Monthly Archives: December 2017

Eight of the Best Swimwear Trends For 2018

A new year is almost upon us, so let’s take a look at some of the swimwear trends that we should be preparing our bodies for as the summer approaches. It’s time to have a look at the beachwear that our summer-loving counterparts are showing off so that when the weather gets warm where you are, you’re ready to show off your body, whether in a bikini or beach dresses.

1) Sporty

The sportive look is becoming more popular every year – it’s perhaps the only look that is. Whether you’re a surf babe or a tomboy, the sporty look will suit you well. Even Beyonce has been seen in a long-sleeve rash guard. It’s perfect for gym-wear and for surfing or paddle-boarding and the figure-hugging fabric makes you look good while still protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

2) Cut-out Bikinis

Cut-out pieces are something that anyone can wear if they pick the right cut. Cut-out swimwear has been in for a long time, but now cut-out bikini tops and bottoms are becoming popular too. With this design, you can decide for yourself how much you’re comfortable showing off, whether that’s just some little holes for style or something that is more in the realms of ‘barely there’ Remember, that the idea is that you pick something you’re comfortable in – whatever style that might be.

3) The Crop Top

If you want something less revealing, but don’t quite want to go the sportive way, then a crop-top is perfect. You can even get them with mesh if you want something a little sexier but that still keeps you covered. If you’re considering going for a halter style bikini crop top then pick a bottom that is cut low-rise, because if you combine high rise with crop top this has the effect of making it look like you have a very short torso, which isn’t always flattering.

4) Cute Crochet

Crochet bikinis are a classic that refuses to die out. Each year, the big brands give the crochet style a modern twist, so you can get a stunning bikini in an old-fashioned style that makes you look cute and timeless. You can make them even more modern by picking a crochet in a space-age material.

5) Funky Fabrics

Show off your sense of individuality with velvet, denim or a metallic cut, and then you’re in for a really interesting bikini. You may not be able to swim in all of those materials, but if you’re just looking for something to go tanning in then you can get great results – so why not try it?

6) Panelled Swimwear

Macrame is another great, flirty and fun addition – consider this a twist on crochet, and a great looking one at that. This is the sort of thing that you’d be more likely to wear off the beach, but it’s still ideal for the bikini.

7) Strapless and Bold

Be bold with a strapless one-piece – this is something that flatters anybody, whether you’re tall or short, slim or curvy. The bigger breasted among us may want to get something with underwire, but it all looks good!

8) Bikini wraps

A wrap top bikini is something that can flatter almost anyone too. Opt for the front cross wrap if you have a full figure, and thinner straps if you’re smaller up front. There are variations for every body type, though, and with the right fit and cut you can even swim in this style. Just make sure that the straps are up to the job.

There are plenty of other cuts and styles out there, so there’s something for everyone. Be sure to try a few different colours and patterns, and remember to slather on some sun-block too as well to keep your skin in perfect condition. We hope that you’re looking forward to getting out there on the beach as much as we are as the summer comes around!

How to Plan a Family Holiday to Borneo

Every family has their own wishlist for what they would love to see and do on their holiday – but for many people sun, a pool, beaches and wildlife are high on that list. Where better to go than Borneo for a holiday that will offer all that, and more?

Travel to Borneo

Borneo is best reached through the Kota Kinabalu airport, which is not far from the state of Sabah. Most of the fun stuff in Borneo is in Sabah, and the airport is served by a lot of good airlines, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting there even with kids. Try to avoid long connections, so that the kids aren’t cranky when they arrive, and try to time your landing so that it’s bedtime in Borneo so that they’re well rested and don’t have jetlag the next day.

Direct flights are a good option, and the new A380s that are run on a lot of long-haul flights are ideal for families because they’re quiet and they have good in-flight entertainment too. Even the economy deck is nice and comfortable, with a place to store your in-flight reading and other goodies, and enough space for most people to get comfortable and rest. If you can get upper-deck economy then you’ll be nice and cosy and you should find that the kids will rest or just watch the TV And play games while they’re flying. Then you’re at the airport before you know it, and ready to get taken to the resort.

See the Amazing Turtles

You can stay on Gaya Island if you want to stop to view the turtles at dusk. The accommodation is a five-star resort. You will need to book well in advance to make sure that you have somewhere to stay. You could see a lot in just a day trip, but the viewing is far better at night. If you have the time, be sure to go scuba diving there to get an even better view of the turtles.

