Germany looks outside EU to fill skills gaps

first_img Previous Article Next Article A radical proposal to allow 50,000 skilled foreign workers from outside theEU to enter Germany every year has been put forward by a high-level independentcommission in the country. The plan has been drawn up to counter rapid population decline and growingskills shortages. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder said the proposal formed a good basis fora new immigration law that the government hopes to pass this year. Germany’s 82 million population is projected to fall by 23 million by 2050,and demographers have predicted that hundreds of thousands of immigrants willbe needed every year to fill the gaps. The independent commission recommends that in the first year of theimmigration programme, 20,000 workers should be granted permanent residency,20,000 be given five-year permits to work in sectors where there are skillsshortages and 10,000 should get temporary permits. European HR consultant Peter Reid thought the proposal was progressive, butwas concerned it could lead to a “brain drain” from countries seekingto join the EU, such as Poland. “I have general concerns that the most skilled members of the workforcewill be the ones that leave these countries,” he said. Related posts:No related photos. Germany looks outside EU to fill skills gapsOn 17 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img

Fear not: bigger unions will be better for you

first_img Previous Article Next Article Fear not: bigger unions will be better for youOn 21 Aug 2001 in Personnel Today Trade union mergers are good for you. The personnel community will be helpedin their work by the increasing size and capabilities of large British unions.Organisations in the public and private sectors alike now recognise that thereis a real advantage in engaging the commitment of the workforce. Greatermanagerial effort is being deployed everywhere to consult employees. The quality of consultation, however, is variable: sometimes, the motivationto consult is not genuine; sometimes, organisations are so stretchedmanagerially that they do not have the time to expand the sheer number ofmeetings that go towards communicating company policy. But often, the realblock to genuine consultation is the lack of confidence on the employee side ofthe consultation relationship. This is where improving trade union resourcescomes in. There is no doubt that the strength of British unions lies in itsessentially voluntary nature. Tens of thousands of volunteers help representtheir fellow workers in good times and bad, on personal matters and hugely strategicchange issues. But they need help. The union’s full time officers andspecialists have to be on hand to help the lay representatives and theirmembers grapple with an increasingly complex world. For us, trade union mergersreduce the costs of administration as a share of expenditure. They help us toreduce inter-union competition and allow unions to alter their structure andculture to parallel more closely both their members’ expectations of work lifeand the constant change in companies and public services. There is no doubt that size matters. The global economy demands an entirelydifferent level of competence from trade union representatives, both atfull-time and local volunteer levels. Our union has been involved in two huge mergers in nine years, and still thechallenges continue. Our members demand that we help them as individuals inways we have never done before. Taking part in skills expansion is crucial toour members and their companies. Our insistence on uprating our members’ safetyawareness through safety reps is vital for workplace development. The fortunewe spend on industrial law training is well spent with its emphasis on avoidingcostly litigation. Representing workers’ feelings accurately, non-ideologically andcompetently, is the key to companies enjoying stimulating and worthwhileconsultation. Only that provides the best base for effective decision-making. No one must shudder as they hear of us getting bigger, richer and betterresourced. Modern unions need that to be of help to their members and theircompanies. By John Lloyd, National officer, Amalgamated Engineering and ElectricalUnion Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img

Staff accidents reduced by a third in four years

first_imgStaff accidents reduced by a third in four yearsOn 13 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Perth & Kinross Council has reduced the number of accidents among itsstaff by a third in four years. The council has achieved this by training its senior managers to improvetheir awareness of health and safety issues and creating a manual of its healthand safety procedures, which is distributed to all of its working sites. Council sites are given different risk ratings and those in the high-riskbracket, which include secondary schools and construction sites, are inspectedannually. Nearly 50 high risk site managers have been put through an internal safetycourse in the past two years. Directors from the council’s 12 service departments also have to present anannual report to the authority’s corporate health and safety committeeoutlining the achievements of the past year and the action plan for the next. Neil Doherty, health and safety adviser for the Scottish council, said,”The key element in the scheme’s success is the involvement and role ofthe elected members and council’s directors. This has shown that the councildoes take health and safety seriously.” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img

