News and Trends

The Prestige Family Take Part In The ‘Colours for Peace’ Fundraising Day

The Prestige Family Take Part In The ‘Colours for Peace’ Fundraising Day

If you've seen our previous article, you will know that yesterday was the 25th Anniversary of the Warrington Bombings! To commemorate this, Prestige Recruitment Group supported the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation and took part in their ‘Colours for Peace’ Fundraising Day.  Below, we've posted a couple of images from our Warrington and Birmingham offices where everyone is wearing their colours! 

Vicky, Angela, Janette and Francesca from our Warrington Office.

Vicky, Angela, Janette and Francesca from our Warrington Office.

Annejulie, Josh, Jenny, Shay, Jessica, Tim and Emma from our Birmingham Office.

Annejulie, Josh, Jenny, Shay, Jessica, Tim and Emma from our Birmingham Office.

How Else Can You Help?

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation relies heavily on the generosity of public fundraising so that they can continue supporting so many victims of terrorism with their Survivors Assistance Network. 

Donations, large or small, monthly, annually or one-off can help the Foundation plan for their future. Please visit their website and donate! 


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


UK Ports Invest £1.7 Billion in Infrastructure

UK Ports Invest £1.7 Billion in Infrastructure

The most recent research by the infrastructure advisory firm Moffatt & Nichol shows that UK Ports and Terminals will have a staggering £1.7 billion of port infrastructure investment. The research, which was developed using publicly sourced data from the last year, captures substantial schemes from across the United Kingdom, and illustrates how ports are investing in new facilities to promote market growth. 

British Ports Association’s Policy Manager and BPA Port Futures Program Coordinator, Mark Simmonds says:

‘Ports are doing their bit but we rely on government to ensure that road and rail connections from the port gate are fit for purpose. The terrestrial and marine planning and consenting process is also cumbersome and costly and often holds back or even prevents some sustainable port development. We hope that this report helps government to develop an accurate picture of the investment that industry is making when developing its policies and making its own investment decisions regarding infrastructure.
‘This research demonstrates that UK ports are investing in new infrastructure to keep goods and people moving as efficiently as possible.
‘The UK ports industry operates in a competitive and commercial environment, independently of government, so this significant investment is at no cost to the taxpayer.’

Joseph Collins of Moffatt & Nichol carried out the research. When asked about the report, he said:

‘This report focuses on developments which have been announced in the press in the last 12 months and provides a snapshot of shows the potential scale of UK. ports investment in infrastructure.
Despite there being no guarantee that all of these projects will be fully realised, with greater engagement between key stakeholders such as government, the ports, investors and statutory bodies, the realisation of these developments has the best chance of success.
It’s also likely that there are a many more privately financed infrastructure projects planned or underway all around the country, which haven’t been discussed in public yet. Together, these projects help ensure that the 95 percent of UK trade that moves through our ports continues to do so as efficiently as possible.’

The British Ports Association will be writing to the Infrastructure Projects Authority to ensure that officials have a clear picture of industry investment, highlighting significant projects. There are over a dozen significant port projects listed in the research and it demonstrates great optimism in infrastructure development and growth in the port sector, says BPA. The British Ports Association will also be working with its port members and will be keeping the list of investment up to date as new projects are announced.

The report can be found here. 


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


Our Bespoke Training Academy

Our Bespoke Training Academy

Starting this year, Prestige Recruitment Group and our sister brand Zoot Recruit have been running a bespoke Training Academy. With our HR, Training and Systems Manager Sarah Kay being the first point of call within the academy, we caught up with her to ask her about this exciting new venture.

Sarah Kay - Our HR, Training and Systems Manager

Sarah Kay - Our HR, Training and Systems Manager

‘The Training Academy is such an exciting enterprise and I can’t wait to recruit new employees to join us. As we continue to develop as a company, we are recruiting to match our growth and so we are running quarterly training programs across our offices.

Our latest training is going to be running in the North, where we will be hiring, training and mentoring some new employees. It’s such a great opportunity for someone to come in as a recruitment coordinator and develop into a recruitment consultant.

The best thing about our Training Academy is that we understand the needs of an individual, and so using a thoroughly considered approach; all of our training is tailored to the employee’s individual needs.

The training itself is constructed of seven different phases, which are thorough in ensuring every employee develops their knowledge and understanding of our company and the recruitment industry. The seven phases we have included are induction and orientation, candidate control and engagement, client interview control, how to take a vacancy, vacancy control, business development and time management. Although we follow a structure, the package we offer is very bespoke to the individual as we allow each person to develop their knowledge in the way that best suits them. We really do understand that different methods will work for different people.

