Record fall in number of workers from eastern Europe in UK

Sukhjeet Sodhi

Figures have shown that in the countdown to Brexit, the UK has seen its first sharp fall in European workers since records began over two decades ago. Figures show a drop in 132,000 workers in the last year from eight European countries, which was unforeseen despite global employment increasing by 34,000. National employment grew by 23,000 between June and September from 4% to 4.1%.

This comes after the flash referendum which saw a 52% majority vote for Britain to leave the European Union (EU). This demonstrates the shockwaves that have struck the nation since plans were announced to leave the EU within the two-year window. This comes as no surprise due to the repercussions on the possible restriction of the free movement of people, goods and workers.

Employers are warning that there will now be a shortage of skilled workers which will have a significant negative effect on the economy. This is also putting an upward pressure on wages which can only be bad for UK businesses.

It is likely that the effects of leaving the EU will continue to surface for many years. It is essential for an adequate deal to be reached to reduce this negative impact upon UK businesses and for the economy.

If you are experiencing any employment issues and have nowhere else to turn, please contact the Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) on 01782 294800. We can advise on employment issues or refer you to other organisations who may be able to assist.

Is Marriage or a Civil Partnership Right for Me?

Martha Elliott-Smith


Following the recent Supreme Court ruling, heterosexual couples will now be able to enter into a civil partnership. Although the Government is yet to make a change to the legislation, it will grant many couples more rights than those who are cohabiting. For many couples, the thought of marriage does not bring about equality due to the traditional gender roles and religious vows. This change therefore allows greater freedom for those who do not want to participate in a ceremony and exchange vows, although they can do so if they wish.

So, what is the difference between a marriage and a civil partnership?

A civil partnership is created by the signing of a document which includes the signatures of both parents of the couple and the couple are then known as civil partners, but they cannot say they are married for legal reasons. A marriage requires a formal ceremony to take place with vows, whereas a civil partnership only requires that a document is signed. In terms of legal rights, a civil partnership affords a very similar position to marriage, for example, the rights are the same for inheritance, tax and pensions. However, it could be argued that globally, marriage is recognised in a whole host of countries and civil partnerships are only recognised in a few.

It appears that Scotland is also looking into this.

Here at the Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic, we can advise on family related issues.

Staffordshire University Legal Clinic Launch

Last night was the official launch of the Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC).

The event opened with refreshments at 5pm before an Official Welcome was given by Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro Vice Chancellor.

Head of Law, Ruby Hammer, introduced the SULAC presentation, which was given by Tracey Horton – Law Clinic Manager – and Law Clinic students.

You can also read the coverage of the launch in the Stoke Sentinel here and Signal 1 Radio here

Tracey Horton explains that the “aim [of the Law Clinic] is to provide much needed support to vulnerable communities in Stoke on Trent and the region. As such, it represents a commitment to our strategy linked to Connected Communities and is representative of our values in being “Brilliant and Friendly” and “Proud to be Staffs”.

The Law Clinic has been launched at a time when the professional bodies are also gearing up to recognising time spent in placements/law clinics as counting towards the qualifying work experience required to become a solicitor. It therefore offers a unique opportunity to gain such experience and to practice lawyering and advice skills whilst at University. It directly enhances the employability and reputation of our law graduates.”

The legal advice is free and thirty-five students have been trained to work in the clinic; thirty three people have already signed up to the service.

The Legal Advice Clinic operates during term time at:

  • The Dudson Centre, Hanley, every Monday
  • Signpost, Stafford, every Tuesday
  • HMP Stafford, the first Friday of the month
  • Shrewsbury Hospital, the second Friday of the month

To book an appointment, call: 01782 294800



Law Student Gains Placement through Staffs Uni Mentoring Scheme

The Law Department’s Careers Tutor, Sallyann Mellor, runs a Staffordshire University Mentoring Scheme, which enables students to find out about placement opportunities to help them gain practical and hands-on experience. Law student, Naseem Khan discusses his experience whilst on placement at a solicitors that he found through the scheme. 

