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EAST ANGLIA in business


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FOREWORD As the UK enters unchartered waters, it is vital that adequate support is provided to our manufacturing and engineering sectors.

am therefore delighted to welcome you to the latest edition of East Anglia in Business, which showcases the fantastic variety of businesses around the region and the support that is being provided for them. Professional skills and knowledge around international supply chains and cross-border trade are essential if businesses are going to survive and thrive in a post Brexit landscape. New checks and customs rules will undoubtedly create new paperwork requirements for businesses and potentially cause delays at the border which could disrupt international supply chains -unless businesses develop a better understanding of their obligations and responsibilities. We should always remember that many UK manufacturing companies are involved in extremely complicated supply chains. If you take the example of a hi-speed train, you will see that there are hundreds of component parts from over 54 manufacturers across the EU, including 29 from the UK. In a post Brexit landscape, all the UK components will need to be classed as having UK rather than EU origin and this will affect the duty reductions that are tied to origination. Furthermore, businesses will need to complete Customs declarations in order to send goods over

the UK-EU border and the government is providing significant funding to cover the costs of training courses for businesses to learn how to do this correctly. The Institute of Export & International Trade is one of the training bodies in the region providing this training, so we recommend you look at our site because these skills really will be vital. There are huge challenges ahead for the region’s manufacturing and engineering businesses so please do ensure you gain the knowledge you will need and use the support that’s on offer.

Lesley Batchelor OBE

Director General, Institute of Export & International Trade. Lesley is a champion of UK exporters, with powerful track record in enhancing the export performance of hundreds of businesses.


issue 04




Foreword 03 As the UK enters unchartered waters, it is vital that adequate support is provided to our manufacturing and engineering sectors.

Manufacturing 08|11 “Today is the great age of engineering and talent. East Anglia’s manufacturing and engineering sector has a bright future” observes Jamie Thums, Chairman of New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (NAAME)

Transport and Infrastructure 22|28 Moves to tackle the HGV driver shortage have received a huge boost as the Government agreed to award vital funding for the Road Haulage Association’s (RHA) programme to get more people driving Britain’s lorries.

Interview 30|33 Finance 14|21 I’m delighted to be in a position to say that Britain’s expanding entrepreneurial community are a refreshingly optimistic bunch.

It’s a global movement that democratises innovation, with implications for policymakers and companies of every size and shape

Energy Focus 34|39 Simple measures can deliver significant benefits when it comes to energy efficiency. Here the Carbon Trust outlines some initial steps that small to medium-sized companies can take.


Editor Ellen Rossiter

Design Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 580 5990

Advertising Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 5805990


Apprenticeships and Training 42|47 Apprenticeships benefit people of all ages and backgrounds – from those with children returning to part-time work and looking to re-train; young people who are strong academically, but don’t just want to do an academic course and those for whom an apprenticeship has opened a new world of work and learning.

Todays Manager 48|51 Time is limited: it doesn’t last for ever. We need to make the best use of it we can.

Digital and Innovation 52|58 Innovation has proven a popular topic and it’s one we’re keen to explore further. Who better to continue the conversation with than Professor Fiona Lettice, Pro-ViceChancellor (Research & Innovation) of the University of East Anglia.

East Anglia in Business @EAinBusiness

Health and Wellbeing 60|65

East Anglia in Business

Your business is reliant on your people. Enhancing the personal and professional development of your employees is in the best interests of the company.

Digital and Innovation 66|71 A successful marketer today requires a wider set of skills than ever before, excelling in creativity, number-crunching, networking, and flexible working. But how do you know which skills to look to add to your repertoire?

Distinctive Publishing or East Anglia in Business cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and East Anglia in Business.

Legal 72|74 Immigration laws can change rapidly and employers must ensure they and their workforce are protected.



Emma Jones MBE

Prof Fiona Lettice

Founder & CEO, Enterprise Nation

Pro-vice-chancellor (research & innovation) University of East Anglia

Emma founded Enterprise Nation in 2005. Enterprise Nation is a small business support network, that gives entrepreneurs and small firms advice, tips and networking, all in one place. Emma was one of the co-founders of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain. She is author of best-selling business books including Spare Room Startup, Working 5 to 9, Go Global, Start a Business for £99 and the StartUp Kit, Going for Growth. In 2018, Richard Harpin, the entrepreneur behind global home emergency repair firm HomeServe, invested in the company as part of a drive to create a ‘more entrepreneurial Britain. 

As Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and a Professor of Innovation Management in the Norwich Business School, Prof Lettice’s research spans all business sectors. Prior to her academic career, Prof Lettice worked in industry as a project manager for Centrica and a change consultant on a major project in design and engineering for BMW/ Rover. Innovation management and new product development including disruptive, green, open, social and responsible innovation are amongst her areas of expertise.Capital Due Diligence.

Claire Thorpe

James Shipp

Director, SimpleClick

Partner, Lovewell Blake

Claire has worked in the technology sector for 18 years, and has a passion for translating the online needs of businesses into bespoke website design with User Experience (UX) at its heart.

Key sector specialisms include companies in the local energy supply chain and businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector including hotels, restaurants and guest houses. James advises many family businesses through the full range of business needs from compliance and outsourcing to succession planning, business coaching and strategic planning.

As SimpleClick’s Mental Health Champion and a STEM Ambassador, Claire is very passionate about the well being of the team and encouraging the next generation of students to embark on future tech careers.

Lesley Batchelor OBE

Lara Fox

Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade

Managing Director Objective IT IoD Ambassador IoD East of England ‘Young Director of the Year’ 2019

Lesley is a champion of UK exporters, with a powerful track record in enhancing the export performance of hundreds of businesses.


Joining Objective IT in 2012, Lara became Managing Director in 2017. In 2019, Lara was awarded an MBA by the University of Essex. Objective is a friendly and flexible software development and data analytics company based in Chelmsford, Essex. Delivering bespoke development solutions, system integrations, data insights and business intelligence to clients since 1987.


Dr Ivano Bongiovanni

Jamie Thums

Research Fellow Adam Smith Business School University of Glasgow

Chairman of New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing  and Engineering (NAAME) 

Information security management and design thinking are Ivano’s main work areas. He is also a Digital Fellow (Chair in Digital Economy, QUT Brisbane). Joining the Adam Smith Business School in January 2018, prior to this, Ivano worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the PwC Chair in Digital Economy at QUT, a team tasked with supporting public and private organisations in their transition into the Digital also a board member, angel investor and advisor to both start-ups and Fortune 500s.

