Archive | October 2011

Free Recruitment Service – KENT & SUSSEX

The Not So Good News

“Mass public sector redundancies and recent fears about a slide back into recession have pushed UK unemployment to its highest for 17 years.”

The total out of work rose to 2.57 million, whilst unemployment amongst under 25’s has hit a record high of 991,000.  There have been deep cuts in state spending, which have been keenly felt by us all at RBLI, which will lead to the loss of more than 300,000 public sector jobs, adding more pressure to the slowing economy.

For businesses operating in this contracting economy, the landscape is particularly challenging.  Slowing sales and rising costs make the environment a particularly difficult one to operate in.

Good News!

It is therefore important in this environment for businesses to have a clear approach to their recruitment needs and work with organisations that can support them with filling vacancies and sourcing well qualified, motivated candidates.  

This is where RBLI can help: We are able to work with businesses on a day to day basis and use our skills and expertise to analyse recruitment needs, source candidates, ensure that they have the requisite skills and experience, provide training and support them into the workplace.  We can even work with them once they are in work to ensure that they settle into the role and are a good match for the business.  And the greatest thing about this tailored service?  It’s entirely free to businesses.  Our specialist teams are currently working across Kent and Sussex, led by David Jessop, supporting local and national businesses with their recruitment needs. 

“I believe that this vital service will provide valuable support to businesses throughout the region and will ensure that we remain at the heart of the economic recovery. ” 

For more information on how we can support your business with your recruitment needs, contact Claire Bonthrone who will be delighted to help.

National Stress Awareness Day

Stress management has never been more relevant or important than it is today.  Recent research suggests that stress levels have doubled in the last 4 years.  This can be linked to increasing financial pressures, fears about job security and fears for the future.
“Stress is one of the biggest health issues facing employees today and is the leading cause of absence at work”
This means that stress is now a major problem for employees and for businesses alike.  It leaves me gobsmacked therefore that most businesses are so woefully ill-prepared to deal with this huge problem.  The cost, both to the health of employees and the bottom line of businesses, is colossal and action is therefore crucial.
“The cost, both to the health of employees and the bottom line of businesses, is colossal and action is therefore crucial.”

That is why I am supporting National Stress Awareness Day on 2nd November 2011.  This is the 13th of these and is aimed at celebrating beating stress!  The theme this year is “Wellbeing and Resilience at Work”, which fits perfectly with our own experience and expertise of helping others cope more effectively.  Our commercial team have a wide range of services and products that support wellbeing at work and are aimed at easing this significant workplace problem.  I know that our support, services and products can make a real difference to the lives of people suffering the horribly debilitating effects of stress, and to businesses who can see a huge return on any investment they make in stress management programmes.
For more information on our services and how we may be able to help, contact Emma Carty.  For more information on National Stress Awareness Day visit

Armed Forces Covenant

I am a passionate and vocal supporter of the Armed Forces Covenant, which defines the relationship between the Armed Forces community, the Nation and the Government.  I believe that we have a moral obligation to the members of all three services and their families.  They deserve our respect, support and fair treatment.
‘This agreement is one that we at RBLI embrace fully. ’
The covenant aims to ensure that those that serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, should face no disadvantage.  This obligation involves the whole of society and includes charitable organisations such as ours, private organisations and individuals. I believe that it is vital that we should honour the commitment and sacrifice of the Armed Forces, celebrate the work of those who support this community and make sure that we build close links between the Armed Forces and wider society. 

‘Without this joined up approach to support, we will fail these committed and brave men and women.’
I welcome the Government’s formal acceptance of responsibility and a duty to ensure that there is no disadvantage to members of this community.  Without this joined up approach to support, we will fail these committed and brave men and women.
This agreement is one that we at RBLI embrace fully.  I want to make sure that we do all we can to support our veterans and ensure that they too can look back on their careers with pride, from a position of independence and security.

CIPD Absence Management Report

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I read with interest the recently published CIPD report on Absence Management.  This annual survey often shows some interesting developments and this years was no different.  It seems now that stress is the leading cause of absence for both manual and non-manual workers and that mental health problems have also increased within the workplace.

It went on to report that absence was costing employers around £836 per person and that in most organisations managers were under prepared to deal with this increase in stress related absence.
‘Absence costs employers around £836 per person’ CIPD report
This is a startling finding and questions the ability of managers to support vulnerable colleagues in the workplace, which is exactly why I am delighted that we have a range of solutions designed to address exactly these needs.  Support and training for managers is crucial, but it is also vital to give the individual the tools to recognise and manage the symptoms of stress.  RBLI courses give people these important tools and can help in the ongoing management of stress and depression in one’s life, whether at home or at work.

RBLI courses give people important tools and can help in the ongoing management of stress and depression in one’s life, whether at home or at work.’
Our team of consultants, led by Sharon Patmore our Occupational Psychologist, have designed ever more effective tools to support staff and managers.  We, at RBLI are here to help individuals, managers and businesses perform to optimum efficiency. For more information about our courses click here.

High Sheriff Visit

On Thursday 6th October our Chairman, Edwin Boorman and I had the privilege of meeting the High Sheriff of Kent, Mrs Georgie Warner and her husband Charles Warner.  During an informal tour of the RBLI Social Enterprise and Care Homes here in Aylesford. 

Mrs Warner was extremely impressed with our range of services and met with many of our beneficiaries.  She even got hands on with some of the assembly and fulfilment projects that we deliver for many blue chip organisations across the UK.

‘Mrs Warner was extremely impressed with our range of services and met with many of our beneficiaries’

Mrs Warner expressed her surprise at the sheer number of services we provide for the disabled and vulnerable, saying that she would certainly spread word of our work on her travels throughout Kent.

A Chance in a Lifetime

At 7am last Thursday I was running alongside World Champion Haile Gebrselassie in a training run in Hyde Park.  A chance in a lifetime and certainly a dream come true.  Haile is an Olympic Ambassador for G4S with whom we work on the Work Programme. 
‘A chance in a lifetime and certainly a dream come true’
I was fortunate enough to be invited to take part in this run which was truly inspirational.  We were put through our paces with a warming-up session, a 3km run (not at Olympic speed!) and then a warm down with Haile dispensing advice on how to look after our bodies.  Haile is a wonderful ambassador for athletics, his country and G4S and I was both honoured and inspired to meet him. 


Army Recovery Capability

I recently attended a study day for the Army Recovery Capability.  Chaired by Colonel Paul Mitchell of 4th Division in Aldershot, the delegates heard how the Personnel Recovery Units are developing to meet the challenges of this programme.  

Colonel Paul Meldon, who runs the Personnel Recovery Unit in the South East presented his development plans and included a testimony from one of the first of his soldiers who has successfully reintegrated his way into civilian life.  This soldier was on our first assessment course here at RBLI earlier this year, which goes to indicate our contribution to a much broader support system for wounded, injured or sick soldiers – something that we should all be very proud of.
I am extremely pleased RBLI has the opportunity to be involved in this important programme and look forward to doing more with the Personnel Recovery Units over the coming years.