Thursday, 28 February 2013

10 Tips for job Hunting in 2013


It is important to start your job search with a positive attitude and a plan of action. If you are beginning a job hunt, thinking about changing careers or wanting to move jobs, these tips can help you get there.
1. Make targeted applications.
Searching for the right job can mean applying to lots of adverts, but sloppy applications aren’t worth the bother, so only do as many as you can do well.
2. Meet your targets.
Set yourself a target for how many applications you make per day, and per week. Try to keep it up until you have a few interviews lined up.
3. If at first you don’t succeed.
Being successful at interviews is a skill you learn as you go along. The more you do, the better you will get at it, so if you don’t get the job you want, don’t be downhearted. You’ve gained valuable experience that will help you do better next time. 
4. Put it down to experience.
If you want to move into a new field, consider applying for a work experience position to help you gain the skills you need to take on a new role. Some internships are paid and can help you break into popular industries. 
5.Fill in the gaps.
If you have knowledge gaps that you’d like to fill, doing something about it will make you feel like you’re progressing. It a good time of year to get booked on a course.
6. Take time to network.
Polish up your LinkedIn profile to make yourself more visible to potential employers. Head to networking events in your industry, make contact with people, and follow up introductions with an email. Don’t be tempted to ask for a job however. Just let it be known that you’re interested in working in that particular industry. 
7. Be flexible.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your current job, or become fixated on getting one particular role. But having an open mind will lead to lots more opportunities.
8. Stay positive.
This time of year can feel pretty bleak, so eating well, and taking regular exercise will help you stay healthy, body and mind. 
9. Keep focused.
Don’t give up. Job hunting can take time, and persistence. If you don’t hear back, or an interview doesn’t go well, dust yourself off and try again. You will get there! 
10. Get some help.
Trained career advisors will help to point you in the right direction, or can set you down a path you hadn’t even thought about. 

If you are looking to secure your dream job, let us help you with your CV and your interview skills, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd for more information. 

Source: Office Angels
Image: Voka Kramer, Flickr

iSpeech set up Text-To-Speech Software for Publishers

Text-to-speech setup iSpeech has begun to offer tools for publishers that let them convert books and articles to audio. The tools are designed to help publishers quickly and inexpensively convert books and articles into audio. iSpeech’s first two publishing clients are Evernote and Pearson.


The company specialises in lifelike text-to-speech apps and previously created audio technology for the connected home. Now they are launching a platform for publishers. 
iSpeech gives publishers three options for creating content. They can convert PDFs to audio files; they can add a widget to a website that adds a “play” button to an article; or they can use more sophisticated developer tools built on iSpeech’s API and add them directly to their web pages. Pearson is using the PDF option for its textbooks. Evernote is using the developer tools to integrate speech technology into its web reading platform. 
The publishing platform’s business model is pay-per-use, and the cost usually ends up totalling less than a tenth of of the cost of professional narration. For books, the company charges by the page; there are also volume discounts.
It is believed that the iSpeech’s publisher tools are primarily going to be of interest to nonfiction publishers, rather than publishers of novels. For fiction, or other content where there is more emotion and differences in reading style, there is not an alternative yet. 
If you have a manuscript and are unsure how to get it published, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd to find out more about our Publisher Packs.
Image: timtak, Flickr

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Jean-Louis Cohen has won the Authors’ Club 2012 Art Book Prize


Jean-Louis Cohen has won the Authors’ Club 2012 Art Book Prize for his title about the architectural history of the Second World War, described as “shockingly vivid and illuminating.” 
His Architecture in Uniform: Design and Building for the Second World War was awarded the £1,000 prize at a reception at the Victoria Miro Gallery last night (25th February).
Chair of judges Giles Waterfield said: “This was an exceptionally strong field, which illustrates the vigour of publishing in this sector. Cohen's argument is shockingly vivid and illuminating in such notable chapters as his analysis of the impact of potential bombing on Le Corbusier's conception of urban design.”
Originally known as the Bannister Fletcher Prize, the Art Book Prize is awarded annually to the best book on art or architecture published in English in the past year. This is the first year of the relaunch.
Authors’ Club chairman Chris Schuler said: “"The reinvention and relaunch of this historic prize for the best book on art or architecture is immensely exciting, and sees it poised to become the leading award of its kind."

