Skills, Gigs and Zero-Hours Contracts

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Skill Shortages in UK

We first covered skills shortages in the UK economy back in January. The challenges facing employers in finding the right skills was highlighted in the Employer Skills Survey 2017, itself based on interviews with over 87,000 employers. By far the largest survey responses (by number of companies responding and the employment levels in their represented sector) came from Wholesale & … Read More

Global Asbestos Awareness Week April 1-7, 2019

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pinning work to walls can disturb asbestos

It’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week incorporating the 15th International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference running in Washington DC from April 5-7. We’ve commented extensively in the past on the issues surrounding asbestos in our society and this dreadful material has even become the cause of legal action alleging that Johnson & Johnson “knew for decades that its iconic baby powder … Read More

Data Centre of the Universe

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data centre of the universe

When Jeff Bezos wrote his first letter to Amazon shareholders in 1997 he said, “But this is Day 1 for the Internet…” He has signed off every subsequent letter with “It remains Day 1!” While this is mainly a statement of the philosophy of the leadership and strategy of Amazon, it’s also a literal take on where we are with … Read More

The Contractor Management Challenge for Power Utilities

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The Contractor Challenge for Power Utilities

As we’ve discussed before, the UK power utilities sector is entering a period of disruption brought on by a combination of forces including skills shortages and the availability of ‘free’ energy to the consumer afforded by renewables. Particularly for the asset-heavy side of the sector, requiring significant on-going investment, this disruption will create a tough investment environment, one which will … Read More

The New Trend in Health and Safety: Enhanced Contractor Oversight and Management

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Enhanced Contractor Oversight and Management

There’s a trend in the health and safety industry that is gaining traction and looks set to become the new norm – enhanced health and safety oversight of contractors. Of course, guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that companies and the contractors they employ both have responsibility for health and safety. A key reason for this approach, … Read More

Is the Health & Safety Executive Keeping Pace with Modern Working Practices?

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is the hse keeping pace with modern working arrangements

The work environment is becoming much more complicated. At its simplest, companies have employees who all work at a company facility. This is the easiest structure to regulate and monitor when it comes to all aspects of employment law, including health and safety. The modern workplace is much more complicated than this, however. The people who work for companies today … Read More

UK Skill Shortages – Not Just a Hiring Problem

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UK Skill Shortages

It seems odd that the UK, one of the major economies of the world and with record numbers of students entering university, should be suffering from a shortage of skilled workers. But that’s exactly where we are. And it’s getting worse. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills ‘Employer Skills Survey 2017’ highlighted the following: in 2017, 20% of establishments … Read More

Contractor Management – A Compelling Imperative for Change

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Contractor Management - A Compelling Imperative for Change

Everyone understands the benefits of using contractors in a business: More flexibility as expertise can be provided when and where needed Easier to scale the workforce up or down as the business requires Enables the business to react quickly to new projects Business can “plug and play” workers into projects (i.e. there is no training required to get people up … Read More

The Power Utilities Death Spiral and What it Means for Health and Safety

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Wildpoldsried Bavaria

Normally business investments are made in a climate of growth with some level of stability and predictability. But, what happens when a sector is faced with massive change and an existing business model that is trending towards zero, e.g. “the utility death spiral”? That was the topic of a recent research report by Banyard Solutions, “UK Utilities: Yes, Investment is … Read More

Overview of Health and Safety in the Water Industry

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UK health and safety in the water industry

This is the first in a series of posts arising from research into health and safety in the UK water industry. It’s a high level overview of the issues. Future posts will explore these further and present potential solutions. The water industry in the UK is well-established so it’s not surprising that most companies in it have well-established health and … Read More