Santander is recruiting 600 new staff…

On September 6, 2010, in Employment opportunities, by Kesh Thukaram

Some positive news at last.

It has been reported widely in the media today that Santander plans to recruit about 600 new staff.

The Spanish bank Santander – acquired 318 branches and 1.8m customers from RBS last month. Though the FT reported this morning that Santander would recruit upto 6,000 people, Santander slammed the reports as “inaccurate”.

These roles are in addition to the normal recruitment which replaces the regular staff turnover.

So with that positive news in the begining of the week, let us hope the gloom and doom in the job sector and the UK economy changes to a positive spiral. I know this is wishful thinking – given that other indicators such as the new automobile purchases have fallen down for a second month in a row, house prices have fallen down for a second month in a row … and the increasing fear of a prolonged economic depresssion if not a double dip.

Nevertheless, as you would have found out over the weekend, successful people always make plans to protect themselves for the unforeseen and at Best Insurance we are always ready to give you the right support to protect yourselves against such unforeseen and unplanned happenings in life such as redundancy, loss of employment, accident or sickness.


The FT today has made an attempt to highlight the key issues with public sector middle level managers who are facing the threat of job losses. It is inevitable that the job losses will be more than 600,000 as for every public sector worker in the UK, there is at least one more in the private sector whose role is dependant on the activities of the public sector.

The issue is which segment i.e. what roles in the public sector are at maximum risk of redundancy. The risk being made redundant by the public sector and not possessing the skill sets to enter the private sector. Over the last 20 years, amongst students and aspirants of high growth careers, there has been a major focus on skills such as business administration, management etc – commonly referred to as “Generalists”. Times have definitely changed; it is clear from the latest analysis of various recruitment consultants that it is this “Generalist” segment that will receive the brunt of job losses. It is now an era of “specialist skills”

Recruitment consultants have predominantly two sets of views. Some feel that employees of public sector have lost the ability to re-adjust and are stereotyped as poorly motivated clock-watchers. The others feel that it is actually all about the mindset of the public sector employees. Most of them are sitting in the hope of receiving payouts and not moving out spontaneously to a good opportunity they may be able to find.

The million dollar question – what skill sets from the public sector are transferable to the private sector? – Very difficult question to answer, almost like gazing at a crystal ball. However, the ones that seem obvious are IT specialists, accountants and engineers.

Again there are several schools of thought on how to assist the public sector employees who will be impacted. These ranges from having government sponsored programmes that will assist employees learn new skills to transitional help which will help people to cope with multi-dimensional organisations whose structure is different from the singularly focussed, familiar and structured environments that the public sector typically offers.

Some wise man once said the best help is “Self help”. It is time people take responsibilities for their lives; accept that future is a place where things will change more than ever and faster. What is self help then… get re-skilled and get adequate protection to look after yourself i.e. Income protection insurance (I would say that wouldn’t I – but you cannot dismiss it either as it is a sensible point). There is a wide range of products that is available from mortgage protection, income protection, redundancy and unemployment insurance to simple loan protection or credit card protection insurance. Again as part of self help – do not buy blindly based on advice of your friends… shop around, speak to advisors. At Best Insurance, we are even happy to call you back for our no-obligation free advice… so why not take advantage of these. Compare the cover, read the policies and key facts summaries.

Lastly, a thought for the weekend – pick any four or five success people around you and analyse their traits – a common one would be …successful people never leave anything to chance… so why should you?


RBS Slashes more than 3,500 jobs – the impact…

On September 2, 2010, in Redundancy, by Kesh Thukaram

The latest announcement of RBS cutting 3,500 jobs is part of its programme to shed over 9,000 people that was announced last year. Last week RBS announced that 14 of its 27 offices in its insurance division that comprises of Churchill and Direct Line will be closed.

There will be little impact of these announcements in the next few months. The jobs cull would start next year and run through to the end of 2012. The impact and domino effect of these job losses from mid next year is bound to have severe impact on the cities where these job cuts are made. It obviously will impact UK job market on the whole.

RBS is 85% owned by the tax payers and in my view it has a moral responsibility to ensure that jobs are not off-shored and British workers made redundant. Several sources indicate that more than 500 jobs have been moved to Far East, India and the US. It is important that the corporate board rooms display a lot more empathy towards their local economy and take a long term approach when it comes to redundancies rather than just focussing on short term results and their own bonuses.

The question really is what kind of jobs are under threat. Inevitably the redundancy fear is for jobs in IT and back office as announced by RBS today.

While there is no doubt that people in the mature economies especially such as Western Europe, Australia and USA have to focus more on specialised skills to have job certainty, it will take a generation to get this correction right and by then who knows which sectors would perform. In short, the survival of fittest will always remain.

Unlike the last decade, job security is a thing of the past. Regardless of function and role, it has become imperative for people to ensure that if the worst happens, they have a fall back option and a cash flow that will help weather the job loss. The two fundamental options are either people re-train themselves or find another job. As the old saying goes, it is prudent to save for the rainy day. It is never a bad idea to get a good mortgage protection or income protection insurance to protect against loss of income.

At Best Insurance, we specialise in such products and strive hard to ensure that we provide our customers with the best policies for redundancy, accident, sickness and unemployment at affordable monthly payment plans. It is always a good idea to compare the prices, take a few quotes, read the policy covers, understand the benefits and be comfortable with your decision. One tip – speak to the company you are buying from and re-confirm the information you have gathered online… one phone call can give you more information than browsing for hours.

Anyway getting back to the RBS story of today, it just seems that the flood of companies announcing job cuts is never going to stop…I am hoping for the day when I can read a newspaper with some positive news on growth and job creation…