If you have written a manuscript, but you are unsure of the next step, visit our website to find out more about our Publisher Packs.

Source: The Bookseller

Shortlist Released this Week for The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Prize


This week, The Sunday Times has released the names of the writers shortlisted for The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story prize. The list includes a Pulitzer winner and some of the UK's best-known authors.

• Junot DĂ­az Miss Lora
• Mark Haddon The Gun
• Sarah Hall Evie
• Cynan Jones The Dig
• Toby Litt Call it “The Bug” Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title
• Ali Smith The Beholder

It is an exciting shortlist, with some varied subjects tackled with great skill by world-renowned authors. 

The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award has come a long way in four short years, and the quality of the shortlist is a tribute to how seriously the prize is taken, and how quickly it has established itself in the literary calendar.

The £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award winner will be awarded on 22 March.

If you are a writer and would like help, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd to see our manuscript writing and editorial packages. 

Image: Ian Wilson, Flickr

Thursday, 21 February 2013

An Opportunity to have Your Short Story Published in an ebook Anthology

The Bath Short Story Award a new international short story competition and a selection of shortlisted writers will be offered the possibility to have their stories published in an ebook anthology sold throughout the UK & Commonwealth.

The Bath Short Story Award 2013 is open for entries until 30th March 2013.
1st Prize £500 2nd Prize £100 3rd Prize £50 Additional Local Prize £50.
Stories can be on any theme or subject but must be original and written in English. They must also be for adult or young adult readers. Non-fiction and fiction written for children under 13 years is not eligible. Entrants must be 18 years or over.
The maximum length is 2,200 words and entries should be typed, double or 1.5 spaced, in a plain legible font. Entries will be read and judged anonymously so do not put your name on the pages of your story. Your name and contact details should be on a separate piece of paper. 
Postal entries should be on A4, single-sided and paper-clipped together. Online entries must be submitted as an email attachment in PDF format only.
Entries can be made online or by post and are open to everyone (locally/nationally or internationally). There is no limit to the number of entries but there is a fee of £5 for each story submitted. 
Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast or won a prize.
The shortlist for the main prizes will be judged by Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and the winners will be announced in June 2013.
For more information, visit the Bath Short Story Award Homepage.
If you are a writer and would like help getting published, visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd website for details on our Publisher Packs and Mentoring Services. 
Image: miamism, Flickr

The twelfth International Poetry Competition from Firstwriter.com

This year marks firstwriter.com's Twelfth International Poetry Competition. This competition is open to poems in any style and on any subject under 30 lines long.


The prize for first place is £500 (over $750) plus a WhiteSmoke software free download, with $150 for the best runner-up from the United States and £100 for the best runner-up from the United Kingdom. Ten special commendations will also be awarded and all the winners will be published in firstwriter.magazine and receive a subscription voucher worth $30 / £20 / €30!

The contest is open to poems of any style and on any subject, but they must not be longer than 30 lines. There is a reading fee of $4.50 / £3.00 per poem. Alternatively you can enter three poems for just $3.75 / £2.50 each, five poems for only $3.00 / £2.00 each, or ten poems for only $2.25 / £1.50 per poem.

Winners will be announced on firstwriter.com's page of previous winners, which includes the details and winning entries from all our previous competitions.

The closing date for submissions is October 1, 2013.



You can submit your entry quickly and easily online at http://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/poetry_competition.shtml


If you are a writer and would like help, take a look at the Mentoring Services we offer at Words Worth Reading Ltd. 