CEO, Lintott Control Systems Limited A “Top 100 Manufacturing Figure”, Jamie has amassed cutting-edge business reinvention expertise during a +25-year tenure working in leading UK-based and international manufacturing businesses. Recent accolades include, EDP Business of the Year (2017); East of England Winner for the Best Use of Technology: Chamber Business Awards (2018); and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation (2018). Lead for Inward Investment. He holds an MSc Development Management and Executive MBA and is a Member of the Institute of Economic Development.

Keith Smith Director, Apprenticeships, ESFA Keith Smith has worked in the skills system for more than 20 years. He has run local skills programmes, ranging from local job clubs to assessing apprentices. In recent years he has been leading the development and delivery of the national further education and apprenticeship funding systems. Keith has been a governor of a number schools and university technology colleges.

Graham Lloyd CEO, Jag Express Following redundancy 20 years ago, Graham’s background in Sales, Marketing & IT led him to combine these skills and risk everything to establish a specialised Courier Company with the aim of providing superior customer service and ease of use to customers 20 years on, Jag Express has become one of the area’s leading specialists with hundreds of satisfied customers and an enviable reputation. Never losing touch with customers is an important factor in their success, so it’s not unusual for Graham to jump into one of their distinctive vehicles and head off to make deliveries or collections!

Sohan Sidhu Partner and Immigration Solicitor, Ellisons Solicitors incorporating Gross & Co.

Following careers as an actor and teacher, Graham’s previous business experience was in the IT and computer print sectors

Sohan has practised immigration law for over 20 years and provides advice on all aspects of UK immigration to individuals, families and business clients.






FORGING A BRIGHT FUTURE “Today is the great age of engineering and talent. East Anglia’s manufacturing and engineering sector has a bright future” observes Jamie Thums, Chairman of New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (NAAME)



Embracing technology “The Made Smarter Review, chaired by Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens UK, set out how the adoption of Industrial Digital Technology (IDT) can transform businesses. The region has a raft of digital pioneers and it has a vibrant, digital creative sector, which businesses can tap into. But it doesn’t stop there. The up-and-coming Institute of Productivity, located at the University of East Anglia (UEA) with funding from New Anglia LEP, will seek to develop the next generation of digitally aware engineers and business leaders. “The report cited that the spread and adoption of digital technologies must quicken. Technology such as robotics, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, as well as artificial intelligence, all have a part to play in the transformation.”


“Top 100 Manufacturing Figure”, Chair of the New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (NAAME) sector group, and Chief Operating Officer of Lintott Control Systems Limited, Jamie speaks to Ellen Rossiter about the region’s manufacturing and engineering industry. “Some 84,000 people are employed in the sector across Norfolk and Suffolk, which has an annual economic value of £5.1 bn. This makes the manufacturing and engineering sector one of the largest in the region. “It reflects and taps into the region’s diverse economic strengths; with links into the supply chain of specialisms across: Agriculture and Food Production; Aerospace and Aviation; Transport and Automotive; Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences; as well as Energy. “The UK remains one of the world’s great manufacturing nations and has much to offer. However, greater emphasis can do much to help advance the country’s manufacturing and engineering capabilities and we need policymakers to help.


Here Jamie speaks from experience. Back in 2012, he, David Owen and existing director Mark Davy, took a controlling interest in Lintott Control Systems Ltd. Fast forward some seven years, the company has been reinvented and is multi-award winning. Jamie apportions this to embracing every opportunity to digitally connect the business whilst simultaneously developing and tapping into the talent and creativity of Lintott’s people. Jamie emphasises that being transparent with the workforce from the outset and engaging them in the process was crucial in reviving the business. Issues were identified and processes were redesigned, led by personnel who became the change champions. Fuelled by digital connectivity and the removal of wasteful activities, the business has reduced lead-times, improved quality and positively influenced employee morale.

Developing leaders An engaged workforce, led by leaders who inspire and support them, is vital for galvanising greater productivity, but what makes a good leader? “Good leaders have excellent listening skills and seek to develop people and creative thinking” explains Jamie. “Too many under achieve in such necessity.”

“Engineering innovation can help yield much needed productivity improvement. Such proficiency exists throughout the UK and it is prevalent in Norfolk and Suffolk. It’s vital that we don’t lose sight of this and place too much focus on the south of the country.

“I believe a cornerstone to improving productivity is the development of a tapestry of employeebased provision. This extends beyond training and includes mental health and wellbeing. Good health and well-being are core enablers of employee engagement and subsequently organisational performance.

“Whilst it’s getting better, regional businesses require improved connectivity, namely broadband and road infrastructure. Such developments of course require financing, but that’s why greater productivity is so important: The greater our productivity; the greater our ability to build and invest in our future.”

“People deserve good leaders. I fear that the UK is not sufficiently adept at developing leaders who truly engage and inspire the workforce. Moreover, the simple things go a long way: respect, fairness and feeling valued. People also benefit from clarity. All too often communication is ineffective and autonomy in local decision making is lack-lustre.”



Keeping people at the heart “Lintott’s ability to continuously improve is only possible because the company continually develops its people capital. This isn’t something any business should be afraid of. “Growing up, I wanted to be an engineer. I was fascinated by how things worked and would take things apart and put them back together again, with differing degrees of success! Starting work on the factory floor, I worked my way through an apprenticeship. Thereafter and whilst working, I studied for a degree, and I will shortly begin a postgraduate research project. None of this would have been possible without supportive employers and mentors. “Tailored training, reward and good management are the stimulus which helps employees to stick around. I’ve benefited from such provision and I’m committed to supporting others in their endeavours. “I understand that some people are wary about the prospect of digital technologies replacing jobs. Whilst this is changing the landscape, jobs increasingly require greater skills, therefore this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. “There is a huge demand for engineers and technicians in the UK. A significant percentage of the workforce is due to retire over the next few years, people are leaving the industry and further opportunities are opening up as a result of newly created jobs, resulting in a critical shortfall of engineers. The demand for people with key engineering skills is simply not being met. Yet this demand also represents a huge opportunity.” “Around 124,000 engineers and technicians with key engineering skills will be required each year to meet demand, but at the moment there is a shortfall of between 37,000 and 59,000 annually.”

