Friday, 23 January 2015

Developing apprentices in the rail industry

Developing apprentices in the rail industry

In recent weeks, it has been announced that passenger journeys on UK railways is at a record high. A report published by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) shows that there were 407.7 million passenger journeys between July 2014 and September 2014 – an increase of 4.4% from the same time period in 2013, and the largest number of passenger journeys recorded in a single quarter since the data was first collated in 2002.

For the UK rail industry, this is terrific news – higher passenger numbers increases the demand for new project investments. But does the industry have the skills to cope with an increased future project workload?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Travelling offshore? might find this useful.

As some of you already know, following the CAA Report (CAP1145) released in February 2014, the UK Oil and Gas Industry has taken safety measures to somewhat the next level by introducing a new CAA approved Category A Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System.

As of the 1st of September all passengers travelling to and from an offshore installation by helicopter will be required to wear this device. All UK OPITO approved BOSIET/FOET training providers are expected to start delivering this OPITO approved training mid-July 2014.

So here’s a few thing we thought you might like to know about this new course and if you have an impending trip offshore, what to expect from it:

             1.    Course logistics
The Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System (CA-EBS) is a 90 minute course and is an industry requirement in addition to the existing Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) or Further Offshore Emergency Training (FOET). The course can be booked in conjunction with the BOSIET and FOET or separately and it ensures delegates gain knowledge of the hazards and properties of a Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System (CA-EBS).

     2.    Who is the course for?
    The course is designed for any person travelling to and from an offshore installation by helicopter. As of the 1st of September 2014 anyone sat in aisle seat on board a helicopter will be required to have this certificate. However, by the 1st of January 2015 CA-EBS training will be mandatory to all personnel travelling to the UK Continental Shelf via helicopter.

     3.    What is the difference between the CA-EBS and the standard EBS?

The introduction of this advanced apparatus will provide users with the critical advantage of breathing clean air as opposed to existing re-breather systems. In the unfortunate event of an emergency helicopter landing, the CA-EBS will increase the user’s survival time underwater.

Did you find this information useful? Like and share this story on social media or leave a comment below. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Primat Fantasy Premier League – the winners!

Football is more of a hot topic than ever at the moment as the World Cup is now under way. With this in mind, we would like to take the opportunity to announce the winners of the Primat Fantasy Premier League.

To add some competitive edge, prizes were on offer this year to the teams which finished in the top three league spots. 174 people entered and competition was fierce at the top of the league all the way to the last few games. We are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Primat Fantasy Premier League:

In 3rd place, winning a Chelsea replica shirt, was Brodie FC managed by Nicky Emslie.

In 2nd place, won £100 worth of high street vouchers, was PSV Agra managed by Craig MacKenzie.

And at the top of the league, winning an iPad 4, Hazza Boom Boom took the title. Managed by Sara Hartshorn (pictured posing with her prize alongside her lucky charm, Hazza!) Sara was delighted to find out she was this year’s first prize winner and will no doubt will be watching fixtures in Brazil closely this summer to scout premier league talent for her team next season.  

Thanks to everyone who participated – see you all again next year! 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

ET4B Guest Blog

In the first in a short series of posts, our guest bloggers Dave Cooper and Brian Ackerley, from independent employment tax consultants ‘Employment Tax for Business’ (ET4B), comment and invite debate on the subject of IR35.


Dave Cooper                                  Brian Ackerley 

Hello, Dave and Brian here. We hope you find these blogs useful – feel free to post comments on the blog or one of the social media channels and we’ll do our best to come back to you.

IR35 – an introduction

Most of you will have heard of 'IR35'. Basically the rules are aimed at Personal Service Companies (PSCs) which essentially provide the personal services of one worker, to another client business. Briefly the rules say that if the worker would be an employee of the client (i.e. the end-user of the service) but for the use of the PSC, then the PSC itself has to account for PAYE and NIC on virtually all the income from that contract.   
IR35 goes back a number of years, and for much of that time the rules seemed to be nicely withering on the vine. However, it only needed a few unwelcome headlines a couple of years ago (the revelations that many senior Civil Servants were being paid via their own companies, just to save tax) to persuade the government to tighten things up.

