tackling mental health in the workplace

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Tackling Mental Health

Tackling Mental Health in the Workplace

12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017.

Such an important and affecting issue needs more investigation so we have produced a paper exploring the state of mental health in the workplace. 'Tackling Mental Health in the Workplace' features: 

Our guide aims to provide guidance on how to alter attitudes, spot the signs and tackle the issues.

Mental health is now a permanent part of the workplace, with figures from the Department of Health stating that one in four of us will experience mental illness at some point in our lives.

At Morson International, we have seen an increase in the number of staff coming forward to express their own struggles with mental illness and seek support. This change in attitudes presented the opportunity to strengthen our own workplace priorities towards mental health by developing effective engagement strategies that tackle the core issues. In doing so, this has enabled us to attract and retain our talented people, driv­­­e productivity and innovation and reap numerous commercial benefits that set us apart from many of our competitors.

We are proud to launch this whitepaper in conjunction with World Mental Health Day 2018 and pledge our support in stamping out stigma and creating inclusive, equal and diverse workplaces.

Click here to download the guide
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As the UK's No.1 Technical Recruiter we have hundreds of roles across the engineering and technical sectors

Our diverse portfolio of clients opens up roles within IT and professional services with companies such as Manchester Airport Group and Tata Chemicals on the lookout for top professional talent

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    Manchester Construction Projects Worth £1 billion Approved

    In a bid to support the growth of the economy following the coronavirus pandemic, major construction projects totalling £1 billion have been given the green light in Manchester. Including a second arena, over 600 new homes and towers, the plans were approved and bought forwards from their original timelines under the banner of the Northern Gateway scheme. Some of the projects that have been given the go-ahead include: East Manchester Arena - £350m The proposed venue will be built close to the Etihad Stadium on the east side of Manchester. Throughout its proposed three-year development time, it would sustain over 3,000 jobs in construction and would be the largest arena in the UK with a capacity of 23,500. This would surpass the current Manchester Arena by over 2,000. Preferred construction partner BAM could start work on the arena as early as November 2020. Engie 410 Homes – Miles Platting Planning has been approved for 210 new homes in Miles Platting on the site of a former chemical dye factory next to the Rochdale canal. The houses will be traditional family homes to predominantly be used as build-to-rent. FEC triple tower scheme - £185m A joint venture high-rise residential complex has been given the green light in Dantzic Street. The scheme is to be delivered by FEC and Manchester City Council. The three towers will be 18, 26 and 37 storeys tall providing over 630 homes varying as shared ownership properties and a mix of tenue types to help provide more affordable housing in Manchester. Water Street co-living scheme A Union tower development on Water Street, Deansgate will comprise 388 flats in clusters as well as studio apartments. As with the Arena, BAM is in talks over project delivery. Council Leader Sir Richard Leese said: “The fact that these schemes are being brought forward represents a remarkable statement of confidence in Manchester at a time of major national economic uncertainty. That is important not just as a reassurance but as something which would translate into real jobs, real homes and real opportunities for Manchester people – helping to support the city’s economic recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Morson is a leading recruiter in the construction industry, supplying some of the largest and most well-known construction companies in the UK. Search our latest construction jobs here

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    Sam Price Named Among Workplace Diversity HERoes for Second Year

