Spreading the word……..

An interesting event yesterday at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall, London.  Hosted by Pertemps the event was mirrored in Birmingham and Leeds.  A great concept on some key areas of business/employment.


Steve kicked proceedings off with some key stats……  Some of which mirror key differences in the UK’s geographical make-up.


  1.   Permanent roles are up by 13% in London but 33% outside this area
  2.   Skilled labour is a massive worry for business
  3.    76% of employers felt a diverse workforce was key to a successful business
  4.    So far business confidence has not been dented by Brexit


Matthew of a leading business think tank then raised some interesting points.  Amongst them:


  1.     Employers will keep doing what they’ve been doing in the short term.
  2.     Over 40% have absorbed costs out of the profit margin but won’t continue to do this.
  3.     28% of employers are looking to automation to reduce jobs
  4.     It’s essential there is a migration system to ensure skills can still be brought in.


The most animated speaker who held the room’s attention was Dominic from a global financial services firm.  Dominic spoke about three key areas – Salary Sacrifice, Employment Status and Apprenticeship levy


Salary Sacrifice – the choice between goods and salary.  From April 2017 items such as childcare vouchers, workplace gym, mobile phones, MBAs – any employer provided goods will be subject to tax.  This will mean employees will see a reduction in their take home pay.


Employment Status referred to the changes in IR35.  This is largely where someone self-employed essentially works for one client.  They take instruction from that client and invoice that one client without the benefit of employed status – sick/holiday pay etc.  Uber, Hermes, City Sprint are current headline examples of this.   There are over 30,000 Personal Service Companies (predominantly in the Public sector) in the UK who work like this.  Will it change post 1 April 2017?


Apprenticeship Levy affects employers whose payroll bill exceeds £3m.  They will have to pay 0.5% of their entire payroll bill into a fund – managed by the Government.  They will then have unto 24 months to draw-down the money they’ve paid in to run apprenticeships.


Finally, Will from an employment law specialist ended the event with some more interesting facts.


The national minimum wage will rise 1 April 2017 by 30p to £7.50 for over 25s, 10p an hour to £7.05 for 21-24yrs, 5p to £5.60 for 18-20yrs and 5pm for under 18s to £4.05.  The apprenticeship rate is raised by 10p to £3.50


All employers will have to report their gender gap, pay, salary, bonus each year.  The aim is to have this information published by 4 April 2018.


Will explained the ‘gig economy’ which is fast becoming the employers’ preferred status of employing talent in many areas – such as couriers, taxis, and so on.  ‘Employees’ get the flexibility of  working hours/days they want without any commitment to be available.  This is applicable to all including those with dependents.   Equally, the employers don’t pay any benefits at all.  HMRC is very keen to get this clarified due to the revenue they are missing in employers’ NIC and so on.


My personal thought is people with dependents, health issues or any form of support requirement won’t earn enough from these type of salaries and often end up claiming in work benefits as well.  So it could be argued the taxpayer is paying some of these prominent employers wage bill!


These changes commence in the Public sector first but migration to the Private sector is expected by 2018.


Watch this space!……….





New Addition at Red Personnel

A recent graduate, Ilamathy had little employment experience prior to Growing Talent.  Her personality and enthusiasm saw many employers want her to join them before she selected James and the team at Red Personnel.


A niche recruitment company, Red is based close to Baker Street.  A buzzing area with few major chains and lots of independent retailers/businesses.  The vibe is calm and serene – a bit like Red’s offices!


So, did it turn out to be the experience Ilamathy expected?  Was James happy and impressed ?


So many questions…..




James explained how well Ilamathy had got to grips with the basics of recruitment.  She’s already uploading jobs, calling clients, sourcing cvs for the consultants, mentoring candidates as well as managing Twitter!


This was the first time an employer had selected a participant from Growing Talent without actually being there!!!  James was on holiday at the time so his Director – Jamie – convinced Ilamathy the role at Red was the right one for her.


So how did they both feel about this ‘blind date’?  Great a perfect match.



l-r James, Vicky, Ryan, Ilamathy, Chetan & Vanessa


‘I’m so happy’  Check back to see how well Ilamathy gets on over the coming weeks…..

Leon – the new king of Recruitment?

Who knew recruitment could be so cool!


After an in-depth selection process, Leon was selected by Pertemps to undertake the Growing Talent journey with them.  The ultimate role on completion was Recruitment Consultant.


Leon has a strong background in sales and music production.  Having his own production company, he knows a thing or two about business.  He also has a strong,  supportive streak of empathy – ideal for working with people!


Recruitment was an unknown area for Leon prior to Growing Talent so I was keen to find out how he’d got on during the first couple of weeks.