Firstly, the training starts in the ‘classroom’ as such where we use a variety of interactive methods to teach our employees everything that they need to know. By week three, we aim to have every person submerged into the company, using what they’ve learnt so far in action.

Candidate-driven at first, we want every employee to be communicating with our candidates to help them find jobs across a variety of industries. Through this, employees are rewarded with the knowledge that they are changing lives within just a few weeks of starting their career with us. These recruitment coordinator roles will then natural develop into sales, which is a vital element to the recruitment industry. We are excited about this – and we hope you are too! Although it may be scary for some within the Training Academy, all of their managers will offer the upmost care with me being here to support every single one of your needs.

This flexible training system and modules allows us to take on employees who have had no previous recruitment experience but are looking to achieve an amazing career within recruitment - all they need is the hunger to achieve, we will do the rest! Equally, when we recruit established Consultants, Managers and Directors, they have the comfort of knowing we will invest in the people who are working for them.

Our Training Academy really takes the strain out of training. We know that high level; high calibre achievers don't need generalised training. In fact, we love to learn from their experiences, as this allows us to expand our training with their knowledge. But, we are always there for them as well. If they ask for high-level bespoke training or help, we support them with the tools and training they need.

The whole ideology behind the Training Academy is to improve all business practices, which means the training doesn’t stop after you have become a fully-fledged member of staff. Workshop training will continue to run on going support and mentoring while understanding the importance of the individual in all aspects of the recruitment sector. By doing this, we are ensuring that each employee is knowledgeable in the latest trends and facts so that all of our team thoroughly understand the recruitment industry.

We want to give people opportunities. We want to help nurture people into their recruitment career and further educate those who have been in the industry a long time. The Training Academy is here to find the right candidates and mentor them.’


If this sounds like something you would like to get involved with, send a CV across to or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Join Prestige in Taking Part in the ‘Colours for Peace’ Fundraising Day

Join Prestige in Taking Part in the ‘Colours for Peace’ Fundraising Day

To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Warrington Bombing, Prestige Recruitment Group are joining the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation and taking part in their ‘Colours for Peace’ Fundraising Day – and we’d love it if you could too!

On Tuesday 20th March 2018, we kindly asks clients, candidates and colleagues to join us in a ‘dress down’ fundraising day, where people can wear the Peace Foundation colours: blue, green and/or white. A small donation of £1.00 will go towards supporting victims of terrorism and their families through the Foundation’s Survivors Assistance Network.


What is The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation?

25 years ago on March 20th 1993, the IRA exploded two bombs in a busy shopping street in the town of Warrington. The shrapnel killed three-year-old Johnathan Ball and five days later, twelve-year-old Tim Parry also died. 54 other people were also seriously injured. After the bombing, Tim’s parents Colin and Wendy Parry wanted to ensure that nobody would ever experience what they had gone through and so they formed the Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball Foundation For Peace.

The Foundation is a charity that works nationally and internationally for peace and non-violent conflict resolution. They support those who have been affected by terrorism and violent conflict, covering prevention, resolution and response. The Foundation also supports the police, ambulance and fire services, many of who are seriously affected by what they have witnessed. A large and vital part of what they do comes in the form of the Survivors Assistance Network, which is vital to families and individuals all over the world.


What is the Foundation’s Survivors Assistance Network?

The Foundation’s Survivors Assistance Network (SAN) provides free practical and emotional support to people who have been affected by any terrorist incident. The most recent annual statistics revealed that there were 9,707 attacks worldwide, and it is estimated that one attack happens every 55 minutes. There is no denying that the world can be violent, and supporting the individuals affected is a key element to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation.

The Foundation is currently supporting 800 people from the Manchester attack alone and so it is vital that we all come together for Peace to help the Foundation raise as much money as they possibly can.


Support the Foundation with Us

Having offices in Warrington, this charity is something that resonates with extreme importance to our whole company. All of our team members will be donating and dressing down on the 20th March to show our support for our Warrington offices and wearing blue, green and/or white!


How Else Can We Help?

As a charity, the Foundation relies heavily on the generosity of the public fundraising on their behalf so that they can continue to deliver their programmes to young people and continue the Survivors Assistance Network that supports so many victims of terrorism.