Image: ErinKphoto, Flickr

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

CQC Review of Care Home Services: Report Now Available


The findings for the CQC review of home care services was released last week. The report shows that good care is being delivered, but a minority of people are affected by late or missed calls, lack of continuity of care workers, poor care planning and more.
The CQC began their review of home care services in April 2012. Throughout the review, they found that 74% of the 250 services inspected are meeting all five of the National Standards checked. 
However, there are concerns around the following areas.
  • On many occasions, people received no prior notice that they would be visited by a care worker they didn’t know.
  • Visits were often delayed or sometimes cancelled without prior notice.
  • Risks associated with a person’s care or medical conditions had not been assessed and care plans had not been updated for several years.
  • Some services did not have clear systems to monitor the quality and information in care plans.
David Behan, CQC Chief Executive, said: “People have a right to expect to be treated as an individual, to be able to exercise choice, and to make sure their carers are aware of their specific care needs. We found plenty of evidence of this however we also found elements of poor care which happen too often.”
Services must now work more closely with commissioners to improve care, find solutions to these common problems and put systems in place to monitor the impact of missed or late visits.
You can read more about the CQC's findings and other recommendations in the full report on the CQC website.
If you are a health care professional and would like help with your CQC application or registration, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd.
Source: www.cqc.org.uk
Image: nany mata, Flickr


Helping Higher Education Institutions use Online Technology More Effectively


Twenty three universities including the University of Exeter, the University of Roehampton, the University of Hull and the University of West London will be the first in the country to benefit from a new learning programme. This has been developed to help Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) use online technology more effectively.
Effectively
The programme, Changing the Learning Landscape (CLL), is funded by Hefce and supported by stakeholders including the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Jisc, the Higher Education Academy, the NUS and the Association for Learning Technology. It will feature three separate strands of activity aimed at different HEI staff, the first of which is an intensive leadership development programme, aimed at Pro Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Learning & Teaching.
Attendees will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding to implement and embed changes in the application of online technology in their organisations. Institutions participating in CLL hope that the programme will assist them in embedding good practice amongst staff and enhancing the student experience. 
Strands two and three of the CLL programme will involve free expert consultancy advice to assist in or develop changes in the way institutions use online technology, and a series of Continuing Professional Development opportunities and events. 
The Institutions will each benefit from up to eight days of funded consultancy support and expertise on the strategic use of new technology in the learning environment; key areas of focus include ensuring technology matches learning and teaching styles and developing the digital capabilities of both staff and students, ultimately improving the student experience.
If you are a student in Higher Education and would like help with your essays, coursework or dissertations, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd.

Source: youngacademic.co.uk
Image: Fletcher Prince, Flickr

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Thousands of carers across the UK are to lose benefits


Thousands of carers in England, Wales and Scotland are set to lose benefits when new disability-claim rules start in April. 5,000 carers currently eligible for a £58.45 a week allowance will no longer be when personal independence payments replace the disability living allowance. 
More than a million people receive carer's allowance. For many, this entitlement is dependent on the eligibility for the disability living allowance (DLA) of someone of working age for whom they care. When DLA is replaced by the personal independence payment (PIP), there will be new rules and assessments to judge who can claim assistance to help them lead an independent life.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says about 76,000 disabled people with carers will be reassessed for PIP.
It believes 25,000 of these people will no longer be entitled to DLA as a result, and their carer will also lose their allowance.
At the same time, another 20,000 carers will be newly awarded an allowance as a result of the PIP reassessment - meaning a net total of 5,000 carers who will miss out.
But Carers UK says this estimate is too low. It says about 10,000 carers, 5,000 carers currently eligible under DLA and 5,000 "future" carers who would also have qualified under the DLA system - stand to lose.
A spokesman for the DWP said: "We've protected the link between carer's allowance and PIP entitlements, which has been welcomed by charities.
"Furthermore, the universal credit will ensure that those carers on low incomes receive the support they need by allowing them to keep more of their own money as they move into work.
"It will also give carers more flexibility if they need carers breaks."
If you are a health care professional and would like help with staff training or consultation documentation, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd. 
Source: BBC News
Image: außerirdische sind gesund, Flickr

