Category Archives: IT

Friday Featured Vacancies – IT Manager / Communications & Marketing Intern

cumbria community foundationCommunications & Marketing Intern

Cumbria Community Foundation is looking for a dynamic and motivated person to help with their communications and marketing needs. The full-time role will be for 12 months based at their office in Dovenby.

The position provides an opportunity to further develop experience in marketing, communications, research and events management as well as gaining experience of social policy, grant making and community philanthropy.

The aim of the role is to provide support to staff members across a range of activities and functions. The position will be packaged as support to a range of projects to ensure effective management of the intern’s time.

The Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of the community life in Cumbria by making grants to voluntary organisations and individuals and managing grant making funds on behalf of individuals, companies and government organisations.

Established in September 1999 the Foundation has given out almost £30 million in grants to more than 4,000 groups and 4,000 individuals.

The Foundation has a strong donor base and is held in high regard by key stakeholders.  As an organisation committed to the local community and a track record of delivery they are looking for a key member of the team to contribute to the exciting development of the organisation.

Salary £14,000 – £16,000 per annum

For further information including the job description and application form, visit their website

Closing date 9.00am Monday 16th May 2016

Interview date 24th May



logoIT Manager

Carlisle Brass is looking for an IT Manager. This role offers the opportunity to travel, locations include Carlisle, Blackburn, Kirkham and Dubai.

To apply send a CV and covering letter to

Find out more about Carlisle Brass on their website –

Closing date for applications is 10 May 2016.



Title:                     IT Manager                        

Reports to:         Head of Finance

Dotted line to:  CBG MD / Divisional FD

Location:            Carlisle

Sites:                     Carlisle, Blackburn, Kirkham, Dubai

Salary:                  £40-45k (37.5 hour week with out of hours and weekend work required occasionally to meet business continuity needs)

Benefits:             3% pension contribution, DIS 2 x’s salary, 23 days holiday                               



The role arises as a result of the need to strengthen the IT function within the business, in the light of increased growth and technology dependence as well as the increased complexity arising from a proposed ERP replacement in 2017.

The hardware infrastructure for the current systems is largely based at Carlisle, with remote servers at Blackburn and Kirkham.

The parent Group’s IT infrastructure will also continue to evolve towards consolidation and standardisation of solutions for its other UK businesses based in Daventry, and this role holder should therefore expect to collaborate with other parts of the Arran Isle group in achieving  realistic synergies. It is likely that this would comprise further virtualisation of storage and servers, as well as a roll out of virtual desktop technology


Job Purpose      

Deliver an infrastructure which continues to support the growth of the organisation and become knowledgeable about all its aspects to ensure continuous support for the operational hours of the business.

Provide day to day management and leadership of support staff making sure that appropriate skills are in place and effectively deployed in order to meet the function’s responsibilities to its users at all sites.

There will also be scope to provide forward looking guidance and strategy on where the Group can deliver more through IT, as well as responding to and developing ideas arising in the business units.


ERP replacement

Carlisle Brass currently operates a range of software applications to control the business, largely based around a bespoke database (Corserine), and developed in .NET from an original Phoenix database. Much of this development has been undertaken in house by the current IT manager. Corserine has in turn has been integrated with Sage 200 to provide the financial reporting and analysis. It is intended that the IT Manager will remain within the business focussed mainly on support of the legacy systems and immediate development requirements of these.

Carlisle Brass is currently planning to replace its existing legacy  systems with a fully integrated ERP solution in 2017. It is highly likely this will be based around a MS Dynamics Navision solution already developed for other businesses in the Arran Isle group, and being implemented during  2016.

The successful candidate will play a key role in supporting this project from the early stages through to post completion support.

The business does not currently have Navision experience available, but this will be supported by other sites and experienced third party implementers.