Donations, large or small, monthly, annually, or one-off can help the Foundation to plan for the future. Your donation will make a real difference to the Foundation’s vital work supporting victims of terrorism, armed forces veterans, and vulnerable young people.


25 Years

Although this year marks 25 years since a very upsetting event, a lot of good has come from it. The support that the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation offers is amazing, and the Foundation really helps people who need support.

Similar effects to the Warrington bombing happen with every terror attack and so it is fundamental that we support the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation and the Survivors Assistance Network. Prestige Recruitment Group offer our never-ending support and urge other businesses to do the same. We can’t wait to see you wearing your blue, green and white so be sure to send us any pictures from your ‘Colours for Peace’ Event!



Check out our pictures from the Colours for Peace Fundraising Day here. 

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Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Dublin Port Increases Investment into Infrastructure

Dublin Port Increases Investment into Infrastructure

Ireland’s Dublin Port Company are accelerating their investment plans to ensure appropriate port capacity. Based on its Masterplan, the Port has invested EUR 75 million in port infrastructure in 2017, and a further 132 million will be invested during 2018.

Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, says:

'Dublin Port’s multi-million euro infrastructure investment programme is matching our customers’ continuing investments in new ships.
Irish Ferries has committed €165m in a huge new ship for the Dublin-Holyhead route due by mid-2020. 
Later this year, the €150m W.B. Yeats will commence a service from Dublin to Cherbourg. 
In October last year, CLdN introduced the enormous 8,000 lane metre MV Celine on its Dublin to Zeebrugge / Rotterdam service.’


So what is the Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan?

The Masterplan illustrates plans for future operations at the Port and examines how existing land use can be optimised for future trade. It states:

  • Plans for future sustainable growth in facilitating seaborne trade in goods and passenger movement to and from Ireland and the Dublin Region
  • Provides detailed information and context for future investment decisions
  • Reflects for current national and regional guidelines
  • Ensures there is harmony between the plans for the Port and those for the Dublin Docklands Area, Dublin City and the neighbouring counties within the Dublin Region
  • Gives certainty to customers about how the Port will develop in the future to meet their requirements.


2017 Figures

The latest figures show that cargo volumes through Dublin Port hit record levels for the third successive year with growth of 4.3% to reach a new record level of 36.4m gross tonnes in 2017. This means overall growth at Dublin Port in the five years since economic recovery began in 2013 to +30.1%. Imports also grew by 3.9% to 21.5 million gross tons while exports grew more strongly by 4.9% to 14.9 million gross tons.

CEO Eamonn O’Reilly, said, 

'Growth of 4.3% in 2017 confirms that the longstanding trend of compounding annual growth in Dublin Port is back. 
Every year from 1993 to 2007 was a record year in Dublin Port. In the past three years we have seen this pattern re-emerge, with 2017 the third year in a row for record growth.
We are projecting another record year in 2018 with growth of about 5%. Dublin Port’s growth is driven by domestic demand and both population growth and a stronger economy will continue to drive volumes up for the foreseeable future.’


Brexit’s ‘Impending Doom’

Brexit brings many challenges and over the next few months, Dublin Port Company will finalise their plans for the required re-introduction of border controls on trade with Britain. Their CEO Eamonn O’Reilly is positive that Brexit will not significantly hinder movement through the Port. O’Reilly states ‘While BREXIT brings uncertainties and challenges to our business, the combination of investments by our customers and by Dublin Port is underpinned by a shared confidence in the future.’ 


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Diversity - The Top Trend Shaping the Future of Recruitment

Diversity - The Top Trend Shaping the Future of Recruitment

If you look around your workplace - whether that is an office, a school, a restaurant, a bar or a shop, you’ll probably see a mix of people. That’s because the value of a diverse workforce is widely acknowledged across many work forces and sectors. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s global recruiting trends report, diversity is the number one trend shaping the future of hiring and recruitment. The survey of nearly 9000 talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers found that in today’s society, diversity is directly linked to company culture and financial performance. The global recruiting trends report showed that:

  • 78% of companies prioritise diversity to improve culture

  • 62% of companies prioritise diversity to boost financial performance

  • 49% of companies prioritise diversity to better represent its customers.


But what does diversity mean?