The CQC finds evidence of poor home-care for the elderly


A quarter of home-care services provided to the elderly in England are failing to meet quality and safety standards, inspectors say. The Care Quality Commission found evidence of rushed appointments and incorrect assessments during its review of 250 services. Campaigners have said it is a sign of how much pressure the system is under. 
More than 700,000 people over the age of 65 rely on home help for activities such as washing, dressing and eating.
On Monday, ministers announced plans for a £75,000 cap on the amount the elderly will have to pay for social care in England, only the poorest get it free.The proposal aims to stop the elderly having to sell their homes to pay for care.
But the move will do nothing to get extra money into the system, something the sector believes is vital if the quality of services is going to be improved.
This review looked at the support being provided to self-funders and those who get council-funded care, it found too many were struggling to maintain standards.
One of the most common issues identified related to late, rushed or missed visits. The regulator also highlighted assessments that had missed vital information, such as a diagnosis of diabetes, and care records that were incomplete, meaning problems such as pressure ulcers could be missed by carers. Concerns were also raised about the way services were monitored and complaints handled.
The CQC said home care providers, many of which are private companies, needed to work closely with local authorities to remedy the problems. It warned the problems identified could have a "significant impact" on the elderly, many of whom did not complain because of a fear of reprisals or loyalty to their carer.
Source: BBC News
Image: Akash_Kurdekar, Flickr

The Next CQC Application Window is Now Open

Registration Applications


The CQC have received 95% of registration applications and of these, 90% have been issued with their Notices of Decisions and Certificates. The next 28 day application window is now open and closes on 4th March. 
All NHS primary medical services working under one of the following contracts or agreements must register.
  • General Medical Services (GMS)
  • Personal Medical Services (PMS)
  • Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS)
  • NHS Act 2006 Section 3 (contracts with the Secretary of State)
You dont need to register if...

you don’t provide primary medical services yourself. For example, if your premises are used by other people who are responsible for providing those services.
…you’re already registered with the CQC. If you need to add medical services to your current registration, you can call 03000 616161 to find out how.

Registration for private practice

All of the services you provide need to be included in your registration form – this means services you provide privately as well as NHS services.
What will you need to tell the CQC in your registration

1. State which type of legal entity you are and how many locations you have.
2. What legally regulated activities you will register for.
3. Who in your organisation will be responsible for complying with the essential standards.
4. If you already comply with the essential standards or if you need to think about any changes.
5. Which service types you will need to register.
6. Start thinking about Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly CRB) checks.
7. Who is legally responsible for your registration with CQC.
8. If you don’t comply with the essential standards, you’ll need to submit action plans.

For more information on the registration process, visit the CQC website.

If you would like help with your CQC application or the registration process, visit our website

Image by Baddog, flickr

Saturday, 9 February 2013

New authors turning to self-publishing

The writing industry is in the middle of the largest and most far-reaching changes ever seen, with the rise of technology, e-books and the internet. Some doom-mongers are predicting the end of the printed book as we know it.

However, these rapid changes in techonology are creating opportunities for first-time authors to get their books out there into the public domain, despite a growing pile of publisher rejection letters.

The number of authors turning to self-publishing has grown dramatically in recent years, says Jeremy Thompson, managing director of Troubador, one of the UK's leading self-publishing houses. "It's part of the trend of people doing it themselves, and the internet has been a huge catalyst as authors are seeing that they don't need a publisher."

The challenge for new authors, whether self-publishing or landing a book deal with one of the publishing houses, is getting readers interested. Authors are turning to websites such as Twitter in order to whip up interest in their books, but it can be a hard slog to get noticed by readers.The sense of achievement, though, at seeing your first book in print, makes all that hard work worthwhile.

For help with any type of writing, whether it be your first book, a speech or a film script, visit Words Worth Reading Ltd for more information.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Postgraduate degrees increasingly wanted in a tough jobs market

The Sutton Trust charity has warned that employers are increasingly looking to employ people with a postgraduate degree. However, there are fears that increased undergraduate debt will deter students from staying on at university.

Postgraduate courses could become the "preserve of the better off student", says trust chairman, Sir Peter Lampl (BBC, 2013).

"Graduates facing debts in excess of £40,000 through undergraduate student loans are likely to see the prospect of funding a further £20,000 a year in fees and living costs, without having access to student loans, truly daunting," says Sir Peter.

