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Multiple states report COVID-19 cases linked to Sturgis rally

first_imgOvidiu Dugulan/iStockBy ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Health experts’ fears about the hundreds of thousands of bikers who descended on South Dakota for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the middle of a pandemic are coming true.Dozens of coronavirus cases in eight states are believed to be linked to the 10-day motorcycle event earlier this month. South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Washington state health departments all have reported cases.Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, who spoke at the Republican National convention Wednesday, supported holding the rally in her state.“We are not — and WILL not — be the subjects of an elite class of so-called experts,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “We the People are the government.”A patron who visited multiple bars in Sturgis, as well as a tattoo shop employee, tested positive for COVID-19, according to the South Dakota Health Department.“Currently 40 cases have been reported to the South Dakota Department of Health related to the Sturgis Rally,” the health department told ABC News in a statement. “This includes three out-of-state cases that we were notified of because those cases had close contact with a South Dakota resident.”On Aug. 7, the opening day of the rally, South Dakota had roughly 9,000 COVID-19 cases, according to the health department. By Aug. 26, positive cases had risen to 11,500. The state’s positivity rate also rose, from 6% for the 14 days before Aug. 7, to 9% for the 14 days before Aug. 26.A high positivity rate can be a sign that a state is only testing its sickest patients and failing to cast a net wide enough to accurately capture community transmission, according to Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization recommends that governments get their positivity testing threshold below 5%.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Maine shifts some vaccine doses away from CVS and Walgreens

first_imgOleksii Liskonih/iStockBy ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News(AUGUSTA) — As frustration mounts over slow COVID-19 vaccine rollouts at CVS and Walgreens around the country, Maine has been shifting supplies away from chain pharmacies to independent ones.This week, the state transferred 975 doses from Walgreens to an independent pharmacy and next week it plans to transfer 500 doses away from CVS, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.“The decision was driven by the principles of velocity and equity, which are foundations of Maine’s vaccination plan,” Robert Long, a Maine CDC spokesperson, told ABC News in a statement. “The doses had not been committed to scheduled clinics, so the Maine Immunization Program redirected them to vaccination sites that had ready and immediate needs.”This week, Maine didn’t send any of the doses it received from the federal government to CVS or Walgreens.But according to Long, the decision to pause the retail pharmacy program isn’t a policy shift. Instead, he said, it reflects the fact that CVS and Walgreens already had enough doses to fulfill their commitments for the week.“This is not an issue of pace,” a CVS spokesperson told ABC News. “The 500 doses noted are being moved because the operator of 14 long-term care facilities — Shalom House in Portland — wanted to move to Bedard Pharmacy, with whom they have an existing relationship.”“There are several factors that may leave us with more doses than initially planned,” a Walgreens spokesperson told ABC News. “For example, the patient population at a long-term care facility has shifted, patients or staff elect not to get the vaccine, or a facility overestimated doses needed.”“We are not messing around with this,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said during a news conference last week. “We’ve got doses waiting to be administered and people waiting to receive them. If we see a mismatch there, we are going to continue moving things around in that fashion.”It remains to be seen if Maine will follow in the footsteps of West Virginia, which was lauded for a successful vaccine rollout that relied on partnering with independent pharmacies instead of chains.As of Jan. 21, West Virginia had vaccinated 9,349 out of every 100,000 residents, among the best per capita rates in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, Maine’s per capita vaccination rate was 5,989 vaccines administered for every 100,000 people.And while the Maine CDC said that West Virginia’s success with independent pharmacies had no influence on Maine’s decision to reallocate doses, the two states do have some key similarities.While slightly more than half of pharmacies in Maine are chains, compared to 41% of pharmacies in West Virginia, both states have a dearth of chains in rural neighborhoods, according to an ABC News analysis of SafeGraph data. In Maine, there are only six chain pharmacies per 100,000 people in rural areas. Rural neighborhoods in West Virginia have roughly eight chain pharmacies per 100,000 people.John Beckner, senior director of strategic initiatives at the National Community Pharmacists Association, which represents independent pharmacies, said that independent pharmacies had wanted to be involved in the initial vaccine distribution effort.“We had numerous meetings and calls with CDC and HHS. We lobbied,” he said. “By and large, states have elected to use CVS and Walgreens. In some cases that worked OK. In other cases, there were a lot of bumps in the road.”And despite the perception that independent pharmacies aren’t as well equipped as the big chains to handle vaccinations, Beckner, a pharmacist by training, stressed that independent pharmacists often have decades of experience immunizing patients. There’s also the relationship factor: In addition to existing partnerships with nursing homes, in rural communities without a doctor, local pharmacist sometimes double as primary care.While tricky requirements for storing the Pfizer vaccine make the Moderna a more realistic option for pharmacies “the main challenge for our members has been access to the vaccine,” Beckner said.More states are reaching out to independent pharmacies, according to Beckner, and with the prospect of additional vaccines like Johnson & Johnson’s in the pipeline, Beckner is hopeful that independents will have a bigger role to play when vaccinations of the general public start.“What we’ve seen in West Virginia is best practice, quite frankly,” he said. “Other states have really taken notice.”ABC News’ Mark Nichols contributed to this report.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Business round-up: BA looks at lay-offs