For many years, diversity in recruitment meant how well your company embodies a range of different people. However - today diversity goes even further and there are three elements involved within it. These three elements are:

  • Diversity Representation

  • Inclusion

  • Belonging

It is important that companies not only represent a diverse community but that they also ensure the individuals within that workplace feel like they are both included and belong within that community. Even at the most diverse of companies, employees are likely to disengage and leave if they do not feel included and accepted within that company’s culture. LinkedIn’s global recruiting trends report found that more companies than ever are focusing on all three elements of diversity to ensure new hires stick with that company. The report found:

  • 51% of companies are very focused on diversity

  • 52% of companies are very focused on inclusion

  • 57% of companies are very focused on belonging.


Where is diversity focused?

From the global recruiting trends report, it is clear that gender and race are the red-hot topics within diversity:

  • 71% of companies focus on gender

  • 49% of companies focus on race and ethnicity

  • 48% of companies focus on age

  • 43% of companies focus on educational differences

  • 32% of companies focus on disabilities

  • 19% of companies focus on religion


Why aren’t more companies diverse?

Very few companies have actually cracked the code on diversity. LinkedIn’s data found that many companies wish that they could be more diverse but they struggle to find diverse candidates for some job roles. The study found that the biggest barriers to improving diversity are as follows:

  • 38% of companies believe the biggest barrier is finding diverse candidates to interview

  • 27% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is retaining diverse employees

  • 14% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is getting diverse candidates past interview stage

  • 8% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is getting diverse candidates to accept the offer

  • 14% of companies believe it is none of these.


How do companies support diversity?

So the report shows that diversity is important and that more companies should embody it into the way their company is run. The question this leads to is how? How can companies ensure that they are supporting diversity within the company? The LinkedIn global recruiting trends report found that:

  • 67% of companies foster an environment that respects differing opinions

  • 52% of companies encourage people to be themselves at work

  • 47% of companies have leaders acknowledge importance of diversity

  • 45% of companies embed diversity in company mission and values

  • 44% of companies emphasise diversity of leadership team.


How do companies show candidates they value diversity?

Once you have an inclusive culture, recruiting diverse talent is much easier. The global recruiting trends report found that companies show candidates that they value diversity by:

  • 52% of companies use diverse employees in web and print materials

  • 35% of companies present diverse interview panels

  • 30% of companies talk about employee resource groups

  • 28% of companies recruit at schools with diverse student bodies.


So what can we do?

Unfortunately, no easy answer to the global lack of diversity exists which is why inequality is still so alive in 2018. However, the positive trend of companies starting to address this matter does seem to be building momentum to help balance this issue. Putting this on the agenda at your company and highlighting the positive values of other companies that are striving to achieve diversity is a great way to start and move things forward in the right direction.

The best advice is not to have a diversity strategy – but to embody it into your company culture and mind-set. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to live in a world where there are overt rules and regulations in order to have an inclusive, equal workspace and we believe that company culture is a huge part of the solution. Of course, if a company doesn't have this ideal culture in place, a diversity strategy would be a good place to start to foster the correct company culture. Companies need to ensure that your company uses inclusive language, empowers employees to tell their stories and promote inclusion. Think about unconscious bias in your workplace and deliver clear messages to all members of staff about the importance of diversity. 


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Is Every Day becoming ‘Dress-Down Friday'?

Is Every Day becoming ‘Dress-Down Friday'?

According to recent research carried out by Travelodge, just 50% of workplaces have a dress code policy in place, and a massive 76% of these workplaces say their dress code is actually casual dress.

Travelodge found that comfort dressing triumphed over power dressing as 69% of workers reported that dressing casually for work makes them feel more comfortable and 22% reported that they could express their personality through casual dress.

6 in 10 people said that they believed a more laid back dress code enables a more relaxed office environment and that they felt colleagues were friendlier towards each other.

In fact, 43% of workers said that the business suit no longer had a place in the office and if they saw a colleague wearing a suit they would stand out.


So why is it happening?

Culture Change

Professor Karen Pine, Psychologist at Hertfordshire University said the changes to dress codes reflect under changes to business culture.

‘The biggest changes have included decline of hierarchy, the boss being less of an authority figure and more of a coach, all colleagues being called by their first name and the biggest change, the transition from a formal dress code to a casual one.
Having a dress down Friday, every day enables workers to the independent and showcase their personality & attributes by how they dress rather than the position they hold. This leads to stronger bonds between co-workers to remove barriers, enabling everyone to get on with their jobs.’

What causes culture change?


With the development of young, hip and exciting technology – businesses may be trying to mimic it and so develop the culture and aesthetic that comes with new technology.

