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Posts about: Public Services

Offsite Construction – What is the alternative?

14 May 2019

Written by Bob Mears – CEO BMPR Offsite Consultancy

2nd May saw a Modular Buildings Conference held by the Salford Professional Development team at the University of Salford where I had been asked to speak on behalf of the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA).

Reflecting on the day and thinking about how the Offsite Industry has progressed over the past 10 years gave me pause for thought.

Modular Building Conference

The Importance of Rail to our Growth Agenda

30 January 2019
Train on railway transport

Fundamental to our plans for a sustainable future is our need to reduce our environmental impact and transport is currently a major polluter. This means we will have to drastically reduce carbon intensive travel options such as air travel and fossil fuel vehicles. Rail is the most ecologically sound clean-air option for long distance and local commuter high-demand routes. This is why we need to prioritise investment in rail.

Transport and connectivity are an essential aspect of sustainable growth. The question is ‘What is the right type of rail – high-speed, intercity, local commuter rail or light rail?’. The reality is we need them all. We need to link our primary, secondary and tertiary cities and towns so that knowledge, manufacturing and commerce can flourish, and people can access employment from where they live.


Rail Freight and Economic Growth

28 January 2019

Across the globe, the trend for urbanisation continues and our cities and towns are becoming ever more populous. Data from Centre for Cities suggests that some 54% of the UK population lived in a city in 2016, whilst other statistics put the total urban population as high as 83%. Little wonder then that urban transport is gaining such importance in public policy, and in particular in the case for regional devolution

Starting off as a practising clinician I have been very lucky in that my career has taken me all over the world, from Sheffield to the USA, the Middle East and now Wales where I have been a Director of Improvement within a Health Board and now at the 1000 Lives Improvement Service. It has provided me with a wealth of experience and opportunity to observe improvement science being applied in various contexts. And interestingly, whether it is the Middle East or the Welsh valleys the challenges are very similar.


Exiting military officers: natural born NEDs

26 October 2018

Ok, so it’s obvious that the business world is no war. Yet, operating in a fierce business environment requires a combat strategy. Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCOs) who have served in the armed forces know how to make decisions in extreme conditions and cope with stress in high pressured environments.

Often, people in the armed forces gain leadership skills. Some people are born to be natural leaders, from an early age, they are willing to take charge of situations. Yet, we are all born with the potential to become a leader, if nurtured.

Onboarding Officers is a unique development programme specialising in accelerated non-executive director training to help develop and nurture the skills of exiting military officers and senior NCOs to become world class Non-Executive Directors (NEDs).

Can military experience transform into commercial leadership?


If we take a step back, many successful organisations would suggest so, the biggest names in business who have world-class and, in some cases, award-winning skills – have a military background.

So, what lessons can businesses learn from exiting military officers and SNCOs? Very few organisations teach management, logistics and efficiency like the armed forces, so it comes to no surprise that many exiting military officers are now climbing the business ladder to success.


How to transform your property portfolio into cost-effective digital housing

9 August 2018

digital housingThe rise of the digital age means that more of us than ever are beginning to integrate smart technology into our homes to make our lives safer and easier.

This is putting pressure on landlords and housing associations in the UK rental market to stay up to date with the latest trends so they can reduce vacancy rates and capture quality housing tenants.

As well as tenants beginning to demand even more for their money, it has also been found that demand for private rentals and rentals through housing associations schemes has risen.

How are tenant demands changing?

Landlords and property management businesses are now expected to provide the clearest, cleanest tenant experience possible. This includes increasing ease of access to services such as property maintenance, rental payment records and community engagement through the development of innovative online platforms.

Furthermore, those who support vulnerable people through housing solutions are being called upon to integrate new technologies that can assist an ageing population, as well as those with disabilities and mobility issues so that potential health deterioration can be monitored and treated faster where required.


Steps to identify if a child is in a high-risk environment

1 August 2018

child safeguarding practicesChild safeguarding professionals will be well aware that identifying when a child is in a high-risk environment is a crucial step in taking action to prevent both abuse and neglect.

There are over 600,000 children in the UK who are living in what is described as a “high-risk” environment. This is a crisis within our child welfare services; therefore, the government is providing £17m of additional funding to inspire organisations like yours to modernise child services by improving information sharing across safeguarding organisations.

If you are involved in child safeguarding, you will be aware that time is an essential factor in preventing both emotional and physical damage from ruining the lives of young people. Representatives in this area need to be up to date with the best methods for identification, prevention and taking action against child cruelty.


Partnership working is key to combatting sexual harassment in higher education

11 April 2018

In 2016, Universities UK (UUK) published the Changing the Culture taskforce report, with recommendations on dealing with sexual harassment for universities to embed within their policies and processes.

However, earlier this month a national student survey by Revolt Sexual Assault revealed that this is still a significant issue, with findings that 70% of female students have experienced sexual harassment, and just under 1 in 10 (8%) have been raped, at university. The higher education sector has been criticised for being complacent on this issue.

Delegates attended Salford Professional Development’s Combatting Sexual Harassment in Higher Education conference to gain a better understanding of the risks that students face, the legal responsibilities of institutions in relation to handling complaints and supporting victims, and to share best practice to address this problem.


Flood risk cities should think ecologically

11 April 2018

Lessons from the natural world could help major cities adapt to the growing threat of flooding, according to leading researchers in urban resilience.

Professor Hisham Elkadi, Dean of the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford, told delegates at the Flood Disaster Management Conference that an ecological solution is the key to mitigating the impact of climate change.

Attendees at the conference, organised by Salford Professional Development, heard that established flood defence methods are no longer fit for purpose as the frequency and severity of flood incidents increases.


UK productivity crisis: Is the workplace the problem?

11 April 2018

Ahead of the 2017 budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility significantly lowered its estimates for the productivity of UK workers. A decade of stagnant growth has left the UK’s productivity among the weakest in the G7 and 9% below the OECD average. But why is productivity, defined as a worker’s output per hour, so low?

Instead of looking at who is doing the work, some experts believe it’s time to focus on where the work is being done. If our workplaces are stuck in the last decade, is it any surprise that productivity hasn’t budged in ten years?

Peter Brogan, research and information manager for the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), believes it’s time for employers to have a serious think about how the workplace is evolving.


GDPR: How the public sector can “lead the way” in data management

11 April 2018

With the GDPR deadline looming, public sector leaders are scrambling to make sure their data process are compliant with the strict new rules.

But this could mean that organisations are missing a unique opportunity to revolutionise the public sector’s approach to data, according to one leading expert.

Speaking at Salford Professional Development’s GDPR in the Public Sector Conference, independent digital consultant Jos Creese urged delegates to use the new legislation as catalyst for a cultural change.