Zenith People Engineering and Manufacturing Team Leading the way!

Our Engineering and Manufacturing Team has supported Manufacturers in the North East of England since we opened our doors way back in 2001. Since then, we have become a leading supplier of staff in the sector. We owe much of that to our desire to learn, evolve and our malleable recruitment methods.

We are a trusted partner to all our clients and the relationships we have built (and continue to build) have allowed us to proactively go to market and deliver on even the most complex recruitment tasks. A current example of this is our Energizer recruitment campaign.

Our dedicated Engineering and Manufacturing team have over 35 years combined experience in recruiting within Engineering & High-Volume Manufacturing – lead capably by Zenith’s Engineering Manager Carla Braund.

We are working with a multitude of candidates and the Engineering Team’s recent successes include successful placements within Engineering Design, Engineering Management, Quality Management and Process.

Our team receive consistent positive feedback from candidates and clients alike which is something Zenith loves to shout about.

Carla and her teams’ successful placements so far in 2024 have included the following job titles: –

• Senior Design Engineer
• Principal Design Engineer
• QHSE Manager
• Senior Process Engineer
• Process Engineer
• Maintenance Technicians
• Toolmaker
• Supplier Quality Development Engineer
• Project Quality Engineer

If you are part of this amazing sector (or know of anyone who is) and are looking for a new career challenge or if you are an employer requiring assistance with your engineering and manufacturing recruitment challenges, we implore you to give Carla and her team a shout.

Contact Carla direct on 0191 250 5806 or email carlabraund@zenithpeople.com or engineering@zenithpeople.com.

You can also search all our current live Engineering and Manufacturing vacancies here.

2024 is a leap year - find out why here

What is a Leap Day?

Leap Days Explained: Leap days keep our calendar in alignment with Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. It takes Earth approximately 365.242189 days, or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds, to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year, and it starts on the March equinox.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year. If we didn’t add a leap day on February 29 almost every four years, each calendar year would begin about 6 hours earlier in relation to Earth’s revolution around the Sun.

As a consequence, our time reckoning would slowly drift apart from the tropical year and get increasingly out of sync with the seasons. With a deviation of approximately 6 hours per year, the seasons would shift by about 24 calendar days within 100 years.

Allow this to happen for a while, and Northern Hemisphere dwellers will be celebrating Christmas in the middle of summer in a matter of a few centuries.

Leap days fix that error by giving Earth the additional time it needs to complete a full circle around the Sun.

A Day in the life of a Multiskilled Maintenance Technician

We believe transparency is key, its important to go into a new role knowing the best you can what your day will look like. Below is a taste of a day in the life of an MSMT (Multiskilled Maintenance Technician) for Energizer, read about what a Multiskilled Maintenance Technician gets up to day to day at Energizer!

As a MSMT (Multiskilled Maintenance Technician) for Energizer, a typical day with an in person handover with the previous Shift Technicians then carrying out a pre-shift TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) tasks on the Production equipment. This is followed by a meeting with the Production Supervisor  to go through any priorities for the day and discuss any issues that have arisen in the process wise.

Here at Energizer, the Maintenance Team work collaboratively with the Production Team and its a joint effort between both departments to ensure that the plant runs smoothly. I work closely with the Production Operatives, carrying out TPM, PPM, and Reactive tasks to ensure we get through the next 12 hours successfully.

Next, we review the electronic reporting system which logs all previous breakdowns and what the rectification methods were. When the processes are settled, I’ll log into the Computerized Maintenance Management System to review the Planned Maintenance for the week ahead. I’ll check for the week ahead. I’ll check the Kan Ban stock levels and agree with the Production Supervisor when the maintenance tasks can be carried out.

We Manufacture small, light components at fast production speeds so there is a lot of machine setting, fine adjustment, and cleaning and polishing to reduce small stoppages and ensure production and quality targets are achieved.

As a team, we’re always looking at opportunities and different ways to continuously improve by working together with the Engineering and Quality departments.

