Around 5,000 people turned up for just 100 jobs that were up for grabs at a new emergency care hospital due to open this summer.
Jobseekers flocked in their thousands to sessions run by the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust last week to find out more about the catering, portering and security roles on offer at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in East Cramlington.
When complete, the hospital will be the first in the country to house A&E consultants 24/7 and a range of specialist consultants seven days a week.
But the trust was overwhelmed when 5,000 people turned up at Manor Walks Shopping Centre in Cramlington last week to find out more about the 100 jobs up for grabs.
Andrea Stoker, general manager at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said she was delighted with the response.
She said: “We would like to thank the thousands of people who came along to our sessions to find out more about the opportunities available.
“We were deeply impressed by local people’s interest in the roles and, above all, their enthusiasm for our new hospital which will be the first purpose-built hospital of its kind in the country.
“This is a great boost for the area and we would like to remind people that this is just the first of our recruitment programmes for our new hospital. We would encourage anyone who’s interested to keep checking our website and NHS Jobs website for updates.”
Applications for jobs at the purpose-built hospital are now open and the closing date is Monday January 19.
The roles on offer will help support the running of the purpose-built hospital, which is set to be a crucial addition to the trust’s general hospitals across Northumberland and North Tyneside, which will continue to care for people with less serious injuries.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 13 Jan 2015
A construction firm has been named and shamed by the Government for not paying its staff the minimum wage.
A2ZEE, based in Cramlington, was exposed in a list of 25 businesses across the country.
It is claimed the firm, which has its base on Dewley Court and specialises in joinery, owes 14 staff £3,375.51.
The TUC has branded the practice “immoral” and has called on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to be handed more money to catch wage dodgers.
The list is the biggest published by the Government since it announced a crackdown on employers who fail to pay their staff the legal minimum last year.
Between the list of 25, it is said the firms owe employees more than £43,000 in arrears, and face fines of over £21,000.
The minimum wage rate is set at £6.31 an hour though living wage campaigners say it should be £7.65.
Elsewhere Steven Stainton, of Steven Stainton Joinery, in Cumbria’s Cockermouth, neglected to pay £1,415 to a worker.
The largest amount a UK company failed to pay its workers was the £7,310 a North West firm failed to pay three of its workers.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady praised the Government for exposing the firms.
She said: “Under-paying your lowest paid staff is immoral and illegal. Employers caught in the act deserve to be fined and have their reputation ruined.
“This should send a clear message that dodging the minimum wage does not pay. All minimum wage cheats should be named and shamed, and HMRC need greater resources to catch even more crooks.”
The Government also plans to increase fines, so that an employer underpaying 10 workers could face fines of up to £200,000.
Business Minister Jenny Willott encouraged workers to get in touch with officials if they suspected employers were short-changing them.
She said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.
“Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it.
“If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.”
The Journal was not able to contact anyone at A2ZEE for a comment yesterday.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 09 June 2014
High speed rail will slow down services from the North East to Scotland and reduce London journeys by just 11 minutes, the region is today warned.
A series of route documents have shown how the North will be increasingly isolated if the £42bn railway project is completed.
After a trickle of concerns at the plans for a new railway emerged over the last year, the final picture increasingly shows a high speed network in which Newcastle actually loses services.
Consultation documents put out by HS2 and Network Rail show:
- From 2033, Newcastle’s direct trains to and from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are replaced by a stopping service calling at small towns throughout the line, hugely adding to journey times;
- All London to Scotland services will go up the West Coast;
- High speed rail will replace, not add, to all existing East Coast London to Newcastle routes in order to free up capacity south of York;
- Under High speed plans, Durham would lose out on direct links, while Darlington moves from two trains an hour to London to one train;
- Total journey saving times to London when Durham’s Hitachi trains are built are just 11 minutes.
Under Government plans, the high speed railway will go from London to Birmingham, heading in a Y-shape to Leeds and Manchester by 2033. The fast trains then switch down to regular speeds and travel either to Newcastle or up the west coast to Scotland, with Newcastle now becoming simply the end of a branch line.
Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, who sits on the House of Commons group overseeing the London to Birmingham high speed work, said he had warned his own party’s front bench team that something will have to change if the North East is not to lose out.
He told The Journal: “We have some of the worst rail connections already. As I have said to our front bench, the North East first of all needs to be recompensed for the disruption we will face as work goes on from York to London.
“But also, this new line will build economic powerhouses in West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, while whatever happens in Scotland it is going to be given more economic powers.
“The North East risks being trapped in between these economic honeytraps, with slower connections to Scotland and losing some services to London. How will we sell ourselves to investors after High Speed 2?”
Other Labour MPs hitting out at the high speed plans include Durham’s Kevan Jones and Newcastle’s Nick Brown. They are at odds with Labour councils such as Newcastle and the Association of North East Councils, which have campaigned for new route despite the concerns.
Many of the damaging changes to North East services come as a result of a lack of investment in the East Coast Main Line north of York.
The four-lane line railway network changes to a two-lane line between Northallerton up to Newcastle. And with that system already leading to congestion on a one-in one-out basis, the new high speed route would only be able to replace, rather than add to, existing services.
In its consultation document, Network Rail admits that High Speed duplicates services up the East Coast, and as such, it wants to “reduce the quantum of long distance services,” axing long distance trains and replace them with slower, stopping services.
South of York there is increased extra capacity as all trains from Newcastle and Scotland are sent past Birmingham to Euston, with six trains an hour from the North moved off the existing system.
The system would mean there is an end to services from London to Edinburgh via Newcastle, documents show.
Instead a new stopping services would start at Newcastle and call at Cramlington, Morpeth, Alnmouth, Berwick, Dunbar, Drem, Prestonpans and Edinburgh Waverley.
And the same capacity constraints that force all these changes mean that from 2019, transport officials have decided the only way to increase services on the Transpennine service is to reduce one train an hour on the Birmingham via Leeds Cross Country routes.
Source – Newcastle Journal 06 May 2014