Industry grants supporting tradies, lessons from the agency pitching world and increasing AI competition

This week we talked about the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants, the RBA’s latest interest rate rise, lessons learned from the agency pitching world and AI competition.

Rheem announces the 2023 recipients of its Apprentice Plumber Grants

Rheem recently announced the 10 recipients of its 2023 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants

With skills-based jobs being more in demand than ever, Rheem is a strong supporter of efforts to grow the plumbing industry.

The judging criteria focuses on the impact the grant will have on studies and future goals, along with their dedication to the industry and commitment to community. Each recipient will receive $2,000 to assist with their TAFE/RTO fees and textbooks and $1,000 to help build their toolbox. 

Every recipient has a unique story to tell from the pressure of the increased cost of living, to changing fields and starting as a mature-aged apprentice. So far, the story has been covered on 7News, Master Plumbers South Australia and Newcastle Weekly, celebrating each recipient’s win while providing further insight into their lives.

Rheem is an IMPACT client. 

Interest rates soar to 11-year high

Fresh off the press, we saw the Reserve Bank of Australia deliver another blow to mortgage holders, lifting interest rates to an 11-year high of 4.1 per cent. 

This latest increase is expected to affect more than 3.3 million households, adding $114 to the monthly repayment on a $750,000 home loan.

Analysts speculated the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase award wages by 5.75 per cent and minimum wages by 8.6 per cent, played a role in the rise.

Even so, RBA chief Phillip Lowe left the “door ajar” on further rate rises in the coming months if required to curb further inflation. 

Agencies examine current state of pitching practices

A global survey of more than 100 media agencies has revealed agency insights into the complexities of pitching practices in the new world of hybrid working. 

The study, conducted by global independent media advisors, MediaSense, showed although 64 per cent agree that pitching is still a crucial part of agency life and a good way to energise creative people, there is a desire for it to be more transparent and focused. 

Recommendations to improve the process included a preference for face-to-face pitches, rather than online. Not only is pitching a relationship building tool, it provides the opportunity to make connections, spark innovation and have conversations you may otherwise not have online. 

The study concludes that both clients and agencies will get the best out of a process that fosters clear, informal and transparent communication. 

AI competition continues in the techworld

AI is an emerging trend that has the ability to enhance various industries, with the potential to transform the way we live and work.

The tech industry is buzzing with competition with the launch of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets from Apple and Meta within the past week. 

Despite the recent headlines around mass layoffs, Meta seems dedicated to the cause of AI and metaverse vision, its VR product offering.

Earlier this year, Meta took its exploration of generative AI technology one step further with the release of LLaMA as an open-source software, a computer code that could be freely copied, modified and used. 

While Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has made his intentions known about integrating AI into the current suite of platforms, only time will tell whether the tools will be up to the task.

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