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Why should parents consider an international school in the UK?

28 November 2016

Every parent knows from personal experience that the time they spent at school can affect the rest of their lives; it is an important decision. But with over 2,500 independent schools to select from in the UK, it can be difficult choosing the right school. By asking some key questions, we can help narrow down the search and ensure parents make the right choice. The approach taken at all four ACS Schools, three in the UK and one in Doha, Qatar, considers the child and the family first, so that any decision is based on their individual needs and aspirations. Independent and...

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Jaguar Land Rover drives UK plans for electric cars

28 November 2016

10,000 new jobs in the Midlands and a new 60-acre site have been outlined as a possibility by Jaguar Land Rover, if the government agrees to its investment requirements.

Car giant Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has today outlined the possibility of plans to manufacture electric cars at a site in Coventry, but only if the government provides the required investment in infrastructure. The decision could see 10,000 new jobs created in the West Midlands and would double the carmaker’s output from 500,000 to one million cars a year.

Ralf Speth, chief executive of JLR, discussed the plans at a meeting of political and...

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Preparing children for a global 21st century

28 November 2016

Europe’s first English Chinese Dual Language Early Years and Prep School will open in London early 2017.

Kensington Wade School will open its doors in 2017. Chairman Professor Hugo de Burgh explains how the school can prepare pupils for Common Entrance and also be fluent in Chinese.

Now that so much international business is conducted in Chinese, being able to mix in that world is a precious asset. China is the most important trading partner for more than 120 countries around the world and is set to be the world’s largest economy by 2020. China also happens to be the most advanced...

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Applications for UK tech visas soar after Government relaxes rules

28 November 2016

The UK has seen a surge in demand for skilled technology visas in recent months in a boost to the British tech industry’s demands for special treatment on immigration after the Brexit vote.

Tech City UK, the government organisation that processes applications for the special visas, said applications had spiked since the referendum, and that it had received more than 200 applications since April. This represents a huge increase on the same point last year, when fewer than 20 applications had been received.

Tech City was given the right to endorse 200 special “Tech Nation” visas a year for non-EU workers in...

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The big picture for business: Relocate’s perspective

26 November 2016

Attending the CBI Annual Conference, themed around innovation, growth and prosperity in a world of disruption, was a surprisingly reassuring experience. Behind the scenes, no doubt, there was a lot of politics going on, but my impression was of a purposeful audience of over 1,000 business leaders just wanting to get stuck in, deal with the challenges thrown up since the EU referendum vote on 23 June, and understand the potential impact of the US election result.

Most business leaders are pragmatists. They understand that embracing digital solutions and technological advances can put them in the strongest position to ride the waves...

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Facebook and Google suggest how UK businesses can prosper post-Brexit

26 November 2016

CBI’s recently released innovation survey shows that 7 in 10 companies plan to invest the same or more in innovation following Brexit. At the CBI annual conference 2016, held in late November, executives from Facebook and Google identified important trends that will help British business cope with the structural changes that will occur when Article 50 is triggered.

Nicola Mendelsohn of Facebook advises firms to be agile Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP EMEA, announced that Facebook is will be hiring 500 new members of staff in its UK headquarters. She said, “We have 1,000 people working in our offices in London, but we’re...

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Manchester attracts London’s digital professionals

26 November 2016

A new report has uncovered professionals’ thoughts on Manchester’s thriving digital sector, with two thirds of respondents saying they think the city is a good place to set up a business. The #RelocateMCR report by trade association for digital businesses in the North West, Manchester Digital, questioned 300 digital professionals from Manchester on their views on living in and working the city. The research, which aims to encourage more digital professionals to relocate to the region, found that four in five professionals working in the digital sector in Manchester would recommend the city to their friends. 77 per cent of respondents said...

