Category: Uncategorized

The National Health Service

Where does the money go?

At the recent General Election everyone agreed with Danny Boyle that the NHS was a wonderful thing. There were no major disagreements about the principle. Instead we simply heard how much our politicians loved the health service – how much better it would be because of them and how much worse it would be with the other guy.

But there is one question that interests me, simply because it is never discussed. Is this because we are not aware of it? If gut feel is the mark of a politician, should MPs across the land not be talking about this issue?

What should the NHS pay for? And what is private medical cost?

I’m not talking about cosmetic surgery or gastric bands here.

I think I’m starting a debate which is surely much less controversial.

The following is hypothetical, but illustrates my point.

I have a sore knee.

I go to my GP. She believes that it is a problem that should best be managed with exercise and/or mild analgesic. I think differently and decide to take advantage of my private health cover.

I demand that my GP writes a referral letter to my private consultant.

I have surgery.

I go home. My knee starts to hurt. I am unable to drive. So I am visited by my GP (in our out of hours). I am prescribed medication.

My wound is redressed.

I need remedial surgery.

Can you guess which parts of this are paid for by the NHS?

Answers next week.

Ross Moloney
Managing Director, FireDog Research


Baker Dearing Educational Trust brief FireDog on a research study in Staffordshire


FireDog Research_Lord Baker_Baker Dearing Educational Trust

Dr Ross Moloney, FireDog MD, Lord Baker, Chair of The Baker Educational Trust and Gwyn Stubbings, IDI Glazeley

Research has found that the UK needs more advanced technical skills at all levels in order to prosper with the need for a million extra scientists, engineers and technicians by 2020. 

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust (BDT)  is keen to encourage employers, universities, local authorities and other public bodies to establish University Technical Colleges (UTCs) where there is demand from the local area.

As part of their work, BDT has identified a number of potential areas – including Stoke and Staffordshire – where there is a potential for a UTC specialising in engineering, construction, civil engineering or another technical or digital area within the STEM or indeed the STEAM agenda.

FireDog Research have been briefed on a short study that will:

  • identify current and future skills gaps
  • understand the potential market failure in talent – in particular young talent – recruitment
  • identify the skills that employers are struggling the most to recruit
  • understand the impacts of a skills gap  e.g. effect on an ageing workforce,
  • evidence the growing demand for competent talent and young people and potential gaps in local education provision
  • examine careers advice and provision of technical ‘work ready skills’

The results of the study will be presented by Dr Ross Moloney, FireDog Research Managing Director and the Baker Dearing Educational Trust at an event in late June – full details to follow. If you wish to take part in the research, please email

Good research isn’t just ticking a box. Good research changes lives.

Dr Ross MoloneyResearch should not be undertaken for research’s sake. It has to be robust and impactful and change lives. Research is not meant to tick a box, lie on a dusty shelf, prop open a door or be there for the kids to scribble on.

Dr Ross Moloney, Managing Director, FireDog Research

FireDog presents Leicestershire logistics research findings with Lord Baker of The Baker Dearing Educational Trust

FireDog Baker Dearing Research

FireDog publishes Logistics Sector Research for Lord Baker and the Baker Dearing Educational Trust in the LLEP/ Leicestershire Region.

FireDog Research completes a study into the skills needs of the Logistics Sector in Leicestershire and the case for a University Technical College. 

The FireDog Research report presented by FireDog Managing Director Dr Ross Moloney at an event in Magna Park attended by Lord Baker and key logistics employers and stakeholders from the Leicestershire and LLEP, finds local young people are making decisions about qualifications with a skewed view of the career paths available and little awareness of the logistics jobs market ahead of them.

The report, undertaken by FireDog Research and commissioned by Baker Dearing Educational Trust, identified that despite projected rapid growth in the logistics sector there is an intrinsic lack of young talent being attracted to join it. This can be attributed to the outdated perceptions of young people and their parents that logistics is a low-skilled industry associated with cold, dirty warehouses. Local employers say the reality is quite the opposite and perceptions haven’t evolved in line with changes.