There are also hawksbill turtles on turtle island, and you can get up-close and personal with those if you visit the island. There are landings, and they hatch all year round, but if you visit during July-October then you will have the chance to enjoy the view better because the seas are much calmer.

Resort Hotels: The Shangri La

The Shangri La resort hotel is a good option for families because it has a pool, nice spacious rooms, and a beach nearby. The beach is stunning and there is plenty for the whole family to do in the surrounding area, whether you visit the Rasa Ria nature reserve, or head to one of the national parks to explore and see even more wildlife.

There is an orangutan orphanage at Rasa Ria nature reserve, and the babies that grow up there are released into the park when they are older. Orangutangs are not quite endangered, but there are only around 20,000 living in the wild right now, so the work of the nature reserve is invaluable for protecting the species and ensuring its breeding future.


Borneo is a brilliant place to go with a family. The staff at the resorts love children, the food that is served in most places is a great, mild introduction to Asian food, and you should find that you’ll have plenty to do with the kids. You can play on the beach, relax in the pool, walk through the national parks, educate them with trips to see the orangutans and the turtles, go snorkelling, take part in organised tours and games, or just chill out and sunbathe. Whether you’re there for a few days or for a longer stay aiming to hit all of the attractions, there is something for everyone and this is a rare chance to make special memories and have a lot of fun. Why not start planning your trip now, and take your kids to an unusual, but fun and affordable destination where you will be able to make memories that they will enjoy for the rest of their lives.

Apprenticeship Scheme Announced By Road Haulage Association And Close Brothers

Part of the commitment to supporting medium and small-sized enterprises, and as a goal of overcoming the shortage of drivers in the industry, Road Haulage Association and Close Brothers have joined together and launched a plan in which RHA members that have fewer than 20 vehicles have been able to apply for funding in order to recruit and train up the next generation of HGV drivers.

Under the plan, Close Brothers is helping to pay for as many as 20 apprentices in order for them to learn the required skills of hauling so that they aren’t having to take on the entire cost of employing the apprentices until such a time as they are able to make a full contribution to the business.

Becki Quick, who is the Director of Meadley International Transport Ltd., has said, “We’re happy to take advantage of this plan for an apprenticeship so that the employee can improve their skills”.

The Industry Faces a Huge Shortage of Skills

According to RHA, who is setting the record straight, the industry faces a huge shortage and it’s only going to get worse. Richard Burnett, who is the Chief Executive of the RHA, states, “The industry faces a huge shortage of skills, with Brexit looming, it will continue to worsen”. It’s a groundbreaking scheme that is slated to help and improve HGV and LGV training as well as recruit and employ new drivers.

Much speculation has been in the media of late regarding the shortage of drivers. With Christmas looming, they are facing huge delays and this is a disaster for the business. Thus, RHA is seeking to set the record straight.

As Richard Burnett mentioned, the shortage of the industry is facing translates to 45k and 50 k drivers. This is a huge challenge. With so many shortages it’s imperative that the sector does something to recruit more drivers and improve the quality of service.

Part of this project involved working with national trainers to develop and encourage new recruits to go into the transportation and logistics departments. There are recruits needed in all sectors. Individuals who sign up are going to regain their self-confidence and their independence.

The road to logistics helps companies to lower the cost of their recruitment and to encourage new talent to join their organization.

Funding For The Next Generation of Drivers

Additionally, the RHA alongside Close Brothers Asset Finance launched a plan that encourages the RHA members who have fewer than 20 trucks to apply for the required funds so that they can train up the next generation of drivers. They’ll pay for up to 20 recruits to apprentice their skills and learn how to properly do the job at hand. Thus, RHA won’t have to bear the full responsibility for the cost of the apprenticeship.

Richard Burnett went on to state that “Businesses are seeking improved funds and clarity on the requirements for licensing for the apprentice program. With improved training sessions and more flexibility on the access to funding, more drivers are signing up for services”.

Thanks to the Brexit effect on the exchange, there have been many more drivers who are returning to their homeland. The drivers have been reassured that there is indeed a future in the UK. With that certainty, more residents are interested in the job. We’re confident that this surge will bring many back to the homeland.

The conclusion, according to Richard Burnett, “Freight sectors on the road are continuing to deliver the goods and services that are needed. No longer will shelves at the supermarket be empty. This is vital to the entire economy. It will increase the number of drivers who are available to drive and give the economy a boost”.