first_img • Rod Eddington, the new chief executive of British Airways, will consider the airline’s first-ever compulsory redundancies in an effort to cut capacity and costs. BA has also received approaches for Go, its low-cost airline. Eddington will discuss the future of the subsidiary – which may also involve demerging it – in talks with Go’s chief executive Barbara Cassani in the next six months. The former chairman of Ansett, the Australian airline, took up his new post last week amid plans to cut a further £1bn of costs, expected to involve more than 6,500 job losses. He has instigated a fresh review and is reported as saying the airline can no longer avoid compulsory redundancies, and that total job losses could be anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000. Ft.comHalifax logs on • Halifax bank sought to take on the UK clearing banks and Internet-based new entrants when it unveiled the product range and business proposition for Intelligent Finance (IF), its stand-alone Internet bank. Halifax chief executive James Crosby said IF’s product proposition would target the clearing banks’ core markets with “some precision”, taking Halifax “right to the heart of clearing bank profitability”. Chief executive of IF Jim Spowart said the new bank is also an “attack on the new entrants who have some product range and are known for loss-leading products”. Ft.comTrue cost of credit• Banks which have ditched the personal touch are losing up to £15bn in lost revenue every year by blacklisting millions of Britons. More than eight million people in Britain – one in five adults – are on a credit blacklist, according to figures from Datamonitor. They cannot use plastic cards, draw money from banks or take out HP agreements. Datamonitor reveals that 22.9 per cent of people aged between 18 and 65 would have applications for credit rejected from high street banks and building societies. Comments are closed. Related posts: Previous Article Next Article Immigration minister: Get your sponsor licence applications in nowThe minister for future borders and immigration has advised employers wishing to continue to recruit skilled workers from abroad next… Over 1,000 UK redundancies expected at G4S Cash SolutionsSecurity company G4S is planning to cut more than a quarter of jobs in its cash handling business amid the… Business round-up: BA looks at lay-offsOn 16 May 2000 in Blacklisting, Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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first_img Previous Article Next Article NewsOn 1 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. This week’s newsAsthma practice There will be a code of practice to counter asthma in the workplace, theHealth and Safety Commission announced following a meeting on World Asthma Day.The code will form part of a programme for reducing workplace asthma.  www.ginasthma.com   www.hse.gov.uk  www.hsebooks.co.uk   Order an HSE video from [email protected] reaction The Chemical Industries Association has updated its information ontoxicology, with four more briefs in its educational series. They covercomputer predictions of toxicity, inhalation toxicology, eco-toxicology andreproductive toxicology.  Dr PhillipLewis on [email protected] handling A new qualification in manual handling has been launched by the CharteredInstitute of Environmental Health. The Principles of Manual Handling is aimedat reducing the estimated 50,000 yearly accidents from handling and lifting.  www.cieh.org.ukMaternity Update With the new maternity rights in force, the AOHNP is holding a repeat studyday on Friday 30 June. It will be held at the Maternity Alliance offices,Barbican, London.  Contact JaneHutton-Downey, AOHNP London regional director on 07712 788942 for details. UKCC surveyThe UKCC is to carryout a study on practitioners working outside the NHS. The study, announced inthe business plan for 2000-2001, will look at the professional, occupationaland educational expectations placed on nurses.   www.ukcc.org.ukBlood clot riskAirlines need toexamine the risk of blood clots from long flights, director of the AviationHealth Institute Farrol Kahn, warned last month. Deep vein thrombosis can becaused by poor posture and lack of mobility.   www.aspirin-foundation.comLatex guidanceThere is new guidanceon the risks of contact with natural latex, the Health & Safety Executivehas announced. It outlines risk assessment processes and precautions for thepotential problems, which include skin irritations and a number of allergicreactions.   Latex and You, from www.hsebooks.co.ukMcKiernan postingMike McKiernan hasbeen named director of occupational policy at the Engineering EmployersFederation. He is currently health, safety and environmental projects directorat engineering group TRW, which was formerly LucasVarity.Cut fatigue factor More sectors should follow the rail industry in applying a fatigue index tomeasure risks of accidents from long hours, Dr Anita Levinson, stressconsultant, said. “Fatigue, due to long hours or chronic stress, plays alarge part in accidents.” Small firms miss OH Few small- and medium-sized organisations use OH services, despite evidenceit is good for business, said Dr David Snashall, chief medical adviser to theHSE. Clearest proof of the link comes in the work of the Faculty ofOccupational Medicine on back pain. Safety on the road Risks of employees driving during their work is a huge problem requiring achange of corporate attitudes, Nigel Bromley, manager of safety policy andstrategy at BT, said. last_img read more