Time to put all that theory into practice

first_imgI am currently representing too many excellent unemployed HR professionals.There are too few jobs for them all and too little flexibility in themarketplace to allow them to shift sectors. This is partly being driven by the narrow-mindedness of employers, with manypresuming that the laws of supply and demand are stacked in their favour. They want only HR people who have vast experience of their specific sector.But they ignore talent and performance at their cost – come the upturn, the warfor talent will intensify once more and an individual’s greatness and notsector knowledge will be the important factor. Meanwhile, for the unemployed HR professional, the key survival tactic isconfidence. It is critical to do whatever it takes to find ways to stay active– undertaking interim roles or consultancy to keep emotionally andintellectually alive in the marketplace. You need to seek independent coaching and counselling from trusted friendswho can help maintain confidence and a sense of reality. HR people are great atsupporting others, but notoriously bad at using their own support networks. This is also the time to consider external development programmes, seconddegrees, and voluntary work. If you need to toughen up on public speaking, getout and practice it. Think through industry shifts – if you have always wanted to work in retailthen now is the time to make the move, but be realistic about employer demands.Whatever you decide, take action immediately. People come to me who, withhindsight, would not have chosen to go on holiday on leaving their previousemployer. Instead, they would have thrown their efforts into repackagingthemselves. All those made redundant go through a ‘grief curve’ to varying degrees andHR people are no different. But while they are experts at helping othersunderstand it, amazingly they often do not spot the signs in themselves. You have to carefully balance whether you should take a job opportunity. Ina perfect world, you will only ever join an organisation where there is demonstrablepersonal and professional growth. It is hard to be this picky when you have a mortgage to pay, but the longeryou hold off from taking an unsuitable role, the better. It is so easy for HR professionals to get wrapped up in helping everyone elseleave the business, they forget about their own emotional health andconfidence. This is dangerous in the current economy and I implore HR people tofind time for themselves. By Chris Matchan, Vice president of consumer practice, Korn/FerryInternational Time to put all that theory into practiceOn 19 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

Case roundup

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Case roundupOn 7 May 2002 in Personnel Today This week’s case roundupAward for injury to feelings increased Doshoki v Draeger Limited EOR 104, April 2002, EAT Doshoki, an Iranian, was employed as a sales manager from June 1977 untilhis dismissal in March 1998. He brought a race discrimination claim, arguingthat his dismissal was on racial grounds and that he had been subjected tooccasional racial comments and taunts, such as “Shut up Aytollah” andbeing called an “Arab”. The tribunal dismissed the claim and heldthat the racial taunts did not amount to a detriment. The EAT allowed Doshoki’sappeal in respect of that finding. A new tribunal held that the remarksamounted to racial discrimination and awarded compensation for injury tofeelings of £750 on the basis that the remarks were not very serious. Doshokiappealed arguing the award was so perversely low as to constitute an error oflaw. The appeal was allowed. The EAT held £750 was a sum very close to the lowestend of the entire scale of awards for injury to feelings and by way ofcomparison, was a sum appropriate only for the very slightest physical injuryin a personal injuries claim. Moreover, the taunts were repeated from time totime over a period of four months and were hurtful and humiliating for Doshoki.It substituted £4,000 as an appropriate award. Size of organisation a relevant factor Golding v Klargester Environmental Limited [2002] All ER (D) 38, January2002, EAT Golding claimed his redundancy was unfair because there had been inadequateconsultation and no prior warning of dismissal. Klargester failed to enter aNotice of Appearance and at the hearing applied for an extension of time to dothis. The tribunal found that agreeing to the application would cause a furtherdelay and as Klargester was a large organisation, any finding of unfairdismissal and award for compensation was not likely to prove disastrousfinancially. The tribunal exercised its discretion and refused Klargester’sapplication, which meant it was unable to enter a defence. The tribunal thenconcluded that Golding had been unfairly dismissed and awarded compensation. Klargester appealed, arguing that when exercising its discretion thetribunal had erred by taking into account that Klargester was a largeorganisation enjoying economic success. The appeal was dismissed. The tribunalhad to take into account all relevant factors, weighing and balancing them oneagainst the other to reach a conclusion which was objectively justified on thegrounds of reason and justice. It was important to consider the prejudice to both parties, and the tribunalhad been entitled to consider Klargester’s financial circumstances whenreaching its decision. last_img