Bridging the skills gap “Sadly, a rather outdated, fusty image of manufacturing and engineering persists, but the contemporary

workplace is a precise, fast-moving digital environment, with talent and innovation at its centre. “Changing the outdated perception and inspiring the next generation of budding engineers and technicians is crucial to our prosperity and future. This extends to working with schools to ensure young people recognise the plethora of opportunities to positively impact the world by engineering and making things better. “Business itself can do more to help address the skills shortage. This includes more businesses linking with academia and civic partners in identifying and addressing the challenges ahead. “The Institute of Productivity being forged at the UEA will provide a regional hub where engineering and manufacturing businesses can learn about and adopt new practices, tools and techniques. The Institute will also take a hand in training the next generation of engineers, enrolling 1,268 new engineering learners within the first five years. “Whilst over at the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), much emphasis is placed on equipping their graduates with the skills required for the job market. They’ve been listening to local businesses about the challenges they face, supporting emerging industries and ensuring graduates have the digital skills vital to fuel the future.”

JAMIE THUMS Moving forward “Businesses need to get the blend and implementation of skills and digital technologies right, placing people at the heart of their businesses and investing in them. Better leaders, a skilled workforce and digital technologies all have a part to play in ensuring East Anglia plays an increasingly important role in manufacturing and engineering across the UK and beyond.”

Chair, New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (NAAME) sector group, and Chief Operating Officer of Lintott Control Systems Limited



EARLY SIGNALS MATTER The new Prime Minister has a real chance to inject a new lease of life into the UK economy.


or three years Brexit has stalled the UK economy. This needs to change. This is why the CBI launched a business ‘manifesto’ for the East of England and the UK. At its heart is a proposal for a new era of partnership between business and government. Only by working together can we seize opportunities, overcome challenges and unite the country. The UK economy has many strengths: a skilled workforce; world leading universities; global hubs of service and manufacturing excellence. Together with our language, location and ease of doing business, ‘Brand Britain’ remains a powerful global calling card. It is a mark of quality and a magnet for international investm ent. But as the UK steers post-Brexit course, a new wave of economic, social and technological change will reshape our country, posing challenges and opportunities for how we live and work. We have the chance to build a UK that is not only more


prosperous but also fairer. The CBI and its members are committed to working with the government to seize these opportunities. We also want UK research and development expenditure to reach three per cent of GDP in the long-term and more funding to support firms at the pre-commercialised stage of R&D included in the forthcoming Government Spending Review. This will help the east grow and thrive in the years ahead. In the East of England the CBI are proposing the government support the following areas, which they believe are critical for regional growth. These are: Improve connectivity within the region and beyond to bring growth to all parts the East, including more resilient road and rail connections, and better international and digital connectivity to tackle the region’s many ‘notspots’ which are holding business back in the more rural parts of the region.



Provide long-term certainty on initiatives such as the Local Industrial Strategies and UK Shared Prosperity Fund to ensure areas have the capacity to deliver these strategies and they meet the needs of local businesses. Develop a clear framework for devolution that provides clarity and flexibility to ensure all parts of the East of England can benefit from some form of devolution.

By backing business, the Government can ensure East of England benefits from enterprise, jobs and growth. We have clear ideas about how to move forward the East of England and we hope to create a new partnership of business and government. Our area is already home to some the industries of tomorrow. These plans simply means jobs, investment and growth not just for Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes but every part of the region and beyond. We must work with Government to join up our key towns and cities in the east through genuine partnership working. Concepts like the Cambridge to Norwich tech corridor must become a reality.

Our area is already home to some the industries of tomorrow. These plans simply means jobs, investment and growth not just for Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes but every part of the region and beyond.

On one issue raised often with me, the issue of business rates, we are calling for real action. The new government should publish a roadmap to deliver annual business rates revaluations and to undertake a comprehensive and independent review of the business rates regime to find a long-term solution to their distorting impact as soon as possible.

The new Prime Minister must back up his campaign promises and prove to be indisputably pro-business.


“We have some of the world’s most competitive and innovative companies based here and the local industrial strategies layout a roadmap to ensure the region can continue to punch above its weight and attract global talent



E nte r pr i s e F u ndi ng

BRITAIN’S SMALLEST FIRMS MUST REMAIN OPTIMISTIC AND HEAD FOR GROWTH I’m delighted to be in a position to say that Britain’s expanding entrepreneurial community are a refreshingly optimistic bunch.


ccording to the latest Global Entrepreneurial Monitor (GEM), which was conducted post-referendum vote in 2018, one in five working age individuals are engaged in some type of entrepreneurial activity or expected to be in the next three years. It also found people aged 25 to 34 were significantly more likely to be involved in early stage activity than those aged between 45 to 54.

EMMA JONES Founder small business support network Enterprise Nation.

Our own most recent research, released earlier this year, has uncovered a buoyant and upbeat community, with 72 per cent saying they expect to grow their business in the next six months. They also remain committed to EU trade, 40 per cent said they will continue as usual to use EU suppliers, with just three per cent claiming political worries has forced them to change their sourcing and export plans. In fact, exporting is healthy, with a third (29 per cent) saying they were exporting to the EU and beyond, with a slightly higher 39 per cent expecting to export over the next six months. That’s a very different picture to that that emerges from larger, more established companies, with two separate, well documented polls saying confidence here is down significantly.

So what’s different? The community we represent at Enterprise Nation comprise the UK’s smallest, early stage firms. They are mostly home-based and self-funded. They employ 0-5 people, and use contractors and freelancers. They have embarked on their entrepreneurial journey despite Brexit - and despite everything they are undeterred. This


chimes with the fact that there are now 4.9m selfemployed individuals in the UK and according to research from Fiverr out last month, a whopping 67 per cent of us want to give up the day job and go it alone. But in today’s modern business community, giving up the day job is not at all mandatory. Far from it, 24 per cent of the businesses we surveyed said they were in employment and working on a side hustle at the same time. This is not a mere flash in the pan or a means to pocket extra cash. Only six per cent said they were side-hustling to top up salaries. The reality is, 40 per cent said they expected to give up the day job in 12 months to work on the business full-time, and another 34 per cent said the ultimate aim was to be their own boss.

