Empowering People 


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2016 UK Benefit changes

Posted on 20 November, 2015 at 15:45 Comments comments (1)

Benefit changes across the UK April 2016

New legislation will allow the Secretary of State to review the household benefit cap each year.

Starting as from the new tax year (April 2016), household benefit income will start to change, as listed below.

Working-age benefits rate freeze - Working-age benefits, including tax credits and Local Housing Allowance, will be frozen for 4 years from 2016-17 (this doesn’t include Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance support group payments, Maternity Allowance, Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay and Sick Pay) Benefit Cap reduction and regionalisation.

Once these legislations have been passed the intention is to impose a cap reduction to £20,000 (£13,400 single rate) and £23,000 in London (£15,410 single rate) from April 2016.

Universal Credit and Tax Credit

• Tax Credit and Universal Credit in work reforms Income threshold reduction - From April 2016, the level of earnings at which a household’s tax credits and Universal Credit award starts to be withdrawn for every extra pound earned will be reduced from £6,420 to £3,850.

• Universal Credit work allowances will be reduced to £4,764 for those without housing costs, £2,304 for those with housing costs, and removed altogether for non-disabled claimants without children.

• Tax credit taper – This is the rate at which a person’s or household’s tax credit award is reduced. The taper rate will be increased from 41% to 48% from April 2016.

• Support for children – In households with two or more children any subsequent children born after April 2017 will not be eligible for further support. Equivalent changes will be made to the Housing Benefit rules. (This will also apply in Universal Credit to families who make a new claim from April 2017.)

• Family element - Those starting a family after April 2017 will no longer be eligible for the Family Element in tax credits. The equivalent in Universal Credit, known as the first child premium (£17.45), will also not be available for new claims after April 2017.

• In Housing Benefit, the family premium will be withdrawn for new claims from April 2016.

• Young people - Those aged 18 to 21 who are on Universal Credit will have to apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship, gain work-based skills, or go on a work placement 6 months after the start of their claim. Apart from certain exceptions (those considered vulnerable) they will not be allowed to claim Housing Benefit. -

• Social Housing Rent reductions - Rents for social housing will be reduced by 1% a year for 4 years, and tenants on higher incomes (over £40,000 in London and over £30,000 outside London) will be required to pay market rate, or near market rate, rents.

• The government will review the use of lifetime tenancies in social housing to limit their use with the aim of ensuring households are offered tenancies that match their needs, and ensure the best use is made of the social housing stock.

• New National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour for the over 25s.

• Employment Allowance rises from £2,000 to £3,000. The Employment Allowance gives businesses and charities a cut in the employer National Insurance they pay.

• Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) waiting period will return to the pre-recession length of 39 weeks, but the capital limit will be maintained at the higher level of £200,000.

• Bereavement support payment replaces current bereavement benefit system

• Introduction of single-tier pension.

• Removal of Assessed Income Period in Pension Credit awards. Households on Pension Credit will now need to report all changes in their circumstances that will affect their benefit as they happen. Pensioners aged 75 and over who have an indefinite assessed income period in place will be exempt unless the assessed income period would end under current rules.

• Under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, which comes into force from April 2016, carers of any age who provide unpaid care and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who needs care and support – will no longer need to be providing ‘a substantial amount of care on a regular basis’ to be able to have an assessment. The local authority will have a duty under the Act to undertake a carer’s assessment where it appears they have needs for support.

• The government will abolish employer National Insurance contributions up to the upper earnings limit for apprentices aged under 25.

From September 2016

• New maintenance loan support will replace student grants. Cash support for new students will increase by £766 to £8,200 a year. Loans will be paid back only when graduates earn above £21,000 a year.

• The government will introduce income-contingent loans of up to £10,000, planned to be available from 2016-17, for under-30s to undertake a postgraduate taught masters course.


For further Information, and benefit calculations, please visit www.turn2us.org.uk, or direct.gov, or speak to a member of the citizen advice.


Building self-esteem, steps to try!

Posted on 15 September, 2015 at 6:40 Comments comments (0)

Is your glass half full or half empty?’

