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HR In Hard Times November 27, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in British Chambers of Commerce, Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Services.
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scrapheapDuring these testing times, it’s almost inevitable that some companies will have to resort to redundancies.

So it’s vital to handle these issues responsibly from the start.

Don’t forget, your Chamber membership gets you free HR support and advice from Chamber HR

No employer should consider this measure before taking professional advice at the outset, indeed it should be before the outset.

In many cases professional advisors can help long before a redundancy situation has to be considered. Remember that in tough times although employees are a major cost burden, good motivated employees are also a positive asset to have on board to help you steer through the changing climate of the economic downturn. A well handled re-evaluation programme can help you focus on the profitable parts of your business, assist you with retaining essential staff and in a final resort look at measures to cut costs which can include restrictions on recruitment, reduced use of agency staff, short time working, lay off and maybe redundancy.

However, redundancy should be one of a range of options considered and usually only considered when all else has failed. Redundancy can lead to loss of skills and abilities within the workplace. It will almost certainly lead to loss of morale and faith and that in turn will lead to even more employees leaving, sometimes your best. So a well handled redundancy situation is not about just shedding jobs but about handling it in a sensible manner dealing with the challenges of keeping the workforce focused, retaining the best and shedding jobs as a last resort.

It is also about ensuring that when it is done it is carried out properly and avoids the high cost in terms of time and money that Tribunal claims can bring upon any employer, large or small.

One of the best ways to ensure that you handle the position properly is to take advantage of a specially prepared Redundancy handling consultancy provision that the advice service can offer. You can receive on site help as well as that all too crucial training for your managers. Training in, not only how to handle a redundancy, but how to avoid it where possible and if it becomes inevitable how to negotiate the shark ridden waters and emerge relatively unscathed at the other end with a sound group of rowers left in the boat with you.

Find out more about Chamber HR here.

Email our membership team if you can’t find you Chamber HR log-in details.

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Would You Like To See Your Company’s Name In Print? October 28, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber Services, Media, Offers, Services.
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If you have an interesting success story to share with the world, why not get in touch with Liverpool Chamber to spread the word. After all, as your ultimate business network, we are here to promote our members and to help you grow your business.

At Liverpool Chamber we publish a bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of over 3,000. It goes out to our unrivalled network of contacts across the Merseyside business community.

If you would like the opportunity for your company’s name to be on the desks of some of the most influential names in Liverpool business, simply get in touch.

All we ask is that you have an interesting story to share. Whether it be an interesting or high profile contract you have secured, or simply that you have had a lot of success in your business of late, we want to hear from you.

One such company was Mando Group, who launched this year’s Liverpool Biennial website. All the company needed to do was to get in touch and reap the benefits of some positive publicity in the Chamber Magazine.

You need to be a Liverpool Chamber member to see your story in print. Simply email the Marketing Team on: marketing@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

Alternatively, you can pay for advertising in the magazine. With the capacity for full colour adverts of any shape, size or design; advertising in the Chamber Magazine can be a really eye catching way of grabbing our readers’ attention.

Advertising prices start from as little as £686 for members and £754 for non-members for a quarter of a page. For the full advertising rates contact Scott Rogers for a quote on 0161 443 5053.

Deadlines for copy are as follows:

Publication                    Deadline
Jan 2009                       30 Nov 2008
March                            31 Jan
May                               31 March
July                                30 May
Oct                                31 July
Nov                               30 Sept

Featured Chamber Charity – Compass Counselling October 27, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber Services, Charity.
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Liverpool Chamber is proud of its many charitable members and the work they do. As part of our commitment to them, we are happy to feature charities on our blog and website and highlight their activities.

This week we have some info about COMPASS – Counselling on Merseyside Pastoral and Supporting Service

COMPASS is a Merseyside based charity that has been providing free counselling for anyone over the age of 18 for over 30 years. All COMPASS counsellors work to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice.

COMPASS has over 27 years experience providing a counselling service to staff and managers of statutory, voluntary and commercial organisations in the region. Some staff find it difficult to discuss their problems with managers or colleagues, it may be that colleagues are part of the problem. Consequently, many staff struggle alone. Their work performance is impaired and their mental and physical health suffers.

There are no retainer fees. You only pay for the counselling that is arranged.