Working for yourself can be lonely We’ve observed this shift developing for many years. It comes as no surprise. And those early stages are electrically-charged and exciting. However, working for yourself does have its challenges. Our survey showed loneliness was a big issue with 50 per cent saying they felt lonely some of the time with another 29 per cent saying they felt lonely often. With 77 per cent being home-based and selffinancing their enterprise, it’s unsurprising it doesn’t come with some mental challenges. The interesting statistic for me was that working on a side hustle was less of a lonely business, so mixing it up can have its upsides. Stress comes in peaks and troughs. And while almost half (49 per cent) of those working full-time on their business say they feel stressed often, this


E nter pr is e F undi n g

actually falls again when it comes to those running a side hustle to 32 per cent, this could be down to the financial security that having steady income can bring. When it comes to feeling supported, 82 per cent said they felt the Government wasn’t supportive enough. That wasn’t so much about expecting services or advice to be delivered on a plate, most admitted they hadn’t even looked at to find out what was available. What they were looking for was for their efforts and sacrifices to be reflected in lower taxes, grants and funding that would give them a financial break. And that’s an easy thing to understand. These are not people who have set up a business because they want to somehow avoid tax, they’re taking a risk and want to do it because they have found a gap in the market for their product, want the flexibility of working for themselves or just want to do the kind of work they enjoy.

Taking advice Advice is another important element of success for small firms. All evidence points to the fact that firms that take advice in order to get to the next level are more successful than those that don’t. We’ve just unveiled our own adviser marketplace which will make it so much easier for people to find relevant, bite-sized advice when and where they need it. A survey of our own advisers this month has shown that there has been an upturn in advice requests from small firms – and it hasn’t been about Brexit, quite the contrary. The main focus has been growth and how to make more profit. Even if the plan is to stay small, firms need that extra bit of help to ensure things are sustainable and avoid making costly and unnecessary mistakes.

Mighty tech platforms like Amazon, Etsy and Instagram mean people can export their product around the world from their kitchen table, without having to employ anyone.



L ove we l l B l a ke

KEEPING YOUR CASH FLOW FLOWING Keeping a handle on your cashflow is a vital but all-too-rare business imperative, says James Shipp, partner at Lovewell Blake.


ost business owners can trot out that hoary old maxim, ‘Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality’ – but the actual reality is that too many business owners don’t prioritise keeping their cash flowing at all. I still see clients who simply look at how much money they have in the bank at any given moment as the principal, and sometimes only, measure of how their business is doing. But as we have seen from the difficulties at the UK’s only remaining bus manufacturer Wrightbus, which was responsible for the iconic new London doubledecker, a full order book and the promise of future profits count for nothing if there are cashflow difficulties. Sadly for that company, its staff and its shareholders, cashflow difficulties have put the business into administration. There is a lesson there for every business owner.


One of the reasons why so many fail to engage with their cashflow situation is that the whole concept is more complicated than the simple profit and loss spreadsheets with which anyone running a company will be familiar. It is historically difficult to measure, difficult to track, and particularly difficult to predict. Fortunately the new generation of cloud-based accounting packages, which are gaining significant traction as a result of the HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative, are making the task that much easier. But that counts for nothing if the business owner doesn’t grasp the importance of the metric in the first place. Even if you don’t pay much attention to your cashflow, potential investors and funders certainly will do, because it paints a better picture of how well – or how badly – the business can support itself and grow than any other metric (and that includes profitability).


L ove we ll B l a ke

The days when businesses had the kind of personal relationship with their bank manager which allowed them to phone up and extend the overdraft for a couple of months to tide over a cashflow blip are long gone. So for all sorts of reasons, it is vital to get your head around your cashflow, and ensure it is healthy. For start-up businesses, cashflow is an immediate and obvious issue. Buying stock, setting up systems, investing in equipment and vehicles, recruiting staff – all of these can happen before you receive a penny of revenue from customers. And, of course, being a new business means that suppliers are going to be wary of offering you generous credit terms; that is something you have to earn over time. Equally, growing businesses often come up against cashflow issues. Because this is often a time for optimism (growth generally comes because a business is doing well), the cashflow implications of expanding too fast can be ignored – sometimes with business-killing consequences. Upsizing to meet demand can make significant demands on a business’s cash, often way before the fruits of that expansion start flowing into the company’s bank account.

optimistic predictions. Getting an accurate figure has involved a line-by-line analysis of the books, something which few have either the time or the inclination to undertake. Modern accounting systems have largely overcome this problem, however, presenting quality management information at the click of a mouse. Having access to such accurate information is the key to ensuring that cashflow predictions are realistic and for understanding where the potential vulnerabilities lie, allowing businesses to plan for them and mitigate them in advance. The undeniable fact is that businesses which are not using these sophisticated platforms to make future projections are at best restricting their access to finance and their ability to grow – and in the worst case, are risking the survival of what may be a perfectly sound and profitable company. And that truly is reality.

Businesses which are not using these sophisticated platforms to make future projections are at best restricting their access to finance and their ability to grow

There are things that you can do to mitigate those pressures, such as leasing equipment and vehicles rather than trying to finance outright purchase, allowing you to pay for them over time, as the extra revenue starts to flow. Even if you have the cash for an outright purchase, you may be better advised holding onto it in case at some stage a client doesn’t pay a bill, for example. Even in businesses which are not facing growth pressures, there is the issue of predicting future pressures on cashflow. You would be astonished at how many people seem surprised when their VAT bill becomes due, for example, even though those dates are fixed and known from day one. So why do so many business owners not truly understand their cashflow position, or even why it is so important to the survival of their company? The answer lies mainly in the (perceived) complexity of sorting out the numbers. With traditional spreadsheet-based accounting systems, creating a cashflow forecast can be time-consuming, and in any case there is a tendency to produce over-

Cloud-based accounting packages such as Xero have seen a big increase in uptake in the past year, largely driven by the HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative, which requires VAT-registered businesses to use software which enables the Revenue to see in more detail the figures behind their VAT returns.