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UNITED KINGDOM | New Priority Service Launched for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsorship Requests

22 November 2016

UNITED KINGDOM | New Priority Service Launched for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsorship Requests

Effective November 7, the United Kingdom’s Home Office has launched a new Priority Service for A-rated Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors providing expedited processing of change of circumstances requests. For a fee of GBP £200 per request, licensed sponsors can submit requests through the online system for:

In-year certificate of sponsorship (CoS) allocations;

Follow on CoS allocations; Adding new Level 1 users; and Replacing Authorized Officers (AOs). Requests submitted through the new system will be processed within five working days, rather than the advertised 18-week service standard. To ensure the...

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May accepts Brexit challenges but points to opportunities

22 November 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May conceded on Monday that there would “certainly be challenges” for UK companies because of the referendum vote to leave the European Union but insisted Brexit also opened new opportunities. Brexit provides flexibility

Addressing the annual conference in the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in London, Mrs May said leaving the EU would give the UK the flexibility to strike trade deals around the world. “I know that leaving the European Union creates uncertainty for business,” she told the conference of 1,000 business leaders. “I know that some are unsure about the road ahead or what your future operating environment...

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Icon Relocation once again wins Destination Service Provider of the Year 2016

18 November 2016

Icon Relocation once again wins Destination Service Provider of the Year 2016 at the #FEMEMMAs 2016

“It is excellent that our clients and peers recognise the Icon Brand as quality and it’s very humbling to win the award for the third year running. Over the past year, a considerable effort has gone into identifying where improvements can be made to Icon’s current services and introduce new solutions to support our clients and their assignee’s. To be recognised for this in addition to our previous awards in 2015 & 2014 is beyond our expectations. A huge thank you to our...

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Referendum not affecting EU workers coming to UK

17 November 2016

Official figures show that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the subsequent devaluation of sterling have, as yet, had little impact on the number of EU workers in the UK labour market. The unemployment rate in the UK has dropped to an 11-year low and, while the number at work remains at a near-record high of almost 32 million, there are signs the jobs market is cooling, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures covering the third quarter of the year showed that June’s referendum has had little effect on the number of...

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Google gives go-ahead for London HQ

17 November 2016

Technology giant Google has announced plans to build a new headquarters in London despite fears over possible immigration curbs.

In a major boost to the UK’s tech sector, the chief executive of Google has revealed that the company is to go ahead with construction of a new £1 billion headquarters in London, creating 3,000 jobs over the next three years. The project involves building an office block next to Google’s existing complex in King’s Cross in central London – a project that has been in the pipeline for some time but whose future was thrown into doubt following the referendum vote to...

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Meet Ben Carter, our Director of Client Services and Business Development of the Icon Group & MD of Icon Moving Services

17 November 2016

Ben is born in the UK, lived in France for 5 years, is very well traveled and is married to a South African.

Ben suggests that if you are moving to the UK and ideally you are wanting a smooth transition then be prepared to make a fast decision on property or you will miss out on your choice and the property stock is low. Thankfully at Icon Relocation our software and technology is extremely advanced so you needn’t hesitate on choosing that ideal property.

As a director of the Icon group, Ben chose to work for Icon Relocation because of...

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UK unemployment falls to 11-year low

17 November 2016

UK unemployment fell by 37,000 to 1.6 million in the three months to September, hitting an 11-year low. The jobless rate fell to 4.8% in the same period, while the number of people in work went up by 49,000, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average weekly earnings grew by 2.3% in the year to October including bonuses and by 2.4% excluding bonuses. The Bank of England has forecast that unemployment is set to rise amid uncertainty over Brexit. However, the ONS said the latest figures brought the unemployment rate to its lowest level since the three months to September 2005.

The total number...