Outside the Public Sector they have implemented this using two methods; firstly in 2012 HMRC issued its 'Business Entity Tests' – in short these provide the contractor with a method of 'self-assessing' whether they are at risk of an 'IR35 compliance review' by HMRC. The second step is that HMRC has greatly increased its (previously modest) process for policing IR35, by creation of specific 'IR35 review' teams. Consequently we have seen increased HMRC IR35 review activity in the last 12 months.

So if you're running your own PSC, are you on your own then? Well, not quite. There are some very legitimate commercial reasons why Primat (and its clients) recognise your wish to stay outside IR35 too.

Perhaps the first thing to say is that the engagement contract itself, so long as it is accurately worded, can go a long way in supporting the contractor's IR35 position. For instance, terms which refer to a contractor's legitimate 'right of substitution', confirm a lack of 'mutuality of obligation', confirm that the contractor is only subject to a limited amount of control, and that the contractor does have to provide their own external insurances, do go a long way. These are each contributory factors, which case law has established are important, in establishing whether or not the contractor has the trappings of being in business in their own right.

As well as helping to run an active information programme for candidates, we will be posting some additional IR35 related articles in the coming weeks, which may include:
  • How the documenting of changes at different stages of the contract can assist further; 
  • Are the 'Business Entity Tests' realistic; and if not, what else might you do to reduce your risk rating?
  • Why might you be selected for IR35 Review by HMRC, and what happens if you are? (in short, and to quote Douglas Adams, 'Don't Panic!')

Throughout these articles we will be looking at how Primat (and the client) can actively help in this process. In the meantime if you do have a specific IR35 or other tax-related topic that you would like to be covered in our future guest blogs, do let us know. 

Is IR35 a real worry for you, or just a load of hot air? Where possible we will be happy to respond to any questions or comments that you have, and/or ensure these matters are covered in the later articles.

Thanks for reading!

Brain & Dave – ET4B 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Skills are skills – how the O&G industry is taking action to address the industry skills shortage issue.

Skills are skills – how the O&G industry is taking action to address the industry skills shortage issue.

The subject of skills shortage within the Oil and Gas sector has long been debated. For a number of years, Oil and Gas companies have been ‘fishing for talent’ in the same, relatively small, talent pool. This, in part, has led to a talent shortage across the industry. Companies have had to get creative with how they attract, engage and retain new talent to meet the needs of such a demanding, fast paced, and growing industry.

Jenny Godden, head of Primat Recruitment, commented recently in the Brookson’s 2014 Market Outlook – “We are witnessing an evolution in our clients approach to recruitment. As our oil and gas clients continue to grow across the UK and Europe, we are continuing to see escalated levels in demand for talented individuals. As well as ‘traditional’ talent acquisition – sourcing candidates with skills and experience gained from within the Oil and Gas industry – we are now witnessing our hirers actively seeking a greater diversity of talent than ever before. This means they are placing a great deal of importance on bringing in new and different skill sets, often from outside of the sector or from non-typical geographies, to ensure their business can deliver the highest quality to its clients. We see this diversity in recruitment as a very healthy step in order to maintain a highly skilled oil and gas industry workforce for years to come.”

On the first of May 2014, the Urquart Partnership hosted their eighth ‘Opportunities in Oil and Gas’ recruitment event, at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. The event represents a fantastic opportunity for job seekers to meet business representatives to discuss opportunities for them to join the industry in a variety of roles ranging from project management and engineering, to support functions like HSEQ, Project Controls and HR.

The significance of the ‘Opportunities in Oil and Gas’ event, is not being overlooked by the Resourcing team at AMEC. Ruth Cameron, Resourcing Manager for AMEC’s Brownfield & Asset Management business said, “This is the third ‘Opportunities in Oil and Gas’ event we have attended. It’s a great platform which enables us to connect with skilled individuals who possess a diverse range of expertise. Our Resourcing team enjoyed meeting with over 1000 candidates on the day. Initiatives like this are key to ensuring that we develop and retain highly skilled individuals in the industry.”

Did you go to the event?  If so, we would love to hear what you thought. Please click HERE to share your thoughts. 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter!

Easter is one of the biggest holidays in the calendar for many Brits. Of course, just like any large holiday it is celebrated across the world in many eccentric ways. Here are a few we found were particularly interesting:

Omelette, anyone?

If you find your way around the town of Haux in southern France on Easter Monday, you best do it with an empty stomach because the French celebrate in a culinary fashion. In Haux, locals gather around 4,000 eggs, five or six chefs and a rather large frying pan and cook a giant omelette. This great gastronomic extravaganza happens every year and the famous omelette is said to be shared amongst 1000 people.