Key responsibilities and Standards of Performance

  1. Helpdesk resources and performance including reporting and improvement programmes
  2. Allocation of support resources and software resilience as agreed with business units including up time
  3. Coordination with external support providers which includes managing their performance and negotiation of contracts to support the operational requirements of the business
  4. Developing business specific Service Level Agreements (SLA) for each business unit and subsequently ensuring that IT service meets or exceed agreed targets
  5. Contribute to the development of the IT strategy encompassing hardware, software, security, resources and other aspects that support the achievement of the business plans of each business location
  6. Project planning and management of infrastructure maintenance and development projects including engagement and management of 3rd party contractors and service providers as and when required
  7. Creation of Disaster Recovery plans covering all aspects of IT resources and service for each business including periodic testing and subsequent updating. This includes from minor incidents such as theft of mobile phones to larger scale issues such as downtime on main systems
  8. Managing the hardware estate for the business units including:
    1. Physical servers, switches, firewalls and other associated hardware at Carlisle and other UK locations
    2. Local PC’s, photocopiers
    3. Telecoms: fixed line, broadband, mobile phones & devices, wifi, scanners
    4. Video conferencing assets
  1. Development and roll out of IT policies across all locations, periodic maintenance and enforcement
  2. Overall management of website hosting for all business units including the development and monitoring of service level performance from 3rd party resource providers
  3. Management of all aspects of IT security for all locations including PCI compliance, hardware and software integrity and resilience
  4. Contribute to wider company projects that require IT input such as new process planning, new functional specific software such as demand planning or business reporting
  5. Form part of the wider Group’s IT resource by working collaboratively with other IT professionals in the business and contributing to the IT Board
  6. Keep up to date with new software and technologies that can make our business better and build competencies within the IT team


Other Relationships

Coordinate with Divisional Finance based in Daventry, UK.

Liaise with other IT professionals around the Group

IT of customer/supplier functions around the UK


IT / Business systems

Sage 200 accounting software used for financial reporting

Interfaced with internally developed Corserine / Phoenix operating systems

Local IT hardware infrastructure includes virtualised servers and remote servers at business locations in Kirkham and Blackburn.


Background, education and experience 

Extensive 1st/2nd and 3rd Line support for a variety of infrastructure & application environments (pre-dominantly MS focused)

Extensive Design and deployment of Windows/PC based hardware

Management of an IT function within a larger multi-site SME or

Management of teams within an outsourced IT services environment



Good general education with at least strong A level or equivalent education.  Degree level education likely.  Appropriate technical certifications to demonstrate technical areas of expertise.


Technical Experience

  • LAN/WAN Network
  • MS Server platforms
  • Full and Thin client architecture including Citrix
  • Hardware performance monitoring and improvement
  • SQL
  • Business Continuity, backup & recovery
  • VMware
  • Antivirus, Anti-spam & Firewall management
  • PCI compliance
  • Website/Ecommerce/EDI
  • SQL
  • Programming, e.g. Linux, .NET
  • Video conferencing (Lifesize)
  • Support ERP and Business Intelligence tools

The template for the future ERP system is  based around MS Dynamics NAV 16 (Navision) with extensive use of  Phocas (BI) and Jet Reports (BI)for much of the reporting requirements. Experience in any of these would be advantageous


Organisation Structure


Friday’s Featured Vacancy – Marketing, Technology and Entrepreneurship scholarship opportunity

Marketing, Technology and Entrepreneurship students – fancy winning a £800 scholarship prize? Signal, global leader in real-time people-based marketing are calling on British university students who represent the next generation of tech-savvy marketers, to explore how mobile technology trends will impact marketing strategies in the future. They will award a scholarship prize of £800 to the aspiring technology, marketing and/or entrepreneurship student who best answers the following questions:

  • What impact do you expect mobile technologies like ad blocking and speech recognition software to have on marketing in the next five years?
  • How will these technologies influence global business practices?
  • How have mobile technologies already influenced the economy?

To apply for our scholarship, please write an essay of 800 words or less, in response to the aforementioned questions. Be sure to support your answers with specific examples.

Submit your essay to with the subject line, “Signal Scholarship Entry-Great Britain.”  Make sure to include your full contact details, the name of your university, and your CV.

Deadline for submitting your entry is August 31, 2016.

Signal’s team will choose the winners after the deadline and announce them on September 30, 2016. No payment or purchase required to enter.

For complete details, please visit:

Hydrant Digital Agency – “We don’t sell fire hydrants!”