JAMES SHIPP Partner, Lovewell Blake

But anecdotal evidence suggests that while many businesses took the decision to put their accounts in the cloud because of MTD, they are seeing all sorts of other benefits beyond being compliant – with many wondering why they didn’t take the plunge earlier. The owner of one Norwich-based PR business said, “I had been using a spreadsheet-based system since I started my business, and to be honest was quite happy with it and wasn’t especially looking forward to the hassle of making the transition to a cloudbased system. “Fast forward six months, and I now realise what I didn’t have before: instant snapshots of the state of my business finances, a much easier way of tracking unpaid invoices (I have managed to reduce my overdue debtors by half), and a clear view of the cash situation in the company. “I was cursing HMRC for making me move to the cloud, but if I met the mythical taxman now, I would shake him by the hand - for this reason at least.”



OFFICE OF NATIONAL STATISTICS PUBLISHES LATEST DATA FOR R&D TAX CREDITS Everyone involved in Research & Development Tax Credits will tell you it’s been a busy year for HMRC, with delays in the processing of claims over the summer hitting an unprecedented nearly four months between submission and repayment. Whether those delays have also led to the one-month delay in the publishing of the ONS’s annual review of the Research and Development Tax Relief scheme we’ll let you decide! It’s fair to say though that HMRC broke the back of the problem in September and credit should be given to them for getting on top of things and getting back on schedule with their 28-day turnaround times.

the big question is, will the SME Scheme top £3bn in tax savings in 2017/18?

What does the data say? You can get the full report at https://assets.publishing.

The average claim under the SME Scheme grew to £49,173, but if you consider that there were 120 claims over £1m of which 35 were over £2m, perhaps the median claim value is the best source of comparison, that median claim value is around £19,000, even that is still a very nice amount of extra cash to have in your bank account! What do you think you would do with the extra money?

SME Claims continue to grow

Why do some SMEs claim under the RDEC Scheme? system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/837282/Research_and_ Development_Tax_Credits_Statistics_ October_2019.pdf

Well it confirms the fact that HMRC have been busy. There were over 45,000 claims under the SME Scheme for the 2016-17 tax year that’s an increase of nearly 22% and already there have been over 42,000 claims under the SME Scheme for the 2017-18 tax year, that’s with still 9 months to pass before the deadline for the submission of amended claims. It also shows that over 12,000 business applied for the SME Scheme for the first time! That’s 12,000 companies like yours realising that they might be able to claim and getting in touch with someone to help them.

So does the amount they are claiming! In 2016-17 the total support given to small businesses via the SME Scheme rose to over £2.2bn add to that a further £205m under RDEC and that’s over £2.4bn of tax savings. But if you look at the claims for this current year, they have already nearly hit £2.5bn so


The RDEC scheme exists predominantly for Large Companies, those with more than 500 employees, so to qualify as an SME you can actually be quite big! Despite the size of their business, some SME’s have to claim under RDEC, that’s normally because they have received a grant to fund some elements of their project. This is often an area that is overlooked by businesses, because it is possible to claim both a grant and R&D Tax Relief. The other area overlooked by businesses and this is particularly the case with software development companies is that if you are being subcontracted to by a large or international company to deliver a project for them, and the project is R&D for you, then you can claim under the RDEC scheme, as well as being paid by your customer. What is often even more overlooked is that if you bear the financial risk of that project, which generally means if you fail to deliver it on time or on budget, then you bear the additional costs,

then you can actually claim under the SME Scheme for that project and get paid for it by your customer.

Are you part of the Statistics or part of the 75% still missing out? A survey conducted over the summer, “The State of Small Business Britain” highlighted that 75% of eligible businesses in the UK are still missing out on R&D Tax Relief claims. That’s a massive number, but the anecdotal evidence for that is plain to see within the market, as our own marketing efforts keep turning up more business like yours who weren’t aware of their potential to claim for interesting projects that they have been performing that have an element of scientific or technological development to them. If you want to be part of the 25% of the statistics next year instead of staying with the 75% still missing out all you have to do is give us a call or drop us an e-mail and we’ll have a no obligation 15-minute chat with you about your interesting project to see whether you can claim. That chat could be worth £19,000, and we reckon we need less than 2 days of your time to prepare the claim! Go on pick up the phone! Contact Simon on 01424 225345 or at and reference EAB04.


MEMBERS VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION One of the services we provide to our clients is a Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL).


although there is a limit that each shareholder can claim during their lifetime of £10 million.

his is a corporate procedure used to close a company when it is solvent (i.e. it can pay all of its debts). The procedure allows a tax efficient way to withdraw funds from a company, instead of salary or dividends. The process is fully approved by HMRC. An MVL is often used when a company is no longer required – this could be due to a retirement or business sale, or when the company no longer has a purpose, such as a fixed term contract having ended. Clients may consider an MVL following a discussion with their accountant or financial adviser about their options, however it must be a licensed insolvency practitioner who formally liquidates the company. Clients using an MVL will often claim “Entrepreneurs Relief”, which allows shareholders to pay an effective tax rate of just 10% on the funds due to them. This is a much lower tax rate than withdrawing the funds as salary or a dividend,

The MVL process usually starts with a discussion with one of our licensed insolvency practitioners, to assess whether the company can pay off all of its liabilities. The directors are required to swear or affirm a statement containing the company’s balance sheet. Following this, the company will hold meetings of the directors and shareholders and the directors will sign the necessary paperwork. We liaise with the company’s accountant to ensure all HMRC returns are filed and paid, and that all other liabilities are paid before distributing the remaining funds to shareholders, which can be a fast process, with funds usually paid out within 24 hours of the liquidation commencing.

LEADING UK 0800 246 1845

We pride ourselves on providing an outstanding service every time, so if you are considering closing your company using an MVL, contact us on 0845 246 1845.




Validate your claim,

No Win No Fee

Call us on: 01424 225 345


Office 8

Charter House

Cooden half page February22 2016.indd 1

email us on:

43 St Leonards Road

Bexhill on Sea

East Sussex TN40 1JA 22/02/2016 17:41



B r i t i s h B u s i ne s s B a n k

SECURING START UP FUNDING Starting and growing your own business is an exciting prospect. It allows you to follow your passion, become your own boss and take ownership of your career.


ut the highs of escaping the nine to five come with significant challenges. The good news is that there is a lot of help out there for people who want to take the plunge – it’s just a question of knowing where to look to access the right support, advice and funding you need.

