Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Howcan companies recruit and retain staff for the sort of jobs no-one else wants?We look at some of the solutions that firms have come up withEverynow and then, a company or organisation needs to employ a very special person.They may not be highly qualified, have remarkable skills or a great deal ofexperience, but they have a certain approach and attitude which marks them outfrom the crowd. They are, in short, someone who will do the job that no-oneelse will.Insome areas of employment, however, this is an everyday requirement. The serviceindustry has a whole host of jobs with a less than attractive image ñ an imagewhich more often than not is completely justified by the reality. Cleaning pestinfestations, dealing with sewage or hygiene waste, even working with death ispart of the daily routine for many people. How can these people be employedeffectively in a way which means they will perform well and remain within theorganisation, contributing their skills over the long term?Inmany cases the answer is that people employed in this kind of work are notproperly managed ñ and in some cases they are not managed at all. They work insmall firms, or even one man bands, motivated by their own enterprise or simplybecause they are working alongside family and friends.Inlarger organisations the potential to implement strategic approaches to peoplemanagement does exist. Financial remuneration is only part of the equationhere, and it must be said not a significant one. Workers in these roles rarelyenjoy high levels of pay and competition within the sector keeps those levelsfirmly in check. Itcan be difficult to create meaningful incentive schemes or to illustratepossible career development for those at the very bottom of the ladder. Yetsome employers offer good HR practices which recruit, retain and motivate theiremployees in spite of the working environment. The jobs and methods follow:Funeraldirectors and embalmersThefuneral director’s work usually begins with a phone call notifying them of thedeceased and can extend past the cremation or burial service as they offercontinuing support to mourners. On call 24 hours a day, they are responsiblefor arranging all parts of the funeral service including transport, cremationand burial as well as aspects of the remembrance service. According to DelmaYorath, funeral services controller for United Northwest Co-operative, funeraldirectors frequently have to make suggestions for aspects of the service whichthe mourners themselves may not consider. “Thereis a slow move away from the traditional funeral towards something that is morepersonal ñ particularly in the choice of music,” explains Yorath. For thisa funeral director receives, on average, between £200 and £250 per week.Aspectsof the work do require some technical expertise. Legally, embalming does notrequire a qualification but United Northwest Co-operative offers full trainingñ which takes over two years. More general training is provided for employeesacross the business, in part to integrate the business aspect of theorganisation alongside day-to-day work.Butcertain events can never be covered by a training scheme. Children’s funeralscan be particularly distressing, more so if the funeral director has children.Since the directors are part of the local community they serve they can find itdifficult to maintain the distance required for dealing with these cases. Forthis reason, directors are given the option of passing responsibility fordistressing services to a colleague if they require.”Weare looking for people with a broad base of skills,” says Yorath,”They are clerical people but need to have an empathetic nature. They needto be very organised and disciplined to make sure all the deadlines connectedwith the service are met.” However, according to Yorath, finding theseemployees is not a great problem. “Many of our people regard working inthis area as a vocation rather than a job,” she explains. That said, theorganisation has done well at breaking down the traditional view of who can bea funeral director. It has successfully advertised opportunities to youngerpeople and currently between 30 to 35 per cent of its 600 staff are female. “Generallywe can gauge whether employees will stay with us after they have been workingfor us for a while,” says Yorath. “If they stay with us for 12 monthswe have usually got them for life.”RefusecollectionRobEdmondson is operations controller, south of England, for Service Team. Amongits contracts, the company is responsible for delivering refuse collection andstreet cleansing services in areas ranging from Camden in London toRedruth in Cornwall. According to Edmondson, refuse workers are employed in avariety of specific positions ñ as street cleaners, drivers, loaders and inspecialist areas such as sorting and recycling.Concentratingon the street cleansing and refuse collection services, he admits the work islimited in scope and is certainly not for everyone. “They are out in allweathers, working eight hours a day and it is not glamourous,” he says.With drivers receiving around £350 a week, loaders and street cleansers between£225 and £300 a week it is difficult to see how pay can provide a greatincentive.ButService Team has created an incentive structure by offering vocationalqualifications. Edmondsonsays while most employees are brought in at refuse collection level, they areencouraged to train in other aspects of service delivery such as driving lightand heavy goods vehicles