CIOB: Who will build the Olympic Village? - 65% of CIOB members questioned in a recent ‘skills shortage’ survey felt that the current workforce was not sufficiently skilled, with 91% anticipating a skills shortage beyond 2005:
· The highest level of recruitment difficulty came in ‘crafts and trades’ with 42% of members registering a serious problem.
· 60% have had some difficulty recruiting ‘semi-skilled manual workers’ and ‘support services managers’;
· 56% indicated hardship in recruiting contract and site managers.
It is estimated by the Construction Industry Training Board that the industry needs 88,000 recruits every year for the next five years.
So it looks like the shortage of UK world class athletes may not be the only problem facing us, as the nation tries to get everything ready for the 2012 Olympics. The Olympic Village could be a showcase of UK Building Skills, but only if there are enough of them to do the job properly.
Paying for the Games may be a minor problem for Londoners, as they struggle to find a decent member of the building trade to carry out some work on their home over the next 7 years.
Press release ~ The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) ~ Building the future: skills training in construction and building services engineering ~ Vocational ladders or crazy paving? ~ Free to Choose ~ EOC segregation website ~ Construction Industry Training Board
MCA: One Year on from Disaster - Having enjoyed some fine weather prior to an anticipated change for the worse over the August Bank Holiday weekend, last week provided a timely reminder that summer weather can not only bring record temperatures, but also record rainfall.
Boscastle, Port Isaac and Bude Coastguard Rescue teams have been presented with the Wreck Shield and individuals who were directly involved were also be presented with Chief Coastguard commendations to reflect the work which resulted in the award of the Wreck Shield.
Graham King the Deputy Station officer of the Boscastle team will receive a personal commendation for his prompt action which was directly responsible for the lack of loss of life. At times, up to 8 helicopters were on the scene.
Given that we are told to expect more extreme weather in future, due to the effects of global warming, it is important to ensure that the efforts of both the professional and voluntary members of the assorted emergency teams are acknowledged, especially as many of them risk their lives without any monetary reward.
One year on, the village is again ‘open for business’.
Press release ~ Wreck Shield Winners (scroll down) ~ Boscastle Community First Responders ~ Boscastle website ~ Environment Agency Report
WAG: Time to examine alternative to ’A’ levels? - Education Minister Jane Davidson has congratulated the first students to succeed in achieving the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma, the Core certificate of which is worth 120 UCAS points, equivalent to an A grade ‘A level’.
To achieve the WBAD, students have to complete a compulsory Core as well as Options of a minimum of two GCE A-levels or an equivalent qualification. The Core has four components:
· 6 Key Skills;
· Wales, Europe and the World;
· Work-related Education; and
· Personal and Social Education.
Of the 304 students who completed the programme, 233 (77%) have been awarded the Advanced Diploma, while a further 27 students have achieved the Advanced Core Certificate, but have not met all the Options requirements for the full Diploma. Achieving the Core requires all six Key Skills Qualifications.
As the media mounts its annual campaign on the need to reform the school exam system, one has to wonder if the government will be looking to the Welsh system as a way forward, especially since the publication of the report by the independent think tank – Reform.
Press release ~ Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma ~ Reform ~ Standards of Public Examinations in England and Wales
DTI: A travel company that took money for discount flights to Africa, but never came up with the tickets, has been closed down following a DTI investigation. Travel Holidays House Ltd and its sister company Travel Holidays House UK Ltd bragged that it was "Africas number 1 discount flight specialist", but in reality customers never got their flights.
Press Release ~ Insolvency Service ~ Business Link ~ DETI guidance
UK Patent Office: The Patent Office has received its 1,000th online patent application in time for the 1st anniversary of the introduction of the e-filing system this month and to help new customers with e-filing, joint training days are being arranged for October 2005 - details of these will appear on the Office website shortly.
Press release ~ Newcomers guide ~ epoline® system
Defra: Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight has launched the dedication of the Forestry Commissions public forest estate in England for public open access. By the end of the year, that area will be around 165,000 hectares of forests and woods for people to enjoy.
Press release ~ Forestry Commissions Active Woods campaign – Countryside Access website
MOD: Is it a sign that British soldiers, sailors and airmen and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are very much there for the long- term? The MOD has announced that they are to be equipped with a new selection of improved desert clothing, including new desert combat assault boots, hydration systems, protective eyewear, desert load-carriage vests, anti-microbial underwear, sweat-wicking vests and improved combat helmets.
Press release ~ Detailed list ~ Defence Clothing (DC) Integrated Project Team (IPT)
Home Office: Police forces across the UK have gone live with the Violent and Sex Offenders Register (ViSOR) computer system, a shared national database to register, risk assess & manage sex offenders, as well as violent offenders and others who may cause serious harm to the public.