Millennial and Generation X

Some believe the reason for a more relaxed dress code within businesses is due to handing over the economies reigns to the millennial generation. Millennial’ or ‘Generation X’ have relaxed social standards when compared to previous generations and so businesses are changing as their employees do.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of casual dress in the office?


  • Improves morale – by allowing room for freedom and expression, many employees are much happier.
  • Increases business attractiveness – by keeping your employees happy within the workplace, you are likely to build your business reputation which is a great tool during recruitment as it attracts candidates to your business.
  • Improved effectiveness – some studies have shown that employees feel happier and so perform better in the workplace.


  • Some companies have actually noted a decline in employee performance. They believe that by allowing casual dress, employees act more relaxed and so are less likely to meet deadlines.
  • Clothes may reflect badly on the firm – with client facing businesses, it is important to ensure there is still some level of professionalism within the workplace as many clients may prefer business dress at all times.
  • Confusion about what is appropriate – Difficulty in establishing a clear policy around casual attire can damage employee/employer relationships.


So what do you think?

Many businesses are run differently, and just because something works for your company may not mean it works for everybody else. Does your company embody a casual dress code every day – or is it just on Fridays? Or do you not get casual dress? Let us know what you think works best!


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004





The Top Fashion Events to Look Out For in 2018

The Top Fashion Events to Look Out For in 2018

January marks the start of the New Year, and with January events like London Textile Fair, Haute Couture and Fashion Showcase & Networking Night, it’s clear that 2018 is going to be a massive year for the fashion industry. We’ve listed the key events to look out for over the next year, so keep your eyes peeled and let us know which events you love!


February 2018

New York Fashion Week – Fall 2018

When? 8th February – 16th February.

Where? Mainly Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria in New York City.

London Fashion Week– Fall 2018

When? 16th February – 20th February.

Where? Mainly Brewer Street Car Park, Brewer Street, London W1F 0LA and Somerset House, London.

Fashion’s Finest LFW Show

When? 17th February.

Where? Grand Connaught Rooms 671-65 Queen’s Street Holborn, London WC2B 5DA.

Milan Fashion Week – Fall 2018

When? 21st February – 27th February.

Where? Various locations in Milan.

London Fashion Week Festival

When? 22nd-25th February.

Where? The Store Studios, 180 Strand, WC2R 1EA.

Paris Fashion Week– Fall 2018

When? 27th February – 6th March.

Where? All around Paris in different locations.


March 2018


When? 11th March – 12th March.

Where? ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD.

Wearable Technology Show

When? 13th March – 14th March.

Where? Excel London, Royal Victoria, Dock, 1 Western Gateway London E16 1XL.

London Hat Week

When? 22nd March – 28th March.

Where? Various locations in London.


April 2018

Menswear Revolution: The Transformation of Contemporary Men’s Fashion

When? 5th April.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF.

The Future of Textiles: Textile Art 2028

When? 19th April.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey street, London SE1 3XF.


May 2018

Fashion and Textiles: A Designers Story

When? 3rd May.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF.

Colleges Council Preview Day

When? 11th May.

Where? TBC.


When? 19th May – 21st May.

Where? London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX.


June 2018

London Fashion Week Mens

When? 8th June – 11th June.

Where? BFC Show Space, 180 The Strand, London WC2R 1EA.

The Beauty Exchange

When? 15th June.

Where? KPMG, 15 Canada Square, London, E14 5GL.


July 2018

The Fashion Exchange

When? 6th July 2018.

Where? KPMG, 15 Canada Square, London, E14 5GL.


September 2018

New York Fashion Week - Spring 2019

When? 6th September – 14th September.

Where? Mainly Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria in New York City.

Fashion Together

When? 11th – 18th September.

Where? 20 John Princes Street, London, W1G 0BJ.

London Fashion Week - Spring 2019

When? 14th September– 18th September.

Where? Mainly 180 Strand London WC2R 1EA, Somerset House and other locations within London.

Milan Fashion Week - Spring 2019

When? 19th September - 25th September.

Where? Various historic, open air and other venues in Milan.

Paris Fashion Week Spring - 2019

When? 25th September – 3rd October.

Where? In various galleries around Paris.


Ongoing Exhibitions


T-Shirt: Cult/Culture/Subversion

When? 9th February – 6th May 2018

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF.

Fashioned From Nature

When? 21st April – 27th January 2019.

Where? Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL.

Ona Kiely – A Life in Pattern

When? 25th May – 23rd September.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey street, London SE1 3XF.

Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe

When? 16th June – 4th November.