Sources of affordable finance Raising or sourcing affordable finance is one of the main challenges that aspiring businesses owners face. Lenders will want to see a detailed business plan and cash flow forecast and even with those, start ups can struggle to be eligible for a loan from banks and other mainstream finance providers owing to the lack of collateral, credit history or trading history.

Kevin was working full time in London when one morning, as he and his children were having pancakes, he noticed the amount of sugar in their favourite breakfast spread. Kevin and his wife Kellie set about researching healthier options and realised there was no low-sugar alternative available. That’s when, with no prior experience in the food industry, Kevin decided to quit his lucrative job in the City and use a Start Up Loan of £25,000 to launch his own brand of low-sugar chocolate spreads, jams and marmalades. Four years on, their spreads are available in major UK supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. Their annual turnover grew by 106% between 2017 and 2018 and at the end of last year, the business expanded to America, selling in Publix stores – the largest employeeowned grocery chain in the United States – across 800 of its outlets.

Raising or sourcing affordable finance is one of the main challenges that aspiring businesses owners face.

RICHARD BEARMAN Managing Director at The British Business Bank and is responsible for the Start Up Loans programme. Previously, he was Head of Small Business for HSBC UK.

Fortunately, there are alternative sources of funding, including the Governmentfunded Start Up Loans programme. The programme is part of the British Business Bank, the government-owned economic development bank. Start Up Loans provide fixed-interest loans of up to £25,000 to aspiring business owners across the UK. Since it was set up in 2012, it has lent over £519 million pounds through more than 65,730 loans, of which over 4,416 loans went to business owners in the East of England.

East Anglia business owners One example of such business owners is entrepreneurial couple Kevin and Kellie Bath from Halstead, who founded low-sugar spread business, JimJams.


Find out more Starting a business can be daunting, there’s no doubt about it, but it can also be one of the most exciting and thrilling things you ever do. So, if you’ve got an idea that you think fills a gap in the market, get in touch. We encourage you to read more on the free support and advice section of our website and the straightforward application process for a loan can be accessed at the following link:


B r i t ish B u sine ss B a n k


IN FRAST R UCT U R E A N D T RA N S P O RT R o ad Hau l a ge A s s o c i at ion


I N FRASTRU CTU RE A N D TRA N S PORT R oad Haul a ge A ss o c i at ion

THE ROAD TO LOGISTICS Moves to tackle the HGV driver shortage have received a huge boost as the Government agreed to award vital funding for the Road Haulage Association’s (RHA) programme to get more people driving Britain’s lorries.


IN FRAST R UCT U R E A N D T RA N S P O RT R o ad Hau l a ge A s s o c i at ion


oad to Logistics – a partnership between the Association and telematics experts Microlise – is a recruitment and training initiative which will bring veterans, ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed into the sector. The £1m seed funding announced by Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps will help kick start the programme as it pledges to bring 300 new faces into the profession in the first year. Following a successful trial with HM Prison Sudbury and other prisons across the UK, Road to Logistics will link potential drivers with employers, mentor them and put them through the necessary training including taking their HGV driving test. A slew of new drivers will ease the recruitment crisis as tougher immigration rules are set to make it harder for haulier firms to hire workers from the EU after Brexit. We estimate the industry is short of 60,000 truck drivers – a figure which has grown through uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the EU. The industry relies heavily on drivers from the EU with truckers from eastern Europe in particular swelling the ranks. But a Government slow to reassure workers of their rights to stay in the UK after Brexit left many workers nervous about the future – unwelcome even – so we’ve seen many returning to their countries of origin or off to seek work in other EU states. The crisis hasn’t been helped by a falling Pound which has made the UK a less attractive prospect than it once was for truckers to drive Britain’s trucks The RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett hailed the cash as the culmination of three years’ hard work and praised the Government for giving the programme the boost it needs. When the scheme’s up and running it will also make it easier for firms to unlock much-needed Apprenticeship Levy

funding which is key to helping the industry recruit and train the next generation of drivers. Haulage has an aging workforce. The average age of a trucker is 55 and only around two percent are under 25. But the industry has only drawn down around £10m of the £120m it’s paid into the levy since it’s 2017 launch. Given it costs up to £5,000 to train as a truck driver many young people struggling to raise the money drift off to other professions. And with firms operating on paper-thin profit margins – typically around two percent – most can’t afford to invest in training programmes. Meanwhile we’ve slammed the Government’s plans to impose 16 percent tariffs on new trucks imported from the EU if there’s a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. Burnett said this is a result of incoherent policy making at a time when hauliers are being forced to upgrade their trucks halfway through their life cycles to meet clean air rules. Around 60 local authorities have been directed to bring air quality to within legal limits in the shortest time possible after the Government lost a case brought by environmental lawyers ClientEarth. Town hall chiefs are drawing up clean air zones and imposing up to £100 daily charges on pre-Euro VI standard trucks to enter. But the RHA believes that these policies will see hauliers going out of business if they’re not able to upgrade to compliant vehicles in time. The problem is timing. Councils have been given the brief to bring emissions to within legal limits ‘in the shortest time’ with a framework to hit hauliers with punitive charges rather than helping them upgrade their fleets. This means trucks being priced out of city centres which could kickstart a modal switch to vans – and given that it takes around 20 vans carry the same load as a truck it could lead to even more congestion on our roads and therefore more emissions. We’re calling for a phased approach which targets older trucks first, giving those with Euro V engines – some only halfway through their lifecycle – a realistic timeframe to comply. All this at a time when nitrous oxide (NOx) from trucks has halved in five years, according to new government statistics. Department for Transport figures show a 52 percent fall between 2013 and 2018 and the trend is set to continue as more operators upgrade to Euro VI lorries. In our recently published RHA NOx Emission Assessment, we project that NOx emissions from HGVs will have fallen more than 80 percent by the end of 2025 marking a seismic shift from an industry seen by many in town halls as archpolluters. And how does our footprint compare with other emissions key sources? Very well according to the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory data. Our report points to figures which show that lorries and buses combined accounted for only 7.6


I N FRASTRU CTU RE A N D TRA N S PORT R oad Haul a ge A ss o c i at ion

percent of NOx in 2015 – it was 9.8 percent two years earlier. Passenger cars and ‘other transport’ on the other hand increased over the same period (to 16% and 31.8%, respectively) which makes it all the more galling when local authorities – backed by government – press on with punitive clean air charges for HGVs. Operators of Euro V trucks forced to upgrade early can be forgiven for feeling aggrieved at paying up to £100 per day whilst drivers of other vehicle types are exempt.

about traffic or emissions displacement outside it. Hauliers hit by his charges will be looking on with interest in the coming months.