ñ qualifications which increase their earningpotential. In Camden, the company has successfully put four employees throughNVQ at Levels 1 and 2 in refuse operations and waste management.Thecompany took responsibility for refuse services in Hackney at a time when thestandard of street cleaning in the area was very low. It has succeeded inturning around this operation while retaining the previous refuse staff.”One of the key things was to put in a strong and coordinated managementteam,” explains Edmondson. “It was able to change the way work wasallocated to people and to look at the methodology. It has produced a stepchange in the standard of cleaning.”ServiceTeam has seen turnover rise from £60m to £150m in the past year and it has beenacquired by Cleanaway Europe. Its success stems in part from its ability togive employees a sense of pride in their work. Individual street operatives,for example, are given specific and regular areas to clean, furthering theirsense of responsibility and impact they can have. InNorfolk the company has even taken on a team of female bin collectors who areclearly proud of their role within the community. Lastly, as part of being anIIP organisation, every Service Team employee has the chance to discuss theirrole in the company with their manager twice a year.Pestcontrol and hygienePestcontrol and hygiene services must be one of the least attractive of alloccupations. On the pest control side, operatives are unable to predict how badthe working conditions will be. Whatever the infestation, cockroaches, rats,birds or fleas, workers are usually called upon to clean and remove the problemrather than taking on the more attractive task of preventing infestation in thefirst place.Inhygiene services, operatives are employed on tasks such as exchanging femininehygiene containers on site, or emptying these containers and dealing with thecontents. In general there is little chance of variety in this work withdrivers being dedicated only to collection and exchange and other techniciansdedicated to emptying the containers andprocessing the waste. An unattractive job can be made no better by staff finding themselves looked down upon or evenmistreated by clients on site.Accordingto one spokesman from the industry, the work is typified by low wages ñemployees receive around £9,000 to £11,000 per year ñ high staff turnover and,in the area of waste removal, little in the way of incentives or training.”There is an argument that if salaries were increased then people wouldput up with this type of work for longer, but the problem is really the culturethat goes with the industry,” says the spokesman.However,in the area of pest control, Rentokil-Initial has succeeded in bucking thistrend. According to Rentokil-Initial spokesman, Jeff Roberts, it has fewproblems in recruiting or retaining employees, “Staff morale andmotivation is high,” he says ñ a direct result of the company’s commitmentto providing high levels of training. He also cites the benefit of working fora global business. With its size ñ about 1,000 workers in the UK and 95,000working in more than 40 countries across the world ñ employees can always begiven new challenges and real career development.SewagetreatmentSewageworkers carry out a mix of technical and physical work on sewage treatmentsites. On the one hand they are responsible for the adjustment of chemicaldosing equipment as well as checking the monitoring equipment which governs thewater treatment process. At the same time, maintenance work can involve lesssavoury hands-on work such as un-blocking liquid sewage filters. Alison Harker,HR professional in performance and resources at Anglian Water, explains thatwhile most outside applicants are appointed as process workers at around £13,000,the company does offer flexibility in starting salaries to reflect anindividual’s skill and experience.”Weoffer a pay range according to what they bring to us, so they can earn anythingfrom £13,828 to £18,217,” she explains. While she admits it is difficultto attract employees through print advertising, an important element of thisfirst move is to highlight the full benefits of the employment package such asa pension plan, private health care and relocation expenses. Harker says thecompany is not currently experiencing problems in resourcing staff although,like many other sectors of industry, it is suffering from a shortage inqualified electrical technicians.Duringinterview Anglian Water gives applicants a tour of the working environment whichensures they know exactly what the work entails and what they can expect.”You don’t want someone arriving on day one and realising they can’t standit,” says Harker, “and they’re usually pleasantly surprised by whatit is really like. It’s a matter of managing their expectations at everystage.”Annualpay is linked to analysis of performance as assessed by the employee’s manager.With a broad-band approach, a pay score is created depending on overallperformance, the competencies demonstrated by the employee throughout the year,their skills and results.Asbestossampling TheCasella Signs & Environment consultancy has between 80 and 90 consultantsnationwide who monitor levels of asbestos and advise on its safe removal. Whileit may not deal directly with extraction, the job can lead to work in hazardousenvironments, not simply through possible exposure to asbestos, but also inconnection with the sites where it is found ñ confined spaces, rooftops anddemolition sites. Pressure can come from other areas of the