With any luck the police will now be able to avoid any re-occurrence of the debacle at Soham, which was highlighted in the Bichard inquiry
Press release ~ PITO on ViSOR ~ National Offender Management Service (NOMS) ~ 2000 Criminal Justice and Court Services Act ~ Bichard website ~ Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)
Socitm: Data collected by the Society of IT Management (Socitm) for its latest Index of Application Software highlights the move by local authorities away from mainframe configurations towards Windows operating systems.
Press release ~ Soctim Software survey – Open source information – Govt. Open Source Software trials
OGC: Registrations are now taking place for forthcoming Knowledge Forums and User Groups for the Government Procurement Card, for this autumn in London and Cheltenham. The idea is to enable like-minded organisations & industry experts to share knowledge & best practice, identify common suppliers, help integration onto the eGovernment agenda, as well as negotiate central contracts.
Press release ~ register for one of these events ~ Government Procurement card (includes links to case studies)
ODPM: The Governments has launched a consultation on how Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) should operate, as part of its attempts to bring more long-term empty homes in England back into use. The consultation closes on 14 October 2005, with the new powers expected to come into force by the end of the year.
Press release ~ Empty Dwelling Management Orders: consultation on secondary legislation ~ Housing Act 2004 ~ ODPM empty homes website ~ Empro.co.uk –unlocking the potential of empty homes ~ The Empty Homes Agency
DH: The government has launched a consultation (closes 5 November 2005) on regulating the technology and techniques used to assist human reproduction. The consultation will ask for views on a wide range of issues such as the rules governing screening and selecting embryos for medical purposes, scope for a lighter touch regulation of IVF and best way to safeguard the welfare of a child born through assisted conception.
Press release ~ Consultation and associated papers ~ House of Commons Science & Technology Committees report on Human Reproductive Technologies and the Law ~ The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act
WAG: The people of Llandudno are the first to be asked for their views on the environment, as part of a major consultation exercise (closes 3 October 2005) by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), which is intended to help develop the first ever Environment Strategy for Wales. To encourage as many people as possible to get involved, a series of public workshops have been organised, which will take place next month.
Press release ~ Environment Strategy for Wales website ~ Consultation document
DH: The Department of Health has today announced details of a number of interactive regional and national public engagement events, which are part of the Your Health, Your Care, Your Say. The regional events will be held over September / October in Gateshead, Leicester, London and Plymouth followed by a national event to be held in Birmingham on 29th October.
Press release ~ Your Health, Your Care, Your Say ~ Feedback
Defra: Defra has reported on the river water quality indicator, which is one of the 20 UK Framework Indicators of the UK Framework for Sustainable Development and measures biological and chemical quality.
Press release ~ River water quality ~ 20 UK Framework Indicators ~ One Future - different paths: The UK’s shared framework for sustainable development (March 7 2005) ~ further 48 indicators ~ Securing the Future. ~ Pocket-sized booklet Sustainable development indicators ~ Scottish Environmental Protection Agency ~ Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service ~ Environment Agency for England and Wales ~ Defra e-Digest of Environmental Statistics (includes England and Wales results summarised at local authority and English Government Office level) ~ Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Defra Water website
Socitm: A new briefing from Socitm Insight, based on information gathered through its website take-up service introduced a year ago, highlights the importance of website take-up but also suggests that councils are not, as yet, making much effort to increase it. Councils appear to be doing little to promote the availability of information and services from their websites and may therefore be missing out on potential significant non-cashable efficiency gains.
Press Release ~ Building usage of council websites: summary of findings from the Socitm Insight website take-up service Issue 2
HMCIP: Holding facilities at Gatwick Airport, London City Airport and Dover Asylum Screening Centre were not suitable for overnight stays and had inadequate facilities, according to a HMCIP report. All facilities lacked any means of proper separation, none of the centres had adequate child protection arrangements and the one at London City Airport was completely unsuitable for holding children.
Press release ~ Press Release (HO response) ~ Report
HSE: The Offshore Safety Statistics Bulletin 2004/05 published by the HSE shows a reduction in the rate of fatal and major injuries to workers with the number of work-related deaths standing at zero, compared to three in 2003/04.
Press release ~ Step Change in Safety ~ Offshore Safety Statistics Bulletin 2004/2005 ~ HSE Offshore website ~ Offshore Safety Climate Assessment Safety Climate Assessment Toolkit
DWP: The DWP has published a review of the range & effectiveness of financial education across the UK, looking at both pre- and post- compulsory education provision, including coverage of long-term planning and saving issues.
The review identifies four key audiences for post-age 16 financial education; 1) disadvantaged adults i.e. with poor basic skills and/or financially excluded, 2) employees, 3) students in post-compulsory education and 4) the general population through resources such as websites and other forms of on-line learning available to all, but concludes that there are no ’quick fix’ solutions to increase the financial capability of the population.