“Through the Staffordshire University Mentoring Scheme I gained a two-week placement with Knights 1759 Solicitors. Over the course [of the placement,] I was introduced to a range of solicitors and trainees from various fields of Law in different departments. This allowed me to gain a well-rounded insight into not only the working[s] of the legal team, but the role of a solicitor. I worked on administrative tasks, case studies, and was given the opportunity to meet the clients and attend court! My colleagues assisted me in so many ways, for example, on the first day one of the solicitors gave me a ‘life lecture’ on how not to give up no matter what.

It was such a valuable experience to be able to know what it actually feels like to be working in a Legal environment and to realise how the environment of a corporate law firm differs from those on the high street.

Overall, my experience was enjoyable while also being very educational. Through a wide variety of tasks I was able to appreciate all aspects of the job and was definitely not just stuck at a desk!

Naseem Khan

Now I know exactly what I want to be in the future and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Knights 1759 and our Careers Tutor Sallyann Mellor for implementing the Staffordshire University Mentoring Scheme and for giving me the opportunity.”


Policing Graduate Joins Cheshire Constabulary

At the start of October, BSc Policing and Criminal Investigation graduate, Jack Colton, shared the fantastic news about his new job with Cheshire Constabulary. 

“I started employment as Communications Operator in the Force Control Centre at Cheshire Constabulary.

Some of the equipment our students use to gain practical, hands-on experience 

I’d just like to say that these past 3 weeks of training have demonstrated just how appropriate and effective the content of the course was. I’m in a position where I am familiar with most things being covered in terms of law; whereas other graduates from criminology courses are not.

Visitors at the Crime Scene House on an Offer Holder Day

I’d also like to say a big thank you to the all the staff that organised the content of the course and delivered the lectures. It’s only just become obvious how suitable and useful the content learnt is now that I can apply it to my work.”

BSc Policing and Criminal Investigation Course Leader

Congratulations Jack! 



Danske Bank: the story of Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal

“It is clear that Danske Bank has failed to live up to its responsibility in the case of possible money laundering in Estonia.

So said Thomas Borgen, CEO of Denmark’s biggest financial institution, when he resigned after admitting that around €200 billion of questionable money flowed through the Danish bank’s Estonian branch from 2007-15.”

Sean Curley, the Dean of the School of Law, Policing and Forensics at Staffordshire University, discusses Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal on The Conversation. Click here to read the full article.

Guest Speaker – Microplastics under scrutiny with the Rozalia Project: We are eating our fleece!

Microplastics under scrutiny with the Rozalia Project: We are eating our fleece!

A presentation about your clothes, your washer, microfiber pollution and how we can all get ahead of the problem

6pm-7.30pm on the 29th October, in the Science Centre, Staffordshire University

Following on from the Plastic: Not So Fantastic public lecture on World Environment Day this year, Staffordshire University’s Forensic Fibres and Microplastic Research Group are happy to announce an exciting guest speaker from the Rozalia Project in Vermont, USA who will provide insight into the plastic pollution problem we all face.

Rachael Miller, Founder of the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean and co-inventor of the Cora Ball, is giving an interactive presentation about her team’s work protecting the ocean – from macro plastic debris to microfibers. Hear about their path to innovation and the adventures in science and conservation they’ve had along the way operating from on board the greenest sailing research vessel in the world. Rachael will describe the first ‘mountains to the sea’ river study investigating microfiber pollution, on New York State’s Hudson River, and provide a global perspective on how you can be part of the solution to more than just microfiber pollution!

Rachael Miller is the Founder of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean and Co-Inventor/CEO of Cora Ball. Rozalia Project is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to clean and protect the ocean. It launched in late 2009 and works on marine debris using the strategies of: cleanup, education, innovation and solutions-based research. She is also the Founder/CEO and part of the design team for the Cora Ball, a human-scale, consumer-based solution to microfiber pollution working to share the problem and solution with people all over the world. Rachael holds a USCG 50 ton Master’s license and captains the 60’ sailing research vessel, American Promise. Her academic background is in marine studies and underwater archaeology. She lives in Vermont and loves to ski as much as sail.