Shopping around for true leaders

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. This month, Asda people development manager Bruce Boughton, 34, reveals hisambition for delivering business excellence through peopleHow long have you been in this job? This particular role for five months, but a member of the Asda trainingteam for six years. How long have you been with your organisation? Just over 10 years. What does your role involve? A variety of projects, generally linked to evolving Asda’s culture, way ofworking and management style. What’s the best thing about your job? Receiving phone calls from people who feel that some training ordevelopment I have helped create has made a real difference to them. What is your current major project or strategic push? The launch of the Walton Institute, which will enable people across allareas of the business to develop the skills to be true leaders rather thanmanagers, and move the way we deliver business excellence through people to anew level. What did you want to do for a living when you were at school? Be a banker. What was your first job? McDonald’s as a student. What was the best career decision you ever made? Move from retail to training. And what was the worst? Applying to only two companies on graduating from university! Which of your qualifications do you most value and why? My degree, not because I have found it useful since, but because I spentthree years learning about something I was interested in rather than somethingwhich had an immediate practical use. What was the worst course you ever went on? Time management – why are these courses inevitably a waste of time? How many minutes is it since someone senior in your organisation said:‘People are our greatest assets’? We use the saying ‘Our people make the difference’ everywhere we can.Everything the Asda training team does is about putting our people first. Evaluation – holy grail or impossible dream? I prefer proving business benefit to evaluation, and proving businessbenefit is essential. How do you think your job will have changed in five years time? Greater use of computer databases linking appraisal, performancemanagement, and training programmes. What do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future? The need to be an effective communicator will never change, regardless ofthe technology used as a medium, including the ability to listen. What advice would you give to someone starting out in training anddevelopment? Read, read, read. Listen, listen, listen. How do you network? Very poorly. I have worked with the DNTO training managers from across theretail sector, and the key network I am currently developing is with trainingmanagers from the different countries in the Wal-Mart family. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Secretary of State for Education & Skills – to sort out vocationaltraining, in particular NVQs, once and for all! Do you take work home with you? Sometimes I work from home rather than go into the office. And I dosometimes get the urge to check my e-mail on the laptop late at night. What is your motto? Choose your attitude every day. Describe your management style in three words or less Flexibility, feedback, learn. How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues? He leaves behind a legacy which changed Asda for the better. Up close and personalPreferred terminology?I believe terminology should be kept simple: ‘training’ to meandelivering the skills to do the job you have just got, and ‘development’ tomean delivering the skills to prepare you to take on further responsibilities.Favourite buzzwords?Leadership, business benefit, vision, empathyMost loathed buzzwords?Self-actualisation or any acronymAre you good at self development?I attempt to regularly take on projects which will expand myknowledge, experience or network.What self development have you done in the past six months?The projects in my role are all new to me so they have been thefocus of my self-development.Where do you want to be in five years time?Spending more time with my family.What was the most useful course you ever went on or learningexperience you ever had?Having a colleague act as mentor.Which is the best management book you have ever read?Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson Comments are closed. Shopping around for true leadersOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

Economy: Recruitment market by sector: Hospitality

first_imgThe hospitality industry is still struggling to recover from the aftermathof the foot and mouth disease and the global downturn following the terroristattacks of 11 September. During the first quarter of 2002, output of the hospitality sector decreasedby 2%. The volume of business currently stands some 7% lower than the peakachieved in 1999. The hotel sector is still in the doldrums, suffering from weak overseasdemand, a downturn in domestic commercial activity and only a modest revival inconsumer bookings. Overall, spending in hotels fell to £10.5bn in 2001, adecline of nearly 5%. This downward trend continued into 2002. According to PKF’s latest figures, occupancy in the regions was 67.7%, a2.7% fall on March 2001. In London, occupancy dipped by 4% to 74.5%, down from77.5% for the same period last year. Compounding the gloom average room rates are reported to have fallen by 4.3%in the regions to £60.27 and by 13.5% to £101.96 in London. By contrast, the restaurant sector fared much better in 2001, with incomerising to £18.1bn, an increase of nearly 12%. Demand was particularly strong inthe second half of the year, and this trend looks set to continue into thefirst half of 2002, assisted by a buoyant household sector. The commercial catering sector also enjoyed strong growth in 2001, withrevenues rising by nearly 19%. Similarly, spending in bars was also relativelybuoyant with revenues rising by 5% in 2001 to £19.2 billion. The broader trends in the hospitality market are reflected in the fortunesof companies within the sector. The Hilton Hotels Corporation reported a dramatic 38% decline in firstquarter income, but noted an improving trend, and some optimism about thefuture. Thistle Hotels saw a 14% fall in turnover and occupancy was flat, but theaverage room rate had fallen 12%. Jarvis Hotels has posted a 49% decline in profits for the year. On a more optimistic note, the Whitbread hotel and leisure group saw firstquarter like-for-like sales up 6.3% in Travel Inn, and 3.1% at its Beefeaterrestaurants. JD Wetherspoon saw like-for-like sales in the 39 weeks to April 28 rise by5.4%, with total sales up 25% to £438.1m. The holiday industry is also recovering from the end-of-year slump. First Choice Holidays said its first-half losses would be greater than lastyear, but it has seen a strong recovery in its mainstream business. The trend is bucked by Mytravel, previously Airtours, which has a millionunsold holidays. Some analysts believe the change of name has confusedconsumers and sent them elsewhere. Holidaybreak, the travel group, saw the drop in demand for its adventureholidays compensated for by the strength of its camping and hotel breaksbusinesses. Within entertainment, Power Leisure, the Irish bookmaker that trades asPaddy Power, reported a leap of 68% in turnover for the 15 weeks to April 16.Its betting shops turnover was up by 42%, and its telephone and onlinedivisions rose by almost 300%. Holmes Place, the upmarket health and fitness club operator, reported flatlike-for-like sales in its mature clubs, due to an increasingly competitiveenvironment. Related posts:No related photos. Economy: Recruitment market by sector: HospitalityOn 3 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