Ground-breaking Apprenticeship Scheme Announced by Close Brothers Asset Finance and Road Haulage Association

As part of their commitment to supporting enterprises in overcoming the issue of driver shortage in the HGV industry, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Close Brothers Asset Finance have launched an apprenticeship programme where RHA members are able to apply for funding. The scheme is for members with fewer than 20 drivers exclusively and deals with the funding of recruitment and training of new HGV drivers. Based on the programme, Close Brothers Asset Finance will assist in paying for 20 apprentices to gain skills and their  HGV licence; therefore, hauliers already registered will not be required to pay the full cost of employing apprentices until they are able to contribute to the company.

Driver Shortages To Have an Impact on  Industry

One company that has been selected as part of the apprenticeship scheme is Meadley International Transport Ltd. Director of this company, Becki Quick, stated that the company is delighted to be part of this programme and the staff member chosen is highly excited about the opportunity. Meadley International feels very lucky to be involved in the scheme and is thankful to Close Brothers and the Road Haulage Association.

With the good, comes the bad and the issue of driver shortage has flared up in the media over the past few months. Recently, a great deal of speculation has been made regarding the issue of the driver shortage and how it will contribute to potential delays over the festive season with post-Brexit supply chain disruptions. The Road Haulage Association is eager to set the record straight for people.

According to Richard Burnett, the chief executive at the Road Haulage Association, the industry is currently dealing with a large-scale shortage of skills and with the approach of Brexit it is potentially going to worsen. By introducing the scheme for skills development of apprentices, there is the chance for new drivers to be employed and a resultant reduction of the driver shortage.

New National Training Programme

Richard Burnett also commented that the haulage industry in the United Kingdom is facing a shortage of drivers ranging approximately between 45,000 and 50,000 HGV drivers. He agrees that as an industry, it is necessary for companies to face the struggle head-on. With the driver shortage being experienced throughout Europe, it seems essential that the sector makes an effort to bring more employees into the industry. To tackle this issue, the RHA has collaborated with telematics company Microlise to form Road to Logistics.

Road to Logistics is a national training programme that encourages new talent to enter the logistics and transport industry. The talent will be found from all areas of society where people require assistance in regaining confidence and independence. By gaining these individuals, the programme can benefit companies in reducing the cost of recruiting new employees.

Furthermore, the Road Haulage Association is working with Close Brothers Asset Finance to launch a programme encouraging RHA members to apply for funding to recruit and train a new range of drivers. The scheme is open to members with less than 20 vehicles and Close Brothers will assist apprentices in gaining driving skills. This means that the registered hauliers will not be responsible for the full cost of hiring apprentices until they are able to contribute to the company.

Burnett stated that companies are looking for increased funding with clarity on vehicle licenses which can be undertaken in the apprenticeship programme. Using the improvements in training schemes, it is possible to offer flexibility in available funding for smaller companies.

Finally, Burnett commented that the transport industry continues to deliver items people need and to ensure the store’s shelves are not empty, it is essential that the availability of high-quality HGV drivers is maintained.

Ground-breaking Apprenticeship Scheme Announced by Road Haulage Association and Close Brothers

To help overcome driver shortages within the industry and to support its longstanding commitment to assisting medium and small-sized enterprises, Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Close Brothers Asset Finance have introduced a scheme where RHA members that have fewer than 20 vehicles can apply for funding to train and recruit the next class of HGV drivers.

Under this scheme, Close Brothers is paying for the training of 20 apprentices, which means that the hauliers that have signed up will not have to pay the entire cost of employing these apprentices until they are able to make a positive contribution towards these businesses.

Becki Quick, Meadley International Transport Ltd. Director said that her company was delighted to be able to take advantage of the apprenticeship scheme and that the employee they have chosen was excited. They feel very fortunate that they had been selected and wanted to thank Close Brothers and the RHA for this opportunity.

Large Skills Shortage in The Industry

RHA’s Chief Executive Richard Burnett said that the industry was faced with an enormous skills shortage, and with the impending Brexit, it appears the situation is about to get even worse. He added that the new scheme was ground-breaking and would help 20 of its members with recruiting, training and employing new drivers to help to reduce the shortage that the industry is currently faced with.

