CyberaVUE Brings Remote Network Operations into Clear Focus


Cybera, the leader in SD-WAN application and security services for the network edge, today announced CyberaVUE, a new cloud-based management solution to extend network insights and provide customers with a comprehensive, real-time view of remote site networks.

CyberaVUE is part of the company’s multi-tenant platform, CyberaONE, which provides a unique architecture to brands, franchisees and application partners at a single location. CyberaVUE solves conflicting network and security policies of multiple stakeholders by allowing each party to configure just their specific services. Through the CyberaVUE enhancements, the CyberaONE platform empowers brand-level security enforcement, franchisee-level flexibility, and outside partner management through a single portal.

“The evolution of business to a digital-first strategy is pushing enterprises to transform network and cloud infrastructure, to support innovative technologies that increase both employee productivity and customer satisfaction,” said Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure at IDC. “This is especially true for branch offices and remote or edge locations, where operators want visibility and analytics solutions to help optimise the user experience, grow business and retain customer loyalty, while securing applications to meet regulatory and compliance requirements.”

CyberaVUE applies software-defined networking principles to modernise the Wide-Area-Network (WAN) into a unique form of SD-WAN. The approach dramatically reduces networking costs while optimising application performance, enhancing brand protection, and accelerating speed-to-market.

The CyberaVUE management solution has three components:

● CyberaVUE Insights Dashboard – real-time health and network status visibility
● CyberaVUE Configuration Controller – controlled environment for routine changes
● CyberaVUE Diagnostic Toolset – monitors and identifies the root cause of local issues

“We’ve evolved our solution strategy to provide customers and partners with flexibility to take advantage of unique and rapidly changing opportunities available at the network edge,” said Andrew Lev, CEO at Cybera. “To that end, CyberaVUE delivers greater insight and control to safely access and make network changes without disrupting operations or security policies. Using our SD-WAN solution, customers have the autonomy to address remote site needs when necessary, but we’re right there when they need our highly-rated service and experience, too.”

Cybera partner, UK-based Virocom, helps customers navigate the changing retail landscape. Says Daniel Scott, director at Virocom, “CyberaVUE is a critical part of the value we strive to deliver to our customers. This enhancement gives us and our customers quick access and change control to global sites by geography, managed groups, or site status through a web portal.”

To request a CyberaVUE demo, visit:


Guidant Global Partners with Brightfield to Bring Leading-edge Talent Analytics to Customers


Guidant Global, has announced that it has strengthened its strategic partnership with workforce analytics solution, Brightfield’s Talent Data Exchange (TDX), in its commitment to bringing next-level benchmarking capability to its growing network global customers. The move comes as the leader in talent acquisition and managed workforce solutions continues to make rapid progress in expanding and transforming its portfolio across international markets.

Talent Data Exchange (TDX), created by Brightfield, is the world’s most advanced, AI-driven workforce analytics platform for CHROs, CFOs, and CPOs in Global 2000 companies who lead contingent workforce, talent acquisition, or procurement functions.

The expanded relationship provides significant market differentiation through harnessing real-world data to provide actionable insights in areas including: contingent workforce program performance diagnostics, job role taxonomy and pricing and statement of work visibility.

On the new relationship, Simon Blockley, CEO of Guidant Global, commented: “Guidant Global champions a better, more forward-thinking way of working and I am excited that we are able to deploy this level of innovation to our customers at a time when talent acquisition and workforce management are becoming increasingly complex.”

“By providing unprecedented analytics on the spending and sourcing behaviors that improve workforce quality, cost, risk and efficiency, Brightfield assures companies access to the supply of the right talent at the right price to support business outcomes.”

Jesse Levin, CEB at Brightfield, added: “Digital workforce transformation adds the latest form of complexity to an already hard-to-navigate set of labor market dynamics. Under growing pressure to execute, enterprises are now continuously designing and optimizing the right volume, type and mix of workers within their operating constraints. The traditional sourcing playbook doesn’t work, often solving for cost at the expense of performance. Our AI-driven workforce analytics platform helps companies understand the when, where, what and why of talent spending, helping companies (often for the first time) justify and manage spending more and less by showing the drivers of price premiums in the fast-changing talent marketplace. We are pleased to support the ongoing journey to help Guidant Global to act as value-added Talent Advisors by leveraging the power of TDX’s ever-evolving platform and data-set.”