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New horizons

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. New horizonsOn 5 Sep 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Despite a shaky start, New Deal has survived – and through the lessons learnt in its first two years, new targets are being set. Philip Whiteley and Gill Sargeant reportWhen 18 months ago Personnel Today reported that employers were having difficulties with New Deal job applicants and that Allied Carpets had withdrawn from the scheme, it drew an angry response from the Department for Education and Employment.The then New Deal minister Andrew Smith accused the journal of “negative carping” and denied that Allied Carpets had pulled out. On the latter case he was correct only technically; the retailer remained a subscriber, but was not taking on any young people because it was disappointed with the suitability of candidates.Such ministerial defensiveness did not augur well. There were real problems with the programme, which were not going to be resolved by angry denunciations of the messengers. Many employers had reported that a high proportion of New Deal candidates were scarcely capable of work or simply did not show up.Youth unemployment was going down, but the rate had not accelerated since the introduction of the programme. There was a possibility that the £4bn was being spent on people who did not need it – or on those with problems too great to be affected by a back-to-work initiative.Research published by the Industrial Society today (5 September), however, shows that the scheme has some hidden strengths which have saved it. Prior to inauguration the Employment Service had undergone a massive training exercise of its own staff to change the task from one of administering benefits and encouraging the pursuit of jobs, to an active assistance in making people more employable.Active assistanceWhat the Industrial Society found was that some Employment Service staff have grasped the opportunity to be far more active in helping people look for work. One New Dealer, now an enthusiastic staff member at Asda in Wallasey, explains, “I didn’t want to be there on the New Deal. The adviser didn’t just win me over, she pushed me in. I’m not complaining because I’m made up now. It was her enthusiasm that really helped.”Another says, “The New Deal was the best thing that ever happened to me. A few of my mates are on the dole and are not getting jobs because the dole people are not giving them experience. New Deal advisers are different to other advisers.”By contrast, a single mother who did not qualify for the New Deal says, “I went to the JobCentre. I didn’t find them very helpful. There were a lot of jobs in shop work. The woman in the JobCentre said I shouldn’t bother with those, but that I should go to college. If I had a partner, going to college wouldn’t have been so bad, but when you’re on your own you can’t go to college.”The National Institute of Economic and Social Research report into the New Deal calculated that 30,000 of the 110,000 young unemployed who moved into work in the year ending April 1999 did so because of the New Deal. The examples Personnel Today encountered give an indication as to how that can come about.This also indicates that the scheme did not fail in its early months because of too much help, but because of too little – or, at least, too little assistance in the most difficult cases. There may have been excessive help for more motivated young people.New Deal advisers therefore achieve most where they have taken the trouble to show a personal interest in the individual and tailor their efforts to that individual. This means the advisers must have the best training possible and the freest hand.The other hidden strength has been the imagination and commitment of many employers. This research supports findings from earlier reports in Personnel Today and elsewhere that the scheme works well only where there is a strong partnership between employers and the Employment Service. There is no point sending people to places for which they are ill-suited.Failure figuresDrop-out rates and failure to attend interviews remain formidable problems, however. “I would like people to feel that if an appointment is made for them then they ought to keep it. The level of drop-outs is massive,” says Graham Finegold who runs Workforce, an independent New Deal services provider in London.Peugeot, one employer featured in our study, went to great lengths to work with the Employment Service. But it still found high drop-out rates. Of the 15 people it took on, seven dismissed themselves or had been dismissed within a few months. “When we have someone we fail with – dismiss themselves or have to be dismissed, that it is an opportunity someone else could have had. It is a bit of a waste of time,” says personnel manager Julie Timings.Nonetheless, she adds, “We have had some fantastic unemployed people, so you cannot generalise.” Moreover, to move eight people from the dole queue with little employment history to holding down demanding, well-paid industrial jobs is quite an achievement.What emerges from the experience of employers is that simply signing up to the New Deal and hoping for streams of job-ready candidates to come through does not work. Firms need to be fully committed to devoting