    Sam Price, head of client engagement for Salford-headquartered Morson Group, has been recognised as a workplace diversity champion for the second year in a row after being featured in the 2020 HERoes Women Role Models list. Included in the 100 Women Future Leaders List, Price has been recognised for her efforts to achieve greater diversity across the engineering sector, specifically for those of various genders, sexualities, ethnicities and abilities. The list, which is supported by Yahoo Finance, celebrates inspiring and empowering women who aren’t yet senior leaders within their organisations but who ensure their companies remain committed to diversity and inclusion to create more representative workplaces. Operating in sectors which typically see a significant imbalance when it comes to diversity, Price’s role centres on embedding equal opportunities for all within the talent specialist’s DNA – as well as for the businesses within its global client roster – to ensure its workforce is reflective of wider society. Price was recognised in the HERoes Women Future Leaders List in 2019 for being instrumental in achieving Morson Group’s commitment to double the number of female engineers that it deploys worldwide by 2020. In the last 12 months, she has overhauled the company’s recruitment process to enable more diverse pools of candidates to access interviews and has launched Women Leaders in Transport – an online community for females working across the transport industry, established in partnership with Transport for London, talent and Siemens. Price also continues to be a mentor for The Girls’ Network’s Salford division – which she was instrumental in launching in 2018 – to empower young females from disadvantaged backgrounds with the support and resources they need to reach their aspirations. She said: “The more diverse you are as an individual, the harder it is to get ahead. As a recruitment specialist, we are responsible for changing lives by giving people the opportunity to have a career. So, the very least we can do is provide fair and open access to that, for everyone, no matter who they are. That means not being afraid to have difficult conversations about equality; it means providing education to ensure that other companies in our industry follow suit, and it means making smarter recruitment decisions to set change in motion. When I was included in the 2019 HERoes list, I downplayed what a big deal it was. This year I’m embracing it and making it known that I’m doing this for the people out there who have always been held back but who deserve to achieve their ambitions. I feel proud of what Morson is doing and I feel proud of myself.” Adrian Adair, COO of the Morson Group, added: “Sam is a shining light within the Morson Group. We have a long been committed to attracting and developing talent from a diverse pool of candidates and Sam is the driving force behing that. Her work ensures that the people we hire and those we supply to our clients are representative of our society, rather than falling within the traditional scope for our industry and not just to tick a box. She adds true business value in ensuring we hire outside typical parameters – because only by doing so will we ensure we’re working with the very best.” Find out more about Morson's commitment to diversity here

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    Airbus Announce Fleet of Zero Emissions Aircraft Concepts

    Airbus has become the latest aircraft manufacturer to take a step towards zero emissions flying with the introduction of three zero-emission hydrogen-fuelled aircraft concepts. The three concepts are all codenamed “ZEROe”. They include a turbofan design, a turboprop concept and a blended-wing body. Airbus claims could enter service by 2035. The turbofan concept capable of flying between 120 and 200 passengers will have a range of over 2,000 nautical miles and will be powered by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, through combustion. The liquid hydrogen will be stored and distributed via tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead. Capable of travelling more than 1,000 nautical miles, the second turboprop design for up to 100 passengers will also be powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines. The third concept is for a “blended-wing body” design capable of flying up to 200 passengers. In this concept, the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft and the exceptionally wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout. Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said: “The concepts we unveil today offer the world a glimpse of our ambition to drive a bold vision for the future of zero-emission flight. I strongly believe that the use of hydrogen – both in synthetic fuels and as a primary power source for commercial aircraft – has the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact. These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft. The transition to hydrogen, as the primary power source for these concept planes, will require decisive action from the entire aviation ecosystem. Together with the support from government and industrial partners we can rise up to this challenge to scale-up renewable energy and hydrogen for the sustainable future of the aviation industry.” Earlier this year, the first UK test of a battery-electric aircraft took place. The aircraft was powered by a powertrain supplied by California-based ZeroAvia. Morson is a market-leading recruiter for jobs in aerospace. Take a look at our latest live roles here

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    Morson's White Ensign Association Charity Bike Ride Raises Over £7,000