A darker, much more intriguing Easter tradition is that of the Norwegians. Every ear around the Easter holidays Norwegian popular culture is injected with an array of crime thrillers, whether they are TV Shows, books or even cartoons. This tradition started back in 1923 with an ad of Gyldendal's book publisher Harald Grieg. The Easter crime thriller book was such a success, the Norwegian public developed an expectation for such a themed release on a yearly basis.   

A hop, skip and a jump…

You are all probably thinking of the Easter bunny, but have you ever heard of the ‘Easter Bilby’. The bilby is a small marsupial which used to be quite common in Australia. Today, it is an endangered species and Australians have devised a creative way in which to raise awareness of the declining population of Bilby’s: by celebrating them at Easter time. So if you happen to be visiting Oz over Easter, don’t be surprised if the bunnies look slightly different!

So there you have it, it’s not all fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs. Do you have any unusual Easter customs? How are you celebrating Easter Sunday? Share your story with us! 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Primat attended the Inaugural UK Rail Industry Awards in London on the 20th February 2014. Primat were a proud sponsor of the “workforce safety award” and were pleased to name ‘Mitie Total Security Management’ as the deserving winner of this award.

Over 600 guests gathered on the night to honour the achievements of the 22 winners chosen by a panel of pan-industry judges.

Primat attended the event as sponsor of the ‘workforce safety award’ and would like to offer massive congratulations to ‘Mitie Total Security Management’ for winning. Their consistent and rigorous approach to safety within the workplace was clear. They have ensured each of their employees has the right to work consistently in a safe environment and they completely deserve to see their efforts applauded.

The event itself was well organised and feedback from the Primat team in attendance was really positive. Richard Parry Jones’s keynote speech set the tone for what was to be a great evening full of networking opportunities, great food and celebration. Most importantly, over £90,000 was raised by the hundreds of Rail professionals who attended – a fantastic sum which will be used to support the next generation of the rail workforce.

Elliott McCabe, Rail Division Manager at Primat said “The evening was a real success. It was clear that each winner was a worthy one. Their efforts toward improving the rail industry are really inspiring.”

The winners:

Apprenticeship Development: Network Rail
                                                London Underground
Collaborative Working: Network Rail IP
Corporate Social Responsibility: Linbrooke Service
Cost Base Reduction: Concrete Canvas Ltd
Electrification: Network Rail and the Rail Industry Association – REDP
Environmental & Sustainability: CrossCountry
Lifetime Achievement: Alan Runacres
Mobile Technology: CrossCountry
Outstanding Projects Large (over £20m): Network Rail
                                     Medium (£3m-£20m): ScotRail
                                     Small (under £3m): L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage
Passenger Safety Award: Barnbrook Systems Ltd
Rail Asset Security: Amey plc
Rail Freight Excellence: Atkins, Network Rail and Balfour Beatty
Recruitment: Amey plc
Signalling and Telecommunications: ScotRail
Social Media: SoDash
Training & Development: Mott MacDonald
Workforce Safety: Mitie Total Security Management
Young Rail Professional:         Female: Charlotte Mace

                                                 Male: Toufic Machnouk

For more information on the Rail Awards, please click here:

Monday, 10 February 2014

Everyone home safe, everyday

How many of you, particularly the regular commuters among you, admit to getting even a teeny, tiny bit stressed, irritated or angry when your usually smooth running journey is inconvenienced by late trains or engineering works?  It definitely makes for a bad start to the day but, next time, take a moment to think of the hard workers behind the delays and remember that they’re working to get ‘Everyone Home Safe Every Day.’

This statement was the foundation of a campaign launched in 2011 to announce Network Rail’s comprehensive ‘Lifesaving Rules,’ a big push by the rail industry’s operator to develop a meaningful mantra centered around behavioural-based safety in rail.  At the time of launch, many companies had their own initiatives; however, there was a lack of a single and clear industry message.  Now, led by Network Rail and the new Sentinel Rules, Safety in the rail industry is changing for the better.