Mindjet announces exclusive deal with Sigma Software Distribution


Based on the success of the last 15 years, Mindjet, a division of Corel, is moving all Commercial and Government distribution for MindManager, the market-leading business-mapping tool, to Sigma Software Distribution.

MindManager helps individuals, teams, and enterprises do great work faster by simplifying the way they capture, organise, and share information. Transforming scattered ideas and unstructured data into dynamic visual maps, MindManager gives people a clearer understanding and greater control over their time, work and world. MindManager is available for single users or for teams of 5+ through license program ‘MindManager Enterprise’. Customers include companies in several industry sectors from Automotive, Engineering, IT to Finance or Government and among different departments like R&D, Project Management, HR or Marketing.

Karima Reghiss, Mindjet’s Regional Sales Manager Western Europe, Middle-East & Africa, says: “Driving growth in channel sales is the main reason for this move. We’ve worked hand in hand with Sigma for 15 years now and they’ve demonstrated the value they add – they know the product inside and out and invest in driving awareness and sales. Add in the fact that they genuinely care about our business and you can see why we’ve made this choice.”

Jane Silk, MD of Sigma Software Distribution, added: “We’re avid users and massive advocates of MindManager so to be chosen as the sole Commercial and Government distributor is a big win for us. The team at Mindjet have put a lot of faith in Sigma and we’re looking forward to repaying it by growing channel sales together.”

National Express Uses Teleopti Workforce Management to Keep Passengers on the Move


Teleopti announced today that National Express, the largest operator of coach services in the UK, is using its workforce management (WFM) solution to create schedules for over 160 frontline employees, working complex shift patterns in its customer service center. The National Express contact center supports ticket sales and assistance to customers of its bus and coach services every day of the year. The customer service teams also manage online queries. The customer service center handles between 1800 and 2000 calls a day, increasing to 2500 at peak times holiday times or in bad weather. Teleopti’s cloud-based, automated WFM solution enables managers to adjust schedules quickly and easily to meet customer demand.

Golam Rabbani, Performance Manager at National Express, explained, “We looked at several web-based WFM applications and sought recommendations for a new software solution. The feedback on Teleopti WFM was very positive. It has already proven beneficial by enabling us to speed up the scheduling process and build forecasts based on actual call data.

“The biggest difference since using Teleopti WFM is that our staff can see their own shifts on their mobile devices, using Teleopti MyTime. Employees can request shift changes easily without having to get managers involved. Plus as a cloud-based solution it gives us the ability to accommodate peaks in demand by allowing us to contact people if remote working is required.”

Since implementing Telepti’s WFM solution National Express has increased visibility of shift patterns for staff, enabling them to take control of their working hours. Linked to automatically updated call data, it also provides a quick view of incoming calls against the forecast. Shifts can be quickly revised to meet increased customer demand as a result of bad weather, breakdowns or traffic problems.

The weekly resource forecast in Teleopti WFM also enables overtime requests to be planned more cost efficiently. Managers are using metrics from the solution to manage call rates and employee breaks, to monitor adherence to working time legislation while ensuring that service levels are maintained.

Nick Smith, UK Business Manager at Teleopti concluded, “For companies like National Express where the contact center is the hub of operations, a high degree of flexibility is required to ensure staff availability to respond to customer demand.

Teleopti’s cloud-based technology supports automated shift creation, while having the flexibility to make changes if necessary. The ability to build strong forecasts using historical data means it becomes easier to maintain consistent service levels and therefore keep passengers on the move.”

Open To Innovation

Forcive is an innovative big data platform designed to capture any “live date”, at extreme scale. Recently, the firm found success in CV’s Corporate Excellence Awards 2019 where they were selected as the Most Innovative Big Data Analytics Company of 2019. On the back of this win, we profile the firm and caught up with Gabriel De Dominics who provided us with a glimpse into the innerworkings of Forcive.