COMPASS also delivers training, both for practising counsellors and for those wishing to train as counsellors.

The Intermediate Certificate in Introduction to Counselling Concepts, validated by the AQA(Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) is a 30 hour assessed course, but to maintain the quality of our training and for those who wish to progress to a higher level, COMPASS has expanded the course to 36 hours training by including “A First look at Loss and Grief” as an additional module. This course runs up to 6 times a year both as a day time and as an evening course.

In addition COMPASS offers regular one or two day courses on a variety of topics relevant to practising counsellors or those whose work involves caring/listening.

For further details contact :

COMPASS
25 Hope Street
Liverpool
L1 9BQ
Tel: 0151 708 6688
Fax: 0151 707 8728
Minicom: 0151 709 7907
Email: enquiries@compass-counselling.org.uk

or see their website: www.compass-counselling.org.uk

Credit Crunch Shouldn’t Be A Health Hazard October 16, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber Services, Health / Lifestyle, Services.
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Westfield Health can provide Liverpool Chamber members with health plans and cover to ensure staff remain healthy and happy. This reduces time off work through sickness and stress. This in turn ensures your company keeps operating at optimum levels.

The UK economy is facing its worst crisis for 60 years, according to Chancellor Alistair Darling. But what can businesses do to help minimise the impact on their company and their staff?

Many people are feeling the financial strain at the moment and are cutting back on luxuries and being ruthless with their budgeting. Many are increasingly looking for ways to help them cope with the pressure of paying for everyday healthcare.

Most unexpected health bills spring from visits to the dentist or optician.

Lately, for example there has been a decline in free immediate NHS treatment and an ongoing rise in costs.

But the credit crunch not only has an impact on whether or not people can afford medical treatment, but also on the type of treatment they need. Recent findings from the Mental Health Foundation revealed that people are becoming more isolated and anti-social due to financial worries. This can have an adverse effect on mental health.

One of the ways people can budget for health bills during tough economic times is to purchase a health cash plan.

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Pathways to Level 2 NVQ Training Available September 15, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber Services, News.
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Pathways to level 2 NVQ is a major new initiative from Liverpool Chamber of Commerce’s training arm, Trident Training Ltd.  The programme is designed to help get staff trained in order for businesses to better succeed and experience the positive impact of skills training. Prior to 2010 such training can be fully funded by the government. After this date all organisations will be expected to bring their employees’ qualifications up to the expected level 2 national standard and fund it themselves.

Any organisation regardless of size is eligible for Trident Training’s  scheme, and any staff member aged 19+ (no upper age limit) with less than 5 GCSEs at grade A-C who have not previously achieved an NVQ. Residents or employees in the Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley areas are all eligible.

Courses and qualifications that will be available include introductory courses, covering use of the internet and e-mail, business admin and customer service, as well as a range of NVQ Level 1 courses. Bespoke training packages can also be arranged. Candidates will then progress on to a Level 2 NVQ Qualification in their chosen sector.

Providing candidates meet the relevant criteria all the training provided will be free, including the progression, to both organisations and employees. Training can be scheduled at a time and location to suit the needs of individual businesses. Most NVQs are also available via ‘E-Portfolio’, accessible over the internet, therefore allowing additional flexibility for those participating.

For more information contact Sharron Woods at Trident Training on 0151 227 1234, extension number 2248. Or email sharron.woods@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

New Membership Package for Charities September 11, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber Services.
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As charitable organisations within the Chamber of Commerce membership, our team recognises the unique support and services charities may need from us to help them in the current climate of the credit crunch.

To this end, we are enhancing our membership package for charitable organisations which will provide real value for money and an opportunity for them to better engage with our membership, and also with other charities within the Merseyside region.

New services available as part of this enhanced membership package include:

1.One free week of editorial in the Chamber e-newsletter per year
The opportunity to feature editorial in a charity news section in the bi-monthly Chamber magazine
2.Access to our Chamber Legal, HR, Health and Safety and Risk Insurance services.
3.Access to Liverpool Tenders for procurement needs
4.Invitation to a Quarterly Networking event for Charities
5.Free places at a Chamber Members’ Meeting
6.A feature and web link on the ‘Chamber Charities’ page on the Chamber website with links to the company website 
7.Nominated Charity of the Year

For further information please contact the membership department at membership@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

Grant Scheme For Overseas Trade September 11, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber Services, News.
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The International Trade Centre at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce can help support businesses in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton St Helens and Wirral to go global. In addition to its team of market specialists it now has the funding to help local businesses research and visit potential new markets, as well as preparing them to trade internationally.