Recently in the media, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding the HGV driver shortage, the potential for disastrous Christmas delays, and a supply chain disruption within the post-Brexit supply era. Therefore, the RHA is keen on setting the record straight.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of RHA, says that currently the UK haulage industry is faced with a shortage of 45,000 to 50,000 HGV drivers and that the industry needed to face the challenge head-on. He added that with this short of drivers occurring all across Europe, that it is critical for the sector to do more to attract more drivers to the industry.

National Training Programme Developed

To help tackle this problem, RHA and the telematics company Microlise have created Road to Logistic, which is a national training HGV courses programme that has been developed to attract new talent into the logistics and transport industry from all parts of society where people need support and help for regaining their independence and self-confidence.

Road to Logistic has been created to assist companies with reducing their recruiting costs for bringing new talent into their businesses.

Also, the RHA and Close Brother Assets Finance launched a scheme to encourage RHA members having fewer than 20 vehicles to submit their applications for funding for recruiting and training the next HGV driver class. Close Brothers is helping to pay to train 20 apprentices, which means the hauliers that have signed up will not have to pay the entire cost of employing the apprentices until they start making positive contributions for their employers.

Richard Burnett added that businesses are looking for increased funding as well as clarity on licences that may be undertaken within the driver apprentice scheme. He said they need improved training schemes that provide greater flexibility when it comes to accessing available funding, particularly for small operators.

Burnett said that the effect that Brexit has had on the exchange rate has caused some HGV drivers from Eastern Europe to return to their home countries. Operators have been trying to assure their drivers that they still have a future working within the UK. He said that with this, in addition to an improved exchange rate and more certainty regarding residential rights, that they were confident that there would be a decrease in drivers moving back home.

Richard Burnett concluded by stating that the road freight sector would continue delivering the goods that everyone needs and that the supermarket shelves would not be empty, but that it is critical for the good of the entire economy to increase the supply of quality drivers.

Close Brothers and Road Haulage Association Announce New Ground-breaking Apprenticeship Scheme

As part of the commitment to overcome driver shortage in the industry, Close Brothers Asset Finance and Road Haulage Association are launching a ground-breaking apprenticeship scheme. This apprenticeship scheme is one where the members of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) with less than twenty vehicles apply for funding to recruit and train a further generation of HGV drivers.

According to the scheme, Close Brothers will assist RHA in paying for twenty apprentices and their opportunity to learn new skills. This is beneficial in that the signed up hauliers will not need to bear the full cost of employing apprentices until they are able to make positive contributions to the businesses.

According to the director of Meadley International Transport Ltd, Becki Quick, MIT is delighted to use the apprenticeship scheme and the employees they plan to use are “over the moon”. Meadley International Transport Ltd feels fortunate to have been chosen for the scheme and, according to Quick, is thankful to Close Brothers and RHA for the support.

Road Haulage Association Sets The Record Straight On Issue Of Driver Shortage

The chief executive of the RHA, Richard Burnett, stated that the industry faces a massive shortage of skills and, with Brexit looming, fears that the shortage will become worse. By using this apprenticeship scheme to help twenty RHA members to recruit, train and employ new drivers, it is possible to reduce the driver shortage in a small way.

A great deal of speculation has been made in the media recently regarding several HGV issues including the driver shortage, the possible Christmas delays and post-Brexit supply chain disruptions. Considering these points, the RHA is keen to set the record of driver shortage straight. Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive, noted that the haulage industry is facing a shortage of HGV drivers and as an industry needs to face the challenge head-on. With the shortage expanding across Europe slowly, it is essential that the sector does more to recruit more people into the industry.  Many specialist companies also offer HGV training courses, so that potential drivers can quickly and cost-effectively get qualified, such as EasyasHGV training courses. 

Creation of a National Training Programme

Part of the movement to tackle the driver shortage issue includes the creation of a national training programme by the RHA and Microlise – a telematics provider. The national training programme is known as Road to Logistics and encourages new talent to enter the transport and logistics industry from all sections of society where people require support to regain independence and self-confidence. Furthermore, the Road to Logistics programme will assist businesses in reducing the cost of staff recruitment into their companies.

The Close Brothers Asset Finance company will assist the RHA member in paying for the apprentice to learn skills; therefore, the registered haulier will not need to bear the full cost of hiring the apprentice until he or she can contribute to the company.

According to Richard Burnett, businesses are searching for improved funding with the clarity of licences to be undertaken in the apprenticeship scheme. The RHA requires improved training programmes with increased flexibility regarding access to available funding, particularly for the smaller-sized operator.

