Australians and New Zealanders ditch the UK workplace

The Guardian, November 2011

British employers have long welcomed Antipodeans into their workplaces. Many have expressed a fondness for the Australasian work ethic and easily transferable skills and qualifications, and of course it’s always nice to have someone to heckle when the intense sporting rivalry swings in the Brits’ favour.

The evolution of serviced apartments 

Executive PA, August/September 2011

In the past, the decision between a hotel and a serviced apartment was sometimes seen as a choice between quantity and quality. It’s obvious you get more space with an apartment, but the lack of a widespread grading system meant many users were uncertain what sort of quality they’d receive and how it compared to that offered by hotels.

Does compulsory work experience cut long-term unemployment?

The Guardian, January 2011

Carolyn Hall had been unemployed for almost 15 years when she began a Work for the Dole (WfD) placement at a primary school in Tenterfield in New South Wales, Australia.

Relocation: pitfalls and best practice for employers

Personnel Today, June 2010

Moving is often cited as one of life’s most stressful events, and changes to working life are another. As relocating your place of business could see employees having to deal with both, it is important employers do all they can to ensure a smooth transition.

Total Place: The future and what it means for HR

Personnel Today, June 2010 

On the face of it, the concept of Total Place – providing more joined-up services to citizens while saving money – sounds like something a government intent on saving billions of pounds would be foolish to abandon.

Employer rating sites: why are they important to HR?

Personnel Today, May 2010

According to a recent survey by, more than 50% of employers research candidates on social networking sites. So it should come as little surprise that candidates are increasingly turning the tables and using the web to research employers.

Paternity leave: Wait until your father gets home

Personnel Today, April 2010 

The issue of paternity leave is now high on the HR agenda following the introduction of rules allowing new fathers to take up to six months of leave.

Should we follow the Kiwis and offer discounts for graduates who pay off their student loans early? 

The Independent, April 2010

Anyone hoping to get a university place this year is likely to be feeling anxious. With a record number of applicants and universities facing funding cuts, demand is far outweighing supply. At last year’s party conference, the shadow universities spokesman David Willetts outlined the Conservative’s plan to fund an extra 10,000 places by offering those with student loans a discount if they repaid their debt early.

Eastern promise

The Guardian, October 2009

Having a degree used to open doors for new graduates, but with unemployment rising in the midst of the recession, many of this year’s university leavers are finding it difficult to get work in the UK. There are, however, still opportunities for those willing to look a little farther.

Pharmaceutically challenged

The Guardian, September 2009

Many students spend their summer break and term time working in order to pay their way through university. For some, this means bar or shop work, but others have discovered the pharmaceutical industry can provide a quicker boost to their cash flow.

HR in the future: The impact of technology

HR Zone, August 20, 2009

Like it or not, technology is advancing at an unstoppable rate, especially when it comes to information technology. While HR professionals can undoubtedly benefit from new software developments, there’s clearly the potential that increased automation could lead to some uncertainty about the ‘human’ element of their job. 

How to spot a liar  

The Times, May 28 2008

“Liar, liar pants on fire.” Many of us have longed to scream this at a co-worker at one time or another – and it’s not surprising, considering that we’re up against an estimated 200 fibs a day.

Feeling the crunch

The Times, May 14 2008

It’s often said that people who can type will always be able to find work, but some secretaries and PAs are still feeling a little jittery at the moment, particularly those who are job-hunting.

Money spinners

The Guardian, May 3 2008

It was over 10 years ago, but I can still remember the lecturer’s opening remarks at my first film-making class. “This degree alone will not get you a job,” he declared, before going on to extol the virtues of work experience. Though I soon realised the world of film wasn’t for me and turned my attention to journalism instead, his words rang equally true.

Christmas presence
The Guardian, December 8 2007

Santa has his work cut out for him locating Britain’s university students this Christmas. While they have traditionally made a beeline for their hometown for some of Mum’s cooking and the chance to relax, some are now opting to stay in their university towns and work instead.

Atlantic crossing
The Guardian, November 17 2007

Year after year, American institutions dominate the lists of the world’s best universities. The US is the most popular destination for international students, and the words Harvard or Yale on a CV practically guarantee a successful career.

Another country 
The Guardian, October 6 2007

They pour billions into our economy and pay high tuition fees, but international students often struggle to put their skills into practice. Getting on to a course and achieving good grades is the easy part for many – it’s getting the work experience to cement their learning that proves difficult.

A bit on the side
Fresh Direction, September 2007

Juggling the demands of university life can be a struggle. Throw in a part time job and time management can become a real problem.

Food for thought 
The Guardian, September 22 2007

Alcohol, pasta and takeaways are all staples of the modern university diet, especially for freshers. New students often fall into the trap of thinking about food only in terms of how much it costs, rather than its nutritional value.

Food fight
The Guardian, September 17 2007

Forget al fresco, these days most people are doing lunch “al desko”. A hastily bought sandwich gulped down in front of your screen, last night’s leftovers pinged in the microwave and devoured as you thumb through your post – refuelling is just another activity to be squeezed into the day.

The rig idea
TNT magazine, October 2006

You don’t need to be a genius to work out there’s money to be made in the oil business. The price of a barrel dictates the cost of our petrol, makes it into the news almost every day and is the topic of many a heated environmental debate. But politics aside, big bucks mean big salaries and it’s not just the company directors sitting in their offices making all the dosh.