Tag Archives: information

Working for an agency

4 Aug

Recruitment agencies act as an intermediary between an employer looking to fill a vacancy and someone seeking work. Having this middle man may seem like a disadvantage but can actually be a great way to return to employment or find your ideal job.

The role of the agency itself is to find suitable candidates for vacancies and there is often a lot of pressure to do so. When seeking an agency; find out if they offer relevant roles as some will specialise in specific industries that may not be relevant to you. It’s good to physically take in your CV and discuss the kind of role you are seeking so you become more memorable, just remember that this will be their first impression of you so be friendly and presentable.

Agencies often work closely with employers and can give you hints or tips on what to expect if you are offered an interview. If you are successful, you will be paid by the agency but managed by the employer, with the right to use any onsite facilities such as canteens or nurseries. If you are in the same role for 12 weeks, then you are entitled to the same pay and benefits as any permanent members of the company doing the same job.

Several of the positions offered by agencies are temporary but can still be used to your advantage as you can prove yourself to the employer and may even be offered a direct position. A temporary role can be taken whilst you look for permanent work or used as valuable experience.

Although you are entitled to paid holiday hours you cannot claim maternity leave whilst working for an agency, you also cannot claim redundancy or file for unfair dismissal so just bear these factors in mind before contacting.

However, overall a recruitment agency can be a great way to find a suitable vacancy. So search your local area and send your CV today!



Supporting the wider community

26 Mar

In our work with Opportunity Plus, we have come across some truly fantastic community centres and groups, and we want to share some of the great work that is happening out there.

Does your community group need some support? 

Here are some of the things that we can do for you:

  • Create a Facebook page for your community and teach you how to use it
  • Offer free face painting at fundraising and other events
  • Feature you on our blog.
  • Get in touch to see how we could help your centre.


Balloons work with bereaved children in the Exeter area to help them through the grieving and healing process.  They have volunteering opportunities available and offer full training.  Find out more at www.balloonscharity.co.uk

The Hub Yeovil

The Hub Yeovil is a community centre working with disabled people.  They run a range of microenterprises to teach members valuable life and enterprise skills.  www.thehubyeovil.co.uk

Healthy Babies UK

Healthy Babies UK provide training to healthcare professionals, children’s centre staff, nursery workers and mothers to support the health, development, and wellbeing of babies and young children.  www.healthy-babies-uk.org

The Money Advice Service

If you have any questions about money – investments, debt, budgeting – then the Money Advice Service can help.  Call them on 0300 500 5000 for free advice and support.


The Education and Training Level 3 course has replaced the old Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Sector qualification, and enables you to teach anything that you are qualified or experienced in to adults (16+).  Information, Advice and Guidance is another useful qualification for the community sector.  Call us or email info@opsw.co.uk for more information.

What community centres do you use?  Why not visit your local centre to find out more about what they do and get involved!  Check out www.do-it.org or your local CVS office to find out if there are any volunteering opportunities near you.

Five Top Tips for Writing a Press Release

7 Oct

Media coverage is a great way of raising the profile of your business. As well as being cheaper than paid advertising, consumers trust editorial content a lot more1. But writing a press release that results in those all important column inches can sometimes seem like a dark art.

It helps to start off with a clear idea of what you want to say and who your target audience is. What would you like them to do as a result of reading about your business? This is called a call to action and is a great starting point when writing your press release and deciding what information to include. It also focuses the mind when deciding on your target publications. Don’t forget, today’s media landscape is hugely varied and your news may be more relevant to trade press than local or national publications. You may also consider outlets such as radio stations ,TV channels or online newswires. Decide what you want to gain as a result of any media coverage with measurable objectives. For example, you might want to generate 30 enquiries about a new product.

Press releases follow a set format. At the top, you need to write: ‘Press Release’. Include your company name, the date and a headline. Then write the story, when it is finished, let the journalist know by writing ‘Ends’. Don’t forget to add your contact details, in case the journalist wants to get in touch for more detail. You can provide further background information underneath in a section called ‘Notes to editors’. This might include general information about your organisation and its services.

Here are five tips to help you ensure your press release results in media coverage:

  1. Make sure the most important information is in the first sentence. Your first paragraph should answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? A good rule of thumb is to imagine you are telling your mum or your best friend the latest news. Ask yourself if your text would excite them? If it doesn’t, reword it until it works. Your subsequent paragraphs should answer the question How?
  2. Keep it simple and brief. Try and keep your press release to one side of A4. Keep sentences short and lively and avoid using any jargon. If you need to use acronyms, always spell them out in the first instance. Journalists don’t have time to wade through several paragraphs to get to the key points, so make sure the most important information is the first thing they see.
  3. Your press release needs to be timely. News is all about what is happening now, so send the release in good time for the publication to print the story while it is still relevant. It can be helpful to ring your target publications and ask when their copy deadline is. And while you’re on the phone, check that you will be sending the release to the right person. For information that may not be time sensitive, incorporate a ‘news hook’, for example you could tie it in with an awareness week or another story that is current.
  4. Include a quote from a key person to add some human interest, depth and gravitas. You can use the quote to explain in further detail why your news is so important and how it is relevant to your audience.
  5. Include an image to add colour to your story. Many media outlets no longer have in-house photographers, but they still need to include pictures in their publications. Ensure the image is high quality and invest in a professional photographer if you can afford it. Not only does including an image mean that you get extra space on the page, but it can sometimes be the deciding factor on whether your story gets published at all. Above all, pictures add life to your story and they draw the audience’s eye.

After your story has appeared, make the most of the exposure. Add cuttings to your website and include links in your social networks and newsletters. If it’s a particularly positive piece endorsing a product or service you offer, add quotes to your testimonials pages.

About the Author:

Joanna Bowery is a former journalist and is the founder and director of Cosmic-Frog, which provides organisations with accessible marketing and communications services.



1 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report says 58% of consumers trust editorial content such as newspaper articles, while 46% trust ads in newspapers


Newton Abbot Work Club

4 Sep

Chloe will be running a work club at Newton Abbot Job Centre Plus every Wednesday in September (11th, 18th, 25th) from 10am-12pm.  This is a free, drop-in service, and there are no eligibility criteria, just turn up for support with:

  • Looking for work (updating your CV, registering on Universal Jobmatch, completing application forms)
  • Business start-up (ideas development, marketing, registering with HMRC)
  • Basic ICT Skills (basic skills such as using a mouse, Internet safety)

We look forward to seeing you there!