sensors and only one tenth of the size. Rolls Royce have been working on pioneering electrical technology that will contribute to the programme, since the aircraft will require unprecedented levels of electrical power demand for its combat systems and propulsion. Jeremy Quin, the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, said: “[The] announcement demonstrates further progress in delivering the UK’s combat air strategy, with more companies collaborating on the future of the UK’s Air Defence. This is a highly innovative project based around cutting-edge technology and drawing on a skills base where the UK excels. I am delighted that the success and strengths of Team Tempest are being enhanced through drawing on UK expertise; working with industrial partners and highly capable international team we are configured for future success.” The consortium is also looking to develop the unmanned Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) to be deployed alongside the Tempest. Morson is a leading recruiter for aerospace & defence jobs. Find your next role with usFind out more
Louise Ellis, HR business manager and Craig Saxby, recruitment manager for our HR division, have combined their expertise on the approaches businesses can take if there is a stall on recruitment drives as a result of COVID-19. Louise: "Many industries across the UK are facing a decline in confidence and general spending. The same demand for services and capital to pay for products at pre-lockdown levels simply doesn’t exist right now. For many businesses, the only way to make the cost savings needed to keep afloat is to cut back on large overheads – and that unfortunately includes salaries. It means many who implemented the furlough scheme at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic are left in a position where they can’t welcome staff back and are instead forced to make redundancies. And it means those who had major growth plans, and who had mapped out recruitment drives for rapid expansion, are frozen in their tracks." Recruitment freezes are designed to protect existing staff; they provide more of a guarantee that a job role is safe during a challenging period, making employees and contractors feel more secure. However, recruitment freezes put fear into the likes of managers who are targeted with stringent year-end aims – those which rely on more manpower to achieve. COVID-19 has thrown traditional business operations into flux; the situation with the pandemic is out of our control and many bosses recognise that. However, there is still a task on HR managers to analyse their existing employment structures and make a candid decision on the next steps to take, for the benefit of the wider business. Craig: "Typically, we see three different approaches from businesses who find themselves in a position where recruitment needs to be put on hold. I describe these as: The freeze We are seeing a number of companies adopting recruitment freezes to protect jobs in the long term. There are pros and cons to this - yes, it saves money, but it means teams must work harder to meet existing demand and managing long term productivity becomes more difficult. For example, pre-COVID, we saw growth in publishing, and we were appointed to help teams scale up quickly; but this is obviously on hold for the interim. Meanwhile, industry sectors such as manufacturing are flying as they simply need to get their products out of the door – and quickly. For these companies, it’s not a case of a freeze, but more about a cautious approach to not overspend and risk business fragility. The warm up In such instances, you’ll see companies who initially introduced a freeze but have now broken that, considering recruitment on a case-by-case basis. A pharmaceutical client, for example, is currently recruiting for 15 roles; this is rare for them, as they usually have between 70 and 80 available at any one time. Every single one of these 15 roles have required approval from the Board – which, again, is something that just didn’t happen before COVID-19. There are also different types of roles being prioritised; generally, more expensive director-type roles are being recruited for. They come with a higher salary bracket in the short-term, but they also come with significantly higher targets as a result, meaning far greater revenue for the business in the long run. Businesses in this situation are assessing where appointments are critical to survival; only essential roles are getting through. Recruitment budgets are being squeezed, but the fact that businesses are willing to consider some element of recruitment shows promise that there is internal confidence about the future. The restructure While for some, recruitment plans are on hold, HR teams are looking at how they can use their existing resource to bridge gaps in operations and fill roles that are revenue-generating in the current crisis. We are working with them to deliver significant consultancy across their business to understand which departments will deliver a profit and which will make a loss. Then we look at total headcount to see how the existing employee make-up can be restructured to ensure teams that need extra resource can access it, while other departments are scaled back. For example, many sales centres are busier than ever, while front of house and admin roles aren’t required right now. In other industries, more manpower is needed on the factory floor, while some IT departments will remain closed. Teams that are overworked because of a lower than usual headcount or unusual demand for service will have to make individual cases to the Board about why hiring to their department is essential, and why, without it, there risks a detrimental impact on the business." Louise: "As well as carefully considering recruitment, there is a lot of focus on how to assess operations to safeguard staff and implement new ways of working that protect their wellbeing and safety. The HR role itself is in major demand because of this, because businesses are more acutely aware of the positive impact a solid HR function can have. An outsourced HR function or recruitment consultancy can add significant value to companies looking to strike a balance between making cost savings and securing enough manpower to meet demand. It’s something we’re particularly well placed to support with, thanks to our established RPO and MSP solutions." Craig: "There isn’t a one size fits all approach to recruitment at the best of times; at the worst of times, as we are seeing now, it is even more important to look at a business as an individual entity and secure the resource required to solve their bespoke challenges. Individual businesses across multiple industries, that can get back on their feet and set a precedent for survival, will work to inspire others that there is an opportunity in adversity." To discuss your recruitment needs, contact Louise or Craig on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.Find out more