    “I don’t feel too bad, I’ve had a little bit of time to rest now. I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet that it’s all done and dusted.” Morson’s Matt Sellick, former Royal Navy sailor and ex-forces recruiter based out of Yeovilton, was taking part in a routine health MOT in late 2019 courtesy of Morson’s health & wellbeing programme when he found himself concerned by the results. “I found out that I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and after blood tests found that my kidneys and liver were in bad shape. At 38 this put me at a high risk of a stroke or a heart attack, so I realised I had to change my diet and start some form of physical exercise.” It was then that Matt joked with his colleagues about riding his bike from RNAS Yeovilton to RNAS Culdrose, a distance of 360 miles across demanding terrain. Pretty soon the joke turned into a serious idea and allied with Morson’s Tony Beaumont and representatives from Leonardo Helicopters and the Royal Navy, the plan was set in place to embark on the ride in September. The ride was to raise money for the White Ensign Association, a registered charity founded in 1958. It was set up to provide a financial advisory service of the highest calibre for all serving and retired personnel of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and more. Over the years, the role has developed and expanded to include the provision of assistance in resettlement and employment in civilian life. We caught up with Matt to talk us over the experience: “I was training for months and slowly improving. Then the last 8-10 weeks before the ride itself ramped up massively in terms of the training and planning, as well as the push for the fundraising. It was quite nonstop. All my training had been on my own pretty much because of the lockdown, we only went out a few times as a team. I was kind of winging most of the training to be honest!” Pretty soon the day arrived and the riders left RNAS Yeovilton accompanied by an escort of vehicles playing music. “I was a little bit nervous the week before the ride and as we were leaving Yeovilton. But then you get your head down and concentrate on the ride itself and it went quite quickly to be honest. You didn’t really have a lot of time to think and that was the case throughout. It was early starts every day and then by the time we were getting into the hotels it was late and we had maybe half an hour turnaround times before we had to eat dinner. Then it was back to the hotel at 10am and up again at 6:30. For those four days we didn’t have the time that you normally might after a long ride to have a long bath or a rest! It was full on." The first day of the ride was around 100 miles long, with the team getting to know each other. It wasn’t until getting up on the second day that it occurred to Matt that it wasn’t just a one day ride and that the toughest part was still yet to come. “Then halfway through day two I blew my knee out. I’d had my cleats replaced on my shoes and I didn’t get them fitted properly and it wasn’t aligned properly. I hadn’t had injury throughout training at all but then halfway through the second day with this every pedal stroke with my right leg was agony really. But I got through it with paracetamol and determination.” With a couple of stops a day for refreshments and lunch, the team powered through long days. In the evenings after every ride the team enjoyed a meal out and drinks. “On day two there were a lot of bottles of wine and prosecco, everyone was on the gin and I was thinking, wow, we’ve got to do another 88 miles tomorrow and it’s not even the last day! I guess because you top yourself up so much with your multivitamins and hydration tablets and gels to keep your levels topped up you’re not really that dehydrated anyway.” “Day three was horrible, I think it might have been the worst day of my life! Not just because of the injury but because of the amount of climbing that we were doing in one day. That third day on its own you wouldn’t want to put with any other day in a row at all but the fact that it was after 100 miles on day one then 80 miles on day two. THEN we were climbing up across Bodmin Moor. It was the worst day and the team had to drag me through that a bit. Some of the other riders who were a lot more experienced than me were finding it tough. That sort of made be believe that I could do it, because if these experienced riders were struggling then I wasn’t alone.” Day four provided some relief for the riders with a final stretch that was consistently downhill towards the finish line back at RNAS Yeovilton. “Me and Tony Beaumont at the front setting the pace for the last 30 miles. The adrenaline was there, and we knew there were no hills left. I thought I’d be a bit more emotional at the end. But I think I was just too tired and emotional. We went for a couple of drinks at the local pub afterwards and the CEO of White Ensign Association was there and the second in command of Yeovilton met us. I was just too tired to let it sink in. I had a busy few days after the ride which didn’t really help because I didn’t rest the knee enough!” Despite the strain of completing the ride, it’s not put Matt off further challenges in the future. “I was really surprised by the level of support actually. I was putting it out on social media a lot to try and fundraise and keep people engaged in my training. Some of the people who had followed the stories and then donated were some people I’d not seen since school. They were on my Facebook but I’d never met them. Seeing the gratitude of the charity at the end really meant a lot too. I had a handwritten letter from Lord Carlile. He was going to come to the finish line, but he was busy in the House of Lords that day! “If we can raise £7,500 by me joking in the office that I’m going to cycle from Yeovilton to Culdrose and back during a pandemic, then the next challenge I could maybe be a bit more adventurous on.” Matt's fundraising page is still open. Click here to donate

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    Sale Sharks lift the Premiership Rugby Cup! | Match Report, Exclusive interviews & more!