Hydrant is a digital agency, creating web sites, digital marketing and software. The Managing Director and co-founder, Leo White, is a member of the University of Cumbria’s alumni, as well as several other members of staff. Leo set up Hydrant when he was a student here with his wife, and the company has grown year-on-year, with an office near Oxford and clients across the country, including the NHS, the Cumberland Pencil company, and the University of Cumbria itself! hydrant-logo-header

I recently visited the Hydrant offices in Carlisle and spoke to Darren Nicholls (Regional Manager) and Rachel Murray (Digital Marketing Consultant). I asked them a few questions about Hydrant, and what it is like to work there.

Hydrant’s office is open plan and was filled with the buzz of people hard at work when I visited. I asked Darren about what sort of people Hydrant look for, and what makes the staff here a good fit with the business. “One word that springs to mind when describing our staff is determined.” said Darren. “We are all determined to produce high quality work, which reflects our individual personalities.” As everyone employed at Hydrant is allowed to bring their own personality to the projects, the work carried out is always fresh and innovative, and unique to Hydrant.

Looking through Hydrant’s portfolio of work on their website, you can see that they don’t stick to working in Cumbria – they have worked with clients all over the country, with the public sector and private sector, from small businesses and local clients, as well as local governments and even the Commonwealth! Rachel told me that the team are able to work with such different clients and on such diverse projects because they have such a broad range of skills. Hydrant enjoys working with local businesses and has recently worked with Tullie House and with the Cumberland Pencil company on their Derwent Arts prize website.

When I asked Darren what makes Hydrant special from other web companies, he said “I guess it’s the way that we work with the clients. We don’t see them as a one off project then send them on their way; we like to build up a relationship with them.” Rachel spoke to me about how important it was to Hydrant that they establish a relationship with their clients. “We are not just given a brief, create a site, and send them on their way,” said Rachel. “We look at what else we can do, and build on that relationship so that three years down the line we can do more work for them.”

One of the most inspiring aspects of the business is the way that the company has grown from a small partnership when it was formed in 2005, to now employing fifteen staff (and freelancers). They don’t just look to their local area to find work, they work nationally on projects, raising their profile and opening an office near Oxford. But Cumbria is where they started, and this is where they want to really grow. “Our client base is not predominantly Cumbrian!” said Darren, when I asked him what was next for Hydrant. “We are based here and we really want to become better known in Cumbria. We would love to work with more local businesses!” So if you are a local business and need some digital assistance, you know where to go!

You can find out more information about Hydrant on their website:

Are you interested in starting up your own business? The careers team can help! Visit the website or email us

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 03/01/2014

Fat Media Ltd, based in Lancaster, are looking for a Front End Developer:

We are looking for a talented, innovative Front End Developer. You will be working in an award-winning cross-functional team that specialises in innovative and leading-edge solutions.You will be responsible for:
•Producing outstanding code and markup.
•Remaining at the forefront of technology, proactively applying new development techniques to projects.
•Working efficiently to meet client deadlines and production targets.
•Communicating effectively with your team and clients.

Essential Skills
•A fluent knowledge of HTML 5 and CSS3
•Ability to create cross-browser compatible layouts that work across multiple devices.
•Ability to hand-code semantic and accessible markup.
•Optimisation techniques – minification, file concatenation etc
•Photoshop or Fireworks.
•Understanding of Javascript – Vanilla JS as well as jQuery.
•Version control – Subversion or Git
•Happy working in a cross functional team.

Nice to Have
•Advanced JavaScript knowledge would be great
•Experience with server-side coding.

We will consider recent graduates with relevant degrees and self-taught applicants who can demonstrate the required skills through their portfolio.

For more information, and to apply, please visit

Where Do Graduates Go?

“What Do Graduates Do” (see recent post) also contains a breakdown of the likely areas of the UK in which graduates are likely to find their first job, with some interesting analysis according to job sector.

Unsurprisingly, just over a third of all graduates ended up working in South East England and 21% went to jobs in London, although many were concentrated in the City of London and Westminster, a very small geographic area, whereas under 7% took up jobs in North East England and Northern Ireland.