work such asdealing with construction industry contractors responsible for dealing with thematerial.Casellais one of the biggest providers of training connected with asbestos in thecountry. Its business director for training, Bill Sanderson, says recruitingconsultants can be difficult. “We look for people with a fairly goodacademic background in environment or science, but this kind of work isperceived as unpleasant and dangerous,” he explains. At the same time,staff must have great integrity, be practical and robust, and able to pursuethe right action no matter what the circumstances. With entry level salaries atabout £10,000, the position is often treated as a stepping stone to otherenvironmental work, perhaps in the area of contaminated land ñ and is thus partof a clear career path which can result in management salaries of£25,000-30,000.Whileemployees have opted into the profession, and no doubt feel a sense of vocationin their work, Sanderson admits motivating staff can be a problem, especiallyas some consultants may feel they have “done” asbestos after a fewyears of working in this area. To that extent, Casella is fortunate in that itssize means it can offer employees the chance to move around different areas ofenvironmental work according to their preferences.DebtcollectorsDebtcollectors work in organisations that range from a company’s finance controlsystem to a local council’s council tax collection department. There are also anumber of independent, dedicated debt collection companies and even factoringorganisations which deal with bad debts on behalf of companies and individuals.SimonGordon runs the Central Detective Agency which offers a range of personal andcompany-based security services including debt collection. CDA employs ahandful of operatives who share responsibility for general detection work aswell as serving demands and providing on-site attendance in order to collectdebts.Gordondescribes recruits as normally being “people with a legal background,agreeable disposition, with common sense and very good communicationskills.” While the legal knowledge side of the work is provided throughin-house training the practical aspect of serving and attending debtors canonly be learned through experience, usually beginning by working closely with atrained operative in the early stages of the job.Recruitmentis usually via personal knowledge or recommendation and with salaries atusually between £25,000 and £30,000 ñ for someone working across a variety ofprojects within an agency ñ the rewards can be attractive for the right person.At the same time, Gordon notes a few other factors crucial to recruiting andretaining employees into what may be considered unattractive posts, “Makesure the working place is as safe as possible,” he says, “and offerbonuses and incentives.” It’s dirty work but…On 6 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.
Comments are closed. What does it take to get an open learning centre used andaccepted? Lex Multipart believes the local partnerships can hold the keyLex Multipart, a specialist service provider in outsourced logistics, hascome a long way since launching its open learning centre (OLC), a partnershipdeveloped with Preston College, in November 1998. The centre was set up primarily to train Lex Multipart staff, but it wasalso to provide learning opportunities to those outside the company. LexMultipart provided the building, services, fixtures and fittings and PrestonCollege provided the equipment and expertise of its own personnel to staff thefacility. Both parties benefited: Lex Multipart gained an on-site,state-of-the-art facility at its largest site, the distribution centre atChorley, Lancashire; Preston College gained a satellite centre in a previouslyuntapped target population. Preston College runs the OLC as an enterprise and can supplement its corebusiness by attracting additional government funding based on the number oflearners. On-site staff number two full-time trainers, including the centremanager, and three part-time staff. All report to the Preston Collegemanagement team. Adaptability For Lex Multipart, the success of the partnership with the college hasproved to be the adaptability of the centre. It meets the needs of the companyboth for flexible, computer-based learning for its employees and as a site forthe delivery of classroom-based training. It also gives the company the chanceto raise its profile with local people and businesses. Things have moved on apace since 1998, as the centre has developed andgained recognition. Originally equipped with 16 PCs set up to run withMicrosoft/Lotus products and to provide Internet access, the centre’s openingprompted awareness of the World Wide Web within the company. At that time, however, only three IT training packages were available.Programs run on the Internet for use by managers in the automotive sector wasthe key factor to recognition for web knowledge and application. The centrethen offered free Internet access for all employees, web literacy throughoutthe business grew, and it was accredited for the BBC Webwise campaign and ITFor All. Painless implementation When Lex Multipart converted to full-scale use of Microsoft desktopapplications last year, the project was implemented painlessly as training onthe applications had started in the previous year. The flexible approach toprogrammes allowed employees to access training with minimum disruption toworking times. Early in 1999, Preston College was accredited to run the European ComputerDriving