    Sale Sharks lifted their first trophy since 2006 after a dramatic win against Harlequins in the Premiership Rugby Cup final, with Morson in attendance providing exclusive coverage on a historic night! Match Report Harlequins had an opportunity to take an early lead, as the Sharks conceded a penalty in the opening minute and Marcus Smith sent for the tee. Smith’s kick steered wide and the Sharks looked to immediately get on the attack through Sam James’ kick in to touch in the Quins 22. The following minutes saw the home side press towards the try-line with a series of mauls and it soon paid off, as Curtis Langdon drove over for the opening try of the night. Rob du Preez added the extras and then a further three points from the tee moments later with a penalty. Marcus Smith made amends for his earlier miss with two successful penalty kicks in the space of three minutes, as the away side reduced the deficit to four points after 23 minutes of play. The home side was forced to work hard in defence as Quins pressed for their first try of the night and James Chrisholm eventually got over. Marcus Smith added the three points, as the away side led five minutes from half-time. The Sharks were penalised again right before the break, and Smith extended his sides’ lead to six points. Marcus Smith began the second half in the same way he finished the first, adding another three points after Sale conceded a penalty for offside. The intensity of the final continued to heighten, as Dan du Preez finally got the Sharks back in the game when he crashed over in the 67th minute whilst his brother, Rob added the extras. This reduced the gap between the two sides to only two points heading into a massive final ten minutes. The momentum of the game continued to sway in Sale’s favour at the most crucial time, as Faf was taken out at the base of a ruck and Quins conceded a penalty. Rob was good for the three points and the Sharks had a one-point lead setting up a nail-biting remaining five minutes. A late try from Faf de Klerk sealed the victory and the Premiership Rugby Cup, in what turned out to be a huge night for the club. Exclusive post-match interviews: With a historic first trophy in 14 years for the club, Faf is hoping that securing the Premiership Rugby Cup will serve as a catalyst for further success in terms of silverware for the Sharks: “The Club’s been in a few finals and never managed to win one, so to finally get that monkey off our back gives us a lot of confidence going forward. Hopefully in the future there will be a lot more (trophies), it’s going to take a lot of hard work but I think we’ve got it in us” Steve Diamond acknowledged that even though the performance wasn’t perfect, the strength of character in his side proved to be the difference heading into the final minutes: “I thought that we played well in the first 20 and last 20, the middle bit wasn’t so clever, but I thought the lads showed some real resilience and grit to stay in the fight. Rob du Preez kicked magnificently to take it eight points away at the very last minute” Morson C.E.O and Sale Sharks owner, Ged Mason also shared his elation with a first trophy since taking over in 2016 alongside Simon Orange: “It’s a fantastic result for the lads, I’m so chuffed. They did it the hard way, ten up in the first 20 minutes and fair play to Harlequins they grounded it out and got the edge on us at half-time, but it was tremendous how the Sale boys fought back. In the end it was a very exciting game” Next up for Sale is a trip to Northampton Saints on Tuesday 29th September, with a win being absolutely vital in their pursuit of a top-four spot. A massive congratulations to the team from everyone here at Morson and we will continue to show our support in the huge remaining fixtures ahead.

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    The Disclosure and Barring Service Launch People-Focused Five-Year Strategy

    The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has launched its new five-year strategy detailing its ambitions for 2025, focusing on the key elements of Profile, People and Quality. Under the subtitle of ‘making recruitment safer’, the DBS aims to ‘ensure that the organisation continues to thrive, provide services of the highest standards and make a real contribution to the national safeguarding arena.’ The DBS delivers Disclosure and Barring functions on behalf of the government. This includes DBS checks for England, Wales, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man and Barring functions for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The DBS was created in 2012 under the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and they are a non-departmental public body (NDPB) accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State for the Home Office. A DBS check is a criminal record check that can be requested either by an employer or something that you can request yourself. Roles that involve healthcare or working with children will almost certainly require a DBS check prior to an applicant being accepted into the role. The first strategic priority is quality, pledging to provide high quality, reliable, consistent and timely services for customers by implementing legislative change, developing their insight and intelligence capability and introducing a new barring portal. Their ‘Profile’ element seeks to make the DBS become a respected and trusted organisation and to play an influential role in the environment in which they operate. ‘People’ focuses on the workforce at the DBS and how their contributions work towards achieving objectives. Elements of this include implementing a new ‘reward and recognition’ scheme, work to balance the pay policy and develop a new DBS academy which will focus on coordinating all learning and development activity. Kerry Redmond, Head of Background Screening & Security Vetting at Morson, said "It's extremely positive to see forward planning and direction from the DBS in relation to criminal record checking processing and procedures. In line with core values of the Morson Group, I am pleased that the candidate journey and experience are at the forefront of release as they look to innovate and digitalise strategy." The delivery of the 2025 strategy will enable the DBS to develop as an organisation, improve the services they provide, and supporting the contribution they make within the safeguarding community. Morson Screening Services removes the time and overhead burden of pre-employment vetting and streamlines the clearance process for organisations. Utilising a technology platform and underpinned by a tailored service level agreement, Morson Screening Services provide full visibility of the vetting progress of every candidate. Find out more here

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    Vital Recruits 13 Rail Apprentices to On Board Next Generation