Councils have been given the brief to bring emissions to within legal limits ‘in the shortest time’ with a framework to hit hauliers with punitive charges rather than helping them upgrade their fleets.

London’s ULEZ is already up and running and the capital’s mayor has been very quick to point to its successes a few months in. But we’ve seen nothing about the impact his ULEZ had on air quality within the zone, nor anything

Some councils are bucking the trend. We can hail victories for common sense in Southampton, Nottingham and Derby, whose local authorities have rejected clean air zones in favour of sensible, sustainable policies but others haven’t listened and there are more battles to come.


We’re making it loud and clear to town halls that if they’re serious about clean air they need to target polluters proportionately and sustainably. Squeezing cash out of hauliers through pay-to-pollute policies won’t do the job for them.



POLAR OPPOSITE Bullet proof windscreens for military vehicles delivered to a war zone … exclusive Italian wines delivered to the LA Studios of one of the world’s biggest recording artists … An academics life’s work going to a publisher … a CEO’s favourite toothbrush sent to his holiday home … the only working prototype in the world of a life changing medical device … “Fantastic service! Jag has really found a way to ship our Dry Ice shipments around the world simply and on time … and is saving us hundreds of pounds per shipment compared to our previous supplier …” People at the heart


ust some of the items delivered by this extraordinary courier company!

… and how about a 110 year old stuffed penguin (captured on one of the first Polar surveys)? This, however, is not the only way in which this company is the polar opposite of their competition …

Local company, global deliveries A very familiar sight around the Cambridge area for 20 years, you’ll see their distinctive vehicles visiting the colleges and all the Science and Business Parks daily. Yet this Cambridge company also delivers items to the furthest reaches of the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and almost everywhere in-between.

JAG EXPRESS 01223 242250

“We specialise in delivering things other couriers don’t, won’t or can’t move,” explains founder Graham Lloyd. “We’re a genuine one-stop shop for absolutely anything going absolutely anywhere. Many of our competitors focus on shifting high volumes of boxes… we concentrate on service and couriering items others don’t.” Jag Express offers specialist services including dry ice and medical deliveries, hazardous goods, exhibition deliveries, freight, same-day courier, UK overnight and worldwide courier services. Their in-depth knowledge of the import and export requirements of countries around the globe, ensures their deliveries go smoothly. Founded almost twenty years ago, one of their greatest achievements is that as a small, independent company, their reputation has put them on the global stage with customers in the medical, R&D and University fields around the world


“Providing a personal service is the focus of our work,” explains Graham. “My wife and I noticed a gap in the market for a courier company that put customers first. At the time, most companies in the industry had a pretty poor reputation for customer service and that’s where we were determined to do things differently. Ease of use was another priority, and we were one of the first logistics companies to set up a website back in 2001, making it simple and straightforward to book and track deliveries online. “I often spend one day a month driving a van, collecting and making deliveries. It’s one of the ways I stay in touch with our customers and listen to their feedback. We never assume tomorrow will be like today - that’s what makes our jobs so interesting. Today, we work with companies of all sizes from start-ups to SMEs and multinational Corporations.”

Part of your business’s success “What a pleasure to deal with a supplier who not only seems to care about our goods but actually shows an interest in our business … you make us feel as if we are your best customer.” Aware of the key role they play in the success of their customers’ businesses, the Jag Express team is friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and reliable. You’ll find the benefits of using an experienced, independent courier company, such as they are, range from the personal service you’ll receive to the efficiency, security, peace of mind, value for money and convenience. It will come as no surprise that their second ever customer remains a customer today, having grown from a six-person start-up in the Chesterford Research Park to a global company worth over a billion dollars. The loyalty of their customer base speaks volumes about the quality of their service, as does their ISO 9001:2015 Quality accreditation.

“We consider you a part of our operation … available on tap as and when we need you … you have been invaluable as we have grown …


STILL GROWING AFTER 80 YEARS Clegg Construction has been trading since the 1930s, over the last 80 years, Clegg from its operating bases in Cambridge, Nottingham and Leeds, has steadily grown with a group turnover of £100million per annum. This safe and ethical business is constantly evolving and working with different clients to grow organically. With activities in their core sectors of Commercial, Education and Residential 2019 has proven to be another successful year for the Construction arm of the business Recent completions include the new 420 place Lubbesthorpe Primary School.

And the new Students’ Union at Aston University building has been officially opened and is among the most modern and sustainable of its type in the country.

provide full-time residential, nursing and specialist dementia care for up to 64 older people including Frail and Younger People living with Dementia (YPD) and will create over 90 full-time jobs.

While in the West Midlands they are on site delivering 743 student bedrooms across 2 major developments at Upper Dean Street, Birmingham and Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry, both set for completion in 2020. These schemes add to the 513 bedrooms Clegg Construction delivered on time for students returning to Sheffield and Nottingham based universities this autumn.

RACHEL JOHNS Head of Business Development

Clegg is building a £9m bespoke 62-bed nursing home called Oakham Grange, in Rutland, which is set to open in early 2020 and will create up to 200 jobs. This is the first nursing home to be built by family owned Ardale Ltd and the three-level building on Wheatfield Way, Oakham, will feature ‘interesting design touches’ like a putting green. Clegg Construction is also on site, building a nursing home on Farley Way, in Quorn, Leicestershire for Care UK. When complete, the new care facilities will

The team based in the recently opened Cambridge Office are excited about the prospect of their first projects, which are now in the final stages of design and are set to start on site in Early 2020 For more details, please contact Rachel Johns, Head of Business Development, 07921 471572, Rachel.

Clegg Construction Ltd, a subsidiary of Clegg Group Ltd, is based in Nottingham, covering the Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia. We are a solution-focussed main contractor with extensive multi-sector project experience in Design and Build, Traditional and Framework Contacts. Each project we undertake is completed with the highest level of professionalism and dedicated to customer care.