Contact with any queries regarding the event.

Book your place here.



Funded PhD Project Opportunity

Recovery and profiling of encapsulated DNA from Counterfeit Banknotes

This is a funded PhD project with a tax-free bursary of £14,000 pa and includes tuition fees and bench fees. This is funded by the European Central Bank.

The aim of this project is to evaluate the viability of obtaining DNA profiles from DNA encapsulated between holographic patches and substrate on counterfeit euro banknotes. The project will also consider the recovery and profiling of DNA from between two layers of substrate, in cases where counterfeits have been composed of two bonded layers of paper.
The project will commence by seeking to understand the dynamics of DNA transfer and persistency on an adhesive surface. In other words, how much DNA might actually transfer on to the adhesive bearing substrate (foil patch or paper) – given that being ‘encapsulated’ any DNA present is likely to be insulated from contamination and have originated in the place of production.
A major part of this project is developing an effective recovery method – that can maximise the amount of DNA recovered from within the adhesive (a challenge in its own right) without picking up any material that may be present on the non-adhesive side – which potentially could have originated anywhere.

We are looking for someone with a forensic science qualification and experience of DNA profiling techniques. Some travel will be required as part of this project.

For further information, please contact Dr Graham Williams (

If you wish to apply for this PhD, please email your CV and a brief covering letter to Dr Graham Williams by 10th October 2018

European Researchers’ NIGHT

European Researchers’ NIGHT event

29th September 2018

Science in Space

Beacon Building – 9am till 12pm

Interactive Virtual Reality Activities

Psychology of space….in Space (T203)

Dr Nichola Street/Dr Gemma Hurst/Dr Daniel Jolley

Imagine spending a year (or more) inside one living space, with no gravity.  That’s the job of an astronaut.   Join us for an interactive activity considering the physical environment (or ‘space’) that travellers spend time in and the psychological impact it can have on them. Using Virtual Reality, visitors will explore the space station and learn about potential interventions to make the environments in space more beneficial and less damaging to psychological health.

CSI in Space (T204)

Dr Claire Gwinnett, Tom Bird, Amy Osbourne

Come and investigate a potential murder that has been committed on an alien planet…  As lead investigators of the Internal Investigation Team for the intergalactic space company Staffordshire Universe, you will need to travel to the alien planet, investigate the scene and decide which evidence you are taking back to the ship….before your air supply runs out!  Come join the Staffordshire Universe team in solving the crime and learning about how Virtual Reality can be used in crime scene analysis


Short Lecture Series (T103)

Is there life on Mars? (9am, 10am)

Space is often called the final frontier – the place where one day we might call home. But do others already call it home? What evidence is there for life on Mars and could we potentially use the materials there to make it habitable ourselves? Dr Duncan Parker will discuss the chemistry of the Red Planet from its soil, to the atmosphere via the discovery of liquid water. Come along and decide for yourself whether there’s life on Mars.

Biology in Space (9.15am, 10.15am, 11am)

What happens to human and animals in space? How does this affect the bodies? What happens to the body when it lands back to earth? Dr Jonathan Parrott Lecturer in Forensic Biology gives a short talk answering these biological questions.

Crime in Space (9.30am, 10.30am, 11.15am)

What happens if you commit a crime in space? Whose jurisdiction is it? How does the space environment affect the dynamics of forensic evidence? What happens if you fire a gun in space? Dr Graham Williams Head of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science gives a short talk answering these questions

Monkey Dust mayhem: the English city reportedly at the centre of a drug-fuelled ‘epidemic’

Sarah Page, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology, has written an article about the reported Monkey Dust epidemic for The Conversation. “Our ongoing research raises questions about how widespread and localised use of the drug really is.” You can read the full article here

You can also watch Sarah discussing this on our YouTube Playlist here