Eni and Rosneft Start Seismic Operations in the Russian Offshore Barents Sea
The project is part of the wider cooperation between Eni and Rosneft sanctioned under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement entered into by the parties on 25th April 2012.
San Donato Milanese (Milan), 8 July 2013 – Eni and Rosneft started seismic operations in the Fedynsky and Central Barents license areas, in the ice-free part of the Russian offshore Barents Sea. The 2D seismic survey is planned for 9950 km over the two license areas.
The seismic survey, preceded by environmental and fishery studies, is undertaken in compliance with Russian legal environmental requirements and license agreements. During the seismic survey a program of environmental monitoring will be implemented.
The data of the survey will be collected by geophysical methods from a specialized seismic survey vessel.
Eni and Rosneft formed Joint Venture companies to operate each of the Russian offshore projects, with Rosneft holding a 66.67% stake and Eni holding the remaining 33.33% stake.
The project is part of the wider cooperation between Eni and Rosneft sanctioned under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement entered into by the parties on 25th April 2012.
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EmploymentCrossing Reports 53,123 Active Part-time Jobs, as Employers Cut-back on Full-time Opportunities
Part time jobs had increased during the economic recession. And even four years post-recession the trend continues. EmploymentCrossing reports 53,123 active part-time jobs that need to be filled at a time, when employers are cutting back on full-time opportunities with regard to ‘Obamacare.’
Today, the bulk of new jobs are being created in low-wage service industries or in temporary or part-time positions. According to financial disclosure filings released on Wednesday, some of the most influential members of the State Legislature are also earning large paychecks from part-time jobs with law firms.
While the economy and consumer spending recovered slowly, job growth has been anemic. The creation of part-time jobs especially from small and medium enterprises can change this. Joblessness and the retirement saving crisis can be checked through part-time employment.
Following the recession retirement plans of millions of American were deferred, if not destroyed. “Rise in part-time employment in almost all fields is enabling them to now walk towards a self-sufficient future,” says Harrison Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of EmploymentCrossing. The new trend is accommodating employees' requests to work flexibly and offering incentives for mothers to remain in the workforce.
Earlier, the lack of health benefits and low paying part-time jobs had discouraged people from taking part-time jobs rather than full-time jobs, but both these attributes of part-time jobs are changing, explains Barnes. With the passing of the Obamacare, which has been deferred until 2015, keeping a solid job for long could become challenging for Americans. This is because not all employers want to provide health benefit to their employees. This will push employers to offer their employees as well as the jobless an alternative to the traditional nine to five jobs. Moreover, with the population living and working for longer, flexible working practices will soon become common, claims Barnes.
To the benefit of all, part-time jobs help spread the culture of balancing work and family throughout the society. Moreover, it means people have the option to select their working hours and offer their services to more than one firm. It reduces boredom and brings in more productivity at work places. And who said part-time jobs do not pay well? Visit http://www.employmentcrossing.com/browse-jobs/cat-part-time-jobs.html to discover a range of part-time employment opportunities that pay well.
EmploymentCrossing is part of the Employment Research Institute, which is one of the most powerful and comprehensive organizations dedicated to helping professionals find jobs that will enhance their careers. Employment Research Institute consists of 120+ of industry-specific and 120+ location-specific job boards which consolidates every job opening it can find in one convenient location. The website also offers a seventy two-hour free trial to new members.
Age121 Offers Tips for Avoiding Recruiting Nightmares
The team at Age121 offers courses for professional development, compliancy, and legality. The recruitment and training company aims to ensure that new hires are properly informed about industry protocols and regulations as they take on a new role. Now the professionals are speaking out on a new article that provides insight for companies looking to make strong hiring choices as they look to fill open positions within the organization.
One of the most effective ways to find eligible talent is by writing a job description that is clear and easy to understand. Businesses that use ambiguous terms or buzz words may become frustrated when they do not find potential hires that possess they traits they are looking for. Instead of asking for a “thought leader”, it is best to put this trait into terms that are easy to define. The description could include someone who is aware of industry developments, creative, and connected to other professionals within the field.
A consistent approach to interviewing is also a necessity in order to feel good about a new hire. If one interviewee is asked extensively about their work history, while another is mostly asked about their ideas for the company, it will become difficult to compare the two. Instead, there should be a few standard questions that every potential new employee must answer. This makes responses easier to compare. When interviewing a potential new hire, a manager should take care to write careful notes during the conversation. This makes it easy to go back and evaluate that candidate carefully when the interview is through.