Since their inception, Forcive has revolutionized the streaming data processing for AI thanks to a unified user experience, allowing a smooth and iterative deployment of production-ready data solutions into complex organizations.

Capturing, preparing and mobilizing any data, persist and aggregate, computing and outputting visualizations both for interactive analysis and feed AI algorithms, Forcive discloses opportunities to obtain more automation and optimization into operating processes.

Adopting the most advanced AI and data science frameworks within the streaming processing environment and simplifies the provisioning of the required back-end software, the firm also provides total scalability and extremely large datasets’ and workloads’ management capability. Gabriel begins by going into further detail about the areas the team at Forcive specialises in, highlighting the importance of innovation for the firm.

“It’s all about innovation. What makes Forcive innovative revolves around the company’s relentless aspiration to combine different disruptive technologies, around AI, around a human-accessible and enjoyable user experience which promotes collaboration and productivity to create new intelligent solutions. As such, the innovation doesn’t stem from new proprietary algorithms or from the ownership of specific user datasets to address narrow problems. Instead, it comes from the aim of transforming the way Enterprises deal with AI into a much more approachable and financially sustainable manner.

“For these reasons, we have embraced the motto: “Open to Innovation”. Forcive’s AI platform is an open playground where different internal specialties and roles around AI, data management and infrastructure can cooperate to create intelligent applications and support different business needs. AI engineers can work on their algorithm in a more productive manner since all the relevant functions for draining data, creating features, training algorithms, and deploying the solution into a production-grade environment are provided as services by Forcive.”

Whilst on the topic of innovation, Forcive attribute their success to their innovation strategy, as Gabriel explains.

“The key aspect of Forcive’s success is its innovation strategy: to make this technology mix a real advantage, by avoiding the trap of creating a new pachyderm software stack, with steep learning and adoption curves which would introduce another lock-in.

“Forcive’s internal innovation funnel relies on multiple external sources, which includes re-using and contributing to the most advanced platforms from the open source community, active collaboration with Academia and Research and strategic partnerships with global industry leaders.”

Looking ahead to what the future holds, the team at Forcive will continue to deliver an exceptional service to their clients, ensuring that they not only meet the requirements which have been set, but also surpass their expectations. Lastly, Forcive hope to build upon the numerous accomplishments they have achieved over the years, which includes their recent success in Corporate Vision’s Corporate Excellence Awards 2019 where they were recognized as the Most Innovative Big Data Analytics Company of 2019.


Company: Forcive
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What is the employer’s responsibility if an employee is injured at work?


What is the employer’s responsibility if an employee is injured at work?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (“The Act”) is the primary piece of legislation which governs the laws on health and safety management in the workplace. Responsibility lies with the employer and employee; employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees and anyone who might be affected by their business, and employees have a duty towards themselves and each other to take reasonable care of their own safety and the safety of others.

These duties are based on the principle of “so far as is reasonably practicable”, meaning that an employer does not need to take measures to reduce the risk if it would be grossly disproportionate to the risk itself. The general stance is that employers should take a sensible approach when ensuring a safe working environment.

There are various measures employers can take to reduce the risk of injury to their employees and others in the workplace:

Prepare a health and safety policy

The Act stipulates that it is a legal requirement to have a written policy for managing health and safety which should detail who has specific responsibilities, the general health and safety policy and what practical arrangements are in place showing how policy aims will be achieved. The policy should be readily available to employees and it should be ensured that it is understood, followed and are periodically reviewed and updated.

Carry out risk assessments

Employers must make “suitable and sufficient” risk assessments which must be periodically reviewed and updated. For businesses with more than 5 employees, risk assessments must be written down and should record the hazard, how that hazard may harm people and what is already being done to control this hazard.

Provide first aid

The law requires that every workplace must have a suitably stocked first aid kit, an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements and information on first aid arrangements for employees. First aid arrangements should be adequate and appropriate, but what constitutes adequate and appropriate depends on a number of things such as the size of the workforce, the hazards, the type of work involved and the work patterns of the staff.

