Colors: Purple Color

The UK public is being thanked by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) for fighting back against insurance cheats and reporting valuable information they have about insurance fraud to the IFB’s ‘Cheatline’. In 2014 over 500 reports were made to the Cheatline every month by members of the public, 6,347 reports in total for the year, and the IFB attributes the number of reports and the quality of the information to increased public awareness of the issue combined with the realisation that insurance fraud is not a victimless crime.

Margaret Corneby, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, has recently announced the £6 billion growth challenge for the region. “Our aim is to double the size of the Black Country economy by the end of 2023: from a GVA of £17 billion at the start of 2013 to £34 billion at the end of 2023. If we do nothing, current projections suggest that we will have a GVA of £22 billion, £12 billion less than our aim."

British cherry growers are on course for their most productive season for over 30 years, latest industry figures can reveal. Since the start of the British cherry season in May growers have produced 2682 tonnes - an uplift of 80 per cent on the 1488 tonnes produced in 2014. Even better news for growers is that UK cherries are also in high demand with Tesco seeing record sales of nearly 80 per cent compared with what it sold in 2014.

Times 100 Best Companies winner and Gold Standard Investors in people Swanstaff Recruitment opened a new branch in Birmingham yesterday. Initially the branch, which is based in Church Street, will focus on the industrial, driving and healthcare sectors, where the company has seen a significant increase in demand over the last 12 months.

The latest biannual survey of 1,000 UK students by Future Finance, the UK’s specialist student lender has shown that a significant number are still resorting to risky and expensive ways of supplementing their finances. Asking 1,000 students from around the UK about their spending habits revealed that one-quarter (25%) have money outstanding to a payday lender of which a staggering 92.4% admitted to incurring late charges with 54.5% admitting to always incurring such charges.

Over three-quarters of women working part-time in Birmingham Northfield earn less than the Living Wage – the highest proportion in West Midlands – according to new analysis published by the TUC to mark Part-time Equal Pay Day. Across the region, over two in five part-time women’s jobs pay less than the Living Wage. But TUC analysis of official figures shows that earning less than the Living Wage is the norm for women part-time workers in 13 of the West Midlands’ Parliamentary constituencies.

The research, of 250 small business owners, identified the top 3 sought advice topics that small business owners felt would help them to continue to grow and have a competitive edge over their larger competitors. Nearly a quarter of small businesses (24%) felt that advice on technology would give them a competitive advantage over similar companies and more importantly save them money on processes, long term.

The number one reason people leave their jobs is to seek out opportunities with a better work life balance, reveals new research. With unique access to employees when they leave a company via exit interviews, nearly a third (30%) of HR directors identified the attraction of a better work life balance is what really drives people to switch jobs.

Trading Standards in Sandwell are now using sniffer dogs to detect illegal tobacco. Raids by Sandwell Trading Standards have uncovered 160,000 cigarettes and 61kg of tobacco worth around £100,000.  The illegal products were seized at premises across Sandwell by officers working with highly trained tobacco detection dogs to sniff out illegal tobacco.