The team at Age121 also advises hiring managers to prioritize the traits that they are looking for when evaluating a candidate. A person may have sales experience and organizational skills, but lack knowledge about certain computer programs. Instead of waiting to find a candidate who has every single desirable trait, a hiring manager should prioritize. An individual who is experienced, dependable, and responsible can quickly get trained on how to use a computer program or a file management system. It is better to ensure that this individual possesses traits that cannot be learned in order to ensure future success.
During their discussion with an individual; some candidates fake portions of their resume, assuming that the employer will not take the time to verify that the details listed are correct. An in-depth discussion with this person about their past employment can reveal whether these job entries are actually factual.
Instead of just asking candidates to produce a resume, they should also be required to compose a cover letter. A cover letter illustrates that person’s writing skills, and can also help to paint a better-rounded picture about who this person truly is. Age121 also encourages those who are conducting interviews to receive proper training in order to be able to accurately assess a potential new hire.
Age121 is a training and recruitment company that provides courses dealing with professional development, legality, and compliancy. These classes allow new hires and current employees to properly understand protocols and regulations both within that industry, as well as in that particular company. The classes cover issues pertaining to a variety of different fields. Topics include how to be an effective personal assistant, how to perform CPR, how to be a receptionist at a medical practice, and many others.
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On July 2, 2013 the Department of the Treasury and the White House announced delaying a major component of the Affordable Care Act — the Pay or Play penalty, or "employer mandate," as well as employer reporting requirements.
United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization, has already issued a summary of the decision, “Four Things You Should know About the Employer Mandate Delay” that covers:
1) What's Been Delayed; 2) What's Still Required; 3) What other PPACA requirements must employers meet; 4) What's Next?
Additionally, UBA has experts available to discuss the immediate and future impact of this news on employers and the insurance industry.
View the UBA Employer Mandate Delay Summary at http://bit.ly/120N3bw.
Thom Mangan, CEO of UBA speculates, “The hospitality, retail and service industry, who have so many hourly and part time workers, were just handed a huge gift with this 12-month reprieve. In order to continue to hold the cost down of their products, they may put off even offering the “bronze” level of benefits until 2015.”
“There are 6 million employers in the United States of which 4.7 million have fewer than 50 employees,” continues Mangan. “While this is a big deal for employers with a high number of part time and hourly workers, the major components of the law are still going to impact 80 percent of employer groups in our nation.“
“Unfortunately, there are more questions left unanswered than answered,” says Linda Rowings, UBA Compliance Director. “For instance, if an employer is not required to report eligibility, how will it affect determination of employee eligibility for subsidies?”
Mark Gaunya, Principal of Borislow Insurance, a UBA Partner Firm, shares his concerns: "With the employer mandate now on hold until 2015 and the individual mandate still in effect, how will the exchanges know who is eligible for subsidy and who isn't? Left unchecked, this process will be a breeding ground for fraud and abuse. The law is supposed to be a shared responsibility model which means all parts must work together. If delay is necessary on one leg of the financial stool, then the other legs should be delayed as well."
If you are interested in scheduling an interview with a UBA expert, please contact: Carina Sammartino, 760-331-3547, csammartino(at)fishervista(dot)com
For future PPACA Updates, sign up for UBA’s PPACA Resource Center at http://bit.ly/11iepGW.
United Benefit Advisors® (UBA) is a unique community of more than 140 of the most successful and most trusted independent employee benefits advisory firms in North America and Europe. With more than 200 offices in over 46 states, Canada and the United Kingdom, UBA is the nation’s leading employee benefits advisory organization. Learn more at http://www.ubabenefits.com
Ben Van Beurden Next Chief Executive Officer Royal Dutch Shell Plc
The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc has announced that Ben van Beurden will succeed Peter Voser as Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 January 2014.
Peter Voser will leave Shell at the end of March 2014, marking the end of 29 years with the Company.
Making this announcement known in a press release, Chairman Jorma Ollilasaid, “I am delighted to announce Ben van Beurden as the next Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell. Ben has deep knowledge of the industry and proven executive experience across a range of Shell businesses. Ben will continue to drive and further develop the strategic agenda that we have set out, to generate competitive returns for our shareholders.”
“Van Beurden’s selection came after a comprehensive assessment and review of internal and external candidates led by the Board Nomination and Succession Committee,” Ollila added.
Van Beurden, 55, has been Downstream Director since January 2013.
About Van Beurden
Ben van Beurden joined Shell in 1983, after graduating with a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.
Ben’s career in Shell spans both Upstream and Downstream activities. He has held a number of operational and commercial roles, including some 10 years in the LNG business, and a variety of positions in Downstream.