Provide information and training

Training should be effective, easy to understand and should take place during working hours. Employers should consider whether any contractors or self-employed people are working for them, as it is likely that they will require their own insurance and some health and safety laws may not apply.

Display the health and safety law poster

There are various versions of this poster; the most appropriate (depending on where the business is based) must be displayed on all business premises. Alternatively, the leaflet equivalent of this poster must be provided to employees.

Despite taking all reasonable measures to ensure a safe working environment, there will always be a risk of an accident in the workplace. Should an employee be injured at work, there are a number of things an employer should do:

Report all accidents

Under social security law, businesses with more than 10 employees must keep an accident book, into which all accidents, no matter how minor, should be recorded. It should detail the time, date, the injured person, witnesses and the nature and extent of the injury. Accidents must be recorded where it results in the incapacitation of an employee for 3 consecutive days.

More serious injuries such as serious burns, occupational diseases, gas incidents and death must be reported in a RIDDOR report under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. Such reports must be made within 15 days of the accident.

Notify the employer’s insurance company

It is important to notify the insurance company as soon as an accident occurs. This is so that a claims investigator can be appointed to investigate the accident immediately in case an accident turns out to be much more serious than anticipated, and a claim is made against the business.

Give employees ample time off

Ensure that employees are given appropriate medical treatment as well as ample time off to recover. Upon their return, employers should seek to ensure that the employee have fully recovered and are completely fit and healthy to work again through interviews and/or assessments. If necessary, reasonable adjustments could be made to help employees ease their way back into the workplace.

Improve health & safety

Revisiting risk assessments will allow employers to figure out how the accident may have come about. There will also be an opportunity to consider what further or better adjustments can be made in order to prevent similar accidents.

Unfortunately, accidents at work are quite common and depending on the business or industry they are inevitable. In order to avoid or minimise the risk of an accident, employers should continually assess the working environment of their employees and consider what practical steps can be taken to further prevent any accidents. In the event an accident does occur it is best practice to ensure that the above procedures are followed. Failure to do so may result in further accidents and also claims in respect of those accidents may be brought against the company.

Karen Holden is the Founder of A City Law Firm


How B2B Marketplaces are Transforming Purchasing Departments

Dave Brittain, Senior Manager, Amazon Business UK


In a world that’s becoming increasingly digital, online shopping is influencing B2B businesses more than ever. One significant contributing factor lies in the increase of Millennials moving into purchasing departments, and with this shift in digital awareness, business-focused marketplaces like Amazon Business are becoming increasingly popular. As this development leads to increased efficiency and cost savings, it is safe to say that procurement is at a tipping point.

According to a recent study by Merit, more than 70% of 20-35-year-olds are involved in product or service purchase decision-making at their companies, with one-third reporting that they are the sole decision-maker for their department. Because Millennials have grown up being exposed to shopping apps, comment functions and product reviews, they’ve become accustomed to the benefits of online shopping – such as a wide selection, transparent comparison options and fast delivery. And naturally they are bringing their B2C customer experience into the B2B world.

The latest analysis in the Hackett Report reveals that global companies could reduce their purchasing costs by around a quarter through digital processes. This means that the so-called ‘tail-spend’ – or purchases that often take place outside formal procurement procedures and which are not directly required for production – can be made leaner.


In any business, expenditure can lead to cost-saving opportunities if managed in a certain way. For example, one international travel company that is currently working with Amazon Business is benefiting from faster coordination processes as a result of e-procurement. The company estimates its savings at around 19% of total costs, including time savings for product research, reduced costs due to competitive pricing and free shipping. Digital marketplaces make it possible for companies of all sizes to streamline processes and control costs, while making more reasoned purchasing decisions by comparing products and suppliers. Naturally, this results in a better purchasing process.

Despite the benefits that B2B marketplaces can offer buyers, they also provide easy entry into e-commerce for sellers and manufacturers of any size. These modern platforms make it possible for them to reach business customers internationally without their own sales and logistics departments.

