This week’s news in brief: On-line look at Europe

Employment research organisation Incomes Data Services has launched an on-line service to allow international HR players to get the latest information about the European market. The service is accessible to subscribers of its magazine IDS Employment Europe as an integral part of their subscription, but can be sampled by others for 60 days free of charge at www.incomesdata/europe

People factor matters

Companies ignoring “people” and cultural factors when engaging in mergers and acquisitions could receive bloody noses and may even risk failed ventures. In the IPD book HR Know How in Mergers and Acquisitions, Sue Cartwright and Cary Cooper called on boards and CEOs to look at whether organisational cultures were compatible before finalising deals.

IIP for rubber firm

Warwickshire-based rubber company Artel is celebrating becoming the first in the country to attain the new Investors In People award. The new standard was launched by Baroness Blackstone on 13 April – the same day Artel was being assessed. It is in clearer language, focuses on the results of an organisation’s actions and offers methods of assessment that do away with unnecessary paperwork.

Jobless record low

Education and Employment secretary David Blunkett announced a record number of people in work and unemployment down to its lowest level for 20 years. Government figures reveal the employment rate is now 74.4 per cent, with over 929,000 more people in jobs than in spring 1997. Employment is continuing to rise with 27,820,000 people in work – an increase of 55,000 over the previous quarter and 284,000 on the previous year.

Award advice hotline

PWA, sponsor of the Award for HR Excellence Through Technology, has set up a new hotline and application service for teams interested in entering the category in this year’s Personnel Today Awards. Call 01628 404539 for help on structuring your application and an opinion on the potential of your entry. This award recognises effective use of technology to bring about organisational benefits. The judge is Clive Holtham, professor of information management at City University Business School, London.

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