management time and consider mentoring, or not bother at all. More generally, as we near full employment, it becomes apparent that an ultra-lean staffing operation is not very efficient because skills are not available. In practice, firms have to build in some slack and be prepared to train people.So why should a company bother with New Deal? Because those candidates who do make it become first-rate employees.Business author Clive Morton says of his experience at Anglian Water, “We took on 43 New Dealers and it was very successful. “We appointed a buddy to every New Dealer, which not only helped the New Dealer but helped the buddies. People who had been with the company for years would inevitably come to the conclusion that these youngsters who couldn’t find jobs weren’t making the effort. Dealing with the youngsters they found out how difficult it is to get a job,” he says. “We looked for a personality that would fit with the organisation. It is not the skills – they can be added later.”Early nightmaresScottish & Newcastle describes its early experience of the New Deal as a “nightmare” but subsequently a success. It found initially that candidates simply did not turn up for interview, but realised that this was because the opportunities were not being sold to them. Last year it overhauled its approach and has begun working in much closer partnerships with JobCentres. It has taken on at least 200 through the New Deal, and one has reached assistant manager. The firm works closely with job centres to ensure that only suitable can- didates are referred.These are the hidden strengths in the scheme. There are also hidden weaknesses. We came across one anecdote, and some hard evidence, revealing a tendency of Whitehall to put pressure on the Employment Service to get unemployment figures down quickly with inappropriate placements.First, the anecdote, which came from a manager at an Asda store in Maidstone, Kent: “[Regarding] some of those who have dropped out, the JobCentre had said to them ‘There’s nothing else, why don’t you try Asda?’ One said they told him ‘I know you don’t want the work but just turn up because it makes our figures look good’.”Playing the numbers gameThis pattern was confirmed by Nick Edwards of Disability Matters, Winchester, which places people with disabilities in employment, both through the New Deal and other funding arrangements.“The Department of Social Security, which was funding us to run the New Deal project, was wanting us to use Treasury models. We said we could put 165 people through the training programme, and would put 50 to 60 into work. They said it was too expensive; we said ‘yes, but it is breaking new ground’. After a year we have put 165 through the programme and 60 have gone into work. The interesting thing is that through the year other projects were saying the same thing to the DSS, and the DSS has become less interested in the numbers.” The heartening aspect about this development is that the Government – at any rate the DSS – is learning the message.Another chastening finding was further confirmation of the high levels of illiteracy and innumeracy in the UK. The definitive work on this was last year’s Moser report, which found that around a quarter of the UK adult population is innumerate (the figure for Germany is only 7 per cent) and that about 7 million people are illiterate. “We have sent people with GCSEs to a college, they were tested by the college and were not up to standard on numeracy and literacy. The college had to throw in basic skills as well as an NVQ,” says Zanny Lomas, New Deal project manager at Coventry Employment Service.Back to basicsNew Deal minister Tessa Jowell told the Commons select committee in May, “An estimated 40 per cent of young people on the New Deal Gateway cannot read basic instructions on a medicine bottle. If you look at the kinds of jobs available in the modern labour market you can see how many jobs those young people are excluded from.”Basic skills training is now compulsory on the Gateway, and this is arguably the most important development since the scheme came in. There are still 1 million unemployed adults in Britain, at the same time that skills shortages hinder development of one quarter of firms, according to the CBI human resources survey. If the New Deal did not exist, something like it would have to be invented.• The New Deal: A Good Deal Better is available from the Industrial Society 020-7479 2000 www.indsoc.co.uk last_img read more

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Appeal plans set by HSE

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Appeal plans set by HSEOn 1 Nov 2000 in Personnel Today A notice of approval has been issued by the HSE, setting out procedures forstaff appealing against decisions recorded in their health records under theIonising Radiations Regulations 1999. An employee aggrieved by a decision recorded in their record can apply tothe HSE for the decision to be reviewed. If the appeal is upheld the employee’s health record will be amended or theconditions imposed by the original decision changed. Copies of the notice from the HSE, Radiation Protection Policy, 6NW, RoseCourt, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS or on www.hse.gov.uk Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Yorkshire pilot scheme helps refugees into jobs