As you can see from the feature photo Leon has taken everything in his stride!


‘I’m met my targets, got some new clients and can’t stop to talk now as I’m interviewing someone’!  The small team Leon works with all agreed he’s fitted in really well considering we’re at week 3!


Pertemps is a very social organisation with lots of evening events.  This is currently a bit of a sore point for Leon – he’s not used to full days and then nights out!  Welcome to the heady world of recruitment!



Luckily, Leon finished his interview in time to come and say goodbye.  Seen here on the left with Adam and Jamie Director of Pertemps and Red Personnel.


So is he the King of Recruitment?  maybe not right now but he’s on his way!

Pick a colour!……..

Whilst surfing the Internet, I came across this great ‘colour chart’ for vegetables.


It’s the first I’ve seen that not only give you the calories, all the vitamins/minerals contained by ideas on how to eat them as well.


Easy to carry around, I will definitely be using this in my holistic week of Growing Talent as well as my own weekly shop!


Why not try using it too and see if there is a positive impact on you!

It’s a glamorous world………

for Stefan….. so far


On Growing Talent, Stefan is working with Mitie Connect at one of their global skincare clients in Fitzrovia, Stefan is exposed to the high-end world of leading brand products – including those new to the marketplace.  Of course this makes him a firm favourite amongst his female circle!


Surrounded by boutique shops ‘ including the niche Pollocks Toy Museum below – the local area is buzzing with business.



The mechanics of the role with Mitie Connect of Mailroom/Logistics Team  delivers variety – customer integration, problem solving, tracking, packing, despatching, as well as costs and recharges.  All of which suits Stefan.  The potential opportunities being based on this global entity’s site are endless!


A small team headed by Wayne, includes Jack and Leon with some support from temps and contractor implants.


As you can see below, Stefan on the left looks like ‘an old hand’….



Wayne, centre above has a lot of industry knowledge and is a ‘great mentor’ said Stefan.

Discussing how it’s gone so far below – both Wayne and Stefan agreed – so far so good!



Wayne is keen to learn the rest of the role, get working so he can save for some holidays abroad to add to the vast amount of countries he’s already visited.  Maybe he can add to his five languages as well!


Watch this space to see how Stefan gets on over the coming weeks.

The World of Property Investment….

Growing Talent 12 (www.growing-talent.co.uk) is now firmly underway.  Reports so far are all good.


Yesterday I visited Sebastien who has a background in sales, abroad and at home.  With a passion for property but no experience he was a strong fit for Invest In Buy To Let who selected him to join them via the Growing Talent programme.


Two weeks in – the shine is not wearing off!  Cold calling, researching and evening events have meant Sebastien has been able to work with multiple people and learn quicker in situ.  He’s building his own client contacts and formulating strong relationships.


Luckily, Silin from Growing Talent 10 works for Shane, one of the directors in his other business Create A Business.  Based at the same venue, she can give Sebastien the encouragement doing the programme demands.


It always amazes me how some people write off those who are unemployed without knowing their stories, personalities etc.  Everyone on Growing Talent has to work full-time – often unsociable hours – for no money other than their benefits.  Grated, at the end there is a permanent job on offer where both employer and new employee have a confident match.  But the journey to that goal can be quite gruelling – especially the longer you’ve been out of work or the more negative, discouraging voices you have around you!


It takes a lot of tenacity and integrity to complete Growing Talent – definitely not for the faint hearted!

The Metro showcases a story of pregnant women being incentivised to stop smoking with vouchers – Is this a good or bad idea?

What do you think?


Should having a healthy baby be all the incentive someone needs to stop smoking?


What happens if family members smoke around the baby? we all know the solid evidence of passive smoking.  Will the Council extend the incentive vouchers to family and friends?


Is there an element of sexism here?  Maybe ageist too?


It states ‘pregnant women’ which infers it excludes transsexuals – who born with female sex organs are still capable of carrying a child even though they are now male.  Can they claim the vouchers?


I can’t see an older mum shopping in New Look so are they aiming the vouchers at young people who know little of sex education, health and nutrition?  Would it be better to spend the money on target education earlier in schools?  Or is it right to reward bad life choices?


How do you monitor someone to ensure they have stopped smoking?


With all the pressures on local councils’ budgets, has Stoke-on-Trent Council spent this £16,900 wisely ?


Or do you think that this is value for money?


Maybe it isn’t as black and white as you might first think……  Thought provoking though

Employers…Recruit a better way…

We all know that growing our own fruit and veg is something special.  Nurturing it through all the stages from seed, seedling, shoot to full grown crop.  There’s something special about the effort to create something ourselves.  Of course, the taste is always far superior to shop brought.