As Primat will sponsor the UK Rail Industry Workforce Safety Award later this month, we’ve got to be thinking about what behavioural safety and change means for recruitment.  For some rail recruiters its business as usual.  For others, it’s a push for major changes; as the industry drives this ethos, recruiters need to follow suit, demonstrating they have sourced and supplied qualified, skilled and safety-minded personnel to deliver the work for the client. At Primat, we feel strongly about track safety and echo the values instilled in the lifesaving rules through our own company values which centre around ‘believing in people’ and ‘never compromising on safety’.

Here’s what these values mean for our workforce:
·         Our candidates undergo comprehensive compliance checks to ensure they’re fully qualified and skilled for the scope of work
·         All candidates are inducted into Primat’s safety values, and the industry lifesaving rules
·         Our candidates are engaged in Primat’s safety values at induction but it doesn't stop there – coaching, shared knowledge and communication means everyone can positively contribute to the safety culture.
·         In a drive to create more safety leaders, there’s strong encouragement for candidates to attend a behavioural-safety related course.

And it’s good news for our clients too.  Participating in safety and behavioural-focused meetings and joint safety visits is high on our agenda. This ensures that we are all working to common goals and ensures our behaviour positively influences the way we work and attitudes to rules and processes.

Most of all, we want to maintain our culture of commitment to the ever evolving focus on workforce safety within the UK rail industry.

So, how will you behave the next time your journey is derailed?  We know what our rail workforce will be thinking: ‘everyone home safe every day’.

The UK Rail Industry Awards is being held on 20th February 2014 at The Brewery, London. To learn more please click here

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Decision time for commercial Contractors

This week marked a big date for ‘commercial contractors.’  February 4 2014 was the last opportunity for members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) to submit their responses on the government’s potential crackdown on people self-employed through payroll companies. 

In December last year, HMRC released a proposal that would alter the regulations for people working through payrolls or commercial contractors.  The situation is tricky and each person’s interpretation of the proposals will differ.  Fortunately, Simon Noakes, chair of REC Construction – which has been working hard to push back on the consultation – penned a succinct update, giving a great summary of the situation...

In short, when defining employment statuses for tax and National Insurance purposes, HMRC plans to scrap the ‘substitution clause.’  Instead, they’ll look solely at whether the person you supply is under the direction, supervision and control of your client.  So, if a personal supplied by an agency is considered as employed that makes the agency liable for all tax and National Insurance contributions. 

The agency could engage with the self-employed person but would have to save evidence that they’re not under control of the clients – and report regularly to HMRC details of the payments.  This gives a safeguard for HMRC to check how the workers are being treated.  And, if they believe they’re being controlled by clients, the agency will again be liable for tax and National Insurance.

The consequences mean an end to self-employment through intermediaries: anyone who keeps working in this way will automatically be considered as employed for tax purposes and the above rule will apply.

If you’re a Personal Service Company or Umbrella PAYE you’re in luck though – the focus here is on commercial contractors.

If accepted, the changes will come into play on April 6 this year.  That doesn’t leave much time for businesses to adjust to the changes and could cause dramatic increases in labour costs – not ideal...

That’s not the only problem Simon and the REC cite, however.  Because there would be no end-user liability, clients could engage with rogue operators who ignore the new legislation, ultimately putting the compliant agencies at risk. 

Which way will it go?  We’ll keep you posted as the debate continues...and of course we will let you know if the changes are accepted.

Tell us what you think
on Twitter: @primatrecruit

Monday, 18 November 2013

The best, most talented and happiest cities to work in. Join us!

London may have been named talent capital of the world just a few days ago but this week Aberdeen is where it’s at.  A report released today highlighted the UK’s oil capital as the best Scottish city to live and work in – and second best in the UK.  The 2013 Good Growth for Cities index says the Granite City is growing more successfully than almost every other British city, including London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.  Only Reading and Bracknell pipped us to the post.

Looking at this with a recruitment eye, these facts easily translate.  The ambitious city of Aberdeen is a bit of a magnet for career-hungry overseas candidates.  

Since the discovery of north-sea oil in the 1970s, the economy has been blossoming, prospering and all those good things.  Accountancy consultants PwC pegged Aberdeen with the potential to create 120,000 new energy industry jobs by 2022.  At the moment we have a healthy job market and steady business growth and start-up rates, not to mention a busy culture with lots of day and night-time attractions.  Unemployment rates are low, transport links are excellent and the flagship University is ranked in the world’s top 1%.  The city even scooped the title of ‘happiest city in the UK’ last year.  What’s not to love?