Where? Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL.

Harper’s Bazaars – 150 years

When? 20th October – 21st January 2019.

Where? Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF.


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


Leader of the Year Award

Leader of the Year Award

Massive congratulations to the director of our Liverpool office, who has been nominated for the Leader of the Year award at the Women in Business awards!

This year marks the sixth annual Women in Business awards and they will be hosted on Friday 9th March at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Liverpool City Centre. The lunch is designed to reward female entrepreneurs, business owners and decision makers and we couldn’t think of anyone more deserving for a reward than Kerry!

Kerry specialises in Accountancy and Finance, Insurance, Financial Services and Legal Recruitment within the North West. Their Liverpool office was established in January 2014 – and since then Kerry and the team have done nothing but grow!

After working for a national agency for most of her working life, she received the motivation she needed from Annejulie Sambrooks and Jeanette Wharrad, who set up Prestige Recruitment Group back in 1996. When the Liverpool office first opened, they were made up of two small desks, a phone and a computer with no database and no candidates. Fast-forward 4 years of determination and hard work and they are now at bigger offices, have three divisions, a bigger team and even have plants in the office!

Kerry has got over 17 years experience of specialist recruitment within accountancy and finance in the North West market. She has developed strong, professional relationships with an extensive list of both clients and candidates. Here at Prestige, we believe Kerry is truly a credit to the recruitment industry.

Prestige Recruitment would like to say a huge congratulations to Kerry for her nomination. Please vote for Kerry by clicking the image below:

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


The Prestige Team Build

The Prestige Team Build

The Team build Video!

Friday 4th August was the day, The Studio in Birmingham was the venue - bring on the teams!! Our annual summer get together was split into a 3 part affair. In the morning we had a fantastic, fun and very competitive team building exercise which saw the teams build a giraffe, put together a compass, do a catchphrase and solve puzzles of various guises!! Plenty of creativity was to be seen in problem-solving and the odd bending of rules here and there! 

Then we were off to Bistrot Pierre for a some what boozy lunch (much needed after the frenetic morning) at the canal side, Gass Street. Fantastic food with a lovely water way setting, everyone enjoyed their lunch and their preferred tipple after a brain intense morning! 

Out of the Bistro, we took a short stroll down to our narrow boat. The afternoon was spent "cruising" around Birmingham's canal network!! There may have been a bit more alcohol consumed, together with some great conversation and strong relationship building. To add to the relaxing atmosphere we hired an amazing on-board massage therapist!  The whole day was a huge success and whilst we had a few staff missing due to holidays we all ended up as one big happy buzzing team sipping bubbles in the sun!! 

Engineering and the Predicted Skills Shortage Within the UK 

Engineering and the Predicted Skills Shortage Within the UK 

Many of the world's biggest and innovative civil, biomedical and electrical engineering companies are based within the UK. But there is currently an engineering skills shortage within the market place. Industry experts say we may need to fill more than one million engineering jobs between now and 2022. The UK’s once booming engineering sector could run into problems if the shortfall is not addressed. In this article I take a look at some of the problems and potential solutions that may help us stay strong in our vibrant sector of engineering!    

The facts as they stand now 

Despite the doom and gloom that swirls around with issues like these, the UK engineering sector is still thriving. The industry employs more than 5.5 million people and the contribution from computer to civil engineering brings in a whopping £455.6 billion to our UK economy. Yes, engineering is one of the country's most successful industries and we need to keep it this way. But for this to happen we need to fill a forecasted 182,000 positions on the run up to 2022.

Shortage of Skilled Engineers Within the UK

The shortage of skilled engineers within the UK is widely acknowledged as a serious hurdle to its economic growth plans for the future. The situation is made more intriguing by the UK's decision to leave the EU.  Whereas up until recently, skilled and educated workers from the continent would happily step into the breach with realistic prospects of living in the UK, it may now be seen that the UK is no longer quite as attractive for skilled foreign nationals as it once was. But will this really be the case? We still do not know the terms of the exit as it stands and we may find this really does not affect the situation as much as some people thought. 

Is it this gloomy?

A rather gloomy outlook is put forward in a study by the the Institution of Mechanical Engineers who say that the government's efforts to encourage industry will likely fail because Britain's education system simply isn't able to turn out enough people with the right skills. And the UK Commission for Employment and Skills states that up to 43 percent of science, technology, engineering and maths jobs, or STEM jobs, are well nigh impossible to fill. So what is being done to fill the shortage of skilled engineers within the UK?