A recent study from the London School of Economics and Surrey University showed that a postgraduate degree is linked to £5000 extra in salary per year compared to someone with an undergraduate degree. However, the fear is that postgraduate courses might become the preserve of wealthier students, as students will not want to take on the burden of debt that further years at university might entail.

If you would like tips on perfecting your job application or CV, go to Words Worth Reading Ltd for plenty of helpful advice.

6th March: The CQC hosts a Q&A Session on Their New Strategy




The consultation on the CQC strategy for 2013 to 2016 closed on 6 December 2012. 



Some of the key themes that have emerged are: 
  • Broad support of CQC’s purpose and strategic priorities.
  • Almost universal support for differentiated regulation, but with caveats about how this is achieved.
  • Overwhelming support for building better relationships with the public, with many suggestions on how to do this.
  • All audiences favour CQC building credibility with providers, with consistency of inspection and an appropriately skilled CQC workforce being essential to its success.
  • General support for strengthening CQC’s work in mental health and mental capacity by building on existing work.
  • Support for CQC measuring its impact and publishing results.
  • Continuing dissatisfaction with the current complaints system.
  • Some differences in opinion over CQC’s role in improvement; frequency of inspections; and our role as an information provider.

The CQC are now in the next phase of developing proposals, and some early thinking that the CQC will work with you to develop include:

Firstly, the regulatory approach will change to ensure the CQC assess the leadership, culture and governance of acute services in the NHS and the corporate governance of large providers of adult social care services. 

The CQC will ensure that there is an environment where professional standards are high, and a corporate culture that is people-centred, open and encourages people to speak out. More professional experts will be used in the inspection teams and they will involve more members of the public with direct experience of care.

Secondly, the new approach will ensure the CQC work more closely with other parts of the health and social care system and use a wider range of information and evidence to enable us to make a broader assessment of the quality and performance of those we regulate.  

Assessment of care quality will focus on safety, effectiveness, and personal experience. The CQC will also make their own governance more robust by strengthening the membership of the Board to include a mix of new non-executive Directors and Executive Directors. 

As the CQC develop their approach, they want to continue the valuable discussions that have been taking place with you, over the past year. On Wednesday 6 March between 13:00 and 14:00, David Behan would like to invite you to join him in a live Q&A session on the online community for providers. The purpose of this session is to discuss the initial findings from the strategy review consultation, and to answer any questions you may have on this so far.

Any relevant comments or feedback from this discussion will be considered during the development of the revised strategy which will be published with the supporting documents in the spring.

If you would like help with your CQC registration, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd. 

Image by Taqi, Flickr

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Engaging Leaders Programme, 12 April 2013


UK Recruiter are currently promoting the Eventbrite Engaging Leaders Programme. A small small group event taking place over  four weeks.
Programme overview: 
A unique programme, delivered over four weeks in four one-day sessions, with the aim of giving you a track to run on, taking you on a path from transactional to transformational leadership, to catch the essence of what great leaders and managers do to create sustained high performance.
Key objectives:
On completion, you can expect to: 
  • Have a robust business plan, outlining your future vision and how to achieve it
  • Be able to identify the traits of extraordinary leaders and how to apply them to yourself
  • Understand how to manage performance in a highly effective way
  • Know how to create an all-encompassing motivational working environment
  • Understand how to lead effectively through change and transition
  • Have some creative ideas to enable you to gain a great ROI!
The facilitators:
Steve Jones: Steve is a well-known business coach, public speaker, trainer and consultant. He has a unique understanding of leadership and management, all with a motivation-themed focus, which is very much on the current HR and political agenda; Steve has recently been assisting the Government's Employee Engagement Task Force in the areas of motivation and performance improvement.
Denise Walker: Denise owns the highly successful Absolutely Business, which provides industry-leading business growth support, consultancy, learning, development and training to recruitment organisations. She has first-hand experience of building highly effective teams from scratch and has a particular interest in the development of ‘human capital’ in line with strategic objectives.
Dates:
Friday 12th April, 19th April, 26th April and 3rd May.  You MUST attend all four days.
Your investment:
£2,000+VAT per participant.
Please note that there is £2,000 per manager/leader in "match funding" from Growth Accelerator for those that are eligible.
For more details on the event visit: http://recnetelapril13.eventbrite.co.uk

For all your business needs, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd.