Jagoda Piatkowska moved to Aberdeen from the Czech Republic and took up a role at global engineering and project management consultants AMEC She says: “Aberdeen is a friendly and safe place to live.  It has a great social life with plenty of cinemas, bars, clubs and shopping centres.  You’ll also find fantastic walking routes, fishing villages or sandy beaches only few miles outside Aberdeen.”

To be fair though, it’s not just Aberdeen.  We mentioned the London “talent capital” accolade earlier: the dynamic city was marked the best in the world for employment in high-skilled, knowledge-based jobs.  With 1.5 million people in high skilled sectors and a prediction of 300,000 more jobs by 2020, it’s not surprising that this economic powerhouse attracts excellent British and international talent.  London's strong expat community shows its worldwide attraction and with 300 theatres, 600 cinema screens and 12,000 restaurants it's a cultural goldmine too.  

The UK as a whole, one of the world’s most multi-cultural and diverse countries in the world, is an increasingly attractive destination for talented job-hunters.  We’ve recently seen evidence of this first-hand, supporting AMEC’s recruitment road shows in Spain and the Czech Republic.  The events were a hit with impressive numbers from each country shortlisted for potential roles across the UK – not just in London and Aberdeen but in the north east and north west of England too.  The area has a host of engineering projects but a spectacular atmosphere too, with spectacular scenery and Europe’s largest shopping and leisure facility.

Jagoda continues: “Working in the UK will give you the opportunity to meet people from different countries and backgrounds.  You’ll feel welcomed and respected at your work and supported in your career development.  Also, people work safely in the UK and are encouraged to take care of each other.”

Survey results occasionally go unnoticed but this one is worth paying attention to.  Global mobility will be a big buzzword of 2014 and setting your sights on one of these locations would be a good move. 

So, fancy being one of the happiest people in the UK, working in the best Scottish city?  Or perhaps being in Britain’s talent hotspot spikes your interest?  Click here to plan your next career move. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Contractors, here's the best employment tax info out there!

Last week was a first for Primat Recruitment, pushing boundaries to host a virtual Q&A session for contractors. 

Contractors across the country asked questions on employment tax in a live chat room and panellists Dave Cooper (who’s divided his 30 years of tax experience between being an Inspector of Taxes and part of the ‘Big 4’), Brian Ackerley (who’s 20 years of accountancy experience includes a lengthy stint at the Inland Revenue) and Primat’s Business Assurance Team Leader Elliot Johnson (the longest serving team member, managing the candidate care function) shared expert advice in real-time. 

Click here to view or print the Q&A session in full but, for now, check out some highlights below:

In a flash poll, more than half of the attendees admitted they were fairly concerned about being challenged by HMRC on IR35 matters....

Q: Can you tell me what HMRC's current practical approach to IR35 compliance is?
A: HMRC is piloting an approach with three key elements, including its Business Entity Tests (to determine risk), Contract Reviews (to provide an ‘opinion’ on whether in/out of IR35), and new Compliance approach (using specialist teams for undertaking reviews).

A massive 77% of the event audience weren’t aware of the details of HMRC’s Business Entity Tests...

Q: If I take the Business Entity Tests, would HMRC be ‘listening in’ or am I obliged to declare the outcome in my accounts or tax returns?
A: The Business Entity Tests undertaken personally are confidential.  You do not have to take them nor inform HMRC of the results.  They’re intended to indicate your company’s risk of review by HMRC, rather than to definitively tell you whether or not you are within IR35.  Some of the most relevant tests of employment status (i.e. which have been established by case law as important) are not included within the Business Entity Tests.

Q: Is it helpful to terminate your contract when you go on vacation (say for two weeks) and start with a fresh contract after the vacation?
A:  Any break in providing services under an ongoing relationship would be helpful and could then be acknowledged by the termination of one contract and the commencement of a new one.  There are, of course, the practicalities to be considered.  Our suggestion would be to liaise with your Candidate Care Consultant so that any such process can be handled effectively.

Q: How are cases selected by HMRC for review?
A: There are a number of ways HMRC can identify potential cases for review, from year end returns (e.g. Self Assessment, PAYE P35/RTI returns ) but the department also uses risk profiling processing to choose the most likely businesses to target (e.g. identifying ‘unusual’ or late returns).  Business Entity Tests do, of course, from part of this risk profiling assessment, though often HMRC cannot accurately apply these Tests without approaching the contractor.