    Thirteen apprentices from Manchester and Liverpool have embarked on new careers in the rail industry as Salford-headquartered Vital Human Resources, part of the Morson Group, launches its latest apprenticeship programme. More than 160 people applied for the 13 positions, which combine on the job training with academic learning as the apprentices work towards achieving a Level 2 NVQ in Rail Engineering Track Maintenance during the next 14 months. During the first six weeks of the programme, the cohort will develop the basic skills and competencies required to build a successful career within the rail industry, combining classroom techniques with hands-on training delivered on a replica track environment at Vital’s headquarters. This first phase is delivered in partnership with Morson Training in preparation for the apprentices to embed themselves into gangs and gain first-hand experience and learning on a live railway as they are mentored alongside skilled operatives. This latest cohort of apprentices builds on a robust training agenda within Vital Human Resources, which possesses an outstanding track record for delivering talent at all levels to the rail sector, with a number of its ex-apprentices continuing to climb the ranks today. Gary Hardaker, executive director at Vital Human Resources, said: “Creating jobs, especially for younger people, is an economic priority and it couldn’t be a more exciting time to enter the rail industry. Despite the backdrop of COVID-19, the sector is booming thanks to a significant programme of investment which has only been bolstered by the Government’s commitment to ‘build, build, build’. The infrastructure market is crucial to boosting the economy and upskilling the next generation of talent to ensure we have the pipeline of resources to deliver such important programmes of activity is a key part. Our commitment to supporting the next generation is what makes our apprenticeship programme so successful. Some training schemes are simply a ‘box ticking’ exercise but we invest significantly in our people and have developed a comprehensive programme, taught by industry experts, which gives our apprentices the essential skills to get ahead in their careers and ensure they add true value to our operations and our clients’ programmes. Our apprentices have the opportunity to work on some of the UK’s biggest and most exciting infrastructure programmes – such as HS2 – and we must attract and train skilled talent today to ensure we have the resource to deliver such complex programmes. It’s no secret that the rail industry is facing a shortage of talent and a rising age profile, which are just some of the reasons why programmes like HS2 now mandate strict skills, employment and education (SEE) outputs on their supply chain to ensure they are used as a vehicle to overcome industry-wide issues. Developing the talent required to deliver the Government’s infrastructure agenda is part of our DNA and unlike some volume and low-skilled apprenticeship programmes, which are driven by commercial gain, we choose to keep our cohorts small so that we can ensure their training acts as a springboard into the sector and lays the foundation for the rest of their working life.” Apprentice, Jordan Coleman, age 24, said: “I was studying sports science at university but always knew I wanted to learn a trade with greater security and the rail sector appealed to me as I’m very hands-on. I had friends say I was too old to be an apprentice but thankfully I didn’t listen and carried on applying. I’m looking forward to what my future holds with Vital and creating a legacy that I can be proud of.” Apprentice, Liam Eaton, age 18, said: “I’ve dabbled in different construction trades and had been looking for a career where I could go far and make something of myself that can last a lifetime, and that’s what I’ve found. I’m looking forward to eventually qualifying, whilst earing a regular wage so I can afford my own place and buy a car.” Vital Human Resources, together with the wider Morson Group, is delivering a robust equality, diversity and inclusion agenda that has been specifically designed to encourage greater representation within the industries it operates. Gary added: “We always recruit the best person for the job but we’re acutely aware that our rail apprenticeship programme continues to attract an all-male cohort. As a result, we are working with our peers, together with schools and colleges, to demonstrate first-hand the breadth of opportunities within the rail sector. It’s our mission to ensure our workforce is reflective of the vibrant communities around us and that the industry is viewed as an aspirational career path to all, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, economic background and more.” The company has successfully adapted its recruitment and training processes and procedures, including the creation of a purpose-built COVID-secure classroom, to ensure it protects the health and wellbeing of its apprentices and the wider workforce. Ged Mason OBE, CEO of the Morson Group, said: “I’m pleased that, despite COVID-19, our apprenticeship programme continues to press ahead. Our dedication and commitment to assisting and creating jobs, across all sectors, will always remain part of our DNA and a core value of our business. The contribution that our apprentices make to our business is crucial in maintaining our ability to deliver the vital skills and resources to rail projects throughout the UK, and there is no more important time than now. What we do plays a critical role in developing and nurturing tomorrow’s talent today, as these people are our skills pipeline of the future.” Vital Human Resources is also a member of The 5% Club which connects dynamic employers and industry leaders with a unified commitment towards embedding earning and learning opportunities with their business and delivering true social mobility and diversity.