Positive people are generally happier and more successful than those with a negative approach. It is more than just thoughts, it is an individual’s entire approach to life - being positive works.

Every individual sends out an aura around them, which tells people how they are feeling. The hidden emotions can be seen through facial and body language.

Motivating ones self can be hard, finding the will power to improve actions, thoughts and beliefs can take forever if you don’t build your self-esteem. Remember that motivation is caused by both internal and external factors that help to drive our desires and energy.

Take different steps to build self-esteem

• Identify with people as role models for guidance

• Make a list of your accomplishments each day

• Often reward your self

• Build others self-esteem (helping others, goes a long way)

• Eat healthy

• Look your best

• Do something different each day

• Share your skills with others (community work, volunteer)

• Start thinking positive about who you are, do not let your pass bring you down

• Learn new skills

• Improve your personal living space

• Deal with one thing at a time

• Have your own journal and write down your thoughts

• Take every set back as a positive, a learning opportunity to improve your self

When setting out these steps, plan a clear goal using the SMART concept

For example based on job search

Specific – what exactly are you targeting?

For example: ‘I want a job in a small retail store’

Measureable- how are you going to do this?

‘Researching stores close by to me’

Achievable- how will you reach this step?

‘I will target my CV’


‘I have the right amount of experience within the retail industry’

Time Bound – when will you achieve your goal?


interview prep lists

Posted on 1 September, 2015 at 10:05 Comments comments (0)

Got an interview set up, congratulations!

Now for the next step is to prepare yourself in selling your skills and achievements.


  1. Make note: How the position supports your career goals
  2. Match your experiences to the job description (competency based questions)



  1. Practice interview questions (visit www.csest.co.uk, for example interview questions)
  2. Prepare 3 questions to ask the interview
  3. General closing answer, final answer why you are the best suited candidate


Research check list

  1. Company background
  2. Mission
  3. Service or products
  4. Structure
  5. Company leadership
  6. Up to date events/projects/achievements of the company
  7. Where is the company leading to? (Check social media for further information of the company)


If the name of the interviewer is given, research about them-(social media, company website)


Things to take with you

  1. Pen and notepad
  2. Mint (if you’re a smoker)
  3. Deodorant (at times people become stressed and sweat, also for smokers it is not nice to smell the after sense of a cigarette)
  4. Copy of your CV
  5. Qualifications
  6. References
  7. Printed Interview conformation letter and location


Dress Code

  1. Corporate clothing (shirt, suit, tie, shoes NO TRAINERS)
  2. Iron well
  3. Ladies remember natural makeup, less cleavage


Need help purchasing Interview Clothes, due to lack of income, ask your Jobcentre adviser to help you with funding or go visit charity stores who will help you with interview clothes (offering new or used clothes) such as suited and booted and dress for success.


How does recruitment work?

Posted on 22 August, 2015 at 17:30 Comments comments (1)

The external recruitment process brings together a different talents, targeting certain sectors of the job market. Providing the opportunities from candidates to bring new experience and ideas into a company. This will be costly for both the interview and the company, the company well be unaware of the full potential, which the candidate holds; compared to an employee who is already working within the company, the greatest fear that an employer would have is to end up with someone less than what they show on paper.


There are a number of stages, which can be used to define and set out the nature of a particular jobs, for the recruitment purpose, a Job analysis is the process of examining jobs, in order to identify the key requirements.

A number of important questions needs to be explored: The title of the job, a simple description of the role and duties of the employee within the organisation.


Job analysis is used in order to:

• Choose employees is to select employee who are within the level or higher of current employees

• Set out the training requirements of a particular job.

• Provide information which will help in decision making to be employed with the job.

• Identify and profile the experiences

• Identify areas of risk and danger at work.

• Help in setting rates of pay for job tasks.


Keep in mind that all positions within a company has been analysed, carried out by direct observation of employees at the company, which allows the personal officer/HR team has a clear understanding of what employee they are looking for within an opening position within the company.

Job description Sets out how a particular employee will fit into the organisation. Providing within the job advert a simple description of who they will be working with, including the role and duties of the employee within the organisation. Therefore take the opportunity and time to use the job description as a guideline for your application.