Are you bringing in quality leaders for the new year?

first_img Comments are closed. Are you bringing in quality leaders for the new year?On 7 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article With the start of the new year, many organisations will be looking toenhance their performance through the quality of their leadership. It is up toHR to set a good example and lead the wayWhat is your New Year’s resolution? Giving up smoking? Joining a gym? Orbreathing new life into your organisation, perhaps? If it is the latter, then you may be contemplating how to enhance yourorganisation’s performance through the quality of its leadership. The leadership challenges for organisations – particularly those operatingin a globally competitive market place – have continued to rise unabated duringthe last decade. New employment legislation, cultural change, the need to adopt best practiceand deliver results, have increased the range of skills and competencies whichleaders and managers are required to employ. A number of recent studies show that the perception among many employees isthat the quality of leadership is falling short. One of the key challenges fororganisations in 2003 – and for HR in particular – must be to enhance thequality of current and future leadership. We have to proactively create leadership programmes for senior managers, or,where they already exist, dispassionately review their effectiveness. It may benecessary to start again. Ask any member of a top management team whether they believe betterperformance could be achieved from their staff and they will invariably say‘yes’. Yet, when asked what proactive action is being taken by the organisation toextract that superior performance through better leadership, the response willbe vague. The challenge for HR must be to tap into their pool of talent by creatingthe environment, culture and opportunities that enable employees to reach theirfull potential. An obvious but important prerequisite in achieving this is theappropriate investment of resources in leadership development. A significanteffort and justification for securing the necessary resources are a must. Effective leadership is about creating a great organisation capable of sustainedperformance over many years, but developing world-class leaders is not a simpletask. There are many views of what the key ingredients to producing effectiveleaders are. One only has to look at the array of books on leadership in anyairport lounge, and it soon becomes apparent there is no quick and easy answer.When senior managers are asked to name the leaders they particularly admire,well-known names such as Nelson Mandela and Sir Richard Branson are oftenmentioned. The common qualities that make these individuals stand out include theability to motivate people and inspire a common vision. Personal credibility,drive, genuine interest in others, trust, communication and confidence, are allimportant as well. If these are some of the key traits of good leadership, the task for HR andthe organisation is to facilitate their practice. Good leadership is not the exclusive domain of senior management. It can andmust equally apply to other managers across the whole business. Apart fromcarrying out typical management responsibilities, they must also lead andinspire their teams on a daily basis. Equipping junior and middle managers as well as the more senior managementpopulation, undoubtedly helps to create a common, seamless culture. In many organisationswith poor leadership it is often evident that there is a clash in styles, witha variety of approaches co-existing at different levels. A key challenge ahead for the HR community is not just about facilitatingbetter leadership in the organisation, but also demonstrating good leadershipqualities and setting an example. This does mean an extra responsibility forHR, but it is no different from what the best have always done – leading fromthe front. It is difficult to ask others to do what we are not. The opportunity for HR to have a marked impact on organisational performanceis there for the taking, and leadership has to be near the top of the agenda in2003.By Saudagar Singh, HR director, npower Related posts:No related photos.last_img

