Category Archives: management

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



Working Towards Management?

This week we are very pleased to feature a guest post written by Sean McPheat, MD of management training and leadership development specialists MTD Training. Sean has been featured on the BBC, ITV, CNN International and many more, and has over 250 media credits to his name:

Start Securing the Skills Now!

A management role might seem a hundred light years away from where you are currently, but the reality is, it might be much close than you think. Whilst management is often perceived as something that has to be worked up towards, something that requires you to climb ladders and tick boxes before such a position is awarded, there is every chance that, with the right mind set and knowledge, not only will you be able to secure a management role as a graduate, you’ll be able to flourish and succeed within that role. Here are three lessons you can take from your current environment and turn them into something positive for your leadership career!

Sidling Sociality

The first thing to know about any management role is that it’s a social one. Your ability to succeed will hinge directly on your people skills, your ability to converse and drum up a dialogue, your aptitude when it comes to building relationships and reaching out to people. As a manager, your team is everything, and forging and maintaining strong bridges to them as individuals will be the difference that makes you successful out in the field. Relationships are incomparably important and knowing how they work is one of the most prominent skills you’ll need!

Confidence Balance 

Believing in your own ability is something you won’t get far in life without, and that’s a general rule across the board. Having the confidence to trust your instincts and your decisions is a difficult thing to learn, but knowing where the balance lies is even trickier. In a management role, your confidence should never be overbearing; it can be authoritative and final, however it’s all too easy to let this become too domineering, so much so that you could cause dissent and disengagement amongst your team. Learn how to find the right balance between being a strong decision-maker and being overconfident. When you work in teams, think about how the project is being managed, what people tend to work with and what they work against.

Critical Thinking 

Of course, you can’t have the confidence to be a strong decision-maker without the ability to think critically. You currently find yourself in situations everyday wherein you must be reflective, responsive, analytical and methodical in your approach, even if you don’t realize it. If you start observing and analysing these situations, you’ll be one step ahead and better prepared to step right into the role you’ll aim for as a graduate. University is, essentially, one of the best environments for developing critical thinking, so long as you pay attention to your circumstances.

Emotional Control 

Emotions can delve deeply into the equilibrium of a social situation, and one thing a manager must be able to do, is know when to exercise control. Whilst this sounds like becoming a cold and calculated management machine, it’s simply more of a case of analysing situational congruence and knowing whether particular emotions you may be experiencing will be appropriate. You’ll need all your emotions to build relationships with your people, but knowing how and when to keep them under control is the key. Again, you likely already do this on a daily basis, you just don’t realize it. Think about when you decide to keep certain emotions hidden, and how that skill might be applicable in a professional environment.

Consider how you function socially and cognitively every day, things you do without even thinking; you’ll quickly find there’s plenty of opportunity to learn all you need to know to be successful right where you are!

New Postgraduate Business Courses at the University of Cumbria

The new University of Cumbria Business School is offering a series of postgraduate courses that will be starting at the University on 14th January 2013. They are:

        · MBA – full time (Lancaster)
        · MBA – part time (Fusehill St, Carlisle)*
        · MA Business Management (Lancaster)
        · Certificate of Management Studies – part time (Fusehill St, Carlisle)*
        · Diploma of Management Studies – part time (Fusehill St, Carlisle)*

Also on offer from the same date are:

        · BA (Hons) Business Management (Lancaster)
        · BA (Hons) Business Management – top up (Lancaster, Fusehill Street, Carlisle and Energus, Whitehaven)

Interested candidates can get more information at or from our course enquiry centre on 0845 606 11 44.

Alternatively you can visit one of the School’s open evenings in early December.

* All on Tuesdays

Gimme, gimme good feedback…

Giving good feedback is a vital skill in any job that involves dealing with people to any significant extent – in other words the vast majority of jobs that exist in the modern world. In my job I mainly use it to help people improve their performance in mock interview situations. It is just as valid in reviewing any situation where a measure of skill is required of someone, be it giving presentations, running meetings or projects, advising others or commercial or technical functions.

But many people do not have a clue how to give good feedback. You realise this if you observe them trying to do it from scratch. Most will launch straight into a speech of variable length on their own perceptions of the other person’s performance. Often what they offer is unbalanced. So some tend to pick endless faults, leaving the other person feeling depressed. Others tend to duck all the issues or offer an unrealistically rosy account of what happened, which can leave the other person no wiser and possibly feeling sheepish to have ‘got off’ too lightly.

Yet giving honest, constructive feedback is possibly one of the easiest and most helpful interpersonal skills you can ever hope to learn. Here’s how to do it, step by step, with commentary:-

1) Whilst observing the person’s performance, note down everything you think went well and everything that could have gone better.

2) Before starting the feedback, take some time to review what you have written and decide on two or three positive and negative points you will feed back to the person.

Two things are important about this stage:

  • There is no such thing as totally perfect or totally hopeless performance. There are always things that could be improved and always things that were achieved, however small. So you must have some points on either side of the balance sheet.
  • Too much feedback has been shown to be overwhelming and is likely to be as worthless as no feedback at all. This is why it is vital to cut it down to the key points. Life is a learning process, but only so much can be learned at any one time (‘bite-size chunks’).

3) Start the feedback by asking the person what they felt went well and not so well.

This point is absolutely vital. Research has shown that people gain most from feedback that reinforces their own perceptions. If you try this approach, you will be surprised how often the other person takes most of the words right out of your mouth. It also makes it far easier for you if you can start off by agreeing with them before moving on to less certain territory, and more likely that you will take them with you when you do.

4) Having made sure the person covers both the positive and not so positive points (and not everyone does so at first) ask if they are ready to hear what your thoughts were.

A nicety perhaps, but it does give the person a chance to opt into the process or say if there is anything else that is important to them.

5) Building first on what the other person has said, start off by relaying the positive points you observed.

6) Then move on to the points for improvement, again building on what they have said. Make sure you cover all the points you decided to feed back.

7) Return to re-emphasise the positive points in the performance before wishing them well next time they try the task.

In steps 5 – 7, the idea is to build a ‘sandwich’ structure of positive – negative – positive which leaves the person feeling safe, but confident enough to experiment with changes in the future.

Approached in this manner, feedback situations hold no terrors for either participant and are a major factor in improving performance in any organisation.

Colin Taylor is a careers adviser and freelance writer who has been publishing careers and employment related material for over five years. Find out more about him at