Job specification explains further attributes to the position. For example “Candidates are expected to show responsibility, have a flair for business, know how to sell, and to work in a team.”


The Selection Process involves procedures to identify the most appropriate candidates to fill the position advertised.

Employers take into consideration the following:

keeping the costs of selection down, making sure that the skills and qualities required have been clearly identified, ensuring these qualities can be found in candidates, making sure the selected candidate will stay for the long term within the company. To achieve this employers will assess candidates via different means of interviews techniques/assessments; hence way many companies have different selection processes to identify whether candidates meet the job specification and job description requirements.

This may involve a combination of:

• Interviewing, candidates being involved in work scenarios.

• Candidates may be asked to provide samples of previous work,

• Filling in personality and intelligence tests, Real work seniors to test their abilities/ Induction and training.

when you start analysing a job advert/ discription always take inconsideration what type of interview the employer may select, and always be prepared.


Job Analysis Activity

Posted on 14 August, 2015 at 0:20 Comments comments (0)

The Aims of this activity is to help you analyse and evaluate possible jobs, firm up your career ideas and make decisions. FIRST Identify a job that interests you and then answer the questions below:

You may not be able to answer all the questions immediately, but you can use the questions to structure further research. There are three parts to the activity.

• You and the job

• Making a match

• Practicalities

You and the job

What is happening in the employment market?

To find out what is happening currently, read the business columns of the broadsheet newspapers or internet news sites and listen to the news, check business inside.

Are companies recruiting in the field you are interested in? If not, why not?

If they are recruiting, does the position have a shelf-life? Will it still be there in ten years or so? Does this position have built-in obsolescence? If so, could you see a short period in this job leading on to something else, or should you think again?

What is it about the career position that interests you?

Have you identified your own interests and how they fit in with this position? If not, take some time to do this.

Does the work fit in with your values?

Have you identified your values? Consider words such as autonomy, variety, intellectual, spiritual, aesthetic, excitement. Will this position clash with your own values? Reflecting on this will guide you in making the correct choices within your chosen career path.

Time scale: How long are you prepared to take to develop your career and obtain the job you want?

Have you set yourself short, medium and long-term goals? Do you have a time limit for entering the job of your choice? Think about have you studied the necessary qualifications? What if you are unable to obtain that job what are your other options? This involves creating an action plan and decision making that can help you to set out your goals and develop your career.

Take some time out of your daily routine and start answering each of these questions as a mini activity to get your career goals laid out and let’s get started.


Making A Match

Posted on 13 August, 2015 at 16:40 Comments comments (0)


As logical and realistic this maybe, job seekers tend to forget these steps when making a match with a career opportunity, no matter what level of academia they may have achieved. This is also highly important when applying for an international position, where you will be working outside your comfort zone. you will need to consider:

What qualifications are required

Have you checked whether specific qualifications are essential? Are you qualifications appropriate? You may need to consider gaining additional qualifications through further study. It is vital that part of your job search approach includes researching about the industry you are targeting and all its requirements, opportunities and developments.

It is a useful tool to consider employment trends and information on what graduates do which could be found on the prospects website, reed, milk round jobsite, additionally on the UCAS website.

Are there other ways into the job?

Make sure that employers value the qualification you choose to study. If you do not hold the essential requirements, think about how you will obtain them.

What experience do you have that will help you? You may have experience that is directly relevant, in an area, or that is not directly relevant, but could be transferred, take some time to work plan through your experience and skills.

What are the main tasks involved in the Job?

Look at various job adverts, job descriptions, Job Fairs and friends or family members who are already working within the role you wish to work in.

To create a greater understanding of the tasks and responsibilities involved in the job, break down the job advert by reading through each word, breaking down chunk by chunk, for example (customer service representative, break down individual parts of the job, what it means to be in customer service, think about you as a customer what do you see when you enter a store or call a company, how would you like to be treated etc. Also consider the hidden tasks involved.)

It is import to think about the role, what you like doing and what you may not like, how would the position make you feel, is it interesting, does it meet your career development goals?