The Trade Overseas grant can support eligible small and medium size Merseyside enterprises at a rate of 35% up to a total of £10,000 to facilitate international business activities, and can also part-fund a whole range of costs including translation and interpretation, economy flights and in-country travel, and the shipping of exhibition equipment.

In the past the Trade Overseas grant has helped a number of businesses to gain access to international markets they might not otherwise have been able to access. Aqua Running Ltd is one such business. After receiving funding from Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Aqua Running were able to pursue a campaign to market their complete training system to Dubai Sports City, a contract which could be worth around £4 billion.

Former Liverpool midfielder Terry Nelson, Aqua Running’s founder, said “Without the help from Liverpool Chamber of Commerce we couldn’t have gone to Dubai to hold the meetings with Dubai Sports City. The funding was a great help in getting us on the way to secure a contract.”

For more information, or to apply for the grant, contact Alison Fisher at Alison.Fisher@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

Free Seminar on Marketing and Presentation Techniques September 4, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber Services, Events, Liverpool.
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This is part of a series of free workshops for businesses in the wards of Anfield, Everton, County, Kirkdale, Linacre and Derby to improve their chances of winning contracts in both the public and private sectors.

The public sector alone has £500 billion worth of business available each year.

Kevin Griffiths, Head of Commercial Services at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, working with Stepclever said: “This practical workshop will focus on issues such as can you sell effectively, and communicate creatively? It will look at how to effectively get your messages across to individuals, either in one to one meetings or panel and tender situations.

The session on marketing and presentation techniques will provide both a hands on and practical refresher, or a first time session on a number of different aspects, and show you how to raise your game in personal presentation.”

This workshop will be held at the Council Chamber, No 1 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9HG on Tuesday 30th September at 9.30am – 12 noon, Lunch and course notes provided.

To book call June Davies on 0151 224 1891 or email june.davies@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

New Chamber Members For July August 26, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber Services, New Members.
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Say a big hello to the latest companies to join Liverpool Chamber.

As usual the list covers the full spectrum of local businesses, from caterers to demolition, telecoms to therapists. They all joined up in July and are now enjoying the many benefits that membership brings.

Check out the list below. Your perfect business partner could be amongst them!

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Don’t Leave It Too Late On Energy Contract Renewals August 26, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber Services, Services.
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With spiralling energy costs, most businesses would be wise to shop around for the best deal ready for autumn contract renewals. But some could find themselves trapped by uncompetitive contracts, warns Chamber Utilities

“Companies who are facing autumn renewals for their gas or electricity need to act immediately, advises Gary Collins of Utility Auditing, which delivers the Chamber Utilities™ service. “Suppliers require between 30 to 90 days’ customer termination notice to switch contract. Many businesses don’t realise this and are leaving it too late to find a more competitive alternative. Energy prices have increased by more than 100% over the past year alone and are still on the rise. There is a clear financial imperative to test the market in an attempt to mitigate cost increases.”

He added: “Some businesses are panicked by the prospect of terminating their contract in the belief that their supply will be prematurely cut off. We would advise them to serve notice while they consider their options, even if the best deal at the end of the day is to re-contract with their existing supplier. At least this gives them the time to test the market without fear of being locked into an uncompetitive contract”.

Utility Auditing, part of ENER-G Plc, purchases millions of pounds worth of gas and electricity annually on behalf of thousands of businesses. Chamber members are eligible for a free energy assessment to identify the most cost effective solutions for energy and gas, and guide them on the right tariffs and supply capacity to suit their needs.

While contract negotiations are a key element in the fight against spiralling energy costs, carbon reduction activities are crucial in bringing energy spend down further. As a Carbon Trust approved consultancy, Utility Auditing offers funded support to help qualifying businesses maximise energy efficiency.

For further information contact Chamber Utilities™ on Tel: 0845 120 2423, www.chamberutilities.co.uk