Enerizer Mascot smiling about recruitment opportunities

Zenith People launches Energizer Recruitment Hub.

Zenith People is thrilled to continue our exclusive partnership with Energizer Holdings to provide permanent recruitment solutions at their Washington site. We’re charged up and ready to power their team with top talent!

To help us achieve this we have created the Zenith People Energizer Recruitment Hub

Everything you need to find out more about these exciting opportunities, research Energizer and what they produce at their Washington site, and how to apply is all ready for you.

#Energizer #ZenithPeople #ToolMakers #Operators #MultiSkilledTechnicians

Peter Hedges gaming image created using AI

The Microsoft-Activision/Blizzard Takeover

In January 2022, the gaming world was rocked by the news of Microsoft’s intention to acquire Activision/Blizzard, one of the gaming industry’s giants. This multi-billion-dollar deal sent shockwaves throughout the industry and sparked a myriad of opinions on its potential impact. In this blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of this acquisition, examining the implications for gamers, developers, and the industry, the court cases & concessions Microsoft has made to get the deal finalised.

The Pros:

Expanding Xbox Ecosystem:

  • One of the most significant advantages of this acquisition is that it will bolster Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem. With popular titles such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, the acquisition significantly strengthens the Xbox Game Studios’ roster, providing a wide range of experiences to gamers on Xbox and PC platforms.

Exclusive Titles:

  • Microsoft may opt to make some Activision/Blizzard titles exclusive to their platforms. This strategy could be a game-changer, enticing more players to embrace Xbox or PC gaming, potentially boosting hardware sales and subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.

Innovative Cross-Platform Play:

  • Microsoft has shown a commitment to cross-platform play, allowing gamers on different devices to play together. The acquisition of Activision/Blizzard could further accelerate this trend, giving players more opportunities to connect with friends across various platforms.

Long-Term Stability for Developers:

  • A stable financial environment could benefit developers at Activision/Blizzard. Microsoft’s deep pockets could provide more resources and creative freedom for game developers, reducing the pressure to rush game releases for short-term financial gains.

Potential for Industry-Wide Improvements:

  • The acquisition may set new standards for the gaming industry, emphasising fair labour practices, better treatment of developers, and improved working conditions. Microsoft, known for its commitment to corporate social responsibility, could lead the way in this regard.

The Cons:

Monopolistic Concerns:

  • The acquisition raises concerns about Microsoft’s increasing dominance in the gaming market. A monopolistic environment could limit competition, potentially resulting in fewer options for consumers and less innovation in the long run.

Loss of Platform Neutrality:

  • The move towards exclusivity might alienate gamers who prefer other platforms, creating a divide in the gaming community. Gamers on PlayStation or Nintendo Switch may feel excluded from some of their favourite titles.

Cultural Clashes:

  • Activision/Blizzard has a unique culture, and its integration into Microsoft may not be seamless. Cultural differences can affect game development and may lead to talent attrition.

Higher Game Prices:

  • With fewer major players in the industry, there may be less competitive pressure on pricing. Gamers may see an increase in game prices over time as Microsoft has more control over the market.

Potential for a Decline in Quality:

  • Some critics argue that under Microsoft’s ownership, the focus may shift from creativity and innovation to profit. If the corporate nature of Microsoft affects the culture at Activision/Blizzard, it could impact the quality of future game releases.

Court Case

In December 2022 the FTC (Financial Trade Commission) brought a lawsuit against Microsoft trying to seek a temporary injunction against the deal with Activision/Blizzard. When the lawsuit began in The FTC alleged that Microsoft would use Game Pass, Cloud Gaming and Series X/S Consoles to suppress competition from the likes of PlayStation and Nintendo. Xbox countered this by agreeing with PlayStation to keep Call of Duty on the format for the next 10 years to show that they weren’t looking to make all titles exclusive to Xbox users. Phil Spencer CEO of Xbox stated during the trial that “As long as there is a PlayStation to ship to, Call of Duty will be on PlayStation”.