How can you show an employer that you have the required skills and qualities?

Identifying relevant skills and qualities you have gained and developed, then the particular activities that you had to do and the requirements needed to complete it successfully. (Gained through volunteering, work experience, academic studies) you can use the information from the job advert/description to match your skills.

Finally considering the career prospect, location, and salary, it is easy to say “I like this job, I will apply for it;” but being realistic when applying for any position is essential. Knowing your own needs, how far you are willing to travel, what your monthly expense are prior gaining employment and how much earning you need as a medium to balance your life style.

Have a think about what you are looking for and where you best fit in, if you need any advice or guidance do some research or speak to a career specialist.



10 Ways To Improve Your CV

Posted on 13 August, 2015 at 13:05 Comments comments (0)


1. Tailor your CV to each job you apply for by emphasising your skills and experience that are relevant to the job.

2. Describe your transferable skills, such as team work, problem solving, organisation, initiative, even if they appear unrelated to the post.

3. Sound positive and dynamic by using active verbs.

4. Present information in reverse chronological order, this applies to both your qualifications and work experience. An employer is most interested in what you have done recently and expects you to devote more space on the CV to these activities.

5. Considering the visual impact. Are the heading logically ordered? Are there big blocks of text unbroken by bullet points or subheadings? Would you want to read it?

6. Be consistent in how you present information and in the layout. For example, have headings in the same style, present your employment history in the same formation for each entry.

7. Checking spelling and grammar don’t rely on a spelling check.

8. Be concise, your CV should be no more than two pages. If you have two pages make sure they are on separate sheets and stapled in the top left corner.

9. Review and update your CV regularly

10. Reconsidering the style, content and cover letter, get advice if you are not getting noticed.


19 Interview Questions by successful world class executives as shown on Business inside UK.

Posted on 7 August, 2015 at 16:20 Comments comments (0)

Many top executives tend to see the bigger picture and want to get more out of their questions, in many of my practise interview sessions with clients i have used some of these questions, to see how well my clients prepare them selves for an interview, as well as to see how confident they answer such questions. This will help boost confidence and make candidates ready for those awkward questions.


“What didn’t you get a chance to include on your CV?”

“On a scale of one-ten how weird are you?” (It is all down to how you answer the question, where do you fit in)

“How would you describe yourself in one word?”

“Give me an example of a time when you solved an analytically difficult problem?”

“How old were you when you had your first paying job?”

“What Is your superpower, or spirit animal?”

“What is your favorite quote?”

“Can you tell me the story of your prior success, challenges, and major responsibilities?”

“Tell me about your failures”

“If we were sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great 12 months it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?”

“Walk me through your CV, particularly why you changed from one job to the next?”

“What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?”

“A hammer and a nail cost £1.10, and the hammer costs one pound more than the nail. How much does the nail cost?”

“What would the closest person in your life say if I asked them, ‘What is the one characteristic that they totally like about you, and the one that they hate?

“If you worked in a restaurant, what role would you want?

“Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on?”

“Can you tell me about a time you ran with a project from start to finish?”

“Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?

“What have you invented?”


interview tips

Posted on 31 July, 2015 at 9:25 Comments comments (0)




Throughout my career in advising and training various clients, many have said “Finding a Job is not easy; it’s like a full time job, just to get the opportunity for an interview.” However once they reach that interview, they realize it can be long and at times dull.

But keep in mind, it is hard to come by! So take it as it comes and shine your way through the doors into employment. Be prepared for those long processes; do not leave anything out when preparing for your interview.


Jobsearch Support

Posted on 22 July, 2015 at 6:30 Comments comments (0)

Here are a list of Agency Website that will help  you with your job search.