In January 2005, Ben became Vice President, Manufacturing Excellence, based in Houston, USA. In this role he was responsible for standards in operational excellence and high-performance initiatives in refining and chemicals manufacturing.
In December 2006, he was appointed Executive Vice President, Chemicals, based in London, UK.
During his tenure in the role, Ben was appointed to the boards of a number of leading industry associations including the International Council of Chemicals Associations and the European Chemical Industry Council.
In January 2013, Ben was appointed Downstream Director and a member of Shell’s Executive Committee. He also has regional responsibility for Europe and Turkey.
Ben is married to Stacey and has three daughters and a son. He enjoys reading, running and travelling with his family.
Propel Forward Provides Leadership Tips on Decision Making
Stop the Consensus: Propel Forward Provides Tips to Tell if Your Decision Making has Become Too Participative
Leaders are often confused by all the articles encouraging them to take a participative approach to management. They often erroneously interpret this as meaning that they should take a consensus approach to decision making. Unfortunately, consensus can result in poor decisions, lost time and a false sense of accuracy.
Dr. Herbert Simon, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, stated that the task of decision-making is to select the alternative that results in the more preferred set of all the possible consequences. To select this alternative requires:
1. The identification and listing of all the alternatives
2. The determination of all the consequences resulting from each of the alternatives; and
3. The comparison of the accuracy and efficiency of each of these sets of consequences.
Dr. Simon recognized that having the knowledge of all the alternatives or all the consequences is highly improbable. Even more unlikely will be the ability to evaluate all the consequences.
Unfortunately, many leaders believe that consensus will yield a better decision because it involves more people and therefore more perspectives. However, consensus requires that everyone agree to the decision. In true consensus, if any one person does not agree, the status quo remains in place. Let’s take an example: the customer has offered a bonus payment if you can commit to delivering the product 6 weeks early. The leader pulls the team together. The team agrees it should meet the new deadline but the members can't agree on how to eliminate 6 weeks of work. The team is now at a stalemate which means that with real consensus the team sticks with the status quo of the original date and misses the upside opportunity.
If the leader isn’t happy with status quo, common actions by the leader are to 1) call another meeting to try to come to agreement 2) turn to voting or 3) make the decision unilaterally. Any of these alternatives can result in those who disagreed with the chosen path complaining to others because they were under the assumption that they had equal authority in the decision making process. Consensus decision making puts the role of a leader into a facilitator rather than a decision maker. Voting only reinforces this notion that each person's opinion has equal weight. If the leader does finally make the decision, usually out of frustration, the team members are understandably shocked that their "facilitator" has taken matters into his or her own hands.
If the leader is experiencing non-commitment to decision making, consensus behavior is often the culprit.
A better option, which still recognizes the need to involve those who have knowledge of other alternatives and consequences-is to use consultative decision-making. Consultative decision-making respects that the leader is the person with the broader perspective. It also acknowledges that the leader will be held accountable for the decision and the consequences of that decision.
In consultative decision making the leader gathers the appropriate group to voice their options, explore alternatives and debate consequences. Upon hearing the arguments the leader then makes the decision. He or she shares the rationale for the decision and sets the expectation that the team is to support the decision and support those tasked with implementation. It is clear who has the authority for the decision and who the leader is.
Consultative decision-making respects that an important variable to a quality decision is speed. Leaders can end up frittering away their and their team’s time and energy in attempts to make everyone appear equal. Decision-making is not about equality. There is a reason the leader is put into place and paid more. They are supposed to have the experience and perspective to weigh the alternative and decide on a course of action that will move the company closer to its vision. The leader’s role is not that of a facilitator when time is of the essence.
Leaders must also ensure decisions are the focus of the activities rather than getting caught up in the activities themselves or in sharing information for sharing sake. Here are some common business activities and the decisions that should be the focus:
Staff meetings & Pass Downs: Decide to commit or decide how to adjust
Work Reviews: Decide to approve, reallocate resources or take corrective action
Recommendation Reviews: Decide to approve, reject, or modify
News: Decide how to adjust
Leaders often erroneously give away their decision power to appear more inclusive and mature. Unfortunately their team often describes these leaders as weak, uninformed and wasting the team’s precious time. Teams look to their leaders for insights and direction.
Propel Forward LLC provide consulting, coaching and workshops to improve a leader’s ability to set a vision for their organization and increase their confidence to influence. Owner, Carlann Fergusson has over 25 years experience in corporate leadership. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, privately held companies, family owned operations and non-profits. She can be reached at carlann(at)propelforward(dot)com or http://www.propelforward.com.