On July 11th 2023, the court ruled in favour of Microsoft and authorised the deal to be completed. Microsoft’s final hurdle was to come to an agreement with the UK’s CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) who had initially rejected the takeover stating its concerns especially over Cloud gaming rights. To get through this final hurdle Xbox agreed to sell off its cloud gaming rights to the Activision/Blizzard content to Ubisoft for them to stream on Ubisoft + for the next 15 years. Once this was agreed, the CMA agreed to allow the deal to go through and on the 13th of October Microsoft officially announced the merger.

The Microsoft-Activision/Blizzard takeover is a deal that has sparked intense debate within the gaming industry. While it offers several advantages, such as expanding the Xbox ecosystem and the potential for groundbreaking exclusives, there are also concerns regarding market dominance, platform neutrality, and the risk of cultural clashes. Microsoft’s 10-year deal with PlayStation to keep Call of Duty on the format and the cloud gaming rights in UK being sold to Ubisoft went some way to alleviate some concerns about market dominance, however there will always be concerns about these kinds of deals going through and what it might lead to in the future with other companies doing the same.

As someone who has both a PS5 and an Xbox Series X I was excited to see this merger go through as I have Game Pass and will be excited to see the likes of Diablo IV, Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon all go onto the platform, however I do understand the concern from PlayStation users and completely sympathise with them. I have a few friends who are PlayStation only and are devastated about the fact games like Starfield (Was apparently going to be a PlayStation exclusive until Xbox bought Bethesda) are exclusives to Xbox now. I feel we are a few years away from seeing the full effects of this merger, but it will be interesting to see.

Unlocking the Power of Temporary Staffing: Maximizing Efficiency and Success.

Have you ever considered hiring temporary employees but wondered about the benefits it could bring to your business? Temporary staffing offers a strategic solution for managing workforce needs, providing businesses with the flexibility, cost savings, access to specialized skills, and scalability required to navigate a dynamic and competitive job market successfully. When utilized strategically, temporary staffing can be a valuable resource for organizations looking to optimize their workforce management and achieve operational excellence.

Here are some key advantages of hiring temporary workers:

  1. Cost Savings: Temporary staffing can result in significant cost savings for businesses. Unlike permanent employees, temporary workers are typically not entitled to the same benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off. This means that businesses can reduce labor costs while still meeting their staffing needs. Additionally, there are cost savings related to reduced recruitment and training expenses since temporary workers are often already skilled and experienced in their roles.
  2. Reduced Administrative Burden: Managing payroll, taxes, and administrative tasks for temporary workers is often handled by staffing agencies or third-party service providers. This reduces the administrative burden on the hiring company, allowing them to focus on core business operations rather than HR-related paperwork.
  3. Access to Specialized Skills: Temporary staffing allows businesses to access specialized skills and expertise on a short-term basis. For specific projects or tasks that require unique knowledge or qualifications, hiring a temporary employee with the necessary skills can be more efficient and cost-effective than training or upskilling existing staff.
  4. Reduced Training Time: Temporary employees are often hired for their existing skills and experience. This means they can quickly integrate into the workforce and require less training than new permanent hires. This can be especially advantageous when time is of the essence.
  5. Flexibility: Temporary employees provide businesses with the flexibility to adjust their workforce quickly in response to changing demand. Whether it’s seasonal peaks, special projects, or unexpected surges in workload, temporary workers can be brought in as needed and released when the demand decreases. This flexibility helps businesses maintain agility and respond effectively to market fluctuations.
  6. Trial Period for Permanent Hiring: Hiring temporary workers can serve as a trial period to assess their fit within the organization. If a temporary employee proves to be an excellent fit and adds value to the team, the company may choose to offer them a permanent position. This reduces the risk of making a poor permanent hiring decision.