Job Luck :D

Adam Marketing, Digital, PR, Communications, Advertising www.weareadam.com

Adecco Wide industry www.adecco.co.uk

Advantage Resourcing Office Jobs www.hrethnking.com

Aldritch & Co Business support + Executives www.aldrch.co.uk

Ambition Office Jobs www.ambition.co.uk

Anderson Clark Support stuff www.anderson-clark.co.uk

Angela Mortimer Business support + Executives www.angelamortimer.com

Aptus Resourcing Admin/Secreterial/PR/Executive/Support www.aptus-resourcing.co.uk

Badenoch &clark Office Jobs www.badenochandclark.com

BCL Legal Legal www.bcllegal.com

Bid Solutions Bid and proposal professionals www.bidsolutions.co.uk

Bis Recruit Secretarial and office support personnel www.bis-recruit.com

Blue Legal Legal, accountancy, property, consultancy firms, banks www.bluelegal.com

Bond Recruitment Seems to cover almost everything www.bondrecruitment.com

Career Legal Marketing services www.cartermurray.com

Carter Murray Law firm jobs www.careerlegal.co.uk

Chadwick Nott Law firm jobs www.chancerylane.co.uk

Chancer Lane Law firm jobs www.chadwicknott.co.uk

Charity Jobs Admin/retail/voluntary www.charityjob.co.uk

Civil Service Jobs Civil service www.jobsstatic.civilservice.gov.uk

Clark James Office Jobs www.clarkjames.co.uk

Clearly Secretarial Office Jobs www.clearlysecretarialjobs.co.uk

Cogence Legal and support spacialist recruitment www.cogencesearch.com

Crone Corkhill Office support/Admin/reception/PA/Secretarial www.cronecorkill.co.uk

CV Library Umbrella site www.cv-library.co.uk

Deborah Saw Office Jobs www.ds-srp.com

Decostyle Recruitment Office Jobs www.decostylerecruitment.co.uk

Drake international Office and secretarial, driving, occupational www.drakeintl.co.uk

Eden Brown various Jobs www.edenbrown.com

Edge Recruits various Jobs www.theedgeuk.com

EMR Recruitment Marketing communications www.emrrecruitment.co.uk

First counsel Law firm jobs www.first-counsel.co.uk

Forester Mckenzie Office Jobs www.forrester-mckenzie.com

GRLaw Law firm jobs www.grlaw.co.uk

Goodall Brazier Law firm jobs www.goodallbrazier.com

Gordon yates Law firm jobs www.grlaw.co.uk

Gary Seal Recruitment Office Jobs www.gordon-yates.co.uk

Hamilton Blake Education & Training, technology, media, finance www.hamiltonblake.co.uk

Hatty Blue Insurance/finance/HR www.hattyblue.co.uk

Indeed various Jobs www.indeed.co.uk

JMLegal various Jobs www.jmlegal.co.uk

Jamrecruitment Umbrella site www.jamrecruitment.co.uk

JHA Recritment Temp/perm staff legal service www.jha-recruitment.co.uk

Jobsearch Umbrella site www.jobsearch.co.uk

Jobsite Umbrella site www.jobsite.co.uk

Joslin Rowe Office Jobs www.kmkrowe.co.uk

Knightsbridge Recruitment Support stuff www.knightsbridge-recruitment.co.uk

KNK Recruitment Office Jobs www.kmkrecruitment.co.uk

Law choice professional legal/support stuff www.law-recruitment.co.uk

law staff professional legal/support stuff www.law-recruitment.co.uk

Lawson Clark HR/Managers/consultancy/training services www.lawson-clark.co.uk

Leap Uk Temp/perm staff legal service www.leap-recruitment.co.uk

Legal leap Law firm jobs www.legal-recruitment.co.uk

Legal prospects Law firm jobs www.legal-recruitment.co.uk

legal week jobs Law firm jobs www.legal-recruitment.co.uk

Leighton Taylor Marketing,business development www.leighton-taylor.co.uk

Love success PA/Secretares, Bilingual jobs www.love-recruitment.co.uk

Network Marketing Marketng www.network-marketing.co.uk

Office Angels Secretarial and office support personnel www.office-recruitment.co.uk

Page personnel finance/business www.page personnel.co.uk

Pashley Recruitment IT www.pashley-recruitment.co.uk

PCMS IT www.pcms.co.uk

Prostaff Umbrella site www.prostaff.co.uk

Pulse staffing health+ social care www.pulse-recruitment.co.uk