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13 major European countries ranked by standard of living

15 November 2016

  1. Switzerland — The Swiss earn a lot but can also afford a lot too. Glassdoor says “in Switzerland, the average city-based worker can afford to buy around twice as much as his or her equivalent in New York City.”
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Charities warn of school leadership shortage by 2022

15 November 2016

A report, entitled The School Leadership Challenge: 2022, has been compiled to investigate the extent and causes of the current challenges in school leadership development, progression and retention. It is the first England-wide survey of the problem and it outlines the ways in which the three charities are planning to tackle the problem. The three organisations propose to expand their existing work to develop school leaders and explore new solutions to address issues such as increasing pupil numbers and school leaders retiring or leaving early.

Teaching Leaders and The Future Leaders Trust, who have recently merged and will be launching their new...

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Brexit uncertainty causes delay in hotel investment

15 November 2016

Transactions in the UK hotel market are likely to be subdued until the terms of Britain’s exit from Europe become clearer and business confidence returns. The latest Hotel Bulletin, published this week by HVS, AlixPartners and AM:PM, outlines the fact that hotel transactions in Q3 totalled £522m in value, nearly half of that recorded in Q3 2015. Total transactions for the year-to-date were also significantly below that of last year. Many industries have been affected by the ambiguity following June’s Brexit vote. The relocation sector is likely to be impacted with various banks already considering relocating to other EU countries and changes...

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France 'will definitely close UK border at Calais'

15 November 2016

The French government is “definitely” going to close the UK border post in Calais after Brexit, a close ally of presidential election frontrunner Alain Juppe has told the BBC. Arnaud Danjean said France no longer wanted the “negative burden” of migrants aiming to cross the Channel being detained on its soil.

The change would be an “uncomfortable consequence” of Brexit, he said. The UK government wants the post in Calais to remain in use. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Analysis programme, Mr Danjean, a member of the European Parliament for the Republicans, France’s main centre-right party, said most French voters felt “disappointed” by the...

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UK eyes new trade deal with ‘protectionist’ Trump

14 November 2016

Britain made optimistic noises over the opportunities for a new trade relationship with the US as markets across the world attempted on Thursday to figure out what Donald Trump’s victory might mean for the future of trade deals and the global economy. Economists were fearful the US president-elect would make good on his campaign promises to “make America great again” by scrapping international trade agreements and attempting to repatriate jobs lost overseas to China, Mexico and elsewhere. An existential threat

Forbes magazine has described a Trump presidency as “an existential threat to existing economic, political and security frameworks that have been in place...

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Multi-million pound fund for degree apprenticeships in England

14 November 2016

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced this week that a new government multi-million pound fund will allow universities and colleges across England to develop new degree apprenticeships for students starting in September 2017. What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an earn-as-you-learn option for anyone aged 16 and over, who is not in full-time education and is eligible to work in the UK. Higher or degree apprenticeships usually follow sucessful completion of A Levels and are designed for students aged 18 or over. Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular and respected in England as an alternative route to employment...

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UK construction sector in surprise pick-up

14 November 2016

The UK’s construction industry experienced a surprise pick-up in September although, over the third quarter as a whole, the sector recorded its weakest performance in four years, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed on Friday. Construction volumes fell by 1.1 per cent over the quarter, although output rose 0.3 per cent in September - a month when analysts had been expecting to see a further, 0.4 per cent drop. ONS statistician Kate Davies said: “Construction fell overall in the third quarter, with small rises in infrastructure and public building work offset by large falls in repairs. Construction output has...

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Flexible working and wellbeing: the role of global mobility

10 November 2016

As the UK heads towards leaving the EU, so the drive to maintain organisational performance and raise the bar in terms of workforce productivity has never been more crucial. A key emphasis within HR in achieving these objectives concerns managing the contribution of flexible working and flexibility. Global mobility professionals need to play their part in this endeavour by ensuring that relocation policy and practice supports both flexibility but also wellbeing. Flexible working refers to the various ways in which work can be carried out. Job roles may be delivered by drawing upon flexible approaches to location, working time, and skills...