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. A scheme that will provide skilled refugees with a detailed employment fileto help them to secure jobs is being developed by the Yorkshire and HumbersideAsylum Consortium. Under the scheme refugees will be helped to compile a personal portfolio to showpotential employers. It will contain details of qualifications gained in their home country,courses attended while in the UK, permission to work and possibly a referencefrom their accommodation provider. Liz Westmorland, asylum services manager for Yorkshire and Humberside AsylumConsortium, hopes the initiative will help address local skills shortages. She said, “Generally, there tends to be a high proportion ofprofessional people who seek and get refugee status. By and large they rarelyget a job to match their earlier skills and qualifications. They generally endup going into levels of work below their experience and qualifications fromtheir home countries.” The pilot scheme will begin in late autumn and refugees will be responsiblefor collating and presenting information appropriate for their employment. Theblank portfolios will be kept by accommodation providers and distributed aspart of the induction pack. The portfolio is likely to be a folder, but it could be developedelectronically and may also include health records. Paul Cosgrove, senior personnel officer for Rotherham Metropolitan BoroughCouncil, welcomed the initiative. He said, “Such an initiative would streamline the process and make itmore feasible for employers, including local authorities, to open upopportunities to all members of the community including those asylum-seekerswho are able to work. www.leeds.gov.ukBy Katie Hawkins Minister studies aims of Personnel TodayHome Office immigration minister Lord Rooker has told Personnel Today thathe is keen to study the aims of the Refugees in Employment campaign in moredetail and will give the magazine his full response.The minister was responding to the magazine’s open letter sent to him lastweek which set out our four campaign goals. He has promised to give Personnel Todaya full interview in the next month.”The minister has received the letter and is keen to study thecampaign’s aims in more detail and give it his full and consideredresponse,” said a spokesman for his office.If you have questions for the minister or comments on our campaign,e-mail: [email protected]: 020-8652 8805 Post: Personnel Today, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton,Surrey SM2 5AS Previous Article Next Article Yorkshire pilot scheme helps refugees into jobsOn 17 Jul 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Business must heed call for investment in its staff

first_imgHave we – as a profession – failed? The Industrial Society opened aPandora’s box of statistics this week as it relaunched as the Work Foundation. Its research involving more than 2,000 employees shows that satisfaction inthe workplace has plummeted over the past decade. Staff are a lot less happyabout their career prospects, pay, job security, hours and workload. During the same period, productivity in the UK has stagnated with staffproving to be about 30 per cent less productive than those in competitornations. If you believe these worrying statistics – and the CIPD does not – thenleaders, line managers and HR are allculpable, and we need to start thinking alot more creatively. The answer, claims the Work Foundation, lies in a huge cultural shift in theworkplace where ‘softer’ issues, such as the development of the socialcapabilities of staff, become as important as ‘hard’ ones like the bottom line.The argument carries some weight although it could boil down into a simplermessage – invest in your people. This is a message that HR has long understood,but has had problems in translating into a language that the board can comprehend.The more progressive firms have glimpsed the future and made the linkbetween people and productivity. Soon all leading organisations will have thesame technologies and structures as competitors. Companies will only be able todifferentiate themselves through their people – who will need to be the bestskilled and managed staff to succeed. This will involve much more than just pay and benefits. It will only bethrough a genuine commitment to developing flexible working, careerdevelopment, learning, management and a creative work culture that increasedproductivity will be achieved. HR has to lead this shift, and leave question marks about failure waybehind. By Mike Broad Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Business must heed call for investment in its staffOn 9 Apr 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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first_imgGuruOn 12 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. This week’s guruSweet smell of success for tall talesGuru had a great night at the Personnel Today Awards 2002. There wasfabulous food, drink, dancing – oh yes – and some excellent examples of bestpractice HR. There was just one problem: everyone seemed to find Ricky Gervais, aka TheOffice’s David Brent, hilarious for his off-the-wall comments on managementspeak. Guru didn’t find anything unusual about his comments (“It is usefulthat cats have nine lives – it makes them ideal for experimentation”). Hehas heard a lot worse from former managers. Disciples clearly agree. We are being peppered with spicy, real-life‘Brentisms’ in our competition to win copies of the TV show’s script. Tact anddiplomacy are clearly absent from many managers’ repertoires. Regular reader Lucy informs Guru that a previous manager had to tell anemployee they were smelly. After getting the team together the manager asked:”If you do not smell put your hand up.” Everyone raised their hands,but the manager pointed at the culprit, and said: “I am afraid that youhave answered incorrectly.” HR manager Jeremy tells us that when he was visiting a regional manager, hemade a couple of astute operational observations and offered a solution to theproblem. The regional manager leaned over, knocked on his head three times andsaid: “You’ve got quite a good little mind in there, and you could addvalue – if only you would let people in more.” But Guru’s current favourite is from Liz, who overheard her boss talking toa customer on the phone. He said, in all seriousness: “Look, let’s not getinto an argument – you’ll disagree with my point of view, and I know I’mright.” Headache bill will be tough Act to swallowHow manyheadaches has the Data Protection Act caused for HR?The answer is a lot. The Lord Chancellor’s department (LCD) iscurrently reviewing the Information Commission’s implementation and askingemployers for their experiences – such as charging staff to access personalinformation, and appropriate response times. Many will be hoping the reviewwill lead to change and help make it easier for employers to implement.The LCD may also look at the Information Commission’s decision,in its code of practice, to make employers separate the reason for absence fromthe amount of time off taken.Guru was intrigued to find out more about the remit of thereview so he put in a call to the Lord Chancellor, but the person steering theproject was off work… ill. Guru trusts his records will be managed perfectly.RealGo getters must get on board for jobsGuru hasalways been a terrible at board games. Chess, bridge, Pokemon – he’s lost tohis children at all of them.So, getting a job in Thailand looks out of the question.Supermarket chain 7-Eleven is using a 4,000-year-old Chinese board game todecide whether job applicants make the grade. Go is a game of strategy in whichplayers have to win territory. Played on a square board with 361 black andwhite stones, chief executive Korsak Chairasmisak is convinced it shows who thebest team players are.The company has even set up a Go club where staff can sharpentheir skills and recruit and coach other employees. So far, about 1,000 of thecompany’s 20,000 workers have learned the game.Having road-tested a long list of online recruitment systemsrecently, Guru thinks it might be easier to learn an ancient board game to geta job. But, surely a quick round or two of fizz-buzz down the local wouldseparate the wheat from the chaff? Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Firm running new HR qualification