And so, as Millennials continue to ascend to leading positions within companies, and as they focus on innovation, digital transformation and positive change, it’s safe to say that the future of procurement is digital. Thousands of small and medium-sized companies have already seized the opportunities offered by digital procurement, and it’s possible that we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of what B2B marketplaces can offer.


Making smart products smarter

By Sudhir Sharma, Global Industry Director for High Tech, ANSYS


Two years ago, most companies were just beginning to grapple with issues like connectivity and thermal management for smart product designs. Now, no-one is asking, “Do we need smart functionality?” Instead, product development teams and executives alike are asking, “How do we design the most innovative smart products to win in the digital economy?”

Engineering challenges have become more intense in the smart connected era. Miniaturised, multifunctional devices now proliferate across the globe, which may mean that they need to operate in harsher environments, consume power more efficiently and offer more digital functionality to keep pace with the market’s growing expectations. They need to become intelligent by sensing their environment and gathering data more accurately than ever to inform future product development and stay one step ahead of global competitors. Wherever they are in their own engineering journey, product development teams can leverage new technologies to solve design challenges in five critical areas:

1. Size, Weight, Power, and Cooling

As product development teams race to offer increased digital functionality, while simultaneously making their designs smaller and lighter, they must address the problem of thermal build-up, design for harsher environmental conditions and deliver all these innovations quickly and cost-effectively. However, engineering simulation can make informed design trade-offs to achieve size, weight, power and cooling objectives for today’s complex products. With simulation technology, product developers can quickly explore, analyse and iterate design ideas to obtain the optimal balance between power, performance, thermal reliability and structural integrity.

2. Sensing and Connectivity

Sensing is central to performance in just about every application for a smart connected design, including autonomous vehicles, where enormous amounts of data must be collected — in real time and under unpredictable conditions — to support safe and reliable operation.With the advent of fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications, peak data rates are expected tobe 10 times faster than those enabled by 4G technologies.

Forward-looking 5G architects are aiming to address a range of applications including machine-to machine communications and smart cities. Achieving the right trade-offs to deliver on these capabilities will require improvements in sensor reliability as well as new radio frequency (RF) architectures. By accurately recreating real-world environments, you can ensure comprehensive testing and evaluate thousands of product scenarios.

3. Reliability and Safety

Invisible, embedded software code forms the foundation for every smart connected product. However, a single flaw in this code can have dramatic implications. Modern cars are among the most complex machines ever developed, with control software consisting of more than 100 million lines of code. Infotainment systems, assistive parking technologies, heads-up displays and other technologies provide value, convenience and safety to today’s drivers. However, testing these systems is challenging. Should one component fail, the underlying code needs to support the functional safety of all the other systems and components. For autonomous vehicles, the engineering challenge is only amplified. It is estimated that a Level 5 autonomous vehicle — which requires no human intervention — would need 8 billion miles of testing in order to be certified. At the present rate of road testing, more than 400 years would be needed to accomplish this task. Traditional manual methods for verifying the operation of software are no longer sufficient, so engineers are looking to simulation-supported software to support the development cycle.

4. Systems Integration

Smart connected products are made up of many components that are supported by invisible networks that connect them, as well as clouds that store and deliver data to them. These components are typically produced by different design teams and are only brought together at a relatively late design stage. When diverse components are assembled, unanticipated performance issues such as the interactions of the software and the electronics hardware often occur. The multidomain nature of these problems, and the sheer number of component suppliers makes them hard to study in advance. However, by allowing engineers to assemble the product in a virtual design space, system designers can make informed design choices that optimise the entire system.

5. Product Durability

Smart connected products operate in a wide range of physical environments, with ever-changing and unpredictable conditions. Consider the extreme conditions routinely faced by jets, drones, oil and gas equipment, and other products used in transportation and industrial applications. To maximise product life, all smart connected products must be designed with real-world operating conditions in mind.

