As a UK service exporter, I feel somewhat aggrieved. Overlooked and invisible. Despite the strong and strengthening performance of service sector exports, we are often perceived as the poor relation to manufacturers. Indeed the government usually refers to the service sector as 'invisible exports', quite apt when considering where the focus of current investment is placed.
We are just about one week into 2015 - a new cycle has begun, and is pregnant with potential. I enjoy the (perceived) clean slate that comes with each new year. It compartmentalizes our existence into meaningful increments, into manageable time frames that help us to cope with the turbulence of life.
A public consultation on the £3 billion extension to the Bakerloo Line, which will run from Elephant & Castle towards New Cross, Lewisham, Bromley and Hayes, was held this week. For some, this may not mean much. For those who have the misfortune of relying on the coughing, spluttering coffin of hell that is a Southeastern train to commute to and from central London, however, this means a long-awaited slice of justice...
It was demoralising to see The Times' report that "almost a quarter of graduate employers have complained of being unable to fill vacancies despite record numbers of school leavers going to university." Once again, a 'mismatch' between what graduates can offer and the knowledge and skills asked for by employers has been blamed.
I've processed everything through the till as I was trained to do. I counted the change out twice. It is absolutely unknown to me what this man seems to be having a problem with and yet he decides to stand there, a heaving queue behind him, and mocks me for a further five minutes in a moment that was truly overwhelming. It's only my first day.
From teachers, carers, nurses and doctors, street sweepers, sales assistants and the like, working in service is an exchange of energy as old as civilisation. Serving one another in some way is a natural human instinct that we all have inside of us and can deliver on daily basis through our individual talents.
Being an international student - whether you're in the UK, USA or Europe - is daunting and many can find themselves in a sticky situation with unscrupulous landlords or dodgy visa companies. Even seemingly simple tasks like setting up a mobile phone or a bank account can suddenly become very confusing.
A few weeks ago, the Consumer's Association published their latest survey on customer satisfaction in the British High Street. Over 11,000 people were surveyed and asked specifically about their experience in shops in the previous six months.