Burnett also commented that the Brexit effect on exchange rates has caused many HGV drivers from Eastern Europe to return home. Operating companies are reassuring drivers of future work in the UK and this has increased the certainty of residential rights, increased exchange rates, and increased the hope that drifting of EU citizens back home will reduce.

In conclusion, Burnett has noted that the road freight industry continues to deliver goods need; however, to ensure this continues it is important that quality drivers are available.

Choosing Heartfelt Xmas Gifts for Your Grandmother

There is a very special bond between a grandchild and grandmother. In fact, there are only a very few people in one’s life as special as his or her grandmother. This unique bond should be celebrated during the festive season. There is no better time to show your love to your grandmother than the Christmas season. Show how much you love your grandmother this Christmas season by presenting her with a heartfelt gift by Silver and Pewter Gifts.

Jewellery As Xmas Presents For Your Grandmother

A jewellery gift for your grandmother can serve as a lasting memento throughout the year. Almost all ladies love jewellery gifts such as a stylish pendant, earring, bracelet, or a jewellery gift set. If your grandmother prefers traditional classic styles, you can shop for an elegant gold chain, a simple pendant or stud earrings. On the other hand, if your grandmother is fond of contemporary styles, you can look for a customised bead bracelet with beads in an attractive range of colours.

Your grandmother will love a piece of jewellery that never goes out of style. Hence, why not gift her a miniature rose head pendant that is elegantly glazed with 24 karat gold? Each blossom of the pendant is carefully chosen for their exquisite beauty. In fact, the pendant is crafted by hand into a stylish and elegant work of art. The necklace is ideal to be worn with any type of outfit. In fact, such a gift will convey a message of love and appreciation during the Xmas season.

Flowers As An Xmas Gift For Your Grandmother

This is a popular choice for grandmothers during the festive season. In fact, such a gift is ideal for any occasion throughout the year. But there is a variety of plants that are suited for the Xmas season. For example, deep red roses with pure white blooms, green leaves, and red berries of the Xmas tree can be ideally combined into one bouquet for your loving grandmother.

If your grandmother prefers floral gifts, you can present her with a memorable floral gift such as a single-glazed rose blossom. Such a gift is sure to find pride of place in your grandmother’s home. These flowers come in a wide range of colours like traditional whites and reds and unconventional colours like green and purple. In fact, you can definitely find a hue to suit her taste. With its 24-karat gold trim, your grandmother will be amazed by the luxurious present.

Luxurious Xmas presents For Your Grandmother

Your grandmother deserves to be cared for since she is a very special person in your life. There is no better way to show her your love and appreciation than presenting her with a luxurious gift – which will make her feel like a queen for a day. If your grandmother loves a delicious gourmet treat, you can make a gift basket packed with savoury foods and sweets. There are many food items to choose from in this regard such as luxury chocolates, exotic cheeses, tasty fruits, exciting drinks, and much more. In fact, you will find a host of options for food hampers – from homemade to off the shelf choices. You can also choose beautiful toiletries with prestigious brands of hand creams, body lotions, bath salts, and soaps for the hamper. This is another good way to show your grandmother how special she is.

A Personalised Xmas Gift For Your Grandmother

Personalised gifts are becoming quite popular in this day and age. In fact, choosing a gift that is highly personalised to suit the needs of the recipient is one of the best ways to show her how much you care for her. In fact, a generic gift can never convey such a message to your grandmother. There are numerous personalised gifts out there to choose from. Some of them include gifts that are hand-painted, embroidered or engraved. A picture mug is also a good idea in this regard. Some other popular personalised gifts include a canvas print, acrylic block, or a photographic collage of Christmases (past and present). These are some of the most important Christmas gifts for your grandmother.

Choosing a Meaningful Gift for a Grandmother This Christmas

Traditional gifts with a sentimental touch are always great hits with grandmothers who still wear aprons to bake cookies and love pottering in the garden. Few people in life are as important and special as a grandmother and the Christmas season is a great time to show your appreciation and love for everything she does for you. But why not surprise grandma with something a little more unusual than flowers, slippers or a warm cardigan this Christmas to demonstrate the special bond that exists between you?

Generation Figurines

Beautiful collectable figurines in a range that honours grandparents are always meaningful. Eloquent but simple, hand-carved Salisbury pewter pieces symbolize the love between a grandmother and a child. Sculptures communicate through gesture, representing an emotion or marking a memory in quiet ways that comfort, heal, inspire, and protect. This is a lasting gift that will show your grandmother how much you love her.