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Staffworking for HR outsourcing specialist Xchanging can now study for a newqualification in personnel practice, which is accredited by the CharteredInstitute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).TheCertificate in Personnel Practice covers the CIPD’s basic requirements for HRpersonnel, such as training and development, recruitment and selection,performance management, employee relations and interpersonal skills.  Xchanginghas adapted the course to suit its own requirements, covering its customer supportteam (contact centre HR advisers) and remuneration and benefitsactivities.  RichardHoughton, chief executive of Xchanging HR Services, said that running aCIPD-accredited course enables staff to achieve a nationally recognisedqualification of the highest professional standards.“Asour business expands, we need to ensure we provide the best HR outsourcingservice for our clients by maintaining a consistently high standard of HRknowledge among staff at every level in our organisation,” Houghton said.Fiftyemployees a year are expected to take the course, which will be held on-site sothat people will not have to  travel toremote training centres. DavidOldfield, HR business partner of Xchanging HR Services, said he believes thenew qualification will ensure its workforce has the essential HR skills itneeds.“Notall our employees require HR qualifications at as high a level as CIPD.However, they do need to understand the basic building blocks of the HRfunction, and a Certificate in Personnel Practice is the ideal vehicle forproviding that knowledge,” he said. Previous Article Next Article Firm running new HR qualificationOn 22 Jul 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Council aims to de-stress its staff with counselling

first_img Comments are closed. Manchester City Council is piloting a telephone counselling service tocombat worker stress. The confidential, 24-hour helpline is currently available to 6,000 of thecouncil’s 27,000 staff, but will be extended to all employees if it provessuccessful. “Stress is increasing in the workplace and it’s a problem for allorganisations,” said Jon Redfern, head of personnel at the council. “We recognise this and are trying to take preventative action andsupport employees in the hope it will prevent stress from kicking in.” Introduced in December 2003 for employees working in the housing, children,families and social care departments, Redfern said there had been significanttake-up of the service and that feedback has been positive. Previous Article Next Article Council aims to de-stress its staff with counsellingOn 27 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Shell chief hits out at executive egomania