Image: Voka Kamer, Flickr

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The CQC's strategy for 2013-16 is coming soon

The consultation on the CQC's new strategy for 2013-16 closed in December. They have taken on board comments made by a wide range of organisations and individuals, your feedback provided the CQC with a lot of valuable information. 

Since it was created in 2009 there have been important changes in the economy, in government policy, in technology and in society that affect the work of the CQC and means they must review what they do and how they do it. 

The consultation focused on the following:
  1. Making greater use of information and evidence to achieve the greatest impact.
  2. Strengthening how the CQC works with our strategic partners.
  3. Continuing to build better relationships with the public.
  4. Building their relationships with organisations providing care. 
  5. Strengthening how they meet our unique responsibilities on mental health and mental capacity.
  6. Continuing the drive to become a high-performing organisation.
Over the next few months, the CQC will be updating healthcare providers with changes and information, before publishing the new strategy in the spring that will outline how they aim to achieve their goals for 2016. 

Source: www.cqc.org.uk
Image: buddawiggi, Flickr

Changes to the CRB, how will this affect healthcare providers?


While the service and processes the CRB provide does not change, from September, there will be some changes that will affect healthcare providers regulated by the CQC.
The following changes affect registered providers:
Change to the definition of ‘regulated activity’
The system of disclosure and barring is based on ‘regulated activity’ and the definition of this will change in relation to safeguarding adults as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA).
It is important to note that the term ‘regulated activity’ does not have the same meaning as it does in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (HSCA) and the new legislation does not make any changes to the scope of regulated activities that providers register for under the HSCA.
For disclosure and barring purposes, a regulated activity is one involving close work with vulnerable groups, including children, which a barred person must not do. The new disclosure and barring legislation redefines and reduces the scope of regulated activities.
Abolition of ‘controlled activity’
Controlled activity no longer exists, meaning that since September 2012 providers have not been entitled to check whether people in the controlled activity category are on the barred list.
People in controlled activity roles may still be eligible for a DBS check, depending on their role.
Minimum age
There is now a minimum age of 16 at which someone can apply for a DBS check.
Registration and monitoring
Registration and monitoring under the Vetting and Barring scheme has been abolished. Originally, it was intended that anyone wishing to work with children and vulnerable adults would have to register, and once registered, be continuously monitored. That scheme was never implemented, and has now been abolished altogether.
'Brown envelope' material
The scheme has allowed police forces to provide certain sensitive ‘additional information’ about applicants (commonly known as ‘brown envelope’ material) separately from the enhanced DBS check.
Since 10 September, this provision no longer exists in the Police Act, although the police may choose to use common law powers to provide information directly to employers in cases where they believe this is necessary.
Police information
There are changes to the types of information the police will be able to provide as part of the enhanced disclosure. They will have to apply a more rigorous relevancy test before disclosing information.
Challenging information
Applicants used to be able to challenge information disclosed on their own criminal records certificate that they believe to be inaccurate. From September 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Act allows people other than the applicant to do that too.
Source: www.cqc.org.uk
Image: Must Be Art, Flickr

How to make changes to your CQC Registration

This month, the CQC are publishing the forms you can use to apply to make changes to your registration.

The changes you can make, include adding or removing partners, registered managers, regulated activities and locations. 

Once you have received your Notice of Decision and certificate you’ll be able to make changes to your registration.

It’s important that you let the CQC know about any changes, as you need to make sure your registration is up-to-date when it comes into effect on 1st April 2013.

If your locations, legal status, regulated activities, partners or other details change before 1st April, you’ll be able to apply to make those changes using downloadable forms that you can email to the CQC. 

The CQC will email you when these forms are available. If you would like more information on the registration process, visit the CQC website


Source: www.cqc.org.uk
Image: baddog, Flickr