I’m a firm believer people are the same as crops.  When they are invested in,  nurtured to their full potential and taught business skills from scratch, they learn quicker, better and deliver commitment for the opportunity received.


Growing Talent enables both the employer and unemployed potential new talent to grow and learn together.  Over a maximum 12 week period, invaluable lifelong skills are taught on the Orientation and Holistic weeks. A maximum of 10 weeks learning the vacant role in situ ensures a confident match.


Why pay recruitment fees?  Why recruit from a cv rather then actual knowledge on potential and attitude?


Growing Talent is free.  Why not give us a try?  The next programme commences in April.  Contact me for more details of your London based recruitment.



Building an empire…..

It was clear on the Orientation Week that Leon was a leader and doer.


Owning a production company he has a passion for music and writing.  He shared a song with the other Growing Talent Associates that he’d written for his young son Matthew.  A beautiful tribute set to rap.  It worked really well…..


For his Social Enterprise challenge he used his media experience to devise a unique experience for your people in danger of or already experiencing some kind of addiction to understand their triggers, share their experience with others and get help appropriate to them,  A by product was the support family and friends would get from watching this journey unfold.


Kids Today involved filming a small group of young people over 12 weeks to give invaluable learning for teachers and parents who could watch the film on YouTube at their leisure and understand what works and what doesn’t.


Joining Pertemps as a junior recruitment consultant on Monday 6 February, Leon had arranged his first client meeting yesterday – 9 Feb!


Starting to build his recruitment business empire already……..!

Growing Talent’s Orientation Week – Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral hosted the 12th Orientation Week for Growing Talent in their Chapter Room.  A light, airy room in which to learn, build confidence and relationships of trust.


Within 10 minutes of entering the room, the 10 ‘strangers’ started to plan their first presentation to the room.  ‘Six pictures of your life’!  Using landmarks in their lives the Growing Talent Associates – they are no longer allowed to call themselves ‘unemployed’ – confident public speaking ensues!  This is the foundation we build on for enhancing confidence and assertiveness for going on site.


Tuesday dawned with Gosia – part of Honeywell’s Audit/H&S team delivering a manual handling workshop.  This is delivered to ensure the guys have basic knowledge prior to a more in-depth session bespoke sessions in their roles.



A slightly nervous Gosia above with the guys talking manual handling!


On Wednesday the Portico team – represented by Michelle, below,  – came across to deliver their ‘Give Yourself The Edge Presentation’.  Unfortunately the gods of technology weren’t listening and Michelle’s films would not play!  Still, she delivered an interactive session and gave an overview of her journey to her current role – not a straight line at all!




After Michelle’s workshop, Linda one of the guides at Southwark Cathedral gave a tour on ‘hidden opportunities’.  The synergy was people who over the centuries had taken up challenges at the Cathedral – not really knowing what they were doing.  Learnt as they went and left a legacy.  This was the venue for one of the first London hospitals back in the 11th Century.


Above the guys met Linda in the Courtyard to be briefed for the tour – great feedback!

The guys below working hard on some case studies!



On Thursday, Chris dropped in to support the guys and share his insight.  Chris undertook Growing Talent on the 2nd programme when there was less support from Job Centre Plus and things were pretty tight.  He completed, joined Mitie Connect where he worked for two years before accepting another position with Portico as front of house reception at one of their prestigious accounts.



Chris agreed to return to be one of the judges at the Social Enterprise panel on Friday.  It shows the level of commitment and passion in Growing Talent Graduates return to support those following them – Chris has to loose two days annual leave to attend!


Interjecting the above guest visitors with workshops, case studies, debates etc on communication, assertiveness, Social Enterprise challenge – we were finally ready for the Growing Talent Dragon’s Den – also known as the Social Enterprise ideas presentations to the judging panel.



(l-r – Anna from JCP, Shane – Invest in Buy to Let, Steph – Iron Mountain, Jon – PwC, Kayleigh – MitieConnect, Christ – Portico and Tony – PwC)


Ideas were diverse and innovative including:

A Multi-cultural radio show by Stefan


A teenager interactive tv documentary by Leon


A community hangout for people with addiction/ex-offenders to creatively find a different path ending with an X-Factor style event – by Ashling & Zainab


A cultural learning space for arriving refugees to grow into contributing, integrated members of the community – by Mokthar


A  support venue for aspiring musicians with demo production, instrument repairs, jam sessions growing to a noticeboard website for


A creative venue, website and sale for member of the local community to learn new skills, make something, showcase it and sell it by Ashley


Lastly an internet cafe run by the community for the community with facilities for hourly hire of deskspace for those who want to set-up their own business by John.


After an exhausting week learning together the Growing Talent Associates departed for a restful weekend before joining their new employers………


Check back to see how they get on