Movers & Shakers: Michelle Thomas and Kayley Chalk join 1st Stop Recruitment

Kayley Chalk, left, and Michelle Thomas, right with 1st Stop Recruitment director Lesley Whiting.

Kayley Chalk, left, and Michelle Thomas, right with 1st Stop Recruitment director Lesley Whiting. - Credit: Archant

Haverhill recruitment agency 1st Stop Recruitment has welcomed two new members to its growing team.

Michelle Thomas has joined the team as sales consultant and Kayley Chalk as recruitment consultant. The new appointments marked the end of a successful 2013 which saw the company expand, launch new branding, hold a very successful corporate charity fundraising event at Ickworth and win a number of new accolades.

The company was recently accredited to become a member of the Institute of Recruiters and became an ALP agency labour provider after meeting strict criteria.

1st Stop Recruitment is also expanding into recruiting for the food processing and packaging sector after successfully attaining its GLA Gangmasters Licence after a strict assessment process.

Lesley Whiting, director of 1st Stop Recruitment, said: “2013 has been a an incredibly successful year for 1st Stop Recruitment and with the addition of Michelle and Kayley our future is very bright.

“As well as pushing the business forward at a time when many businesses are sadly struggling, our staff have also given back to the community by raising funds for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust through our charity event at Ickworth, helped the Haverhill Foodbank and the Essex Care Consortium’s residential care home in Colchester.”

: : Alan Prickett, until recently managing director of Jacobsen Asia Pacific, has returned to the UK to take up the role of managing director at Ransomes Jacobsen, the Ipswich-based commercial mower and turf maintenance equipment manufacturer which is owned by Textron.

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Back in 2011 Ransomes Jacobsen was assigned responsibility for the Asia Pacific region within the Jacobsen group and Alan Prickett was promoted from sales director, based in Ipswich, to the new role of managing director, Asia Pacific.

He relocated to Singapore with his family and for the past three years has been instrumental in the company’s successful expansion into the region.

Over the past 33 years, Alan has gained extensive experience in both the retail and manufacturing sectors of the grounds care industry.

He joined the Jacobsen division of Textron UK in early 1997 after a sales career with Ransomes distributors PA Turney Ltd and ET Breakwell Ltd.

Following the merger of Ransomes and Jacobsen in 1998, he was appointed UK branch manager and was subsequently promoted to the role of UK sales manager and then sales director in late 2004.

: : The marketing team at Writtle College has been highly commended in a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The team of five beat competition from other colleges from around the country to be Highly Commended in the Marketing Team of the Year category of the FE First Awards 2013.

The College Marketing Network’s FE First Awards are the sector’s annual opportunity to celebrate marketing best practice. They showcase the excellent and imaginative work that is being achieved in Further Education colleges across the UK.

Director of marketing Caroline Benyon said: “We are really thrilled to have won this industry-leading award. We have a comparatively very small team of just five who market the college’s Further Education courses, alongside promotion of Higher Education courses. The team’s remit is wide, including social media and digital communications, advertising, international student recruitment, promotion in schools and colleges as well as media relations and publications.

“This award is recognition of the exceptional level of performance and achievement in marketing and communications for our FE courses and it’s great that our campaigns have been recognised in this way.”

Andy Sparks, head of Further Education at the college, said: “The marketing team have built a good relationship with the FE team and their support is responsive, effective and valued. They have a well-constructed and considered marketing campaign which fits well with the FE recruitment cycle. Their efforts over the last year have had a massive impact to the division, contributing to the 20% rise in FE applications that we have seen for 2013/14.

“The social media campaigns have been spot-on and they have responded quickly to feedback from students, parents and employers. Furthermore, the information available to potential FE learners is detailed and accessible, something which is hard to achieve in a mixed economy institution.”

The award judges said the marketing department was a “well focused successful team delivering a range of professional marketing activities”.

They added: “There is strong clarity of the team’s individual roles and of the whole team priorities. The team has been particularly successful in improving the college’s social media profile and in increasing student numbers.”

The success comes after the marketing team was Highly Commended Marketing Department of the Year in the 2012 HEIST Awards for education marketing. The college’s flagship publication Arena was also a finalist in the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) Excellence Award in the External Magazine category.

: : An apprentice from Lowestoft will be climbing poles as part of her new career.

Carla Greaves, 16, of Bonds Meadow, is among 30 candidates, selected from 820 applications to join UK Power Networks’ popular on-the-job training scheme.

The former Benjamin Britten High School pupil will work for Britain’s largest electricity network operator, which distributes power across the East of England, London and South East.

Over the next three years she will prepare to join the skilled teams who keep power flowing to more than a quarter of Britain’s population 24 hours a day. The apprentices specialise in climbing electricity poles, fixing and connecting power cables or kitting out electricity substations.

Carla, who will be based at the company’s depot in Lowestoft while she trains to become a linesman, said: “The work will involve working high above the ground to fix equipment in all weather conditions, because it is important we deliver electricity to keep customers happy and satisfied. I am passionate about having a practical career which will give me a chance to learn new skills every day.”

Patrick Clarke, director of network operations at UK Power Networks, who began his career as an apprentice, said: “There couldn’t be a more exciting time to join the electricity industry, with new technology bringing faster changes in the next 10 years than ever before.

“We look for people with a great attitude, keen to serve their communities and critically safety-conscious, which is the baseline for the electricity industry.

“The average age profile of our workforce is now 50 plus so this is an excellent time for young people with new ideas to make their mark. There is a significant shortage of people with the technical skills we need and we are one of the few long-term industries where if you perform well your future is secure. If you’ve got talent and you are prepared to work hard, you could have a really promising future with us.”

The apprenticeship scheme helps address a shortage in the number of electrical craftsmen joining the industry to train as linesmen, jointers and fitters. Hundreds of apprentices have been through the company’s structured programme of training and now look after the power network in their communities.

The scheme includes formal training at UK Power Networks’ training centres in Kent and Suffolk and on-the-job experience putting their skills into practice. At the end of their programme the apprentices will qualify with a Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Electrical Power Engineering.

: : Bury St Edmunds-based Frederick Hiam Ltd has appointed Lindsay Hargreaves as managing director.

Christopher Wilson, chairman of the family-owned farming and produce business, said: “Our business has become increasingly large and complex over the past 10 years. I have held the position of both chairman and managing director for some time and it is now appropriate that they should be separated. I look forward to welcoming Lindsay and the wealth of experience he brings with him”.

Established more than 90 years ago, Frederick Hiam Ltd has a long history in primary production. Farming around 9,000 acres, it specialises in growing and packing root vegetables in the eastern counties complemented by milk production in Pembrokeshire.

Lindsay Hargreaves comes to the business from a background of managing large farming operations at all levels over many years.

He said: “This is a strong and well-established business with an enviable track record and I look forward to the challenge of leading a great team as it tackles the opportunities ahead”.