On the move

first_imgOn the moveOn 11 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article AndrewFrater has joined International Financial Data Services as the head of trainingand development. The role sees him return to development after time spent in HRmanagerial roles for Cofunds, M&G investments and Mothercare UK. Hispriorities will be management development, regulatory training, competence, andthe development of training products.MikeFraser has been promoted to HR director at Book Club Associates (BCA). Fraserjoined BCA in 1994 as employee relations manager, and was promoted to senior HRmanager in 1997. His responsibilities cover all areas of HR with a focus onstrategy and organisational development. Prior to joining BCA he held senior HRpositions with Thomson Regional Newspapers.SharonWigglesworth has joined Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery as the new European HRdirector. She has worked in a variety of senior HR management roles with USfinancial services organisations including Salomon Brothers and Charles SchwabEurope. Wigglesworth will be responsible for developing a pan-European HRinfrastructure and strategy to support the company’s international growthplans. Ernest & Julio Gallo markets and distributes wine to more than 90countries. RoffeyPark, the executive education and research organisation, has announced that ValHammond, who has been chief executive of the organisation for the past 10years, will become chair in August. She will take over from Rob Hudson, who isstanding down after 16 years in the post, but is staying on the board. At thesame time, John Gilkes will succeed Hammond as chief executive. Hammond joinedRoffey Park as chief executive in 1993 from Ashridge Management College. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img

Institute comes under fire for the value it adds to HR

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Institute comes under fire for the value it adds to HROn 11 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Last week’s topical opinion head-to-head with the CharteredInstitute of Personnel and Development’s Duncan Brown and member Ralph Tribegenerated a massive response from the industry– I completely agree with the opinion articulated by Ralph Tribe (HRViewpoint, 4 March). I have been in HR for 15 years, operating for the past eight of those at ornear board level in international businesses. I have attended various CIPD events over the years and have almost alwaysfound them to be poor value in comparison to other events, such as RichmondEvents’ HR Forum. I have tried to occasionally use some of the services, such as the HRservices register of providers and the education programmes for my teammembers. I have never really felt that the company I represented ever receivedgood value. Today, I never use the CIPD or any of its services. I am not a member and mycareer does not seem to have suffered. I have access to many good educationestablishments and consulting services that do provide excellent service andvalue. I do, however, believe that under the right leadership, with a moredeveloped, modern, customer-focused modus operandi, the CIPD could play asignificant part in our business lives. Ben Bengougam HR director Europe, Dixons Stores Group – I came out of the CIPD some years ago feeling that they did not give valuefor money. I have never once been asked if I am a CIPD member when job hunting, whichproves practical experience is worth more than paying a membership fee. Karen Winfield HR executive, Morris Cranes – I recently upgraded from ‘graduate’ to ‘member’ of the CIPD. I have beenentitled to do this for some time but was only prompted to do when the CIPD rana one-day workshop in London to enable members to talk through theirapplications and be given an immediate response. I spent some time talking to the senior CIPD representative present about mycareer and my current role. I sit within an HR structure that has recentlyoutsourced all its transactional back office activities to allow the retainedfunction to concentrate on a more strategic HR role. My specific role is management of major HR projects across a globalorganisation, regularly providing input to the board, and with managementaccountability for project teams of up to 15 senior HR professionals. After studying the organisation charts that I provided to show my careerprogression, the CIPD representative asked the question: “So, where do allthe personnel managers in your company sit?” He followed this up with:”So, in old speak, your job is kind of a personnel officer’s role.” Surprisingly, he did award the membership upgrade. However, it seems to methat the CIPD can only truly provide value to its members if it is prepared toacknowledge the new world of strategic HR and can demonstrate that itunderstands the environment that its members are operating in. I certainly did not leave that meeting with any confidence that the senioremployees chosen to represent the CIPD on that day had any real understandingof the strategic role that HR can – and does – play in many organisations. Name and address supplied – The CIPD does offer a lot of great services to members. The legal advisoryservice, for example, has greatly improved along with the useful webinformation source facility. My concerns are more in line with the continued dilution of the CIPDqualification. The institute seems to hand it out to any person willing tospend the money on the qualification regardless of any assessment of theircapability to do the job in the first place. After all, they don’t hand out legal or medical qualifications to anyone whopasses an exam – people in those professions have to have other non-theoreticalattributes measured. This reluctance to measure other attributes reinforces the myth that HR is afluffy profession that adds little value to an organisation. This in turndamages us HR professionals who are strategic value adders. I also believe there should be a clear distinction for those who aregraduates. Those who have simply taken a foundation course followed by years ofCIPD exams should not be classed as the same as those who are true graduates. People should not be able to study for the qualification unless they havesome exposure to all generalist HR issues. I am sure HR professionals wouldagree that the best HR learning was on the job and not what they learned in theclassroom. Unless the CIPD changes its approach to certification it will continue tomove toward the qualification becoming a meaningless badge. Jacqueline Christie Recruitment manager, Manchester last_img