The tide has been partially turned by the growing popularity of apprenticeship schemes. According to The Tech Partnership the number of apprenticeships within the digital tech sector rose by 21 percent over the last year. According to the organisation every £1 invested by employers through apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 sees a return of £27. We have seen the government put a lot of emphasis on ‘The Apprenticeship Levy’ as mentioned on our article ‘What are the big issues for Human Resources Departments within the UK in 2016?’. The levy is being introduced in order to fund three million new apprenticeships in England by 2020. So we can see by this statement of intent that this may be one of the beacons we need to improve the situation.  

A long way to go

The Apprenticeship Levy is perhaps encouraging news, but there is still a long way to go until the shortage of skilled engineers within the UK is filled. A telephone survey carried out in 2016 revealed that 62 percent of 400 engineering employers felt that British graduates were simply not equipped with the requisite skills, also 68 percent felt that the British education system will struggle to cope in keeping up with the ever evolving engineering industry. Education needs to be addressed, we need to make engineering look exciting for kids as fundamentally this is where it all starts! 

Mixed feelings on Brexit

Of those interviewed, only 5 percent felt Brexit would have a positive impact on recruitment, while 35 percent felt there would be a negative impact over the next 4 or 5 years. Another 23 percent predicted it would have no impact at all, while 36 percent were uncertain. This really shows you nobody really knows how this will effect the industry.  We all need to shout at the government to make sure the engineering voice is heard so that they can implement the best possible solution armed with the correct statistics, facts and strategy.

According to Naomi Climer, president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), "As we are facing an engineering shortfall in the next decade and some uncertainty around skills following Brexit, it is more important than ever that we develop the next generation of 'home grown' engineering and technology talent." In efforts to fill this widening gap the IET have put forward plans to encourage companies and employers to provide work experience to give aspiring students a taste of the industry. Climer also stated there must be an increasing collaboration between employers and educators to facilitate and encourage a much needed growth of homegrown talent in the sector. 

The Brighter Side

Some have tried to look on the bright side and see an opportunity in the UK's shortfall in engineers in the UK. The chief executive of EngineeringUK, Paul Jackson said, "Engineering is a growth industry that has the potential to continue to drive productivity in the UK. This is a great opportunity, tempered only by concern about the need to train many more engineers if we are not to be left behind by countries like South Korea and Germany." If the shortfall can be addressed by implementing programs such as apprenticeships, it could be a turning point for the better. 


As well as the country exiting the EU, another potential hurdle to overcome is the longstanding stereotyping that comes with the engineering sector.  The minister of state for skills Nick Boles is concerned that the industry's still being commonly viewed as the sole preserve of males and this may be holding further growth back, but backing up Climer's comments, he feels these challenges can be overcome with greater collaboration and partnership between educators and employers. I feel sure with the right incentives for kids of all backgrounds and gender this could really help towards the short fall. 

The Round up!

According to EngineeringUK's 2016 “The State of Engineering” there is still some way to go before the 69,000 extra engineers needed to fill the shortfall is achieved. It remains to be seen whether the various strategies that have been proposed will have a positive impact on the UK's very real present shortfall in qualified engineers. At least people have realised this and the discussion has started about how we can bridge the gap. As a recruiter within the industry I feel it will be a mix of things that will work. One of those issues that will be facing companies will be the sponsorship of foreign students. A lot of companies dismiss this as an option but I feel it will be a necessity to look at going forward. For my next blog post I will be discussing this in greater detail and investigating the real world benefits of introducing this approach within your company.

John Wilkinson
Technical Business Manager
Springfield House, Water Lane
Wilmslow, SK9 5AG

John on Linkedin
01625 548282

Warrington - The Bid to be a City of Culture 2021

Warrington - The Bid to be a City of Culture 2021

The Bid to be a City of Culture

Warrington together with a host of cities from across the UK including Coventry, Hereford, Paisley, Perth, Portsmouth, St David’s and the Hundred of Dewisland, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea are all fighting to be the third UK City of Culture in 2021. But what can this cultural award do for Warrington and the businesses within it? 

The UK City of Culture Award

Launched in 2009 the initial vision of the event was to establish a British City of Culture prize, the winning city would be able to host events such as the Turner Prize, Brit Awards, Man Booker Prize and the Stirling Prize amongst many other culture based events.  Under the then Labour Culture Secretary Andy Burnham the award was inspired by the success seen in Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture in 2008, were this event showed significant social and economic benefits for the area. The award was a way of building on Liverpool’s legacy, the effect having an overall improvement to the city and its residents with cultural engagement that this type of award achieves. 