Polls during the event emphasised its popularity, with almost half of visitors requesting more similar online sessions.  Watch this space for the next event!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

AWR: all your questions answered

Today marks two years since the Agency Workers’ Regulations (AWR) were implemented.  

Since then, we’ve seen waves of positive and negative press, as well as reports of the scheme having much less impact than anticipated.  So, for those who aren’t aware, the new legislation gave agency workers the same basic working conditions as those recruited directly – if, and when, they had been in the same job for more than 12 weeks. 

If you’re new to AWR – or haven’t quite got your head around it yet – here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions (drawing on the Department for Business Innovation & Skills’ official Agency Workers Regulations Guidance and discussions with industry bodies):

Thursday, 19 September 2013

This is why you should re-locate for a career in UK oil and gas

Oil and gas recruitment tactics are changing.  Quickly.  Put quite simply, the candidate pool is decreasing and recruiters are going to have to get creative.  Some have already made a start and are tapping into skill pools further afield.  Forward-thinking energy giants are cherry-picking countries rife with the disciplines desperately needed here and sending in their best recruiters, poised to sell a career in Europe’s oil capital.  

Worldwide engineering and project management consultancy AMEC is pioneering this approach from Aberdeen, planning a series of recruitment events in the Czech Republic and Spain before the end of the year.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Climb the career ladder at Offshore Europe: top tips

It’s going to be a big week for the north-east as Aberdeen’s globally renowned energy industry exhibition welcomes the world’s movers and shakers to the oil and gas capital.  The event will be peppered with engineers, technical specialists, industry leaders and experts ready to share and debate the latest goings-on in oil and gas.  

The four action-packed days include breakfast briefings, education opportunities and networking galore.  And nestled within the dawn to dusk schedule, there are plenty of job-hunting opportunities.

Now, we’re not suggesting you and a few thousand other job hunters turn Offshore Europe into just-another-old-job-fair.  But, if you’re attending, take advantage of some of the more personal meet-and-greet opportunities...

Here are our top tips to score your next big move:

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Engineering Excellence

Think globally, act personally,
deliver locally

AMEC, has put this approach into practice with the launch of the innovative North East Engineering Centre in Darlington. The centre has recently announced the creation of 40 new engineering opportunities, expected to be recruited during 2013.

Why has the Engineering Centre been created?

Following the award of major contracts in the oil, gas and clean energy sectors, AMEC has launched the North East Engineering Centre. The Centre will act as an engineering hub, where teams of engineers will work centrally from Darlington, to support requirements for these UK and international projects.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

AMEC Awarded Clair Ridge

AMEC, the international engineering and project management company, has been appointed by BP and its co-venturers, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron, to deliver the hook up and commissioning services (HUC) for the two new Clair Ridge platforms.

The work, which is scheduled to run through to March 2016, is valued at £68 million and follows the completion of the engineering and project management services for the Clair Ridge project.

At its peak the work will be carried out by a team of about 800 AMEC and qedi technical experts in the UK.

The contract  will see AMEC, and their commissioning and completions specialist business qedi, deliver HUC services for the construction and installation phase of two new bridge linked platforms, which includes new production, accommodation and drilling facilities plus the subsea pipelines tied into the existing export systems.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Time for a Change??? 3 reasons you should relocate to Abu Dhabi

AMEC has unparalleled experience with delivering large and complex projects to clients. The company’s high quality of engineering and project management services are recognised around the world, more recently in the Middle East, as the business continues to grow its presence in the region. Due to this growth, AMEC is looking to source talented professionals with experience in a PMC environment on large scale Oil & Gas projects, looking for a chance to develop their career in Abu Dhabi.

So why move to Abu Dhabi?

  1. Let’s start with the easy one;

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Looking for a North Sea challenge?

AMEC is currently recruiting for a large offshore oil and gas project in the North Sea.

Together with their commissioning and completions specialist business qedi, a large team is being recruited to deliver the hook up and commissioning services for new facilities, early in 2013. These new facilities will include:

The Wellhead Platform, an Accommodation and Utility Platform and a Riser and Separation Platform.

