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Employment rates set to grow but applicants must battle for jobs

Employment rates set to growth but applicants must battle for jobs

Employment growth is set to continue in the second quarter of this year, but the jobs market remains a ‘battleground’, particularly for low-skilled workers. According to the Spring 2013 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)/Success Factors Labour Market Outlook (LMO), the net employment balance – which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staffing levels and those who intend to reduce staffing levels, has increased to +9 from +5 for the previous quarter, the fifth consecutive quarter of projected growth. However, the median number of applicants employers receive for medium-skilled roles is 29, highly-skilled vacancies typically receive 10 applicants and pay rates continue to be squeezed.

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Planning consent given for Tower Bridge Business Complex

london aerialWorkspace Group has announced that it has received planning consent for the mixed–use redevelopment of its property at the Tower Bridge Business Complex in South East London. The final development will offer 270,000 sq ft of existing business space and 60,000 sq ft of new business accommodation as well as 800 new residential units and a public park.  Jamie Hopkins, chief executive officer said: “There is strong demand for tailored business space in the area and it is our firm intention to increase the number of jobs on site in order to benefit the local community.  The development also provides a significant boost to both the capital value and rental income of the site.”

Client focus as crucial as great design says RIBA

The architectural profession can't rely on great design alone, but needs to be more business and client focused

The architectural profession can’t rely on great design alone, but needs to be more business and client focused warns the Royal Institute of British Architects. According to RIBA’s 2012/13 Business Benchmarking Survey, 62 per cent of practices do not have a business plan and, of those that do, only 13 per cent plan beyond one year. Interestingly, the survey also finds that 50 per cent of the profession’s work is won as the result of a direct approach with no competitive process. RIBA President Angela Brady said: “One key element exposed in these latest results is the acute split in business management, profitability and specialisms between large and small practices on how to make the most of their own position in the market place. What is clear is that if growth is on the agenda for a practice, then simply being a great designer, or a good project runner, is unlikely to be enough.” More →

UK commercial property investors shift focus to the regions

Leeds skylineInvestors in the commercial office market are increasingly being drawn towards the UK regions, according to a new report by Deloitte Real Estate. The UK Key Cities publication explores the trend that regional offices are emerging as a focus for savvy investors seeking higher returns. At the same time, individual cities are recognising the need to stand apart from competing locations and bridge the gap between themselves and London. These cities are being bolstered by factors such as improved connectivity through large planned infrastructure projects, devolution of power, and investment into the retail and leisure markets.

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Ageing population is the greatest demographic challenge

Image credit: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/photo_2475828_old-hands-on-clean-table.html'>logoboom / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Forget Gen Y, a new report published today by the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change warns that it’s our rapidly ageing population that will have a huge impact on society, work and public services. Predicting a 50 per cent rise in the number of those aged 65+ and a 100 per cent increase in those aged 85+ between 2010 and 2030, the report advocates enabling people to work for longer, many of whom are legally entitled to do, since the removal of a statutory retirement age in 2011. According to the report, “Ready for Aging?” working for longer would increase income from work, potentially increase savings, and reduce the time of dependence on those savings.

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London’s West End office market shifting boundaries

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Shifting occupier dynamics, a limited supply pool, and a flurry of west to east relocations is redefining the boundaries of London’s West End office market. Sue Foxley, head of research, Cluttons, explained: “Corporate occupiers recognise the importance of securing high quality space within key markets in order to attract and retain the best possible staff, however, it is inevitable that the increasingly restricted supply pool is continuing to hamper relocation options. Businesses, regardless of sector, certainly are not looking for ‘budget’ rental options, but they are becoming increasingly aware that opportunities to secure quality space is scarce and not limited to prime areas.”

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Economic benefits of green buildings highlighted

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Green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to conventional buildings, with investments recouped through operational cost savings and, with the right design features, create a more productive workplace, says the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). A new report, which looked at the benefits from green buildings received by different stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building, “synthesizes credible evidence from around the world on green buildings into one collective resource, and the evidence presented highlights that sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense,” said Jane Henley, CEO of WorldGBC. More →

Innovation needed to catapult UK to technology success

Catapult centre

The government must scale up the UK’s new programme of technology and innovation centres – Catapults – by 50% to 100%, the Big Innovation Centre will announce at a meeting at the House of Lords today. Will Hutton, chair of the Big Innovation Centre at the Work Foundation warned: “Catapults are desperately needed and important new institutions that could allow the UK to reproduce German success in 21st century industrial sectors and services. Yet the Catapult programme needs to be bigger and bolder in its scope, aims and resources if their potential as convenors, catalysts, risk-mitigators and horizon scanners is to be fully exploited.”

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Wellness linked to job satisfaction and engagement

Did ‘Blue Monday’ really get you down, or are you happy in your work? If you are engaged with your work, research suggests you’re most likely to have a healthier lifestyle. The findings from Gallup Daily tracking found that engaged employees are deeply involved in and enthusiastic about their work, those not engaged may be satisfied, but are not emotionally connected to their workplaces and are less likely to put in discretionary effort. And employees who are actively disengaged are emotionally disconnected from work and workplace and jeopardise their teams’ performance. More →

Appetite for long leases presents challenges

The news from the weekend that Axa Real Estate is looking to raise around £1bn  to invest in buildings with very long leases has resparked the debate into what sort of lease represents the best value for investors and tenants in these uncertain times. The new fund will target commercial properties with minimum twenty year leases even though investors have to pay a premium for such properties and the majority of occupiers don’t want them. More →

Regional slump responsible for overall UK property fall

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The New Year starts with news from Chicago based property broker Jones Lang LaSalle that investors spent some £ 30 billion on  income generating property in the U.K. during 2012, about 9 percent less than in 2011. However there was a marked disparity between the London market and the rest of the UK. London deals totaled £18 billion in 2012, the highest figure for four years, while purchases outside the capital reached 12 billion pounds, the lowest amount over the same period. More →

Commercial property deals on the rise in Yorkshire

Investors have almost doubled the value of commercial property transactions in Yorkshire, according to property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton.However, the level of deals is still slightly below the level at the same time last year. LSH says the total value of Yorkshire investment deals in the third quarter of 2012 rose to £303 million from £172 million in the previous quarter, but was below the £306.5 million total for the third quarter of 2011.

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