Gig Economy – here to stay?

During 2017, there has been a growing concern on the status of those working in the ‘gig’ economy.


On paper, the flexibility to work when you want with no responsibility sounds good – especially for students/those who aren’t the key breadwinner. Not so good for those people who are the key breadwinner or this is their only source of income.  ACAS and many other employment organisations have been struggling on flexibility vs protection of workers for sometime.


The gig economy includes courier drivers, fast food delivery cyclists,  even those working for large national courier companies.  These people have to be ‘self-employed’ sometimes provide their own transport/clothes and provide cover if they are sick and can’t do their shift.  They work on an ‘as and when required’ basis but this can sometimes mean companies won’t give them any work for a considerable amount of time.


How can people pay rent/mortgage, feed and clothe themselves if they never know how much money they will have at the end of the month?


There was a huge surge of negative public opinion over zero hours contracts and again when the Chancellor of the Exchequer tried to bring in raised taxes for the self-employed.  It seems as though the ‘gig economy’ is just a more palatable term for ‘zero hours contract.   Is it right in a country that prides itself on inclusion that people have to work without protection/commitment?

Read more………………….

Workers confused and concerned about employment status, claims Acas






It’s amazing the UK takes years – literally – to remove illegal immigrants but someone who has lived, studied and worked here continually for the last 10 years paying full tax and National Insurance has just been given 60 days notice to leave the UK.  Her employers – a global organisation – on learning this, terminated her employment immediately.


How can this be right?


I totally understand and agree people who have no right to be here, who haven’t worked or contributed to the country’s taxes should be removed immediately.  Especially criminals, those who spread hate etc.


Why not set a barrier – maybe those who were here legally before say 2014 would have their cases looked at individually not as a ‘tick box’ exercise.


It seems wholly tasteless to wreck someone’s life who has put so much into the UK.


Shouldn’t we focus time, energy and resources to removing criminals who have no right to be here…….

The start of a B/H weekend – how are you starting yours?

Some of the office team have decided a good way to blow away the stresses of the week is to jump out of a plan strapped to a complete stranger, literally putting your life in their hands!


Care After Combat, set-up and fronted by Jim Davidson, is a charity supporting ex-service personnel integrate back into ‘Civvy Street’ at the end of their life of active duty.


Almost £30K has been raised for the charity this year – £4K of it from the tandem parachute jump today by Allen, Mark and Laura.


Care After Combat are a charity based in Farnham, Portsmouth, set-up by Jim Davdson who support veterans in the area.  Apart from fundraising, the charity has three core programmes:


Phoenix aims to reduce reoffending amongst veterans.  Adjusting to life outside the confines of the Forces is tough when you’ve had the adrenaline rush every day of not knowing what dangers you would face ahead.  Family life and work can be very boring in compariso.  It’s a quick path for some into self medication and a world of crime.  Phoenix supports over 148 veterans across 25 prisons.  Their residence – Simon Western House – has 12 self contained flats to support those in need leaving prison on the transition back to ‘normal’ life.  At the time of writing, 8 of the flats are in use and several have moved into permanent homes and jobs.


Footprints supports veterans affected by alcohol misuse – which is much higher than the usual level for the general population.  This misuse is pivotal in behaviour, functionality, breakdown of families, jobs etc.  With psychological support from Dr Nicholas Murdoch PhD MA BA(Hons) RGN a comprehensive intervention is delivered ensuring veterans learn better copying mechanisms.


Carp After Combat – a fishy pun for a unique programme using fishing as a therapy and a fundraising activity.  “Carp fishing allows us at Carp after Combat the opportunity to enhance Veterans physical and mental well-being, and giving something back to those who have given their all for us, is something I feel passionately about.” Dave Coates, Chairman.

To leave the safety of the office for the unknown of parachute jumping takes a lot of courage – even if it is for a good cause!  Respect to Allen, Mark and Lauren!
Whether jumping out of a plane or doing something more sedate, enjoy your Bank Holiday!


Result:  The team raised over £4,340 for the charity – well done everyone!

Cost of recruitment – what does it mean?

Often the true cost of recruitment on a business is hidden.  It’s a combination of several things.  One of the latest UK stats I found was a guesstimate of over £30K!

It costs over £30K to replace a staff member

The two main factors that support this research is:

  • The Cost of Lost Output while a replacement employee gets up to speed
  • The Logistical Cost of recruiting and absorbing a new worker

On top of the cost and inconvenience to a business of advertising, sifting, shortlisting, interviewing, feedback, employment documentation – contract of employment, right to work in the UK etc and the ‘new joiner’ processes – raising a new profile for IT, issue a laptop/phone etc is the cost of the recruitment agency.


