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Changing cities. FireDog Research looks at the Roma community in Sheffield.

Turning your life around in Page Hall, Sheffield.

It’s well documented that I believe in training.  Evidence clearly shows that it has real life economic and social benefits which can last for generations. Consequently,  I’m delighted the the team at FireDog Research is working with Beyond 2030 on a fascinating project in South Yorkshire exploring the skills and training needed by different migrant groups.  In particular as a case study we are considering the immigrant Roma community in Sheffield.

FireDog will be working with employers, stakeholders and members of the Roma community themselves to understand the training that would help individuals secure sustainable employment and support local employers as they look to grow in the economic recovery.

The case study will provide useful insight to local authorities across the country who look to work with specific parts of the community.

Dr Ross Moloney
Managing Director
FireDog Research

FireDog works with the Baker Dearing Educational Trust


Lord Baker, Zac Goldsmith, Maunday Todd at UTC Briefing Portcullis House, London

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are technical secondary state schools dedicated to teaching skills and experience that high-tech employers really value. The Baker Dearing Educational Trust is the charity behind the UTC initiative and works to promote the concept nationally as well as supporting the development of individual UTCs.

As part of this work, Baker Dearing has identified the potential for creating a UTC in Leicestershire which would service the Logistics Sector in the area. FireDog Research are delighted that the Baker Dearing Educational Trust has commissioned a study with our team.

FireDog Research will be investigating and providing an overview of the national skills gaps in logistics sector, and overview of local economy, the labour market and local skills needs. In particular, FireDog will be researching logistics specific needs, skills and IAG/ vocational provision in the area. Of special note, would be an examination of future demand in the area for technology and technical expertise.

Our conclusions will be presented in a formal report at an event organised by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust. Speakers will include Lord Baker and FireDog Research Managing Director, Dr Ross Moloney with the expectation that the report will serve as a useful to those interested in establishing a UTC in the area. The event will take place on 26 March 2015. Full event details to follow.

Work to be undertaken: Literature review, outbound telephone and face-to-face interviews, digital surveys, write up, review, analysis and presentation of the formal report to UTC Stakeholders.

Find out more by contacting Rhys Davies, Communications Director at FireDog Research or visit: utccolleges.org



Leeds City College Emerging Skills Needs Local Response Fund

In the next dLeeds Emerging Skills_01ecade, infrastructure investment programmes across the Leeds Region are forecast to unlock billions of pounds of economic output and create thousands of jobs.

FireDog with Beyond 2030 were commissioned to undertake primary and secondary research to determine if businesses in the Region have the capacity and capability to take advantage of the investments.

FireDog engaged local SME employers by creating a range of integrated communications activities including email and content marketing initiatives, online surveys, outbound telemarketing, workshop events and face-to-face opinion surveys and venue sourcing.

Our in-depth reports focused upon regional economic impact, forecasting assessments, emerging skills requirement, analysis and funding recommendation.

WACO Global Logistics

The WACO_LogisticsWACO System is the world’s foremost independent global freight management and logistics network. WACO is an exclusive network consisting of a number of independent freight management companies. The company is an Association, owned by, and run for the benefit of our members WACO has its Corporate Head Office in Zurich and Operations Management in London.

WACO have members in more than 90 countries providing a network of more than 400 locations, employing over 21,000 freight professionals, handling over 1.85 million shipments each year with over one million tonnes of airfreighted cargo. The WACO network has a combined annual turnover of $4 billion, making The WACO System a major player in the global market.

FireDog is delighted that WACO has commissioned our to help develop marketing and communication material including a suite of new presentation material and the delivery of a new eMarketing and eCRM system for member based communications.

For more information see the WACO System or contact Rhys Davies at FireDog Research.

Call to policy makers: four key skills themes to drive UK PLC

Dr Ross MoloneyDr Ross Moloney has been actively engaged with skills policy for the last ten years and has held prominent positions within the Logistics Sector. As he opens his new company, FireDog Research, a research, marketing and communications agency, Dr Moloney appeals to policy makers to take heed of four key themes for skills that will drive UK PLC forward.

