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Which parts of the UK are growing?

While post-Brexit talk just creates confusion, it’s refreshing to have some clear numbers to look at…     

I read this morning that the FTSE 100 Index is hitting new heights and setting records for growth – great news for Brexiteers! In the very next sentence I read that the Pound is hitting new lows against the Dollar after a Sky News interview with the PM – horrible news for Brexiteers!

All this talk of how hard or soft our exit from the EU will be – I don’t think I’m alone in being a little unsure about the effects on the British economy.  There’s huge speculation about whether UK banks and insurance firms will shift to mainland Europe creating a great many jobs within the EU but a major loss in the UK, there’s a great deal of insecurity about trade deals with various parts of the world, and there also seems some genuine optimism about the growth prospects for the UK as a whole.

What I do know is that you rarely get clear-cut facts from politicians – and particularly so on this subject – so it’s always refreshing to see some easy-to-understand numbers. CV-Library have just put out their annual overview of which parts of the UK are seeing the most growth in job opportunities – and for the second year in a row it is Liverpool which leads the field:

Of course London is where the highest paying jobs are and where most of the major drivers of the economy revolve around – but it is interesting to see how the upward trends are heavily geared towards the North of England, Scotland and Wales/the West of England; Liverpool, Edinburgh, Hull, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and Glasgow all feature in the top ten.

- Tariq Siraj


Candidate Referral Incentives

We recognize that word of mouth and recommendations play an important part in our business. If you have any colleagues or friends that would like to speak about a new role or simply get some advice- we would love to hear from them. For every candidate referred to us for whom we secure a new permanent role, we will send you £250 of Amazon vouchers or we will make a charitable donation of £250 to the charity of your choice.

The small print:

1. We only pay incentives for referrals that lead directly to employment within 12 months of the referral.
2. If the referred candidate is already registered with BLT then the referral incentive is not payable.



BLT Executive Coaching

BLT Executive Coaching has really taken off over recent months and I have been working on a number of fascinating  and varied assignments.

To give you a flavour,  here are some recent case studies:

Case Study 1:   This individual  was returning to the UK after some years working overseas.  Concerned about changes in the UK Consultancy market in their absence, and finding an appropriate level position having had a number of years away, X was looking for help in overcoming these barriers and wanted to work on their personal impact and ‘brand’ in order to find an appropriate position at the correct level of seniority. Negotiating the UK employment market after some years away was fundamental to the project.  After 6 sessions, the objective was realised and X has achieved a senior role in a prestigious organisation.

Case Study 2:  A highly experienced and senior individual, this client was however unfulfilled in their current role and looking to move into a very specific area. Over 5 sessions, we  worked on confidence building, completely re-worked the clients CV and profile, we undertook practice interviews and worked on personal presentation and impact. As a consequence, the client was successful in achieving their career objectives.

Case Study 3: One of our Corporate clients has asked me to work with some of their ‘Rising Stars’ in the business, helping these individuals with issues that are key to their professional development; for example, building  confidence in client development, ’selling’ consultancy services,  building networks and  making an impact in the wider firm.  Executive Coaching is viewed as an effective and tailored approach to tackling these issues,  delivering  more impact than a generic training course. Each participant is given free rein to use time to suit their individual requirements.

Case Study 4:   I am working with an individual who has been promoted into a broader corporate role, having risen through the ranks of their organisation as an indirect tax specialist. This promotion has raised issues such as negotiating a new career path, long term career objectives, what other options might now be possibilities now that new horizons have unexpectedly opened out.  Over 4 sessions the objective is to work through the myriad possibilities and translate these into clear path that can be achieved over the coming year.

Case Study 5: This individual was returning to work after an extended  period of maternity leave.  We undertook 2 sessions, 1 in person and 1 on the phone, helping her to build her confidence and consider techniques in dealing with all the issues she was about to face. As she was joining a new employer, we also worked on making an impact and  ‘First 90 Days’ coaching.

These are but 5 examples, but hopefully give you a flavour of the range of work I am undertaking, and at a variety of levels. In addition, I have also done some pro-bono work with graduates looking to enter the workplace, and I am a mentor for the Aspire foundation, an organisation  dedicated to ‘Making a Difference’ to women working in not for profits, charities and social enterprises.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion about your particular circumstances, and how Coaching might help you, please contact Liz Watt on 020 7419 6416.plant

Looking ahead to 2017…

Have You Got News for Us?  Well we would never ask you to do something which we wouldn’t do ourselves – so here’s a quick poll of some of the team here at BLT on one of our survey questions this month…

If we were to sit down over a coffee at exactly this time next year, what would you like to say you achieved in 2017 – professional and personal? 