A Keepsake Journal

Memory books help grandmothers to record and share their special memories with those they love. In this keepsake journal entitled “Grandma, Do You Remember When? Sharing A Lifetime of Loving Memories” by Jim Daly, grandma can record all the cherished moments and happy events that shaped her legacy, guided by questions that encourage her to remember her favourite family stories and what makes her happiest. This hardcover treasury will contain the best gift of all when the hopes and dreams of a generation are passed on to her beloved children and grandchildren. Jim Daly sweetens any grandmothers walk down memory lane with his old-fashioned paintings as the pages are filled with loving memories that include her prayers for her family. This is a gift that keeps on giving as it is passed on from children to grandchildren and greatgrandchildren and is sure to find a spot in grandma’s heart.

A Deluxe Garden Scoot

For grandmothers who love to work in the garden, this gardener’s scoot will work wonders to spare those tricky knees that come with old age. The heavy-duty construction, ten-inch tires and comfortable bucket seat is ideal, not only for gardening but for all those low projects like painting or washing tires in a seated position that is so much easier on the back and the knees. It has a handy handle to pull it along where needed and a bucket basket that can hold tools. Show grandma that you care for her comfort with this convenient and handy gift.

Matching Jewellery for Grandmothers and Granddaughters

Matching bracelets or other pieces of jewellery such as a beautiful brooch are great ways of sharing feelings of love between a grandmother and her granddaughter. Combined with personal engravings of your names, symbols of love in the form of hearts and sparkling stones, and the date, your gift will last a lifetime. And next year you can add another piece to start a stunning coordinated collection.

A Luxurious Hamper

Grandmothers deserve to be pampered and what better way to do that than filling a hamper with luxurious items that will make her feel like a queen. Prepare a gift basket filled with delightful gourmet treats and exquisite fine chocolates from only the best brands. Include a few hand-made treats that you made yourself to add a personal touch and wrap it up in a charming tablecloth that she can use afterwards.

Alternatively, why not fill a gift basket with luxurious toiletries to pamper her from head to toe. Include only the finest quality soaps, lotions, bath salts, and creams, wrapped in silk and tied with a stunning bow. A superbly put together gift basket is always a hit with grandmothers and it lasts for a long time after the Christmas festivities are over.

It is so much fun choosing a Christmas gift for a grandmother that has special and personal meaning. The above suggestions are just some of the wonderful ideas for buying a gift for your grandmother this Christmas that will last for years to come.

All You Need to Know About Planning a Borneo Family Holiday

Sun, sand, wildlife, and a great pool area are the key ingredients for any fantastic family holiday. The main question is how to choose these ingredients from all the options on earth? In this article, I will tell you about my experience of my holiday in Borneo.

How To Reach The Country

The majority of the action can be found in Sabah, Borneo’s north-eastern state. This being the case, our first step was to fly into Koto Kinabalu. A key tip to any effective family trip, especially one with long-haul travelling, is to plan the flights correctly. My family always tries to avoid long connections and books with a good airline. My personal favourite is to book flights where we arrive at our location in the early evening. This means that the kids’ bedtime is not too far away.

Flying Directly Into Kota Kinabalu

The latest A380’s are highly family friendly; as well as being extremely quiet allowing our two kids to sleep well on the 7-8 hour long night flights. Flying on these aeroplanes also allows you to enjoy touch-screen televisions with the latest films, video games, and tons of leg room. The economy upper deck presents with a beneficial storage bucket on the side for all in-flight items. It will also fold up as a headrest alongside the window if you or the children require more sleeping room; however, you will need a pillow to be fully comfortable. We opted for seats on the upper deck and with only ten rows in the cabin, it was quiet. Three toilets meant there were never any queues.

We arrived at our destination in the early evening and were collected at the airport. Once collected, we were taken to the fantastic Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort.

Choosing A Family Friendly Accommodation

Borneo was only the first leg of our family friendly holiday, so we needed a relaxing hotel to enjoy and the Shangri-La was the ideal option. This accommodation offered attractive rooms, a stunning beach, a great pool area, and a view of the most beautiful sunset. Due to it being a larger resort, there is little else nearby; however, you do not require any other facilities because the hotel offers all services for a comfortable stay. During our time at the Shangri-La, we experienced friendly staff, fantastic eateries, and outstanding service.