The Liverpool Effect

In 2008. Liverpool's year as European capital of culture earned the city bumper visitor numbers and a multimillion-pound boost to its economy. A five-year research programme analysed the social, economic and cultural impact of the 2008 title and found that the festival year saw 9.7m visitors to the city, an increase of 34% generating £753.8m for the economy.

85% of Liverpool residents agreed that it was a better place to live than before and the media coverage of Liverpool's cultural attractions doubled for the first time in decades. The study by Liverpool University academics found that initially, people had mixed views in the build up to the year.  This however changed during 2008 itself, showing a much more optimistic view that was shared by people in late 2008. This indicates that more people felt the benefits as the events happen across the year, leaving a real feel good factor in the city that has carried on. 

The first UK City of Culture Award Derry/Londonderry

After the government set up the UK City of Culture competition it was Derry/Londonderry that won the bid back in 2013. As the first award, Derry happily acknowledge they were "guinea pigs" for the concept but said there was no shortage of enthusiasm in the city! The list of shows, exhibitions and concerts held since January 2013 was impressive and the big events shone a light firmly on the city in terms of visitors and culture.

There were mixed views on the financial benefits of the first award, some saying that it needed to be capitalised on a bit more in the planning stage but Shona McCarthy Chief Executive of the Culture Company 2013 said, "We already know that there have been over 75 nationalities represented in the city over the year.” "From May right through to September we have broken all previous records for hotel occupancy. So that tells me we have got the visitors. That tells me people are coming here.”

Over the course of the year, about £100m was invested in the city through cultural programming and infrastructure. It is estimated that for every £1 spent, there would be a predicted £5 return. All those who have been involved in organising events are now using the word "legacy" and discussing how people can build on what has been achieved. A lot of people have the view that the simple feel-good factor created by Derry's success in becoming the first UK City of Culture was great for the city, having the effect of bringing together people in a sometimes divided city was a real step forward.  

Hull Followed With The 2017 Award

This year the 2017 winners Hull kicked off their UK City of Culture program with the city is expecting to see a significant increase in visitors and events over 2017 generating a positive economic impact. Hull is the second city to host the title and it will be hosting 365 days of cultural events that started with a fireworks event. It is estimated that the UK City of Culture 2017 win will deliver a £60 million boost to Hull’s economy throughout 2017, with a £13.5 million investment into the project. The city has also seen a £1 billion investment since winning the title in 2013. Keep an eye on what Hull is achieving throughout its year here at

The Benefits to Warrington

Warrington’s initial expression of interest to run for UK City of Culture 2021 has been submitted to the government. There are two further stages with an initial bid submitted in April and the final bid from shortlisted cities by 29th September. The Heritage Lottery Fund has committed £3 million to the holder of the UK City of Culture title from 2021 onwards to boost local heritage, this would have a benefit of bolstering the area and all our cultural attractions. 

It looks to me from the outside that a successful bid brings real benefits to the economy and business. It brings investment in local infrastructure, together with a big uplift in tourism and the local economy. If we then add the feel-good factor into the equation and how the previous awards have had a profound effect on their residents, then I would say this would be a massive benefit to the whole of Warrington! 

A quotation on the website says the award would have "significant economic and social benefits, complementing existing physical regeneration plans as well as highlighting the cultural elements of the current developments as an essential part of the overall growth of the borough." The timing of the 2021 award seems to be perfect for Warrington and complements existing plans and projects to deliver and support:

  • More than £100m of investment in the centre of Warrington before 2020
  • More than 100 unique events across the borough every year in the run up to 2021
  • The 50th anniversary of the new town in 2018 
  • Plans for a brand new heritage hub with a target opening date of 2019
  • Final Thoughts

I feel putting culture at the heart of the transition from a new town to a new city and being highlighted as a “go to” destination for culture would have a long lasting positive effect for us all, in terms of economic growth and people's pride in their city. There seems to be real synergy with the bid, linking it to the growth of Warrington over the next four years. This tells me that it could be an amazing gift to those expansion plans and would give real inertia to the city’s proposed projects. I’m getting right behind this bid and would love to get more businesses involved with spreading the positivity and pushing hard to win a place in the history of British cultural events. As a business community as a whole, let us show our support and help in any way possible.  

Janette Channell
Operations Manager Warrington
01925 419900