“A complex and challenging project of this size requires lots of really good people,” said AMEC’s Brownfield Operations Director Alan Johnstone. “AMEC is renowned for their hook up and commissioning expertise, and we are looking for the best people across the UK to join us on this exciting project. This project is just one of a number of major hook up projects that we have in the pipeline, offering offshore opportunities for the right people for years to come.”

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Investing, in People

In recent weeks, it has been announced that the government will invest over £9bn in the rail network over the period of 2014 – 2019. While around £5.2bn worth of projects have already been committed to during this period, a further £4.2 billion will be allocated to new schemes, including station and track upgrades, high capacity lines and electrification upgrades. For the UK rail industry, this is clearly positive news, and a necessary step for continued development of the UK network into a European, and World-class passenger and freight transport network.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Working in London During the Olympics?

Spain won the Euro's, Wimbledon is well under way, and the lights will soon go out on the F1 British GP; all indicators that the sporting timeline moves ever closer to the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games, on July 27th.

Many of us will be looking forward to the sporting spectacle. However, even the biggest Games fan may have some concern around how their daily work life will be effected during the Olympics (running 27/07/12 - 12/08/12) and Paralympics (running 29/08/12 - 09/09/12).

First, some London Olympic stats:
  • 10,500 athletes will compete
  • 8.8 million tickets have been issued
  • an estimated 4 billion viewers will tune in, worldwide 
  • 800,000 people will use London public transport on the busiest day, with 20million extra trips being made during the games

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

5 tips to writing a top technical CV

Your CV is a recruiter’s guide to your career – whether you are a Senior Technical Safety Engineer or a Graduate looking for your first career role, having a well written CV is fundamental to securing your next career opportunity. 

A recruiter should be able to make a decision on your suitability for their client’s project within moments of reading your CV. This means you need to position your CV carefully to get across the key technical points without dwelling on to much detail. 

Remember, a single recruiter can review hundreds of technical and engineering candidate applications every day – if your pitch isn't right, your work will go to waste, and the job opportunity will pass by.

To help you position your CV correctly, here are 5 tips to keep you on track:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Update on Intermediaries Legislation (IR35) and business entity tests

On 9 May 2012, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued updated guidance on IR35 matters ( This is HMRC’s first significant IR35 update for several years, and sets out a new process, to help a limited company contractor in deciding whether it is at risk of being caught by the intermediaries or ‘IR35’ legislation.

The basic IR35 test, of whether an engagement would correctly be regarded as employment or self-employment but for the use of the contractor’s limited company, has not changed. However, the new guidance introduces the concept of ‘business entity’ tests, in effect using a points scoring methodology to help indicate whether a contractor is in business on its own account and hence outside IR35.

What do I need to do next?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pension reform, auto-enrolment…what’s it all about?

The auto-enrolment of workers into workplace pension schemes is set to be the biggest reform to pensions for a century, despite this; recent reports show that around two thirds (68%) of Britain’s employees still have little or no knowledge of these upcoming changes.

The uncertainty surrounding the reforms - which are due to come into effect in October 2012 - is clearly highlighted in the findings from Aviva’s Working Lives Report. Astonishingly, just 43% of employees said they would remain within the pension scheme once enrolled and those who were undecided amounted to a further 21%.

This raises the question as to why 37% of Britons still plan to opt-out of their workplace pension scheme, once enrolled. Is it a lack of information? Poor communication from employers and industry bodies? Or perhaps a combination of both?   

Monday, 26 March 2012

3 tips for basic IR35 compliance

If you’re a contractor, you’ll no doubt be familiar with revenue and customs intermediaries’ legislation, better known as IR35.  

This is a piece of legislation brought in back in April 2000 with “the aim to eliminate the avoidance of tax and National Insurance Contributions through the use of intermediaries such as Personal Services Companies”. Essentially, preventing what had become a common tax dodge among freelancers.

When the HMRC clamped down, many were left with large tax bills and significant fines to pay.

Clearly then, to legitimately maximise your earnings you’ll need to determine whether you’re inside or outside IR35 legislation.  

Friday, 16 March 2012

2012 - 5 Things You Should Know

So, 2012 doesn’t seem to be shaping up too badly so far.  The New Year has already witnessed some major developments in the contractor realm, with HMRC winning their battle in a landmark tax tribunal case, a 19% increase in temporary staff recruitment and the first stages of the employment law reforms coming into force.

But what else can you expect in the remainder of 2012?