Licence (ECDL) which became the centre’s main product. In addition,evening language classes were offered to employees and the public. Classes inFrench, German, Spanish and Japanese attracted large numbers, with some classesrunning to intermediate level. The Spanish students took their learning all theway to GCSE level. At the same time, the logistics team involved in the roll-out of thecompany’s operation in Metz, France, undertook intensive French studies.Leading on from this, Lex Multipart won the DTI’s large company categoryLanguages for Export Award 1999. The OLC has supported links with local companies, not least through thepartnership with Hitachi Automotive Products to run Japanese classes for itsemployees alongside the Lex Multipart Hyundai account management team toeducate them in both language and culture. The classes were successful,covering a mix of employees, including shop-floor workers, line management andsalespeople. Customer research carried out to support bids for external funding showedthat the centre was attracting learners who had been out of education for sometime, and those who would not go into a traditional college environment.Despite this, applications for grants from the University for Industry, theEuropean Social Fund Objective 3 and the DTI Partnership at Work wereunsuccessful. However, the non-dependence on public funding has proved to be astrength by creating a challenge to the OLC team to seek initiatives thatgenuinely contribute towards its success. Last year, the centre moved to larger premises with improved site access androom for the number of workstations to be increased to 22. Today’s centre is a modern and innovative development, reflecting LexMultipart’s commitment to learning and development and is available for use byall employees, customers and suppliers as well as the public. Now fullyaccredited by Learndirect, the centre takes advantage of the most modernapproaches to learning using a flexible combination of online materials,support literature and personal tutors. The benefit of this approach is thatusers can access learning at all times and in blocks to suit the demands oftheir job and lifestyle. New opportunities Technologies and government investment have created a range of learningopportunities that will take the centre beyond IT training opportunities.Technology also enables learners to enhance their studies from PCs withInternet access at home or at work. Products on offer include: – The full range of Learndirect courses: essential skills, IT, business andmanagement, business studies, Learning for Life modular courses – Preston College IT courses including: Start, RSA CLAIT, IBT2, ECDL – Taught courses tailored to company and individual needs A benchmarking exercise on learning and management development carried outin 1999 with Ryder, a competitor in the logistics sector, showed Lex Multipart’slearning opportunities – particularly the OLC – to be among the top in thesector. Never content to rest on our laurels, we have made presentations to parentcompany Lex Service on linking Learndirect with the Lex intranet to increaseopportunities. To maintain momentum, Lex Multipart and Preston College hold regularsteering committee meetings. The committee has several aims: to identify future opportunities for thecentre; to find ways to improve the already buoyant enrolment levels; to reviewthe continuous updating and development of courses; and to look at recognitionawards for existing learners. An example of such an initiative is the learnerof the month award, which reflects the range and level of achievement made byindividuals of all ages from a variety of backgrounds. Our latest initiative is bringing increased learning opportunities to ourdistribution centre workforce with the development of a team of “learnerrepresentatives”. – Lex Multipart group managing director, John Stephenson, will bespeaking at the Wolce conference seminar on 10 October on the effectiveimplementation of open learning. Learner reps promote opportunitiesA ground-breaking initiative in the development of its staff has become oneof Lex Multipart’s main success stories this year, namely the appointment ofthree “learner reps” within its autologistics division at the Chorleydistribution centre.Learning and development staff, operations management and trade unionrepresentatives worked closely together to develop a process to bring trainingto the fore within the distribution centre. The main aim was to open uplearning opportunities to the workforce, many of whom have been out of learningfor several years, while at the same time tapping into the superb facilitiesprovided through the on-site open learning centre.To get the ball rolling, trade union representatives attended a series ofthree Union Learning Fund conferences in London, backed by the TUC. The learnerreps attended Flag (Front Line Advice & Guidance) training in June andJuly, with advanced Flag training planned later in the year. The company, inpartnership with Preston College, held open days for employees who wanted toknow more about the centre and the products on offer, with many enrolling onthe day. Already more than 30 staff have successfully completed the Certificatein Health and Safety – First Principles, awarded by the Chartered Institute ofEnvironmental Health.The process is weighted towards the employee. The company funds OLC trainingcourses covering START, CLAIT, ECDL and/or Learndirect products and hascommitted to look at any other reasonable requests on their own merits. Itgrants time off wherever possible, so that training takes place half in thecompany’s time and half in the learner’s time. The suggested course duration isused to calculate the appropriate time off, which has to be agreed up front byline management and entered into the time and attendance records.Although still in its infancy, the process is working well. An OLC steeringcommittee meets once a month. Consisting of staff from learning anddevelopment, operations and learner reps, it monitors the process and agreeswhat works well. It will look at areas for improvement and ensure that allemployees are given equal opportunity to learn new skills or develop existingones. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Community of learnersOn 1 Sep 2001 in Auto-enrolment, Personnel Today