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    Morson Group Joins the Sizewell C Nuclear Consortium

    Morson Group has become the latest company to join the Sizewell C Consortium. The Sizewell C Consortium, a group of more than 100 leading companies and organisations who have come together in support of getting Sizewell C, the proposed nuclear site, built. Morson has an unrivalled track record in nuclear recruitment for the provision of both temporary and permanent personnel across the civil and military applications and working on some of the largest nuclear projects in the UK. We have managed projects and supplied labour across the project lifespan - from initial design and safety studies through detailed design programmes to final plant commissioning, inspection and handover. Morson International is joined in the consortium by Vital Human Resources, also part of the Morson Group. When it comes into service in 2031, Sizewell C is expected to meet 7% of the UK’s low carbon energy demand for the next 60 years. The project will create 25,000 nuclear jobs and up to 1,000 apprenticeships, with £14billion (70%) of the construction costs directly benefitting British businesses. The importance of the construction of Sizewell C, a replica of the currently-under construction Hinkley Point C grew recently with the news that Hitachi has withdrawn from the proposed Wylfa nuclear projects on Anglesey. This project would have been another important milestone in the UK’s nuclear supply chain and would have created thousands of jobs. In June 2020, EDF Energy, one of the two companies in the construction consortium, officially announced that it had applied to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), who are responsible for the safe operation of nuclear sites across the UK, for the licence required to build and operate Sizewell C. This is another key milestone in the process to get the site built by 2031 and on the road to creating thousands of nuclear jobs for the UK economy. Cameron Gilmour, Spokesperson for the Sizewell C Consortium said: “Britain has built a world beating nuclear industry supply chain which supports thousands of highly skilled jobs across the UK. The Sizewell C supply chain is ready and willing to help government with the green economic recovery. A firm commitment on the future of Sizewell C will help sustain the nuclear supply chain and can deliver significant benefits to the UK’s low carbon economic prosperity” Other businesses as part of the consortium include ARUP, Mott MacDonald, Kier and Doosan Babcock. To find out more about some of the nuclear projects we have worked on, click here. To view our latest nuclear jobs, click here.

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    Sentencing Whitepaper: What the New Rules on Criminal Record Disclosure Means for Recruitment

    The new Sentencing Whitepaper released by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has introduced new rules on criminal record disclosure rules to employers. Aimed at helping rehabilitate offenders, the announcement will have an effect on the jobs market in the UK with citizens who hold minor criminal records having more options opened to them. The new rules involve a reduction in the requirement to routinely partake in criminal record disclosure for non-sensitive roles. Custodial sentences of up to a year will become spent after a further 12 months without reoffending, which is down from the four years currently in place. Sentences between one and four years will no longer be required to be disclosed after a further four crime-free years. This is down from the seven years currently in place. Sentences in excess of four years will not automatically be disclosed once a seven-year period of rehab has been served. This is a significant shift from the current rules, where offenders must disclose this information to a potential employer for the rest of their lives. Kerry Redmond, Head of Background Screening and Security Vetting at Morson, commented on the criminal record disclosure changes and what it means for recruitment: “The government has been sensible in its approach, which will see thousands of ex-offenders with lower-level convictions aiming to work in non-secure or sensitive environments no longer having to disclose their criminal history, should they meet the criteria set out. The approach continues to protect our most vulnerable communities and sectors and re-enforces the importance of background screening across all areas, yet allows for the rehabilitation of ex-offenders programme to progress positively and means some of the largest scale recruitment programmes of our time should now have access to additional talent they previously may have been forced to reject based on more stringent vetting requirements.” Other rule changes to be introduced in the whitepaper include ending the release of offenders sentenced to between four and seven years at the halfway point, instead requiring them to serve two-thirds of the term before eligible for release. ​ If you are an employer and require background checks, we can help. Contact backgroundscreening@morson.com for more information

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    Applicant Tracking Systems: Making Your CV Sharper, Better and More Concise to Beat the System

    Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are often used when recruiting for roles that will likely draw a large number of CVs. An ATS is used to streamline hiring processes and speed up the initial candidate selection process by automatically removing those whose experience or qualifications make them unsuited to the role without relying on human intervention. Once the key CVs who most accurately fit the job descriptions are identified, human recruiters get involved to further analyse each description. Applicant Tracking Systems could easily be seen as just another wall of red tape that separates your CV form a potential interview, and it may seem disheartening to know that there is an additional level to get through before you are considered by an actual person. However, the advent of ATS use actually poses a great opportunity for candidates to fine-tune their CVs to make them more concise, eye-catching and ultimately successful. Beat the ATS and improve the overall quality of your CV at the same time: Keyword customisation An ATS is most interested in the keywords it has been told to look for. A job description is often split into keywords to make it easy for the ATS to ascertain your suitability. This means that your CV can’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. It must be something that’s tailored based on the position. This also means that within your descriptions of previous roles, keywords based on the job description you’re applying for should be included where relevant in a clearly formatted way. Consider summarising your experience using the same language used in the job description. It’s important not to just fill your CV with endless keywords (especially not in hidden font colours). The systems are intelligent enough to know when there are too many keywords and could filter your application out. Use full acronyms (and check spelling) Applicant Tracking Systems, while intelligent, may not recognise colloquialisms or acronyms used to illustrate experiences or qualifications. Be sure to write out these things in clear, unabbreviated form as many times as required without being tempted to shorten them. This will allow the system to register each time the phrase is used accurately. Likewise, if there are other acronyms that can be used to describe your experience or qualification, be sure to use whichever one is used on the job description that you’re applying for. The system will likely not be intelligent enough to recognise it otherwise and your perfectly suitable CV might end up in the wrong pile. Formatting is key Format your CV in a way that is easy for a machine to read. Remember, these systems may be intelligent, but they aren’t as clever as humans when it comes to certain elements, particularly formatting. Use clear heading titles, remove any unnecessary lines or charts and keep everything simple. Forget headers and footers, diagrams or any other additional formatting that might be confusing for an ATS. If the role requires, once you’ve made it past the ATS and are in connection with a human recruiter, save your more elaborate CV for then. These steps might make it seem like you’re being forced to adapt yourself to suit the needs of a recruiter, when in fact it should be them doing the work. In truth, an ATS is actually not only making the life of the recruiter that bit more convenient and ultimately improves response times for the candidate, but it’s also encouraging you to streamline and improve your CV and ultimately make it more successful – ATS or no ATS. Find your next dream role. Search our latest jobs here or speak to our expert recruiters by calling 0161 707 1516

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    HSQE Director Gareth Morris: COVID-19 and Health & Safety Reporting

    ​Gareth Morris is group director for Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental Compliance for Vital Human Resources and the Morson Group. Vital provides track, trades, safety-critical and technical personnel to Network Rail and other principal contractors throughout the UK, working on the rail infrastructure. Gareth is also a member of the CIRAS committee. Gareth spoke with safety reporting organisation CIRAS about health and safety reporting in the wake of Covid-19. Do you think Covid-19 has had an impact on health and safety reporting? Covid-19 has had a huge impact on safety reporting. Data from our close call app Morson Safety Matters indicates that we have placed so much emphasis on Covid-19 (quite rightly, as it is literally a matter of life and death) that all other safety matters have taken second place. I personally noticed this in one of our company’s car parks. A person had not reverse parked. When I spoke with them, they replied that, with all the instructions about coronavirus they felt that other matters were less important. That is human nature, and we have to re-emphasise that all other safety measures are equally important. The Health & Safety Executive has reminded us that, while we have implemented many additional control measures to manage the risk of Covid-19, we must maintain the management of all other risks and regulatory requirements placed upon us as employers. Why does reporting matter so much as we adjust to life after lockdown? Recent events have been more than enough to test even the strongest nerves. And as operations restart, we must work hard to build our people’s confidence so they can get on with their work safely and effectively. Part of that is recognising that we’re all facing new risks and challenges that are out of our comfort zone. But it’s also really important that we don’t ignore or underestimate the ‘bread and butter’ risks in rail operations. They existed before the pandemic, and they still exist now. Speaking up is as important as it has ever been. We want to send a message to our staff that their concerns will be taken seriously and that their wellbeing, safety and security are of paramount importance for the industry. What part does CIRAS play? Although our people have plenty of support, it would be disingenuous to say that everything always goes to plan. That’s not real life. If there is an issue on track, we fully encourage our people to flag up their concerns by reporting the issue immediately on-site, or by using the Morson Safety Matters close call app. But I recognise that there may be circumstances in which someone feels reluctant, for whatever reason, to use our direct reporting channels. That’s where the CIRAS service comes in. It gives our operatives another option for voicing their worries – and in so doing provides us with another route for gathering health and safety intelligence. For us, CIRAS is the backstop if, for whatever reason, someone is not happy with the way their safety concern has been handled. It won’t be used very often as we have comprehensive reporting channels and we believe in an open culture of reporting. That said, it is reassuring for us, and for those who work for Vital, that it is there just in case the process breaks down somewhere and we are not aware of it. CIRAS is a safety net that closes the loop on safety reporting. It’s one of the checks and balances in our system that helps protect staff from unplanned outcomes while addressing safety issues in a pragmatic and mature manner. Find out more about Morson's Safety Matters close call reporting app which allows contractors and employees to report on-site incidents and accidents

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    Morson Sponsored Big Rail Diversity Challenge Goes Virtual!