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Ways Trump's victory might affect the UK

10 November 2016

Surprise and the markets# Part of what has made Donald Trump attractive to voters - a Washington outsider with no political past - is what makes him such an unpredictable factor for the financial world, and its knock-on effects for Britain. The UK, European and Asian markets initially fell on news of America’s seismic election result. Many markets then largely recovered. But how far the uncertainty and instability plays out, and what effect that has on, say, UK interest rates, depends on how long global markets stay “surprised”, says Lucy O’Carroll, chief economist at Aberdeen Asset Management.

If UK stock markets, business and consumer...

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European Parliament considers plan to let individual Brits opt-in to keep their EU citizenship

09 November 2016

The European Parliament is to consider a plan that would allow British citizens to opt-in and keep their European Union citizenship – and its associated benefits – once the UK leaves the EU.

The proposal, which has been put before a parliamentary committee as an amendment, would grant the citizens of former member states the voluntary right to retain “associate citizenship” of the EU, such as after Brexit.

Associate citizens would be allowed to keep free movement across the EU as full citizens currently enjoy and would be allowed to vote in European Parliament elections, meaning they were still represented in Brussels.

The...

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UNITED KINGDOM | Immigration Changes Coming to Tier 2 Route on November 24

09 November 2016

The UK Home Office has confirmed that several significant immigration changes will come into force on November 24. First announced in March of this year, these changes primarily affect first time and renewal applicants filing under the Tier 2 Immigration Route. Review of Tier 2 Immigration Stream

Even before Brexit thrust UK immigration into the international spotlight, concerns over the level of inbound immigration into the country was a prevalent hot-button in political conversation within the nation. As the UK’s most utilized employment-based immigration route, the Tier 2 program has born the most scrutiny and calls for change from citizens and politicians...

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UK housing activity, prices ‘softening’, says Halifax

09 November 2016

Although prices rose by a larger-than-expected 1.2 per cent in October, the year-on-year increase was down to 5.2 per cent, the lowest growth rate since July 2013 and significantly down on the 10 per cent recorded six months ago. The average house price across the UK now stands at £217,411, according to the Halifax index. Home sales stabilised

Martin Ellis, Halifax chief economist, said, “Activity levels, like house price growth, have softened compared with a year ago. Home sales, however, appear to have stabilised in recent months following the distortions earlier in the year due to the changes to stamp duty in...

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Britain could hold second EU vote, says ex-PM Blair

08 November 2016

Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair said Friday there was nothing preventing a second Brexit referendum.

And warned that the break-up would be “very, very tough” as European leaders were in an unforgiving mood.

He called on fellow “Remain” supporters to “mobilise and to organise” against proponents of Brexit, writing in The New European newspaper that “we’re the insurgents now”.

“There is absolutely no reason why we should close off any options,” he later told BBC radio.

“We are entitled to carry on scrutinising, and, yes, if necessary, to change our minds. This is not about an elite overruling the people.

“If it becomes clear...

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Student visa row threatens to overshadow Theresa May's trip to India

07 November 2016

Theresa May will be confronted over tightening student visa rules by Indian ministers this week as an immigration row threatens to overshadow her first trade mission as prime minister.

There is anger that changes pushed through by Mrs May when she was Home Secretary have seen the number of Indians attending UK universities halved.

A spokesman for India’s foreign ministry said concerns will be raised with Mrs May and her team as she visits the country for a three-day trip.

However the Prime Minister’s aides indicated she has no inclination to backtrack on a tightening of immigration rules for students...

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Bank chiefs expect London to stay as Europe’s financial centre

07 November 2016

Almost three quarters of UK bank executives expect London will still be Europe’s main financial hub in five years’ time despite post-Brexit contingency plans being drawn up by many to relocate staff elsewhere in Europe, according to a new survey. Synechron and TABB Group

Conducted by two consultancies – Synechron and TABB Group ­– the survey found that 72 per cent of the 80 capital market executives questioned believed that London would retain its No 1 position despite the vote to leave the EU. However, it also found that 55 per cent had established ‘Brexit steering committees’ to prepare for life outside the...