But a look at destinations broken down by career sector showed up some other happy hunting grounds for graduates looking for jobs outside the centre of London:

  • Marketing graduates also found work in the London Borough of Camden, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Manchester.
  • Science graduates were most likely to start work in Oxfordshire or Cambridgeshire but Merseyside, Surrey, Norfolk and Aberdeen (also the main centre for oil and gas engineering) were popular destinations.
  • Outside London, Surrey, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Belfast and Tyne and Wear took on IT graduates in considerable numbers.
  • Similarly, graduates in Art and Design subjects also found opportunities in Merseyside, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Manchester, Kent, Glasgow and Edfinburgh.
Of course, many career areas (e.g. retail management, energy, public sector jobs) offer a wider geographic spread of opportunities but the overall message is that graduates in less affluent parts of the country will struggle to find graduate jobs locally – and of course none of the areas mentioned fall within Cumbria or North Lancashire.
Incidentally, you can find an online version of “What Do Graduates Do?” 2012 on the HECSU website

What Do Graduates Do?

Although graduate employment levels for 2010-11 were slightly down on the previous year, there were considerable variations between different subjects of study, according to “What Do Graduates Do?” (WDGD) 2012, based on the annual survey of Destinations of Higher Education Leavers that takes place each year.

One career area that clearly bucked the downward trend was Computer Science and IT which showed an 8.5% rise in graduate employment and e-skills UK have forecast that growth in IT employment will grow at twice the UK average until 2020.  Of course, not all entrants into the industry will have studied IT as a main subject at University.

Less good news came unexpectedly from the public sector with a big fall in entrants and the trend extended to include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers, teachers and probation officers.  These areas each offered over 100 posts less than 2010-11 but the biggest drop was in the number of social work entrants, which fell by 420.  This is certainly not great news for the University of Cumbria, which offers courses in all the professions listed except probation.

The report once again showed the importance of self-employment to graduates from performance arts, media production and art and design. 64.6% or artists and 85.3% of musicians were recorded as being self employed or freelancers six months after graduation.

The Business Studies area is one that exemplifies the “mixed message” theme identified in the WDGD report.  Although it shows up with a higher level of unemployment than average (10.1%) and a sharp drop in the numbers going on to further study, each of the key disciplines of Accountancy, Business Management and Marketing showed high levels of graduates going straight into relevant employment.

They were also some of the subjects that produced less graduates working as Retail, Catering, Waiting and Bar staff, a denomination which covers a large number graduates yet to find a suitable career opportunity by the date of the survey – although longitudinal studies show that many succeed in doing so over a longer period of time.

Swings and Roundabouts of Graduate Labour Market

The latest AGCAS* Survey of University Careers Services shows that the overall number of graduate vacancies is holding up well in spite of continuing economic difficulties.

Careers Services reported continuing shortages of well-qualified candidates for IT and engineering positions  and the last quarter showed a noticeable increase in the number of advertising, marketing, sales and purchasing vacancies. Services also mentioned an increase in opportunities for hospitality, retail, leisure and sports managers, graphic designers and many roles in small businesses where flexibility and multiple skills are needed.

Although the continuing decline in public sector vacancies is affecting areas like podiatry, dietetics, education, social work and youth work, and the number of legal traineeships is down, increased activity in other areas has compensated for these losses nationally.

Comment: The University of Cumbria is however heavily dependent on local public sector vacancies for many of its graduates and restricted opportunities in education and social work mean that applicants will often need to widen their initial career aspirations and geographical target area to compete successfully. On the positive side, increased graduate recruitment activity by small businesses can only be good news in a region that has so few large employers.

*Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services

Positive Outlook for the IT Industry

Research by Sector Skills Council e-skills shows employment in the IT industry is set to grow at five times the national average over the next ten years.

Their “Technology Insights 2011” suggests opportunities will increase at 2.19% per annum, with over half a million new IT & Telecoms professionals needed over the next five years.

Further details suggest that the age profile of the industry is now rising, with only 19% of professionals aged under 30 and 17% are over 50. The gender profile however remains a big issue as only 18% are women.

For more details see