Average percentages of fees to be paid to an agency are:

Salary                                                   %                                Fee due

£15K                                                        14%                                  £2,100

£20K                                                        18%                                 £3,600

Over £20K                                               20+%                             £4,200


Using this method, apart from the cost, you won’t know if you’ve made the right choice until they’ve been onboard a while and are trained in the job.


With Growing Talent, a unique fee way of finding and growing new talent, you will be confident of your new hire as you train them in situ before hiring.  What could be simpler?




Need talent in your business?………

Why not ‘grow our own’!


As the feature photo from Preparing for Shtf’s website illustrates, great veg are the result of careful nurturing over weeks/months.   The results are better than any ‘brought off the shelf’!


At Growing Talent we believe the same is true when looking for talent.


Businesses who partner Growing Talent recruit people they wouldn’t normally with solid sustainable results.  Retention and commitment increases. As does, team spirit, morale and productivity.


Growing Talent, the B2B forum that brings the unemployed, employers and JobCentre Plus together, is completely free to use.  Funded by business for business to take a leap of faith.  No cvs and no job description. Why pay for your talent when you can Grow Your Own and get great diversity at the same time?


Over 111 people have secured permanent jobs.  Some have never worked before.  Some are graduates and some have solid employment history at all levels.  The nurturing selected individuals receive in situ gives the opportunity for them to showcase their skills, potential and fit with the business without trying to ‘sell’ themselves in a traditional interview.


With many success stories, we begin the next round on 18 September with the first stage selection.


If you need to recruit – why not ‘grow your own’? It’s easy partnering Growing Talent.


Final thought:  A recruitment company charging 18% on a £20K salary will cost £3,600.  Growing Talent is free!


Real Apprentice meets Growing Talent

Left – right in the feature photo above are Leo, Bodrul, Steve (team manager) Asher & Ash……


During a site visit to see how Asher was progressing on Growing Talent 14, I discovered what a very small world this in!


As part of the Rapid Response team based in this prestigious Global Financial Services Firm located in Central London serving over 2,000 staff, Asher has to hone his customer relationship skills to ensure his job is done efficiently and smoothly.  Leavers, joiners and ‘hot deskers’ mean locations constantly change so ensuring goods ordered are delivered to clients efficiently bring daily challenges!


As Growing Talent has been running a number of years now, most new Associates have the guidance of a member of the team who came through Growing Talent themselves and know exactly how they feel.  Not only does Asher have Zac from the last programme but also has the support of Leo and Bodrul who joined the team many years ago on the Real Apprentice – forerunner to Growing Talent.  It was great to see the guys still working, saving and making plans after all this time.


What a small world……….

Personal Evaluation – Good or Bad Thing?

Traditionally, this has been carried out as an annual appraisal.  Usually, these are looked on with trepidation.  The build-up to the day, the 1-2-1 meeting and ultimate judgement on your performance.  Hopefully, it goes well…………. If it doesn’t you end up deflated.


As a trainer, I’m evaluated by every participant on every course.  This can be hundreds of evaluations on me every year!   Part of my business is encouraging the unemployed into work.  Supporting them as they overcome issues and doubts along the way.


Often, I’ve very lucky to get thank you gifts once people have gone into work and received their first salary.  This endorses my performance evaluation as it’s often a month or two after completion.  It’s really humbling to know I make a profound difference to people who I know will go on and support others.


Flowers & chocolates above from Unity & Co – aka Zara & Nabiha Growing Talent 13……..


In addition to Growing Talent, the employment programme I devised and run sponsored by PwC, I’m a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Wellbeing Instructor.  Participants evaluate each course as well which is shared with hiring clients.


On reflection, I believe it’s much better to not wait until an annual appraisal to find out what others think of you professionally but ask along the way – ‘how am I doing?’, ‘is there something I could do better?’.


Giving ourselves the opportunity to reflect on what we do right and what we need to improve, make us much better human beings and work colleagues.




Knock-on Effect – Just Business?

The Metro free newspaper in London yesterday presented headline front page news of British Gas’s intention to raise domestic electricity tariffs by 12.9% – way above inflation.


When wages have been stagnant for many years now in the aim of ‘pulling together’ and ‘living within our means as a country’, it seems hard to justify especially when the same newspaper on the same day features the City’s glee at the price hike as shareholders will make more money! – so much for ‘pulling together as a country’.




Were we always a nation of ‘money grabbers?’……….