Intelligent Engineering

The challenges associated with delivering smart connected products have placed enormous pressures on the world’s engineering teams. Organisations are demanding more functionality, at lower price points and in smaller product sizes. And, in mission-critical applications like transportation and healthcare, the safety stakes have never been higher. Whether you already engineer smart connected products or are challenged to incorporate new functionality into a traditional product design, simulation can help you make optimal decisions.






Lookers apprenticeship programme picks up national award for diversity


Lookers, who provide car servicing parts, is celebrating after its apprenticeship programme was acknowledged as the most diverse in the country at the annual AAC Apprenticeship Awards, held in Birmingham recently.

Organised by FE Week and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the newly introduced Apprenticeship Diversity Award recognised Lookers’ efforts to increase diversity in apprenticeships, as well as work with apprentices who have special educational needs.

Last year saw Lookers welcome 150 apprentices to its apprenticeship programme, matching the previous year’s number of inductees, bringing its total up to 500.

The group also has 17 female apprentices among its ranks, a number that compares favourably within the motor retail sector and a number that the retailer is focussed on increasing in the near future.

The retailer was also commended at the ceremony for its commitment to sourcing talent from diverse backgrounds, including recently launching a 12-week traineeship at the Lookers Audi Group Paint & Body Preparation Centre in North Tyneside, which aims to give young people out of work and education the opportunity to gain full time employment.

Steve Maule, Group Head of Qualifications and Diversity at Lookers, said: “For a motor retailer like Lookers to have won the Apprenticeship Diversity Award is a huge leap forward for an industry that hasn’t traditionally been seen as employing a diverse mix of people. We are immensely proud of this and have further plans in place to ensure that we remain at the forefront of employment diversity.

“The motor industry is moving forward at an unprecedented pace, whether it’s technology or the customer experience, and it’s critical that we have the right mix of people, from all corners of society, to help us stay one step ahead.”

The Lookers Apprenticeship programme was recently named as Regional Macro Apprentice Employer of the Year for the second year running and was also ‘Highly Commended’ at the National Apprenticeship Awards.

Adam Carney, Group Diversity Manager at Lookers, said: “Increasing diversity within Lookers is one of our strategic focuses and was one of the main messages from our recent Annual Conference. We very much see the apprenticeship levy as an opportunity to diversify our work force and create a sustainable talent pipeline.”


How to land a career in art in 2019: everything you need to know


Believe it or not, the creative sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the British economy. So much so, that in 2017, the value of the sector stood at £101.5bn — which was a significant increase from its £94.8bn valuation back in 2016.

Although many will tell you that there’s no jobs in the arts, you’d be surprised at the figures. There were around 80,000 jobs created in 2017, and that figure doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

The sector includes many different areas though: advertising and marketing, architecture, crafts, design (product, graphic and fashion), film, television, video, radio and photography, IT, software and computer services, publishing, museums, galleries and libraries, music, performing and visual arts, animation and visual effects, video games and heritage.

Each role within these industry’s require creativity. However, one area (or talent) that can relate to all of these diversified roles is art. People are interested in this too, as the phrase ‘art jobs’ has around 40,500 searches per month on Google, which has notably increased over time. This highlights that there is an interest for paid work, and for many, that means transforming their current hobby into an actual income.

Wall mural specialists, 1Wall, take a closer look…

You must have the drive

There’s a lot of way you can show off your passion in this industry. If you love what you do, you’ll welcome mass appreciation from others in the same field.

Talent in the creative arts is extremely subjective though. When it comes to unleashing your creativity, you need to offer a message in everything that you do. You need to tell a story, sell an experience, and be thought provoking while offering some sort of vulnerability in your work. Art is all about empowering every emotive feeling in your body and is definitely not about getting the perfect shot in the gallery for social media.

Learning the ropes

School is important, no matter which industry you want to work in. It wouldn’t be fair to say that grades aren’t important and can open up a lot of doors, but it’s important to understand that they don’t determine your future.

The beginning stages of art usually comes down to taking it as a subject at GCSE level. Following the grade that they receive, this will determine whether they can then continue the subject as an A-Level, or at college where they will likely complete a Level 3. Students may have to sit a Level 2 at college if they failed their GCSE — however, this will be determined by the course leaders and a strong portfolio could push you straight onto Level 3.

