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New jobs created in water industry

Sixty five jobs have been created in Dorset with the launch of a new national customer service centre.

Bournemouth Water Business (BWB) is a new, dedicated hub for non-household customers across Dorset and the New Forest.

It is one of four brands under the Pennon Water Services (PWS) umbrella which was launched by Pennon Group plc in readiness for the opening of the water market in 2017.

Train drivers were 'so tired' they passed signals at danger

Two train drivers were so tired - or "so fatigued" - that they passed signals at danger, at a junction to the west of Reading Station.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said both incidents happened because the drivers had not had enough sleep and, therefore, were unable to properly control the trains.

This was, in part, due to the rest facilities at Acton not being 'fit for purpose', and because the drivers were nearing the end of a long night shift.

Train signs at red Credit: PA Images

The first incident happened at 0822 on 28th March 2015, when a freight train running from Acton to Westbury, operated by DB Schenker Rail (UK), passed a signal at danger at Reading Westbury Line Junction.

A similar incident occurred at 06:11 hrs on 3 November 2015 when another freight train, forming the same service from Acton to Westbury, and operated by the same company, passed a signal at danger at Ruscombe Junction, about seven miles east of Reading.

RAIB began an investigation into both of these incidents following the latter event at Ruscombe Junction, owing to the similarities between them.

"Both incidents occurred because the train drivers involved were too fatigued to properly control their trains; both drivers stated that they momentarily fell asleep on the approach to the signals concerned.

"Neither driver reported as unfit for duty, which was also causal to the incidents. The investigation identified underlying factors associated with supervision and management at the drivers’ home depot in Westbury, and with the general approach to the management of fatigue within the company."

– Rail Accident Investigation Branch

As a result of this investigation, RAIB has made three recommendations covering shift planning at Westbury depot, managing people who may be suffering from tiredness, or identifying them, and look at the risk of fatigue.

RAIB has also identified two learning points concerning the importance of preparing for duty and reporting fatigue, and the role of napping (and facilities for such) within a fatigue risk management system.

Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents said: "An admission of tiredness should not be seen as a weakness - it may be the unavoidable consequence of the work and home demands placed on a driver.

"This report has highlighted the ‘real-world’ experience of freight train drivers. By necessity, many freight trains must operate at night and many drivers are required to work long and irregular shifts, often during night hours.

"This means that drivers must accommodate their sleep, home responsibilities, social life and commuting in the hours that remain – and this can be a challenge. For this reason I urge freight operating companies, their employees and trade unions to work together to find practical ways of reducing fatigue at work."

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Police force praised for its workplace diversity

The force has been recognised for its continued dedication to workplace diversity Credit: Surrey Police

Surrey Police has been ranked as one of the top police forces nationwide for workplace diversity.

The ranking makes it the fourth highest force in The Excellence in Diversity Awards: Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers list.

The list investigates whether organisations have representation at management, senior, executive and board level, from across all strands of diversity including age, disability, gender, LGBT, race, faith & religion. Surrey Police's Association of Culture and Ethnicity provides a mentoring scheme for applicants from these diverse communities, guiding them through the recruitment process.

We are extremely proud to have been awarded this position in the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers. This ranking shows our dedication to creating a diverse workforce and we will continue to work towards maintaining an inclusive organisation that is reflective of the communities we serve.”

– Gavin Stephens, Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, Surrey Police

Overall, Surrey Police ranked #28 out of all organisations in the list, which included British Airways, Ministry of Justice and ASDA.

Veteran soldiers learn soldering for civilian careers

Military veterans, many of them medically retired after being injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, are being offered free courses in property maintenance.

Former members of the Armed Forces from all over the country are learning skills like plumbing and brick laying at Chichester College in West Sussex.

The training, designed to help them start new civilian careers, is provided by the charity Building Heroes. Kerry Swain has been to see the course in action:

You can find out more about Building Heroes which depends on charity fund raising on its website buildingheroes.org.uk

Firm provides work & recovery for injured ex-soldiers

Factory in Aylesford, run by The Royal British Legion Industries, provides work for former military service personnel

Since the end of the Great War the Royal British Legion Industries in Kent has been employing former service personnel to manufacture a range of products.

The aim is to help injured soldiers with their long-term recovery - after their military career is over. Profits go towards helping those who find it hard to re-enter civilian life - and the enterprise has now re-branded itself to reflect the values behind its work. Derek Johnson reports.

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Orchard needs to fill hundreds of job vacancies

Orchard's five hundred seasonal job vacancies need to be filled Credit: PA

A large fruit-growing company is looking for people from Kent to fill more than 500 seasonal job vacancies.

Apple and pear grower AC Goat-am and Son produces nearly a quarter of all British fruit sold in the UK. The firm employs many overseas workers, but is keen to attract local applicants.

The new workers are needed for the 2016 harvest, based largely in Medway and Swale. The first batch of the full time jobs will begin in May, when the thinning of fruit takes place in the orchards, through to picking fruit in the orchards from August and then working in the packhouse through to May 2017.

AC Goatham & Son has seventeen farms and twenty partner farms across Medway and Kent, growing in total around 150 million apples each year.

Many people join over the summer months and stay on for as long as possible, moving from role to role. We are looking for people who are physically fit, flexible, as the teams work in shifts and will enjoy working both inside and outside, in all weather. This is hard work but financially rewarding and many people have gone on to other senior roles within the organisation, who started off as part of the picking or packing team several years ago."

– Gayle Goatham, HR Manager, AC Goatham & Son

Workers to get a boost in pay

Thousand of workers will get an extra 50p per hour Credit: PA

Thousands of workers will receive an extra 50p an hour pay rise today.

The National Living Wage means over 25s must receive at least £7.20 an hour, instead of £6.70.

Some say it is long overdue, but critics say it could put struggling firms out of business and may lead to job losses.

There is more information on the Government's living wage website.

Laura's tattoo prevents her working for RAF

"I just want to serve my Queen and country" - the words of 27-year-old Laura Hill, from Faringdon in Oxfordshire, who wants to secure a dream position working in the RAF. But, she was refused because of a tattoo on her neck - which the RAF says is visible above the collar line. She's fighting the decision - and says they need to review their policy, especially since the Army changed its rules on visible tattoos. Divya Kohli reports

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