The benefits of hiring temporary employees are undeniable. By embracing temporary staffing, businesses can reap numerous advantages that contribute to their success in a dynamic and competitive job market. The cost savings associated with temporary staffing, including reduced benefits and recruitment expenses, provide businesses with a valuable opportunity to optimize their budget while meeting their staffing needs effectively.

image created using AI

The Power and Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence in Our Everyday Working Life

In the age of rapid technological advancement, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force that impacts our everyday working lives in profound ways. This blog will delve into what AI is, how it affects our daily work routines and the potential issues that come along with its integration into various industries.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence, often referred to as AI, is a field of computer science that focuses on creating intelligent machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. These tasks include learning from experience, understanding natural language, recognizing patterns, and making decisions. AI systems can be classified into two categories: narrow or weak AI, which is designed for specific tasks, and general or strong AI, which has human-like cognitive abilities.

How AI Affects Our Everyday Working Life

  1. Enhanced Efficiency: One of the most significant advantages of AI in the workplace is its ability to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This allows employees to focus on more creative and strategic aspects of their jobs. For example, chatbots can handle customer inquiries, and machine learning algorithms can analyse large datasets, providing valuable insights.
  2. Personalized Experiences: AI enables businesses to offer personalized experiences to customers and clients. Recommender systems, such as those used by streaming platforms or e-commerce websites, use AI to understand individual preferences and suggest content or products tailored to each user.
  3. Predictive Analytics: AI-powered predictive analytics can forecast trends, customer behaviour, and market changes. This information empowers companies to make data-driven decisions and adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
  4. Improved Safety: In industrial settings, AI-driven robots and drones can perform dangerous tasks, reducing the risk to human workers. AI algorithms can also monitor workplace safety and identify potential hazards.
  5. Healthcare Advancements: AI assists medical professionals in diagnosing diseases, analysing medical images, and developing personalized treatment plans. This technology can lead to more accurate diagnoses and better patient outcomes.

Potential Issues with Using AI

While AI offers numerous benefits, it also raises several concerns:

  1. Job Displacement: As AI automates tasks, there is a fear of job displacement, especially in industries heavily reliant on routine tasks. Workers may need to adapt and acquire new skills to remain relevant in the job market.
  2. Bias and Fairness: AI systems can inherit biases present in their training data. This can lead to unfair or discriminatory outcomes in areas like hiring, lending, and criminal justice if not carefully monitored and addressed.
  3. Privacy Concerns: The vast amounts of data AI systems require for training and operation raise concerns about data privacy and security. Unauthorized access or misuse of sensitive information can have serious consequences.
  4. Transparency and Accountability: AI algorithms can be complex, making it challenging to understand their decision-making processes. This lack of transparency can be problematic when decisions have significant societal impacts.
  5. Ethical Dilemmas: AI raises ethical questions, such as the use of autonomous weapons or the potential for AI to manipulate public opinion. Ensuring ethical AI development and deployment is an ongoing challenge.

In conclusion, AI has become an integral part of our everyday working life, offering incredible advantages in terms of efficiency, personalization, and safety. However, it also comes with its set of challenges, including job displacement, bias, privacy concerns, transparency issues, and ethical dilemmas. As AI continues to advance, it is essential for businesses, governments, and individuals to navigate these issues thoughtfully and responsibly, ensuring that AI benefits society as a whole.

Peter Hedges with Blockchain Blog Image

Unravelling the Mysteries of Blockchain: A Beginner’s Guide

In the fast-paced world of technology and finance, few terms have generated as much curiosity, excitement, and sometimes confusion as “blockchain.” If you’ve found yourself pondering questions like, “What exactly is blockchain?” or “How does it work?” you’re certainly not alone. The landscape of blockchain technology is vast, evolving, and often shrouded in jargon, making it challenging for even the most tech-savvy individuals to grasp its full scope.

But fear not! In this blog, we embark on a journey to demystify blockchain, peeling away the layers of complexity to reveal its core concepts and real-world applications. Whether you’re a curious newcomer eager to understand the basics or someone seeking a deeper comprehension of this transformative technology, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding the Essence of Blockchain

At its heart, blockchain is a decentralised and immutable digital ledger. Imagine it as a chain of digital “blocks,” each containing a set of transactions or information. These blocks are linked together in chronological order, forming a continuous chain—hence the name “blockchain.”

