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Prestige News

This week saw the announcement and the reality check of just how hard the economic crisis is hitting Northern Ireland’s unemployment...  

With the highest figure in 12 years, unemployment for the UK registered at 1.92million with a projection of 3million unemployed by 2010.  Here in northern Ireland, it was no surprise that unemployment was on the increase also with projections that over 20,000 jobs will be lost here - with even more job losses projected for ROI!

Locally, we are being affected too.  
The shopping trends of ROI residents coming to Newry and the surrounding areas, has meant that supermarket chain, Superquinn in Dundalk is to close and the loss of 400 jobs.

Prestige Employment Solutions Ltd, in Newry and Belfast has noticed the change in the economy and the effects it has on people, first hand.  They specialise in HR Support and Advice, Recruitment and Training and Development, and over the last year have been working both with businesses who were facing redundancy situations and supporting them through the process, as well as with candidates who had been made redundant.
Lorraine Rooney, director of Prestige confirmed that “over the last number of months in particular the demand for our service has doubled!   HR support in particular Redundancy planning, and Recruitment support has grown dramatically and continues to grow month on month.”   “Redundancy is affecting everyone” she continues “from qualified accountants with 25 years experience to graduates, many of whom don’t know where to start to get into the work place.”  
“Some of the people we have come across have never had to do an interview before and the job market they face now is very different from what it was when they were first on the job market”  She says.   “Also peoples self esteem are at an all time low and they find it difficult to get themselves through an interview.”
“The problem people are facing is Supply vs demand - So many people are emerging into the workforce and not so many companies are willing to recruit.  The competition for each position is so high – one candidate was up against 20 people for one job this week!”  Emma Marmion, fellow director remarked.  
Related Article: Fierce Competition for jobs!

“Even graduates will find it difficult this year and will face heightened competition for positions” she continued.  “A news report yesterday confirmed that the financial sector which has been recruiting a large majority of graduate’s year on year has reduced its recruitment of graduates by 50%, which will have a big impact.”
A candidate said to us recently “if opportunity doesn’t come knocking, build a door!” Lorraine laughs and they are absolutely right!”  “People can’t just wait around for the recession to end before they look for another position.”

Related Article - Graduate Recruitment in Decline!

With over 15years experience in the industry, the local duo, along with career specialist Karen Wiseman (Goal Focused Solutions), have designed an aptly named programme called the “Career Club” to help unemployed professionals or those who are facing redundancy.  The programme lasts for 4 weeks, 2hrs per week, and consists of 8-10 people who are all in a similar situation.  Throughout the programme the specialists will work side by side with every individual in equipping them with the skills they will need to find a new position.
“We are so excited and passionate about this programme” Emma reveals. “We have seen first hand the affects that being made redundant can have on people and their families, and the programme will help people get back out there as quickly as possible before those negative effects set in”  

Our advice to people is
        Don’t panic
       Keep optimistic
         Don’t worry if you don’t get what you are looking for immediately
        Make your CV excellent for potential employers
         Do other things.  Employers are looking for Interesting, well rounded people – fill the cv out… volunteer, travel
         Consider other Industry Sectors - There are lots more industries that you can go into – you need to look at the transferable skills
       Be reassured that the days of working in the same position for 25 years and getting the golden pen are long gone – people will now have a career portfolio.

“The programme is also something that employers facing redundancies in 2009/2010 could consider” Lorraine adds.  “As a responsible employer, owners and managers should be thinking of how they can help the staff they are letting go to get back into work.  This programme can also be a more cost effective option than outsourcing.”  
The programme is £149 per person and discounts are available for group bookings.  
Places for the February and March sessions are now available and to ensure that everyone gets side by side coaching, numbers are limited and are allocated on a first come basis.  

For further information contact Prestige Employment Solutions on
T: 02830252107 e: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or log on to


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