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Shell chief hits out at executive egomaniaOn 27 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today In the wake of corporate scandal and senior resignations at Shell UK, itschairman, Clive Mather, has admitted that leaders need more humility and thatgood role models are hard to find. “One of the dangers of seniority is that it reinforces your ego andreduces humility, I’ve had a tough day and I feel extremely humble,” CliveMather, chairman of Shell UK told HR professionals after the City was rocked byone of the biggest corporate scandals in 20 years. Mather’s ‘tough day’ stemmed from shock confessions by senior Shellexecutives that they had repeatedly lied to Shell investors about the truelevel of the energy giant’s oil and gas reserves – and then covered up thedeceit. The world’s third biggest oil business joins a string of corporate scandals,such as WorldCom and Enron, and raises questions about integrity levels amongtoday’s business leaders. Mather, who is also head of learning at Shell International, was speaking ata Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development debate on whether investmenton training within organisations gave real returns. He warned that good rolemodels among business leaders to showcase the training and development of staffwere now difficult to find. “There are too many leaders portrayed in the media as insular andegocentric,” he said. “That’s not leadership. Leadership isexercising [business goals and success] through others, not through oneself. “And at the heart of good leadership is humility. Not many leaders oforganisations understand that concept,” he added But Andrew Kakabadse, professor of international management at CranfieldUniversity, denied business leaders were suffering from a lack of integrity. Hesaid they were increasingly pressurised by ever-spiralling demands from equitymarkets for higher shareholder value, leading to scandals like the one atShell. “Shareholder value is beginning to see the end of the day,” saidKakabadse. Roger Gill, director of research at the Leadership Trust, agreed. “Top management are under almost unbearable pressure to meet escalatingshareholder demand, plus demands from others including the Government,”said Gill. He added that the pressure was “denting moral courage and theresilience to stick with what we believe in”. By Penny Wilson Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Change of tack helps IT merger ride the waves

first_img Comments are closed. Paul Yandall discovers how the high seas have helped Nigel Perks navigatestaff through the largest IT merger in UK historyWhen it came to leading 23,000 workers through a £910m merger, HR directorNigel Perks sought help from the sea. The sailing enthusiast was part of patchwork team stitched together at shortnotice for last year’s Fastnet Sailing Challenge on the Irish Sea. “It made me realise what sort of stuff goes on during mergers where youthrow people together and say: ‘there, that’s your objective’,” said the45-year-old Welshman. “You had your highs and lows and stress. It’s apretty tough race, you know – people have lost their lives.” Fortunately, things weren’t so drastic during the merger of competing ITservice providers Logica and CMG, which became LogicaCMG on 1 January 2003.However, there was blood on the floor – figuratively speaking. “We shed about 10 per cent, around 2,500 workers,” said Perks.former HR director of Logica and now the group HR director of LogicaCMG.”Most of those were in overlapping jobs, where there was duplication [inareas] such as administration or management.” It’s been a year-and-a-half since the merger – one of the biggest in theUK’s IT industry – and just enough time for Perks to have developed someperspective on the massive change. “Traditionally, mergers and acquisitions aren’t very successful, andit’s usually the human factor that makes them unsuccessful,” he said. “One of the key points for us was speed. It was really important togive people clarity as quickly as possible because they were being put into aposition of uncertainty.” The merger was announced on 5 November 2002. It was formally completed inless than two months, allowing the new entity to take its first steps onto theworld stage on New Year’s Day. “Right from day one a lot of effort was put into communication,”said Perks. “We had to get news of job losses out straight away, but we also had tohave the branding of the new company complete and the systems in place ready togo.” For Perks, who has also held senior HR posts with Equifax, Prudential andDigital Equipment, the merger was the biggest professional challenge he hadfaced. “It could have been very easy for me to throw my toys out saying‘this is not something I came here to do’. But actually, the challenge has beena huge opportunity,” he said. Among the challenges were the peculiarities of managing a merger of trulyinternational scale. The combined company would have staff in 34 countries,meaning hundreds of regulations in different jurisdictions had to be compliedwith. “We couldn’t move at the pace of one country because regulations inanother meant things would take longer,” he said. “We had ourtargets, but we also had to take a staggered approach.” Managing the merger of the two different cultures was also a challenge.Although Logica and CMG were both technology companies founded in the UK in the1960s, their management systems were markedly different. Logica was a morecentralised and yet more internationally-focused business, while theAnglo-Dutch CMG was a much more decentralised entity. “Certainly from an HR perspective there were differences,” saidPerks. “But it was a great opportunity to take the best of both worlds –to ask what have you got and what have we got? – and then create something thatwas cutting edge.” It also gave Perks, who was appointed to his current role in March thisyear, the opportunity to focus on systems he felt were inadequate and startfrom scratch. New appraisal, succession and induction systems have all beenbuilt. Although there was still work to be done in areas such as diversity –attracting more women to the IT industry has been a problem – there was ageneral mood shift within the company away from the merger and towards thechallenges ahead. “We’ve tried to strike a balance between creating something new,exciting and competitive, as well as trying to honour the past,” saidPerks. “In some places, there’s a real echo of the old companies, and whynot? They were something to be proud of.” Previous Article Next Article Change of tack helps IT merger ride the wavesOn 22 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Ready players: 5M-sf e-sports complex rises in Shanghai