    Morson Group was proud to once again by the Key Sponsors of Women in Rail’s annual Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2020 on Wednesday 9th September 2020. Traditionally a team event consisting of a series of physical, team-based challenges, for the first time ever the event took place completely virtually due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Despite this, organisers Nimble Media were keen to ensure the day was a fun challenge for all participants. Delegates in the virtual event participated in physical and mental challenges, which included Escape Room, Murder Mystery, Haka and Body Rap - aimed at demonstrating that gender diverse teams work better together and that, for companies, an improved male:female and diversity ratio in their workforce will boost staff morale, employee wellbeing and ultimately business performance. Women in Rail was set up in 2012 to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK rail industry. Its membership comprises over 4,000 men and women employed in the railway. The charity, which operates through 8 regional groups in the UK, provides a robust networking and development platform to women of all backgrounds and grades working in the rail industry and runs the very successful cross-company mentoring programme. Morson rail director Gary Smithson was among the judges and speakers, and provided an introduction: “As a global recruitment agency, Morson have seen first-hand how the pandemic has negatively impacted people’s lives but we’ve also seen how people have come together in adversity, realising the power of true collaboration. The past few months have highlighted that true equality and an inclusive mentality are more important than ever in our professional and personal lives. Working together, adopting different perspectives and helping each other out has simply been essential… for the now, and for the future. Prejudice has no place as we look forward and build our economy back, together. We are proud to continue to champion diversity and the vital work of Women in Rail and the Big Rail Diversity Games.” Adeline Ginn MBE, founder and chair of Women in Rail, said: “The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important event in the rail industry agenda. It openly tackles rail’s outdated image, demonstrates that our industry can engage both men and women in equal measure and shows our sector’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in order to create more attractive, productive and successful teams. We are naturally very disappointed that we could not hold the event in its traditional form this year, but we are delighted that the Big Rail Diversity Challenge was still able to take place, albeit virtually. The rail industry has learned a lot about teamwork in the last few months and we look forward to building on this new and positive outlook going forward.” Recruitment Consultant Charlotte Sumner spoke about her favourite event of the day and what it was like to judge the awards: My favourite event of the day was Haka, as it was great to see the effort and enthusiasm of the participants, really giving it their all. This event really showed a strong sense of team spirit, energy and sense of humour from all participants. I particularly enjoyed judging MTR Elizabeth Line who did the Haka outside in a park in London. It was a great experience to participate as a virtual judge as it gave each judge the opportunity to enter the different Escape or Murder Mystery rooms, navigating through the different teams to see how they interacted and worked together. The virtual events gave the judges an opportunity to see how for the teams in most cases, who were not present in the same room together, but dialling in remotely from home and interacting over a virtual call. It showed a real sense of teamwork and we were proven wrong in the sense of thinking this might have been a more difficult environment to work efficiently and coordinate between team members. It was fantastic to see the teams working effectively together, showing real patience, and listening skills. Similarly, when judging the Haka and the Body Rap, this was great to see how the team members, which in most cases were doing the event on their own, from home, showed they were unfazed by this and really gave it their all. Some teams even got members of their family and pets involved with the events, really showing a good sense of humour and lightheartedness to the day. Although we couldn’t be present in-person to attend the event, the virtual event has shown that this wouldn’t stop a great and memorable day. Congratulations to the winners of each category: Best Team Name Award: Siemens Mobility Limited (Financial and Commercial) - It’s Accrual World team Highest Score in the Murder Mystery challenge: Siemens Mobility Limited - I’m More Than Just a Label! team Highest Score in the in the Escape Room challenge: CAF Rail UK - Los Españoles team Best Haka Performance: MTR Elizabeth Line team. Best Body Rap Performance: Young Rail Professionals team. The benefits attained when companies embrace gender diversity and inclusion include enhanced collaboration and more productive teamwork. We look forward to continuing our commitment to supporting diverse workplaces and continuing our relationship as Key Sponsors at the 2021 Big Rail Diversity Challenge, which will return live to Newark Showground on Wednesday 23rd June 2021.

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