These courses usually last around two years, but if you fail one year, you will need to re-sit. During this time, you’ll likely host your own exhibition with other students and showcase your work to the public. This is an amazing thing to include on your CV and personal statement when it comes to the next academic step… university!

People will argue that you don’t need to go to university to have a career in art. In the last five years, there has been an evident decrease in the number of UCAS applications for Creative Arts and Design. The deadline analysis from January 2019 found that only 215,330 applied, in comparison to the 224,630 that applied the same time last year.

If you’re studying a history of art degree, your course will be heavily theory-based with a lot of written work. However, if you’re studying a subject such as fine art, expect this to be more practical with workshop-led lessons and tasks that may contribute to your final grade. Most undergraduate art courses last for three years in the UK — however, if you study abroad, this could be up to four years.

Top universities for creatives:

1.       Royal College of Art

2.       University College London

3.       University of the Arts London

4.       Goldsmiths, London

5.       The Glasgow School of Art

6.       Loughborough University

7.       University of Oxford

8.       University of Brighton

9.       Edinburgh College of Arts

10.   Lancaster University

Apprenticeships are another option. This is for the artists who know exactly what they want to get into — whether this is costume design, graphics, visual effects, animation, product development or more. The number of apprenticeships available are endless, and the stigma around getting them has finally been removed.

The best part about this route is that you’ll be able to learn from people doing the job. You’ll likely be working full time and 100% be earning a wage too. From this experience, you’ll be able to work on real-life projects and familiarise yourself with the working environment of your respected field.



Mind the gap! How HR and HS can collaborate better to achieve positive business impact

By Duncan Davies, CEO at Notify


For some time now, there has been a growing overlap between the responsibilities of Health & Safety and HR professionals, in relation to employee well-being.

Historically, it’s probably fair to say that many people in organisations saw H&S purely as a compliance function; so a big challenge faced by forward-thinking H&S professionals has been in showing where they add value and highlighting the commercial impact behind what they do.  However, as more H&S professionals get to grips with showing their true value, there can be toe-stepping on duties traditionally seen as “HR’s job”, and therein lies the friction. 

It doesn’t need to be this way.

There doesn’t need to be a ‘bun fight’ over roles and duties regarding well-being (as some sector press might suggest), because there is real, tangible value in establishing closer links and a more collaborative approach between HR and Health and Safety. In fact, both departments can perform far better and have the data to prove it.

But how?

Well, firstly, organisations need to do more to promote and educate their workforce on the broader well-being responsibilities of Health and Safety, providing a forum for open discussion that will help those in HR and in Health and Safety establish common interests and boundaries when it comes to day-to-day responsibilities. 

Through effective demarcation of duties, there will undoubtedly be a number of areas that overlap, and which therefore require a joint effort.

For example, risk assessments and audits would typically be picked up by H&S, whilst welfare meetings/absence reviews would be dealt with by HR. In a modern, fast-paced working environment, that segregation doesn’t help at all. Both departments ought to be talking to each other and working together to address any issues arising from a risk assessment or welfare review. Technology can make this collaboration far easier; for example where Health and Safety software is easily integrated with existing HR software or vice versa.

Technology can also help with data security, so if both HR and H&S are currently using spreadsheet-based processes to manage employee data, they’re not only missing out on a load of lovely shared-use data, but also putting themselves at greater risk of a data breach. Getting the interface and dialogue established sooner rather than later will be of huge benefit to both departments.

If HR and Health and Safety professionals can offer a united front within the organisation and make the process of reporting incidents, poor wellbeing and accidents easier for all, both will benefit from the data garnered.

Ultimately, these aspects come back to employee effectiveness and wellbeing, so if Health and Safety have data on Lost Time Incidents that can help HR better with their approach to absence management, or HR complete a back-to-work interview with a member of staff who might have been off sick following an incident at work, knowledge sharing will make it easier to identify issues, determine required actions and maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of both departments.

Where should Health and Safety sit within an organisation in order to be effective?

