Page 3


Welcome In this issue we have given focus to improving the skills of our young people, something that is important to us all. It is all too easy to forget that today’s young people are tomorrow’s workforce and future business leaders. The national apprenticeship week held back in March was a great catalyst to promote the opportunities that businesses can give to young people. Over the past few years the Kent business community have really got behind the Apprenticeship schemes and offered so many young people a chance to learn about the world of work and get that important first step on the career ladder. We have been greatly incentivised via grants by national government as well as additional top ups by Kent County Council, all leading to a very positive uptake by employers. Inside this issue on page 18, Lindsay Collins, Director of Kent Association of Training Organisations, explains the current thinking behind the reforms to the way in which Apprenticeships are going to be funded. Something that will have a great impact on employers looking to take on young people via Apprenticeships.

Having looked at it in some details, I do have concerns on the impact to small businesses, which lets not forget, equate to 90% of the businesses in our County. Medium and larger sized business would be able to take on the extra burden, but small businesses might just find the additional administration one stage too far. With youth unemployment still a major concern in Kent, we do need to play our part in supporting opportunities for young people. If the reforms do go ahead, we need to work together to find ways to lessen the burden for small businesses and ensure that Kent’s young people get the opportunities they rightly deserve. We will keep you updated on how things progress.





4 6 14 16 17 18 19 20 23 24

Chamber News Members News International Trade 24 hours with... Member Benefits Policy Ask the Expert Spotlight On... The Economy Cover Feature

Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Email: Web: Chief Executive: Jo James Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited 3tc House, 16 Crosby Rd, Crosby, Liverpool L22 0NY Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: Published June 2014 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

28 31 38 42 46 47 49 50 50

Big Interview Members News Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions Getting Started Regional News New Members The Last Word Movers & Shakers

Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1367 Disclaimer Thinking Business is published for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Thinking Business are not necessarily those of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2014. Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


Thinking Business  

Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce - June/July 2014

Thinking Business  

Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce - June/July 2014