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Warning as household debts spiral to £1.5 trillion

07 November 2016

Household debts have spiralled to a whopping £1.5tn in the UK for the first time, new statistics show. Indebtedness is growing at the fastest rate since before the credit crunch of 2008, says the Money Charity which compiled the statistics.

UK adults owe an average of nearly £30,000 each - mostly in mortgages, but also in loans and credit cards - 83% of the country’s annual economic output. Some 87% of this debt is in the form of mortgages, secured by property. But UK adults also now owe an average of £3,737 in loans and credit cards. With inflation set to rise, borrowers are urged...

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Lessons from England’s Unexpected Chinese Tourist Attraction

04 November 2016

Kidlington is a typical English village with approximately 14,000 residents that suddenly started seeing Chinese tourists flooding its streets in 2016. What began as a vivid discussion on the village’s local Facebook page soon became a viral story that captured the extent of the boom of Chinese tourism to the United Kingdom as well as the opaque travel preferences of Chinese tourists when they visit overseas destinations.

Chinese tourists increasingly seeking out “authentic” experiences has become a common theme in conference discussions about Chinese travel trends. With popular destinations such as Venice and Tokyo struggling with overcrowding and insufficient supply of...

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John Lewis appoints its first female managing director

04 November 2016

John Lewis has promoted Paula Nickolds, who joined the company as a graduate trainee, to be the first female managing director in the department store group’s 152-year history.

Retailer John Lewis has announced that Paula Nickolds will become its new managing director in 2017, replacing Andy Street who is stepping down this month to run as Conservative candidate for Mayor of the West Midlands.

Nickolds, 43, will take over from Andy Street in January. She has worked for the retail group for 22 years, joining as a graduate trainee in London.

She joined John Lewis in 1994 as a graduate trainee, holding a...

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Expat vs Nomad: Which Lifestyle is Best for You?

04 November 2016

Saying goodbye can be hard, especially if it is for an extended period of time.

This is nothing new for seasoned expats and nomads. Although, at times, it can still be difficult for them. They are often able to deal with it better.

Some people live outside of their country for personal or professional reasons.

This year, I have lived in three countries – Mexico, Spain, and England. I am not in the military nor am I working in another country as an employee. I am an expat entrepreneur.

Many people often use the terms, expat and nomad, interchangeably. While both terms have similar...

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Meet Hannah Cockill, our Global Mobility Coordinator

02 November 2016

Hannah loves working for Icon Relocation and says that it’s the best company to work for due to the nature of the work, the work environment and working for an award winning relocation company is extremely gratifying!

When asked what her day to day activities are: “I handle lease negotiations which are always a challenge in the UK, I like to create a smooth relocation for my assignees, ensuring they are provided with all the knowledge I can share at each stage of their relocation and making them feel confident in me and Icon and that I’m here each step...

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Bank chiefs expect London to stay as Europe’s financial centre

02 November 2016

A survey by Synechron and TABB Group has shown that almost three quarters of UK bank executives think London will remain the main financial hub despite post-Brexit contingency plans to relocate staff.

Almost three quarters of UK bank executives expect London will still be Europe’s main financial hub in five years’ time despite post-Brexit contingency plans being drawn up by many to relocate staff elsewhere in Europe, according to a new survey. Synechron and TABB Group

Conducted by two consultancies – Synechron and TABB Group ­– the survey found that 72 per cent of the 80 capital market executives questioned believed that London...

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Female CEOs – Is there equality at the top?

02 November 2016

The gender pay gap is a central issue in the modern business world, but is this disparity present even in the most senior positions? Are women at the top being treated equally? If not, why do they perceive that to be?

Gender equality is an increasingly important topic in today’s business world with a huge growth in interest over the past few years. Conversation about the gender pay gap has risen dramatically with frequent reports that the pay gap remains a key issue. We are seeing more women than ever impacting diversity and equality across the globe by taking on leadership roles....

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