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsChina Commercial Real Estateshanghai (Super Gen via Twitter/ArjunKharpal, Getty) A nearly 5.4-million-square-foot e-sports complex will be built in Shanghai, meant to solidify the city as the center of the competitive gaming industry.Work has begun on the Shanghai International New Cultural and Creative E-Sports Center, expected to cost nearly $900 million, according to CNBC.“E-sports” refers to both competitive video games and the wider industry that’s emerged around them. That industry generated about $1.1 billion last year, according to games market research firm Newzoo, and is attracting big investments worldwide. In New York City, Dynamic Star is planning an e-sports arena for its Fordham Landing project in the Bronx.Epic Games, the company behind the hit game, “Fortnite,” recently purchased a nearly 1 million-square-foot mall in North Carolina it will convert into its headquarters.China-based company SuperGen, which owns the e-sports team Edward Gaming, is the main backer of the project in Shanghai. The complex is designed as a place where e-sports teams and companies can be based. It’s anchored by a 6,000-seat arena and a hotel, according to sports venue news outlet Coliseum.The complex can host around 10,000 people per day and SuperGen plans to host around 300 competitions each year. The complex is being developed in phases and is expected to open in 2024.China is the largest e-sports market in the world. About 70 percent of the 720 million gamers in the country play e-sports, CNBC reported. Shanghai hosted the 2020 World Championship of “League of Legends,” one of the largest e-sports events in the world. The event was watched by 3.8 million people.[CNBC] [Coliseum] — Dennis Lynch center_img Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

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Here’s a look at Rob Gronkowski’s Miami condo ahead of Super Bowl LV

first_imgRob Gronkowski and 1100 Biscayne Boulevard (Getty; Miami Condo Investments/Photo Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski will have his lofty Miami condo to go home to following Super Bowl LV this weekend.Gronkowski, known as The Gronk, paid $1.7 million in 2019 for the four-bedroom, 3,850-square-foot unit at Marquis, a downtown Miami condo tower at 1100 Biscayne Boulevard. After he retired from the New England Patriots, Gronkowski joined his then-former teammate, Tom Brady, in Tampa last year.Photos of the unit (Douglas Elliman)Less than a week after Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL in 2019, he sold his Boston apartment for $2.3 million. The 31-year-old is a three-time Super Bowl champ, and spent his entire professional career up until 2020 playing for the Patriots. He’s considered one of the best tight ends of all time.Read moreDevelopment boom in Super Bowl city: Tampa reaches for its real estate moment Ahead of Super Bowl LIV, here’s where pro football stars call home in South Florida He scored a deal on his Miami condo, acquiring it at a discount off both the asking price and the previous sale price. Property records show the seller, retired Norwegian soccer player John Carew, paid $2.4 million for the unit in 2013. It’s on the 39th floor of the building.Photos of the unit (Douglas Elliman)Eventually, it looks like both Brady and Gronkowski will be in Miami together. Brady and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, paid about $17 million for a waterfront teardown on the exclusive Indian Creek Island late last year.Contact Katherine Kallergis Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tags Email Address* Message* Share via Shortlink Celebrity Real Estatedowntown Miamimarquis miamilast_img read more

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Paleolimnology in the High Arctic – implications for the exploration of Mars

first_imgPaleolimnology provides information on the past chemical, physical and biological nature of water bodies. In polar regions, where global climatic changes can be exacerbated compared with lower latitudes, the science has become important for reconstructing past changes and in so doing, predicting possible effects of future changes. Owing to the association of life with water bodies, particularly stable water bodies sustained over many millennia, paleolake regions on the surface of Mars are of exobiological importance. In this mini-review, we use experience gathered in the High Arctic to describe the importance of paleolimnology in the Earth’s polar regions as it pertains to the future application of this science to robotic and human exploration missions to the planet Marslast_img read more

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