Trophy Blog #112 – Recently we attended the 4th Selby Jobs Fair, This is the newspaper column I did on the day. – Selby Fairs Fair is being held in the Selby College sports hall for most of the day. LRB Trophies has again agreed to volunteer my time to give out free helpful advice to the 800+ job seekers who will be attending during the day. I have done this at the previous fairs to help people with CV issues or seeking employment. This time last year I offered to look at over 30 different CV’s. In the weeks that followed, I wrote to all the people who handed them in giving tips and guidance. Each CV had something that could be changed or added. The aim is to get that CV to the top of the pile. I’m going to do the same this year and offer basic tips, tweaks and improvements. Some I can spot within a few seconds, such as having a phone number for the recruitment manager to ring, others might be nearly perfect and don’t need much help. The Fair is once again organised by my LBA award business mentor, Nigel Adams MP. He and his team are working with the job centre and also the team at Selby College. Over 40 businesses are working together in the same room at the same time. Job seekers are able to talk to as many people as possible in the same day. This year over 500 jobs are available it will be great to hear of some good news stories from successful people in the future. Last year we had a person offered an interview within ten minutes of arriving and someone else starting their new job the very next day. Companies involved at last years event included Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Heineken, Drax Power and Shepherd Construction.
Trophy Blog #109 – Did you know that some small sized businesses are entitled to extra help from the council? Some businesses in the area are entitled to hundreds of pounds worth of help per financial year. (for up to 2 years) starting from this month. This is a UK government incentive introduced recently to support businesses and enterprises. The government wants all businesses to grow as it helps with the economy, job growth and possible export overseas. Once again, it appears that most of us are unaware of the help available to them. I’ve recently spoken to somebody who works in this sector, they tell me that different things are happening all over the UK. Some councils are implementing the reductions without being requested, some are advertising the incentive in there local press, while our own local council have included a small section about it in the recent Rates letters they sent out. Did you see it? It’s buried in the small print so why not dig your letter out and look into it further. The person I spoke to says that councils will not be financially penalised as the funds are underwritten by the central government in London. Sadly I have heard of another three shops closing including the Jack Fulton freezer shop. I’m told this is only a local closure and the rest of the national chain remains open as normal. I’m unsure whether these closures are linked to the amount of monthly cash flow they had, but every penny helps. I hope this information will help somebody reading this. Sadly, landlords who own buildings on the high street are more and more likely to let charitable businesses take up their empty property. Charities are largely exempt from the Business Rates and other bills normal retailers have to pay.

  Trophy Blog #94 ~ Earlier this month, the government announced a number of new ideas to help businesses in the Queen’s Speech. New proposals are being put into place to make it easier for small businesses to access finance and remove red tape and paperwork. Zero hour contracts and national minimum wage abusers are also being tackled to help those in employment. Recently a list of fifteen companies was published to say who had been under paying their staff. Hopefully the embarrassment will make them play by the rules. Less money in their staff pockets means less money in the economy. The new employment bill will put forward proposals to give small business owners fairer access to compete for £230bn worth of yearly public contracts. Larger companies have marketing departments who’s sole purpose is to win these contracts. Smaller business having a level playing field will increase the fairness all round. The new laws will also include new measures to ensure larger companies pay small business owners promptly for work they do for them. This helps vital cash flow. Having money in the bank keeps businesses alive. The Prime Minister quoted before the speech: “Countries rise when their people rise. So this Queen’s Speech is unashamedly pro-work, pro-business and pro-aspiration.” The measures are designed to increase the economic positives we have seen recently. At the moment, growing businesses like ourselves rely on cash flow. We rely on customers paying on time to pay our own wages, staff wages and their never ending bills. The normal 30 day period sometimes gets abused by larger companies, and some smaller companies dare not complain in case they loose future work. 
  Blog #48 ~ Part 2 – In last weeks ‘Trading Up’ column I gave you some information on the work I did for the job seekers who attended the Selby Jobs Fair. It was recently held in the Selby College sports hall and over 800 people visited. I volunteered to give up my day to give out free advice, tips and suggestions to job seekers who handed in CV’s. If a new and improved CV gets you to the next stage then I’ll be very happy. Some people we’re very surprised that local people wanted to help them find employment and wanted to know the catch. There isn’t one, we just want to help! During the last week or so, I have looked at twenty three different CV’s. It has taken longer than planned as each one was so different. Some had five pages of detailed employment history over the last thirty years, while others we’re fresh out of school and had no employment history at all. I highlighted some changes, and have written to them with my suggestions. I hope they take these ideas in a positive way, as I know they have put a lot of time and effort into producing their first version. My tips included the obvious basics such as adding the correct phone number. How can a requirement manager get hold of you without the correct contact information? You have to put yourself in the CV readers shoes, they might not have access to an outside search engine or email system while at work, so adding a good old fashioned phone number is vital. These days you also need to add your Date of Birth so the CV reader can do some background checks. Before offering you a job they must know that you have the right to work in the UK.