There is also a general lack of awareness of the diversity of the roles and career paths available in the logistics sector, including apprenticeships. The responsibility of careers advice in England shifted to schools in 2012 but there are concerns about the quality and impartiality of this approach. The report recommended that the labour market requirements of the local area need to be better understood and communicated to young people.

FireDog Research_Lord Baker_Baker Dearing Educational Trust

FireDog Research Managing Director, Dr Ross Moloney meets Lord Baker of The Baker Educational Trust

Presenting the findings at an event staged at Magna Park in Lutterworth – the UK and Europe’s largest dedicated distribution and logistics park – report co-author and FireDog Managing Director, Dr. Ross Moloney, said:

“FireDog’s research found the aging profile of workers in logistics is a real concern for businesses and creates an urgent need for employers to engage with schools in a new way. Employers agree that they must consider a range of education models including University Technical Colleges to meet skills gaps”.

Leicestershire sits in an unrivalled geographic position and is home to a thriving economy worth over £20bn and providing 487,000 jobs to the local/national economy. Nearly 35,000 businesses have premises in the region, known as the so-called “Logistics golden triangle” due to its unrivalled location. The logistics sector directly employs over 46,000 people (one in ten across the area) making it the area’s third largest employer.

Lord Baker, Chair of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind UTCs, said:

“It is essential that young people have a good understanding of the opportunities available to them and the skills requirements of the local labour market are communicated to them so they are well prepared and make good decisions about their pathways to join the world of work. Developing and nurturing an ambitious future workforce will directly contribute to the success of our economy. University Technical Colleges are playing an important role in helping to train the next generation with the skills local businesses need. We look forward to receiving applications for UTCs from groups across the region.”

Employers who took part in interviews for the report argued that the sector was becoming more technical and more than half of them said they do not believe that new recruits have the necessary technical skills for the 21st Century sector.

Rachel North, Logistics School of Excellence Co-ordinator at Office Depot, said: 

“Young people do not understand what logistics entails and still consider it to be ‘trucks and warehouses’ so they do not apply for positions and we lose out on the talent they represent. More employers value work experience than academic or vocational qualifications so there are job opportunities at many different levels”.

As technology advances the skills required are changing to meet them. Advanced automation, software systems and high tech advances in warehousing and tracking systems means IT skills are now essential. There are also roles that require high-level expertise in applied mathematics and statistics for analysing data and to collate and interpret technical reports. Programmers, software engineers and data analysts are now required in the logistics sector to meet the demand for online consumer facing technical systems.

Read the full report here. A slide deck of the FireDog Research Presentation is also available. Please contact for a copy.

To find out more about FireDog Research and the work that we do, email


The WACO System: FireDog commissioned to create an eMail marketing and membership communications campaign

FWACO_LogisticsireDog are delighted to have been commissioned to undertake the email and member marketing communications activity for The WACO System. 

Based in Zurich and London, WACO is an exclusive network consisting of a number of independent freight management companies. The company is an Association, which means that we are owned by, and run for the benefit of our members.

FireDog Communications Director, Rhys Davies commented:

‘The FireDog team are delighted to be working with the team at the WACO System and are looking forward to creating a new suite of member and email communications for WACO’s expanding global community’.  

FireDog will create and manage a suite of email and digital communications working in close collaboration with the WACO System and their publicity and PR team to create a seamless and integrated campaign delivery for WACO’s members.

Wanted. Associate Researchers and Talented Bid Writers.


FireDog Research has been up and running for two months and already we’re growing out of our clothes!

We believe that we’re proper researchers, people who are interested and interesting and not just Google jockeys!  We’re currently in the process of delivering some pretty high profile projects, working with big employers, big public organisations and some terribly disadvantaged groups.

We want to put together a network of associate researchers to help us deliver our diverse workload.

You will need:

High level competence in research

Specific expertise in a major sector of the economy –  Health/ VisitorEconomy/ Manufacturing/ Engineering/ Creative or Professional Services inter alia.


Get in touch with our Research Director Gwenn Winters with a covering note and a copy of your latest CV.

On another note – FireDog Research wants to go further and grow faster.  Our team on the look out for an exceptionally talented bid writer. If you’re the right person, we’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Drop a note to Gwenn and tell us why.

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.

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.