Tribunal numbers tumble as early resolutions riseOn 4 Mar 2003 in Early conciliation, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. The number of disgruntled workers going through employment tribunals hasfallen by 18 per cent, according to the latest figures. The Office of Tribunals said the number of staff lodging an application tostart tribunal proceedings fell from 128,000 in 2001 to 105,000 last year. It attributed the fall to improved conciliation and negotiation methods, andan increase in the amount of cases resolved at an early stage by employers. However, research commissioned by law firm Peninsula to coincide with theresults warns that a raft of legislation including flexible working, discriminationand equal pay questionnaires, could send future numbers soaring. The study also included a poll of more than 800 employers, which shows that83 per cent think more effort should be made to resolve disputes before theyreach tribunal. In addition, more than eight out of 10 organisations feel it’s currently tooeasy for staff to take employers to tribunal, while three-quarters said the UKemployment litigation process has got out of hand. Peninsula’s managing director Peter Done said employers must ensure theright HR measures are in place and focus on developing systems to resolvedisputes before going to tribunal. “Although we have seen a slight dip in tribunal applications, I fear itmay only be short-lived,” he said. “We have a raft of new workerrights being introduced which will begin to feed into the tribunal system bythe end of the year.” By Ross Wighamwww.employmenttribunals.gov.uk
Comments are closed. Comment on Why ‘agency recruitment’ is totally screwed by Greg SavageShared from Greg Savage on 15 Apr 2016 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Uplifting contribution Jo.. good job…Read full article
Tags Regional sentiment largely followed the national index. All regions saw a month-over-month decline in March, except for the southern region, where the reading was flat.NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke attributed the drop in sentiment to increased costs, particularly for softwood lumber. Some in the housing industry are calling on President Joe Biden’s administration to take action to address the soaring cost of lumber.Thirty-seven organizations recently signed onto a letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, asking her office to “examine the lumber supply chain, identify the causes for high prices and supply constraints, and seek immediate remedies that will increase production,” Bloomberg News reported.Contact Erin Hudson Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink CoronavirusHousing MarketResidential Real Estate Email Address* Share via Shortlink Full Name* (iStock)The arrival of spring — and with it, homebuying season — isn’t improving the outlook of homebuilders.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped to 82, seasonally adjusted, compared to February’s reading of 84. The index tracks homebuilder confidence in current and future single-family home sales and traffic of potential homebuyers on a monthly basis.The fall comes after last month’s gain broke the index’s two-month streak of month-over-month declines. The organization’s chief economist Robert Dietz said it’s part of a downward trend that began after November’s peak, as home prices have skyrocketed and inventory hit historic lows.ADVERTISEMENTHomebuilder sentiment toward current single-family home sales dropped to 87, compared to February’s reading of 90, while traffic from prospective buyers remained flat. Expectations of single-family home sales six months from now increased to 83 from 80 the prior month. All of the components were up year-over-year.Read moreVicious cycle creates “huge supply crunch,” pushing home prices upHomebuilder sentiment falls for second month in a rowSpending on home construction jumps 21% in December Message*
In recent years, Man has become increasingly aware of the damage that he is doing to the Earth’s atmospheric environment. There are two separate-but interrelated-effects, namely the greenhouse effect due to increasing amounts of infrared active, molecular gases in the atmosphere, and the depletion of stratospheric ozone by freons (or chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs). In both effects the Antarctic atmosphere is critical. Attention is focussed here on the properties of the springtime Antarctic ozone depletion, and on the interrelationship of atmospheric dynamics, radiation and chemistry that can explain these. Some consequences of the ozone hole are considered. Finally, some steps that governments might take to alleviate the problem are mentioned.