What sets blockchain apart is its core principles:

  1. Decentralisation: Unlike traditional systems where a central authority (like a bank) maintains a single ledger, blockchain operates on a network of computers (nodes). Each node has a copy of the entire blockchain, and there’s no central point of control. This decentralisation makes it resilient to censorship and tampering.
  1. Security: Data stored on a blockchain is secured using advanced cryptographic techniques. Transactions are verified, and once added to the blockchain, they become extremely difficult to alter, ensuring the integrity of the information.
  1. Transparency: In most cases, blockchains are public, allowing anyone to view and verify transactions. This transparency enhances trust among participants in the network.
  1. Immutability: Once data is recorded on the blockchain, it’s considered final and unchangeable. This immutability is achieved through consensus mechanisms like Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS).
  1. Smart Contracts: Beyond simple transactions, blockchain can execute smart contracts—self-executing agreements with predefined rules and conditions. These contracts automate processes, reducing the need for intermediaries.

Common Mistakes When Talking About Blockchain

  1. Assuming All Blockchains Are the Same: One common mistake is assuming that all blockchains are like Bitcoin. There are various types of blockchains (public, private, consortium) with different use cases, consensus mechanisms, and levels of decentralisation.
  1. Overhyping Its Capabilities: Blockchain is not a magical solution for all problems. It’s often overhyped as a universal remedy, but it has limitations, such as scalability issues, energy consumption concerns (in PoW systems), and regulatory challenges.
  1. Ignoring Privacy Concerns: While blockchain provides transparency, it may not be suitable for all applications, especially those requiring data privacy. Public blockchains make all data visible to anyone.
  1. Thinking It’s Completely Trustless: While blockchain reduces the need for trust in intermediaries, it doesn’t eliminate trust entirely. Users must trust the underlying technology, the network participants, and the smart contracts themselves.
  1. Misunderstanding Energy Consumption: Some blockchains, like Bitcoin’s PoW, consume significant energy. People may criticise blockchain for its environmental impact without considering alternatives like PoS or private blockchains, which are more energy efficient.
  1. Ignoring Legal and Regulatory Aspects: Many blockchain projects operate in a legal grey area or face regulatory challenges. Ignoring these aspects can lead to legal issues and setbacks.
  1. Expecting Immediate Adoption: Blockchain technology is still in its early stages, and widespread adoption takes time. Unrealistic expectations about rapid adoption can lead to disappointment.

In essence, blockchain is not just a technology; it’s a new way of organizing and verifying digital information. It has the potential to revolutionize industries ranging from finance and supply chain to healthcare and beyond.

International Women’s Day: Women in Leadership.

Today is International Women’s Day 2023! 

At Zenith, we want to showcase women’s achievements and recognise how far society has come to accept and acknowledge them. Our own Managing Director of both Zenith People and Zenith Training, Angela Anderson, is a perfect case study and celebration of women excelling in business, especially in her leadership role.

But first…

A (Very) brief history of International Women’s Day.

The history of International Women’s Day dates back to 1908; Theresa Malkeil first proposed it on February 28th (Note that this is different from the international women’s day date we know today- more on that later!). As the years progressed, so did the advancement of women’s rights. The demand for women’s rights grew, and movements at the time gained notoriety. A significant year for women’s rights and feminism was 1967; this generation of feminists demanded change.

They called for preventing violence against women, equal pay, equal economic opportunity, reproductive rights, equal legal rights, and subsidized child care. These women did not want more; they fought for gender equality. In 1977, the United Nations proclaimed March 8th International Women’s Day and the UN Day for Women’s rights and world peace.

Above is a very brief snippet of the history of International Women’s Day; for a more thorough timeline, follow this link. Equality – it’s about time: Timeline of women’s rights 1866-2016 | The Fawcett Society

Women in Leadership: Angela Anderson.

Men have historically populated the world of business. In the past, even industries that you’d assume are female-dominated, more often than not, have been headed by men. Even though it’s not quite the case anymore, female business leadership used to be a rarity; rewind even twenty to thirty years ago and the comparison to today is significant.