Addressing the first of these themes, I call on policy makers to never forget that the Logistics Sector is, quite literally, the driver of economic recovery. Just because delivery is often without a direct price to the customer, we should not assume that it has no value. Logistics is rarely listed as a priority sector in government documents. However, can you think of a better way to make the UK more competitive than improving the productivity of the domestic Logistics Sector? One in 12 employees in the UK work in logistics – a sector responsible for storing and moving everything you can see. Without a high quality domestic Logistics Sector the UK will not be an attractive location for investors seeking to build a factory or distribution centre. So, while logistics may not be considered a ‘glamorous’ sector, it really does matter to the everyday life of UK PLC. Government need to see it as the important sector it is. This will have implications on a whole raft of policies.

Secondly, the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) needs to be re-examined. It’s not ideal and we should be mature enough to reflect and reconsider.. I believe in training. But I don’t believe in DCPC as it is now. This is a missed opportunity and actually many employers simply see it as an extra burden both in terms of time and money. A quick internet search shows the widespread disaffection with the current DCPC. Having completed the initial five year cycle, why not think about what it is that we really want out of DCPC and how can we achieve it? Being able to repeat the same course 5 times in a week just doesn’t feel right.

As all of the major political parties promise increased numbers of Apprenticeships, I fear that we are getting close to them becoming a political football. I believe in Apprenticeships that deliver high quality and meaningful training. This is surely the crucial part of the offer. But it is vital that greater uptake should not be prioritised to the detriment of quality. There is a long and depressing history of qualifications suffering because they are treated as a synonym for educational success. It is vital that we must not mess up Apprenticeships but we should acknowledge that they are not perfect. Genuine improvement is needed, not simply change for its own sake. Crucially, funding should be aligned with market need and market failure – having the same funding model across all frameworks is a flawed approach.

Finally, be aware that the seemingly subtle differences between ‘Demand-led’, ‘Employer-led’, and ‘Employer-owned’ approaches have huge implications on the ground. Investing in people feels like something an employer should do alongside the State. Please don’t expect employers to take on the entire burden of training themselves. Employers of course need to reflect on their human capital, as they do all other inputs, but should the State not have a role in getting people work ready or even job ready? Surely this is a genuine partnership between the public and private sectors.

I am also interested in the efficacy of the employer-ownership pilots administered by the UKCES. I know employers initially struggled with the bureaucracy associated with contracting. How did the projects perform? Did they offer genuine value for money?

Clearly, we are in a run up to an election but this intervention is not intended for point scoring. Policy makers should instead,take it as positive advice from somebody experienced at the ‘coalface’ of skills and logistics issues. It’s now time for them to recognise the importance of logistics and its skills needs.



Innovative new venture for Dr Ross Moloney

New venture for Dr Ross Moloney


Dr Ross Moloney, Managing Director, FireDog Research

Former CEO of Skills for Logistics, Dr Ross Moloney is taking his unique skills set into an innovative new venture. As Managing Director of a new full-service research, marketing and communications agency, called FireDog Research, Dr Moloney will be working across public, private and charitable sectors.

FireDog has been established to help organisations in these sectors explore new markets, develop new products and acquire new customers. Alongside market research, creative branding and digital media, this new venture will also help clients with bid writing and funding acquisition.

Dr Moloney will be leveraging the experience gained from being actively engaged with skills policy over the last ten years. He has worked for the government as an economic policy adviser. Likewise, he has also taught economics and politics at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham – where he completed his doctorate.

Alongside Dr Moloney in FireDog’s Management Team are Gwenn Winters and Rhys Davies. Winters, also formerly at Skills for Logistics where she was responsible for delivering large-scale research, is Research Director, while Rhys Davies takes on the role of Communications Director. Davies has almost 20 years’ experience of developing and executing integrated marketing and communications solutions for brands including Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Sony Pictures, Cube Capital, Unipart, Britvic International and most recently Skills for Logistics.

Dr Moloney said: “FireDog fills a niche by helping organisations better understand their audience and markets and where future growth might come from. Likewise, we will help businesses understand challenges they might face moving forward – including in relation to skills. Having identified the challenges and opportunities, we will enable our clients to really attack the future”.

If you’re thinking about your future development, or need to better articulate your brand and communications offering then please get on touch for a no obligation conversation with the FireDog team.