To a large degree, this is about what works best for each individual organisation based on its size, sector, maturity and so on. However, we’d warn against the assumption that Health and Safety should just be bundled in with HR because “it’s about the people”.

Health & Safety obviously focuses on the physical and mental elements of the workforce, but it also extends out to the fabric of the buildings, the facilities, equipment, maintenance, quality and other environmental aspects. This is why H&S sometimes reports into a more directly operational function. And because it covers this broader remit, throwing Health and Safety in with HR can mean that the full benefits of a robust Health and Safety strategy are not realised.

What matters most is the importance the organisation attaches to Health & Safety. If it’s not reporting into a Board Director, then we believe it’s not at the level it should be. Only by having that voice at the board table can Health and Safety be more than a box-ticking exercise.

Having Health and Safety sitting within Operations has certain advantages, but as HR professionals have discovered over time, the only way to be truly effective in organisations these days is to learn how to influence colleagues and use facts and data to present business cases. 

The best of both worlds is achieved by ensuring your HR team are suitably proactive and commercially minded, as they will then naturally understand the benefits to be gained from getting very close to their similarly-minded colleagues in H&S. There shouldn’t be a struggle to get these departments working effectively together if both are committed to the wellbeing of staff throughout the business and know how to show their value in commercial terms.

And one key thing to remember: Both departments have more in common than not, so striving towards a more engaged workforce, using the tools to make reporting and management as simple as possible and sharing information between departments is really the best way for HR and H&S to remain effective and prominent within the business.


Duncan Davies, CEO at Notify

Chefs of the future: careers in the catering industry


Only one third of people have admitted that they only work in the catering industry because they are passionate about the sector. But, what makes this industry an attractive one to work in and what is recruitment currently like in the sector? We’ve teamed up with the Hog’s Head Inn, a modern country pub in Seaham, to find out more:

What is the main appeal?
A career in catering can work out brilliantly for many people. It can bring flexible working hours, job security and an attractive salary. Many hotels in Alnwick appreciate this, with employees working the hours that suit their lifestyles best.

Even during unpredictable times, the catering industry has emerged strong. In fact, 61% of catering professionals found no change in footfall since Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Statistics from IBISWorld, market research specialists, found that between 2013 and 2018, the catering market experienced a 1% growth, with a current employee headcount of over 28,000. According to the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the market is predicted to continue growing at an annual rate of 1.9% until 2020. They determined that the sector was labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive, meaning it relies on its staff to operate effectively — great news and job security for those who are part of it.

Data analysed by Job site, CV-Library from the period 2018— 2017 determined that catering salaries were rising across the UK, and the average rate in the catering sector was up by 2.8% to £24,570.

Long hours are countered out by flexible shifts, which adds to the appeal for many. For example, shifts can often be swapped to meet personal errands and people can often choose between day and evening shifts. Max Moran, a freelance chef from Derby, said: “I enjoy my flexible career as a freelance chef, the money is good and the ability to pick where and when you work really suits my lifestyle.”

A breath of fresh air
There is no single route in to catering nowadays, and there are multiple career paths for prospective recruits to follow.

The age-old tradition of working up the ranks still exists, showing that traditional career progression is still possible. Casual Dining Group, for example, partnered with Remit Training in 2016 to deliver apprenticeships to its restaurants, focusing on servers, chefs and managerial positions.

Lake District Hotels, a hotel group in Cumbria, launched their initiative ‘Hotel Academy’ in April 2018, to train aspiring chefs and practise fine dining. This academy includes a one-year programme with guaranteed employment and accredited qualifications. These aren’t standalone exceptions either, people are realising the potential in the catering industry. It’s clear to see that more is being invested in talented young people who have an interest in progressing in the market.

Vocational courses related to catering are also thriving in colleges across the nation. Often, students can showcase their skills to the public with dining school restaurants, giving them a taste of what catering work is truly like.

The catering industry is certainly here to stay. It offers a strong sense of job security for those who are part of it, due to its steady market growth and increase in average salary. New opportunities and investments in young people mean that the sector is becoming more accessible for those who may not have considered this type of role until now.