The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is another option if you are looking for something more closer to nature. It is a great base to travel to different exciting locations. Some locations to explore include Kota Kinabalu and the Rasa Ria. From the lodge, it is possible to visit the Lahad Datu to see marine life.

Visit Baby Orangutans And Turtles

Rasa Ria is a popular nature reserve that acts as an orphanage for young orangutans. From this location, the baby orangutans are sent to the greater rehabilitation centre in Sepilok – a facility that houses sixty baby orangutans in the wild. Considering there are only approximately 20,000 of these monkeys left in the wild, it is easy to appreciate the work the Sepilok Rehabilitation Center is doing. It should be noted that baby orangutans are not the only reason to visit Sepilok, but it is also a good starting place for a visit to the Kinabatangan River.

Heading slightly further north from the Sepilok Rehabilitation Center, it is possible to find the Turtle Islands Park facility. This is a location where the Hawksbill and Green turtle lives and is a must-see feature for any family. The turtles living on this island are available to see all year round, but it has been found that the best time to visit is between July and October when the sea is less rough.

Day trips to the island are possible, but because the majority of movement occurs after dusk it is recommended that overnight stays are planned. The island is a popular area, so if you are interested in visiting this area, it is recommended that you book far in advance to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, the accommodation is lacking in luxury; however, despite its basic appearance, it is exciting.

An Exciting Scheme Announced by Road Haulage Association and Close Brothers

Being dedicated to the support of small and mid-sized enterprises, as well as recognising the need to overcome driver shortage has led Close Brothers Asset Finance, along with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) to announce a scheme where members of the RHA, with fewer than 20 vehicles, can apply for funding with the plan of recruitment as well as provide Driver CPC and practical training for new HGV drivers.

The scheme will mean that Close Brothers will assist in the payment of 20 apprentices who will learn their skills, this, in turn, will mean the signed up hauliers will not need to fully pay for the apprentice employment until they are already at the point of positively contributing to the business.

The Director of Meadley International Transport Ltd, Becki Quick said that they are very happy to be able to take upon this apprentice scheme and that the employees they are thinking of are truly delighted. She noted that they feel fortunate to have been selected and are grateful to the RHA and Close Brothers to have given them this opportunity.

RHA clearly outlines the driver shortage problem

The Chief Executive of RHA, Richard Burnett said that within the industry there is a massive skills shortage and that with the thought of Brexit ahead it seems like things will get worse. The scheme is ground-breaking and by helping 20 of their members in the recruitment, training, and employment of new drivers a real difference will be made in reducing this challenge.

The media has seen much speculation of late regarding the HGV driver shortage and the chance of Christmas delay disasters and an after-Brexit disruption in the supply chain. Hence, the RHA wants to set the record straight.

Richard Burnett, RHA Chief Executive said that there is currently a shortage of between 45-50K HGV drivers within the haulage industry and that the issue needs to be addressed. In fact, with their being a shortage across Europe it is essential that the sector works hard to get more people into the industry.

In an attempt to address this the RHA, along with telematics provider Microlise Road to Logistics, has made a national training programme which has been designed to encourage new talent coming from all parts of society and where people need support to regard their independence and confidence, to enter the transport and logistics industry.

The expense involved in the recruitment of new talent into their organisations will be reduced with the help of Road to Logistics.

As well as this, the RHA, along with Close Brothers Asset Finance has set up a scheme where RHA members who have less than 20 vehicles can apply for funding which they will use in the recruitment and training of new HGV drivers. With Close Brothers paying for 20 apprentices to learn their skills, the signed up hauliers will not need to cover the entire cost of the apprentices’ employment until they are in a position to provide a positive contribution to their business.

Need for better clarity on funding

Richard Burnett also noted that there is a need for better clarity on funding and on the licenses which are possible within this driver apprentice scheme. He said that there is a need for improved training schemes where a higher level of flexibility is offered over the access to funding, this especially being the case for the small operator.

Richard Burnett went on to say that the Brexit effect on the exchange rate means that some Eastern European HGV drivers are now returning to their own countries. Assurance that a working future is available in the United Kingdom has been provided. This, coupled with more certainty for rights of residence and a better exchange rate gives us confidence that there will be fewer drivers returning to their homelands.

In conclusion, Richard Burnett noted that the road freight sector will continue in the task of delivering the needed goods to supermarket shelves, however, the whole economy will benefit if we increase the number of quality drivers.