Press release ~ Report No. 275: Financial Education: A review of existing provision in the UK ~ Summary version ~ Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) – Financial capability ~ TeacherNet ~ FSA - Personal finance
DH: The government claims that a newly published report proves that the Hospital at Night pilot has not only ‘solved’ problems arising from the NHS having to cope with the EU Working Time Directive, but also delivered improvements to patient care.
Press release ~ The implementation and impact of Hospital at Night pilot projects - An evaluation report ~ NHS Modernisation Agency ~ DH WTD web pages ~ Royal College of Surgeons ~ Patient Safety risk assessment guide ~ Clinical Governance support team
Defra: Climate change and Environment Minister Elliot Morley, along with Ministers from 20 other countries has witnessed growing evidence of how man-made climate change is affecting Greenland’s ice-cap at the Greenland Dialogue on Climate Change, hosted by the Danish government.
Press release ~ Greenland Dialogue on Climate Change ~ National Snow and Ice Centre, Boulder, Colorado, US ~ Cires Research Group ~ Human influences on increasing Arctic river discharges ~ Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change conference in Exeter ~ Gleneagles Plan of Action on climate change ~ Defra Climate Change website ~ Met Office’s Hadley Centre
HMRC: HM Revenue & Customs has announced new rates of interest for underpaid and overpaid instalment payments of corporation tax, and early payments of corporation tax not due by instalments, in respect of accounting periods ending on or after 1 July 1999. These rates will take effect from 15 August 2005.
Press release ~ HMRC interest rates
HMRC: As part of the build up to Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool businesses are being offered extra help and support by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) whilst being reminded of the penalties of deliberate evasion of duty and taxes.
Whether you are in business already or thinking of starting up you can find out more about how to make all areas of business tax and duties easier at two city centre evening events on Wednesday 24 August and Wednesday 21 September.
Press release ~ Book online ~ Capital of Culture in 2008
HMRC: Business Brief 16/05
· VAT Ruling - Abbey National PLC - Virtual Assignments
· Climate Change Levy (CCL) - The revoking and renaming of the CCL (Use as Fuel) Regulations 2001, amended 2003; also extension of exemptions & an additional process
· VAT - Amendment of the law governing supplies of goods in customs warehouses
· Addendum to Business Brief 15/05: VAT - Recovery of input tax by employers in respect of funded pension schemes
Press release ~ Business Briefs 2005
For further information on the events listed below (and subsequent events) please click HERE
Date: 07/09/2005 to 29/09/2005
Organiser: House Builders Federation (HBF) are running numeroius events in September including:
· Housing Market Intelligence Conference and Report
· Sustainability in Housebuilding
· Making housing land supply market responsive
· Marketing Homes Forum
· National Planning Conference
Date: 08/09/2005 to 22/10/2005
Venue: London and Paris
Organiser: Royal British Legion -Forthcoming Fundraising Events
Pedal To Paris - Oversubscribed
The tenth anniversary of our hugely popular annual ride from Greenwich, London to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Venue: Malmaison Hotel, Birmingham
Organiser: Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
This half day seminar will deal with the practical implementation of the new rules, recent court cases covering the current legislation and procurement under EU treaty rules.
Organiser: Capita Conferences
The Government wants to increase the provision and access to low cost home ownership in London, South and South East England.
Recently a raft of policies have been introduced which are designed to help aspiring homeowners onto the property ladder and this conference will keep you up to date with the rapid pace of reform.
In the morning, expert speakers will outline and evaluate current and future low cost home ownership schemes including shared ownership, HomeBuy and Key Worker programmes. Local authorities and housing associations will be encouraged to apply these schemes as widely as possible, so now is the time to consider their impact on your organisation.
Organiser: Capita Conferences
According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 563,000 people are suffering from stress-related illness, indirectly resulting in 13.4 million days being taken off sick. Recent research (Mind, 2005) highlighted the enormous £100bn per year cost to the UK economy. Hear the latest advice from the experts.
Date: 26/09/2005 to 10/02/2006
Venue: Sunningdale Park, Larch Avenue, Ascot, SL5 0QE
Organiser: National School of Government
This course includes a management case study against which to pit your skills and equips those at working level to provide top-quality support to their managers and develops their potential to be the leaders of tomorrow. Designed for administrative officers and their equivalent, on completion you should understand the basis of effective management
Date: 01/09/2005 to 15/12/2005
Organiser: Citizenship Foundation
Take a hands-on approach to politics, journalism and the legal system
Now in it’s 15th year, The National Youth Parliament Competition helps 11-18 year olds understand the democratic process and gives them the opportunity to video their own parliamentary debate.
The National Political Journalism competition, challenges young people (11-18 year olds) to experience first-hand the relationship between politics and the media. They are asked to tackle a local, national and international political issue of their choice, by taking on the roles of media professionals and create real news pieces in print, TV or radio.
In the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial competition students take on the roles of court staff, lawyers & witnesses and present the prosecution and defence of a specially written criminal case.
For further information on the above (and subsequent) events please click HERE
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