Our feature below illustrates Angela’s success in starting and running her two businesses, proving gender has been no setback!


Name: Angela Anderson

Title: Managing Director of Zenith People and Zenith Training.

Female role models: 

  1. Queen Elizabeth 1st. Why? Queen Elizabeth 1st ruled at a time when women had hardly any power. If you were a female royal, you were seen as disposable. ‘In an era that saw women as weak, inferior, and unfit to rule. She overturned convention and de-fled prejudice, resisting all pressure to marry and risk losing power to a man. – Russell Davis (Evil Genius).
  2. Her best friend. Why? Angela describes her best friend (A fellow woman in business) of many years as ‘very determined, very strong, very strategically minded, very creative and very disciplined.’

Humble Beginnings:

Starting work as an apprentice and then going into recruitment herself, Angela decided to start a business of her own. Nobody in her family owned a business of any kind; her dad was a sheet metal worker, and her mam a part-time data inputter; her grandfather worked on the railways; and her gran didn’t work.

Angela initially joined a colleague who had started her own business to help her out. After some time, and after Angela brought all her clients over, Angela’s colleague decided that she no longer needed help within the business. At this point, Angela could have either gone and worked at another recruitment business or continued on her own. Since she’d already proven to herself that she clearly had the capabilities while helping her friend, she thought….’ If she can do it, I can do it. I borrowed some money from my gran, my sister’s boyfriend, my mam and dad, and some of my own, and set up this place’.

‘If she can do it, I can do it’.

Angela set up Zenith People in 2001, starting with just two people; Angela herself and one other person. As time progressed, Zenith rapidly grew; during the earlier years, the business dealt with many recruitment areas such as Engineering, Industrial, commercial and construction, with Manufacturing and IT now officially on the list! Zenith Training was started and developed, slowly but steadily, in 2011 as an internal apprenticeship programme and officially became a separate business in 2016.

Today both Zenith People and Zenith Training have a combined staff of over forty!

‘Misogyny in business’ 

Throughout her business journey, Angela’s gender has thankfully not brought any setbacks for her. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist; over 8.2 million employees in the UK feel like they are discriminated against because of their gender.

Misogyny is sometimes concealed in business and stereotypes enforced; the person executing may not even realise they’re doing it, but that’s not an excuse to not become more aware of your behaviour. An example of this is expecting female staff to ‘clean up’ or ‘run errands’ when they wouldn’t ask their male counterpart to do the same.

Even body language and where attention is directed can be unknowingly gendered; Angela retold a story of when she and our Commercial Director, Alan, attended a business meeting. Throughout the meeting, the male client directed his attention to Alan instead of Ang, despite Ang being Zenith’s MD (In charge!). Unfortunately, this is common practice; people may not even realise they’re doing it but are instead conditioned to have these views of women as a reflection of their upbringing and societal norms.

Gender inclusivity and misogyny have drastically improved over the years. But it’s not perfect. This international Women’s Day, we want to celebrate how far we have come and recognise how far we have got to go.

A significant step forward is to educate yourself. 

Want an easy, accessible way to learn about equality? Watch a documentary; documentaries make big complex topics easier to understand and digest. 

Some include: 

– Feminists: What were they thinking?

– Period, end of sentence.

– She’s beautiful when she’s angry.

– Saudi Women’s driving school.

Books to read on gender equality: 

– Hood feminism: Notes from the women that a movement forgot.

– A room of one’s own.

– Rad women worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and other revolutionaries who shaped history.

Podcasts: (We know… they’re all the rage)

– The history of chicks

– Girl Boss Radio

– Our Body Politic

– Encyclopaedia Womanica.

‘Courageous feminism means no woman is left behind’. 

Regardless of whereabouts you consume information this International Women’s Day, always strive for inclusivity. For more information about how you can recognize and push inclusivity, look at this article!

Inclusivity On International Women’s Day | Urban List (theurbanlist.com