Michael Fallon Reacts to U K Coal Moves to Preserve 2,000 Jobs
In respond to the announcement that UK Coal is being restructured to preserve 2,000 jobs, UK’s Energy Minister Michael Fallon said:
“I would like to thank all parties involved for the tremendous effort they have made to ensure a future for UK Coal at this very difficult time. We have worked tirelessly with UK Coal over the past four months to provide the best help and advice to the company across Whitehall and local government. The restructuring announced by PwC today should secure more than 2,000 jobs and put the company on a stable footing for the future. Our priority now must be to continue to support former Daw Mill workers into employment as soon as possible. The Government will ensure workers receive their full statutory redundancy payments through the Redundancy Payments Service. In addition, the Job Centre Plus-led Rapid Response Service will provide help to the community.”
UK Coal restructuring preserves 2,000 jobs
Following the devastating fire that closed the Daw Mill deep mine in March 2013, UK Coal announced that a way forward has been found for the remaining mines and 2,000 employees. Production of coal from Daw Mill represented around a third of UK Coal’s revenue and the forced closure of the mine had threatened the ongoing viability of UK Coal Operations’ remaining two deep mines and six surface mines. As a result of the problems that the Daw Mill fire created for UK Coal, both UK Coal Mine Holdings Ltd UKCMHL and UK Coal Operations Ltd UKCOL have today gone into administration. David Kelly, Rob Hebenton and Ian Green from PwC have been appointed administrators of the companies by Birmingham High Court following an application by the directors. Graham Newton and Paul Bates of BDO LLP were also appointed Joint Administrators of Mining Services Ltd.
The administrators have separated out the viable operations of the group and agreed a compromise with major creditors, including the Industry Wide Pension Funds, which will see the pension schemes transfer to the Pension Protection Fund in due course. The viable mining operations have been successfully restructured and their assets will now be held in individual companies owned by a new business which will operate as UK Coal Production Ltd.
Kevin McCullough, Chief Executive of UK Coal, stated “Today is very much a day of mixed emotions, but this is the best outcome that it was possible to achieve. Entering administration and the subsequent restructuring was the only way we could preserve any of the business and while I’m delighted we’ve saved 2,000 jobs, we’ve also had to make some very difficult decisions. I’m pleased that we managed to transfer 120 of our Daw Mill colleagues to our other mines following the fire. Our thoughts today also rest with the 350 colleagues who will now, regrettably, be made redundant as a result of Daw Mill closing. I’d like to thank everyone that has helped us reach this position, which would not have been possible without the support of the Pension Protection Fund, our customers, suppliers, all parts of Government, our employees and their families and trade unions. It means that this country can still produce coal on a reasonable scale. It may be a small industry, but when 40% of our energy still comes from coal it makes absolute sense to use as much British coal as possible to help keep energy bills from being even higher. Along with all of my colleagues, I look forward to working with our customers and suppliers as we rebuild the business following the disastrous fire.”
UK Coal has worked closely with the Pension Protection Fund and, with its advisers, has developed an innovative plan which secures 2,000 jobs and provides protection on accrued benefits for employees. As well as retaining their jobs by transferring to the new company, the 2,000 employees will retain the same terms and conditions. The new company will be owned by UK Coal Mining Holdings Ltd – a new parent company to the group. The Pension Protection Fund will not own the new company. Instead, the Pension Protection Fund’s interest in the new company will consist of a series of debt instruments. It is the intention that a new Employee Benefit Trust will run the new business.
Ultimately, the restructuring will result in the disclaiming of the Daw Mill mine which will see its remaining coal deposits transferring to the Coal Authority in due course. On the issue of pensions, around 50 per cent of the current workforce are members of a defined contribution scheme and their contributions will not be affected by this administration and restructuring. Also unaffected are pensions accrued prior to privatization in 1994. However, members of the Industry Wide defined benefit pension schemes will see their post privatization pension administered by the Pension Protection Fund. Equivalent new pension arrangements will apply for retained employees.
New Energy Infrastructure Map Provides Real-Time Storm Information
With peak hurricane season approaching, the U.S. Energy Information Administration EIA is introducing interactive maps that combine real-time data feeds from NOAA's National Hurricane Center with more than 20 map layers showing the nation's energy infrastructure and resources. This new tool, available around the clock on the EIA website, allows industry, energy analysts, government decision makers, and the American public to better see and understand the potential impact of a storm.
Every year, hurricanes and other extreme weather events threaten life and property. Hurricanes and tropical storms also affect the nation's energy infrastructure, especially when storm paths traverse offshore oil and natural gas production platforms and pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico, coastal refineries, processing plants, power plants, and energy import and export sites.