Tariq Siraj

Professional: Exploring some new areas sounds fun. There’s lots of branches off my core areas such as strategy and international development so no shortage of options.  Also, to get away from my desk more!

Personal: My wife and I have made a promise to have a bit more ‘child free’ time in 2017. I also want to break my personal half marathon record and try to watch Harlequins more.


Guy Barrand

Guy Barrand

Professional: It’s been great fun working on some key international VAT assignments in recent months, particularly in the run up to the proposed implementation of VAT in the Middle East in 2018. More please!

Personal: Tackle my ‘to do’ list: Fix leaking roof. Eat less cheese. Build shelves to accommodate ever increasing volume of books littering the floor. Go to Peru.



Catriona Cookson

Professional: I’d like to extend our presence in the in-house market in consulting across a range of areas and sectors. This has been a growing part of our business with plenty opportunity to increase our capability in this area.

Personal: I have 20+ years of clutter in my house which really needs to be cleared . A garden which feels like “outdoor housework” which could do with some TLC. Maybe I’ll be able to run more than 4 miles at the end of 2017  without needing to stop for a rest,  and I’m starting yoga again in January after a 20 year break !!!



Liz Watt

Professional: I have loved setting up BLT’s Executive Coaching division this year and so my ambition for 2017 is to fully embed this service line into BLT’s offering. I have lots of exciting ideas and initiatives I aim to implement over the course of the year

Personal : It would make me very happy if I had a new kitchen by this time next year! As a personal challenge, I also plan to undertake the Shine marathon in September 2017.



Andrew Goodfellow

Professional: I’d like to see how the contract and interim MC space evolves over the next 12 months. With the triggering of Article 50 it could create a whole new raft of complex issue that need a quick and flexible resource solution.

Personal: To get back on the driving range / golf course and improve my swing.



Emma Wade

Professional: It’s all about Customs at the moment and that’s set to continue in the light of Brexit and recent changes in the industry.  I’d like to be responsible for key strategic hires in the Customs market in 2017 and play an instrumental part in growing this niche area.

Personal: A new bathroom please.  And create more family memories.



Becky Blackwell

Professional: I’d like to keep up to date with social media trends, to ensure that BLT’s marketing reaches as wide an audience as possible.

Personal: To sell our flat and buy a house with a garden for BBQ’s

Brexit: A Cautionary Tale


We had some interesting results from the last ‘Have You Got News for Us?’ feature in November’s Snapshot. We asked your opinions on some Brexit related economy issues – and I think it’s fair to say you are not a wholly optimistic lot right now!

On Question 1 – In the wake of Brexit, how confident are you about the health of the British economy as a whole over the next 24 months? - from 5 options starting at ‘Highly Optimistic’ down, a full 100% of you responded as either ‘Somewhat’ or ‘Highly Pessimistic’.

Interestingly, those same respondents were very much more positive about their own sectors over that same period.  Two more ‘Yes-No’ questions focused on their confidence for their own industry and for their own current/latest employer and the results were an almost 50/50 split both times.

We dug a bit further with our fourth question: Which areas of the management consultancy market (if any) do you feel will benefit in the long term from Brexit?


We had a range of answers to this one with the most popular answer being ‘none at all’ – 20% of you offering a variant of that view.

It doesn’t get particularly more cheery from the next most popular answers; 15% specifically mentioned downsizing and cost-cutting whole another 15% mentioned operational transformations/improvements. We split the two in our results above – but in this context we could easily have put them together adding up to a third or respondents.

15% believed the regulatory market would see the most growth and 10% said risk – both understandable when considering the extra layers of checks and balances widely expected for the banking, insurance, housing, infrastructure, Forex, energy and travel markets among many others.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though; 5% of you believed all industries would benefit in the long term if Brexit was handled correctly – albeit with some tough times ahead in the short term.

We also had some very entertaining answers; on the ‘which areas will benefit?’ question, one respondent suggested “M&A and efficiency/downsizing”, but along with the cautionary note “…but probably in the same way as a doctor is busy during plague”.


In conclusion…it’s a bit inconclusive…

A recent YouGov poll suggests 68% of the public think we should move forward with leaving the EU – regardless of how they voted. Over half think the UK Government is doing a bad job of the negotiations but nearly 60% believe we will have successfully left the EU by 2020.

The numbers point towards a split British public on this; split between joy and anger at the initial result, split between positivity and frustration at how it’s being handled, and split between fear and optimism about the future.

Our own results offer a similar outlook and while our number of respondents is comparatively miniscule compared to YouGov, the razor-sharp pessimism about the short to mid-term economic outlook might just reflect the experienced professional segment more broadly.

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