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Issue Date:- 24 December 2007


EMPLOYERS in Liverpool are cautiously optimistic about their hiring intentions in the New Year according to Manpower, the UK’s leading employment experts.

The figures released on 20 December 2007 from the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, a quarterly survey of over 2,000 UK employers’ hiring intentions for the quarter ahead, reveals a modest labour market in Liverpool. 12% of employers plan to take on more staff and 8% intend to make headcount reductions, giving a Net Employment Outlook of +4%
*. The Outlook represents a moderate six and nine percentage point weakening quarter-on-quarter and year on year, respectively.

Liz Prest, Manpower’s Branch Manager for Liverpool, says:- “Despite the modest weakening in employer confidence, Liverpool is still benefiting from the redevelopment of the area. This is particularly reflected in the number of permanent and temporary vacancies available in most sectors of business. Employers in the Public and Finance & Business Services sectors are offering interesting and rewarding positions for anyone who is looking for a change of direction or a new challenge.

The future looks bright for Liverpool. The city will become the European Capital of Culture in 2008 which will open up numerous business opportunities for local companies and, in turn, the local work force. Regeneration of the city centre is making Liverpool a very attractive place to work and I would advise people keen to move jobs or find a new career in the city to prepare now in order to take advantage of the new opportunities that we expect to appear in 2008.”

According to Manpower, around the UK, employers in 11 of the 12 regions surveyed report increased hiring activity for the January to March 2008 period, with the exception of employers in the North East, who report the only negative Outlook (-2%), their weakest Outlook since Quarter 1 2002. Employers in Yorkshire & Humberside are the most optimistic this quarter with an Outlook of +12%, the strongest Outlook since Quarter 1 2002. Employers in the South East (+10%), London (+9%), Wales (+9%), and West Midlands (+9%) report favourable hiring through Quarter 1 2008.

*A ‘Net Employment Outlook’ is calculated by subtracting those employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire staff. A positive result indicates that more employers plan to increase rather than decrease staffing levels; a negative result reflects the opposite. [% increase (18%) - % decrease (4%) = 14%]

Channel Four Television Fined

OFCOM has on 20 December 2007 fined Channel Four Television Corporation a total of £1.5 million for misconduct in viewer competitions in the Richard and Judy (You Say We Pay competition) and Deal or no Deal programmes.

Channel Four was found in breach of the following rules:-

Rule 2.11 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, which came into effect on 25 July 2005, “Competitions should be conducted fairly…”; Rule 10.10 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code "Any use of premium rate numbers must comply with the Code of Practice issued by ICSTIS" (now re-named as PhonepayPlus); and Rule 8.2(b) of the ITC (Independent Television Commission) Code 2002 "Use of Premium Rate Telephone Services in Programmes: The licensee must retain control of and responsibility for the service arrangements....".

In particular, Ofcom's investigations found Channel Four in breach of the Code for the following types of misconduct:

Early selection - picking competition finalists before lines had closed in the Richard & Judy 'You Say We Pay' competition. This meant that viewers, calling to enter competitions after the shortlist had been compiled, stood no chance of becoming a finalist as the early selection had already taken place.

Staggered selection - operating a staggered selection for selecting finalists in both the Richard & Judy 'You Say We Pay' and the Deal or no Deal competitions. Ofcom found this selection process created unfair odds which meant that viewers entering the competition were not given a fair and equal chance of winning. In particular, later entrants had a lower statistical probability of being shortlisted as a potential winner, compared to those who entered earlier.

Ofcom has also directed Channel Four to broadcast a summary of both Ofcom’s findings into Richard and Judy (You Say We Pay competition) and Deal or no Deal programmes on three separate occasions.

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