The new maps are available at EIA's Energy Disruptions site. The image above features the predicted path of tropical storm Chantal moving from the Caribbean's Leeward Islands toward the Atlantic coast of Florida. As the National Hurricane Center revises its predictions, the maps will be automatically updated.
Employers Cannot “Contract Away” Responsibilities under Title VII-EEOC Says
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC has announced that Federal District Judge Milton Shadur has entered a consent decree resolving a sex hiring lawsuit against Illini Precast.
The EEOC had charged that Illini Precast, a manufacturer of prefabricated concrete construction panels, failed to engage any female temporary laborers at its Marseilles, Ill., facility. The company, which is involved primarily in providing prefabricated components for parking structures, is headquartered in Westchester, Ill.
Based upon the findings of an EEOC administrative investigation managed by Chicago District Director John Rowe, the lawsuit claimed that in October 2008, a qualified woman applied for a general laborer position, but was denied employment due to her gender. In its answer, Illini claimed that it was not an "employer" as defined by the civil rights statutes because it had fewer than 15 employees and that it was not responsible for the placement of laborers at its facility because it had contracted with a staffing agency.
EEOC guidance, and relevant case law, holds that temporary workers may be counted when determining if a company has enough employees to come under the provisions of the civil rights laws and that companies can be held responsible for the discriminatory hiring practices of the temporary agencies on which they rely.
John Hendrickson, regional attorney in the EEOC's Chicago District Office said, “Employers are mistaken if they think they can 'contract away' their obligations under Title VII. Temporary or staffing agencies are acting as their agents in providing them with workers. If the staffing agency is sending them only employees of one sex or one race, this should set off alarm bells. Employers should realize that this is likely a problem that they have to fix."
Under the terms of the decree, Illini will pay $27,682 to the applicant. The applicant had previously received $60,000 as part of a conciliation agreement with the staffing agency that placed workers at Illini. Among other relief provided under the decree, within 60 days Illini will enter into a relationship with a local high school or vocational training program in order to encourage women to apply for work through staffing agencies used by Illini. Illini will also have to notify its staffing agencies that it is an equal opportunity employer and ensure that any advertisements also notify applicants that it is an equal opportunity employer.
Big Data and Talent Development: KnowledgeAdvisors Releases White Paper- Launches Speaking Series
KnowledgeAdvisors, the world’s leading provider of analytics solutions for talent development professionals, has released a white paper and announced a new global speaking series on “How Big Data is Transforming Learning and Talent Development.”
Many experts agree that Big Data will change the way organizations manage their workforce. In particular, in how they recruit, retain and develop top talent. The white paper highlights how KnowledgeAdvisors’ new Talent Analytics Suite from Metrics that Matter® addresses these concerns, providing an easy-to-use set of analytics tools that allow organizations to examine critical human capital data from across the employee life-cycle.
For instance, the white paper helps answer important questions about Big Data’s role in HR by directly addressing six questions about employee retention, sales performance, leadership, customer retention, talent gaps and candidate pipelines that were recently posed by Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte.
“Big Data solutions like Metrics that Matter® provide competitive advantage for companies, by allowing them to make crucial, data-driven decisions about their organization’s talent to help make major leaps in performance,” said Kent Barnett, CEO and Founder of KnowledgeAdvisors.
The white paper demonstrates how a KnowledgeAdvisors client, Defense Acquisition University DAU, which is the U.S. Department of Defense education provider for military and civilian acquisition personnel, leveraged Metrics that Matter® to evaluate more than 326,000 training events and determine key drivers of success.
Among the many data sets that DAU analyzed, here are a few of the key drivers revealed through Metrics that Matter® which are now being used to drive continuous improvement in the organization’s ongoing training programs:
2. Learners recommend effective training; hence training that is not recommended should be revised or retired.
3. For training to lead to performance and future results, it should be tailored to the educational level of the audience.
The white paper is available for free download at http://knowledgeadvisors.com/big-data/. The global speaking series kicks off July 18 in Dallas, with stops in Washington D.C., Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, London and Singapore.
The Big Data presentations will define ‘Big Data’ and its impact on organizational decision-making. They will then focus on defining talent development processes that house big data and identifying data sources and classification of metrics to transform data into wisdom through timely, credible, predictive analytics.
For a complete list of the dates, times and locations, visit http://knowledgeadvisors.com/big-data/.
Job openings remain at 3.8 million in May; hires and separations rates little changed
Net Change in Employment - Hires Exceed Separations
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 3.8 million job openings on the last business day of May, little changed from April. The hires rate 3.3 percent and separations rate 3.2 percent also were little changed in May.