Keble 0Hertford 1: On the afternoon of Halloween, Keble and Hertford dished up a spectacle of football that was more treat than trick. In this one-goal thriller, Hertford triumphed in the battle for leadership of divsion One . It was rip-roaring stuff right from the off, with pint-sized Hertford keeper, John dowie, flicking over an early free kick from richard Craig. Soon after, Keble’s Tom Collins motored forward down the left, with his attempted lob floating inches wide. Hertford were soon involved, and their effervescent football dominated the rest of a breathless first half. In the 20th minute Tom Parker powered a free header over the goal, while the Hertford midfield were dictating play effectively.Then came the turn of the woodwork. In the 27th minute one of many excellent corner deliveries by Craig was flicked to rich Capper who powered the ball towards goal, only for dowie to divert it onto the bar. The Keble post was in action moments later as a Hertford through ball was controlled by striker Constantin albot who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Southern, only to see it rebound off the woodwork. as bonfire night approaches, this was the wood fighting back.After half-time, the fireworks soon restarted, with Hertford taking the lead on 50 minutes. a Keble back pass gave Hertford an indirect free kick just five yards out. The ball was tapped to Hertford captain, John Creighton, who smashed an uncompromising piledriver which flew past the mass of defensive bodies and past the goalkeeper. Keble piled forward to preserve their status as division leaders. But their attacks were too direct and were gobbled up by the superb David Beatham in defence. There was more method in the Hertford attacks, with Okusaga and Pete Meiklejohn on the wings and rob Knight up front picking their way through the Keble defence. The latter had a shot well saved by a sprawling Southern when clean through in the 80th minute. The only Keble attack of note was a disallowed goal from a Craig free kick, ruled out for a push in the area. players tired, the game deteriorated and Hertford held on for the win. ARCHIVE: 4th week MT 2005
Pembroke JCR has voted to scrap funding for an overseas scholarship in favour of greater funding to encourage state-school access.The JCR Access Fund will now receive the same level of funding as the Entz Fund.Chris Bennetts, Pembroke JCR President, said, “I’m delighted that the JCR voted so overwhelmingly to adopt the changes; widening access is such an important issue at Pembroke, and across Oxford, and I’m hopeful that the new fund will allow the JCR to make a genuine difference in this area.”“Last term, we voted to create a new ‘access rep’ position on the JCR committee. This was part of the JCR’s emphasis on promoting the broadening of access and admissions. “We felt it was vital that the new access rep had a budget in order to do their job effectively,” Bennetts added.To allow for the changes the Overseas Scholar fund, which provides funding for the college to recruit an international student who otherwise would not be able to study at Oxford, has been withdrawn.Bennetts defended the move, adding that, “I think the JCR’s money will be better spent on an access budget, which could potentially help hundreds of prospective students, rather than sustaining the overseas scholar fund which, whilst laudable, is a drain on the JCR’s resources.”Coralie Young, the Pembroke Access Rep, said, “The college currently has quite a low state school: private school ratio, and the JCR are keen to improve this. “The college itself has undertaken a new access initiative in Hackney, and we would hope to further this, and build up links with schools in other deprived areas. “Plans for the money include organising school visits (sixth formers coming to Pembroke, as well as current students speaking at local schools during the holidays.)“Pembroke is quite a small college that many people don’t really hear much about, and is therefore often over-looked by potential applicants. By visiting schools to speak, and inviting sixth formers here, we hope to be able to dispel many of the myths surrounding an Oxford application at the same time as promoting Pembroke as state-school friendly,” she continued.James Lamming, OUSU’s Vice President for Access and Academic Affairs, said that he supported the access drive. He said, “Students are the best ambassadors in the University, and their efforts in publicising their experiences are vital in tackling the myths many hold about Oxford. “It is vital that students work in partnership with the University to best use all our resources to tackle access: it remains a problem too great for any one group to solve alone.”by Rom Pomfret, Deputy News Editor
A food and drink innovation centre has launched in London, with bakers high up on the priority list for business support.The Park Royal Food Inno-vation Centre, at Dephna House in north-west London, offers free technical, business and marketing support to food and drink production SMEs in London. However, places are limited, so companies are being urged to apply now. To qualify, businesses need to be London-based, have 250 or fewer employees, have been trading for more than a year, and have revenues no greater than e50m (£44.7m).Prior to the opening, a study mapped the types of food and drink businesses based in Park Royal and surrounding areas. It found that, of the 870 businesses in the area, bakery was the largest single-category food product.
This year has been huge for Umphrey’s McGee. The band released their highly anticipated new album, it’s not us, in January, cleverly surprising fans with a thank-you follow-up record this summer, it’s you. After an explosive three-night run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the band has been proving that they’re more dialed in as ever as they continue with their summer tour plans.Today, Umphrey’s Mcgee has released a special video, treating fans to a stripped-down, intimate version of “Push & Pull”, off it’s you. Featuring Brendan Bayliss solo and stationed behind a baby grand piano, the song takes on dramatic new heights. Bayliss’ vocals are impeccable during the rendition, while the simple piano additions make this version of “Push & Pull” all the more emotive.Written and performed by Brendan Bayliss, this new music video was filmed and edited by C.J. Strehlow, recorded and mixed by Shane Hendrickson, and produced by Kevin Browning. You can watch this stunning solo piano rendition of it’s you‘s “Push & Pull” below.