Please contact Rachel Johns, Head of Business Development 0792 1 471 572


Leading Warehousing, Logistics & Fulfilment

We’re leaders in efficient & dependable logistics giving your business the freedom to grow Contact us today to find out more 01953 888381 |


DO YOU THINK BUSINESS EVENTS ARE A WASTE OF RESOURCES? YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG A decade ago, the financial crisis and ensuing recession changed everything – and those working in the events industry were hit hard. Gone were the days of lavish budgets and using events as a spending exercise, it was time to get creative. While nobody would have wanted that cataclysmic global event to happen, the change it forced on the industry hasn’t been all bad. In fact, it could be said that it’s revitalised the work that is done by events professionals, compelled them to work more closely with in-house marketing teams and the benefit to clients is significant. That’s why when you do them right, events can deliver a great return on your investment. So, how do you avoid the pitfalls of staging an event?

Speak to a professional There’s a good reason why an events specialist should be your first investment and that’s because of the amount of time and money they can save you. Don’t expect your in-house team to have the knowledge and expertise to deliver a great event because the chances are that they won’t. There are several key decisions an events professional will help you make – including whether your idea can be achieved for the budget you have, the right suppliers to use to help you deliver a great experience and any risks you need to take into account.

Decide on your business goals It’s so easy to hit upon an idea you love and get carried away with excitement. You need to keep your business goals in focus. Ask yourself, how does this event fit into the bigger picture of our marketing activities? What value will it create for my target audience? How does the customer experience map out at the event and beyond? Any events professional you use should be guiding you through these questions, and helping you to define what a return on investment means for your company and how to achieve it.

Be realistic At great deal of businesses have amazing ideas for events but don’t have the budgets to make them happen. This doesn’t have to be the end of the conversation, because any events professional worth their salt will help you find innovative ways to solve gaps in funding. They’ll also be able to give you advice on the timeline of event preparation. Fantastic events involve a time investment and can’t be turned around in two weeks, so be prepared to take your time.

Mitigate risk Every decision you take in your events planning will have consequences so think them through. An events manager will help you avoid making costly mistakes, or taking a decision that could backfire on another part of the planning. Minimising risk and fighting fires are badges of honour for seasoned events pros. Let them help you to deliver an amazing experience on budget and on time.

“This is the very highest quality architecture” RIBA Stirling Prize 2018 Judges’ Citation

Storey’s Field Centre is a spectacular award-winning venue. Elegant, modern design, finished to the highest standard makes it a memorable space for conferences, meetings, presentations, dinners, fundraising events and product launches. Situated west of the city centre near the M11/ A14, the Centre has excellent transport connections to the city and beyond. Call to arrange a viewing or to discuss your requirements with our team. Storey’s Field Centre Eddington Avenue, Cambridge CB3 1AA 01223 656696



C a m br id ge J ud ge B u s i nes s S cho ol



C ambr id ge J ud ge B u siness S cho ol

‘FRUGAL INNOVATION’ ISN’T JUST FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: It’s a global movement that democratises innovation, with implications for policymakers and companies of every size and shape What is frugal innovation? Frugal innovation is the creation of faster, better and cheaper solutions that employ minimal ubiquitous resources. For long, this approach was the preserve of NGOs, entrepreneurs and companies in the developing world, who overcame resource constraints to create highly affordable products and services for large numbers of low-income consumers in sectors as diverse as food, health, education, financial services and energy. In recent years, however, the West has caught up with its own version of the phenomenon. For one thing, Western consumers are now not only value conscious, they also care about the environment and social problems such as poverty and inequality. Moreover, thanks to resources like smartphones, cloud computing, 3D printers, crowdfunding, and social media, small teams of Western entrepreneurs are now able to do with limited resources what only large firms or the government could do in the past. As such, frugal innovation is now a global phenomenon with implications for firms and governments alike.

What is the link between frugal innovation and digital manufacturing? A key driver of frugal innovation has been the democratisation of the means to innovate, from getting ideas, to prototyping, making and selling them. This has been the case with software solutions for some time now (WhatsApp, for instance, was developed by four people in a little over six months with minimal funding). But increasingly this is also true of physical products. Much of this is down to the democratisation of manufacturing tools and resources. Thanks to Fablabs and Maker Spaces, digital manufacturing tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters are now available to communities around the world. At such spaces, for a monthly fee, “makers” get access, not only to tools, but also to like-minded tinkerers and makers they can bounce ideas off and get help from. This means that it is now possible for small teams to engage in the entire innovation process – from developing and prototyping ideas, to manufacturing solutions and even distributing and selling them – without investing huge amounts 

The 20th Century model of large firms being the biggest employers, providing the vast majority of the population with a job for life, is rapidly eroding.



C a m br id ge J ud ge B u s i nes s S cho ol

 of capital in personnel, land or equipment. Such frugal innovation in manufacturing has the potential to revolutionise how industry is organised. Small local teams can now manufacture (at least) small devices and products for local consumption. The micro factories they work in may not be able to make the whole car, for example, but they can make the spare parts that go into cars, thus generating local employment and saving on transportation costs and time. Such local, frugal manufacturing can also revitalise inner cities by replacing an old 20th century industrial approach and infrastructure with a more environmentally friendly, higher-value-adding type of manufacturing that is also innovative.

What is the need and opportunity for digital manufacturing?

JAIDEEP PRABHU Professor of Marketing at Cambridge Judge Business School

As customers get more demanding and once monolithic market segments start to fragment, products and services will increasingly need to be customised and personalised for (almost) individual-specific needs. Digital manufacturing enables such extreme personalisation without a commensurate increase in cost. With digital manufacturing tools in place, the same assembly line can now potentially turn out many different types of mobile phones or even automobiles. Consumers enter their preferences through a website they can access on their smart phones; these preferences are fed through a computeraided assembly line; and the same infrastructure manufactures a product that has precisely the features that the consumer wants through a modular design. Such digital manufacturing processes help on the supply side by reducing time, energy, environmental waste and cost more generally, while on the demand side giving customers more or less exactly what they want at an affordable price. A further need and opportunity for digital manufacturing comes from the changing nature of work and employment. The 20th Century model of large firms being the biggest employers, providing the vast majority of the population with a job for life, is rapidly eroding. Increasingly, we see the rise of a gig economy where people work part time on multiple jobs for multiple employers, some of which are digital start-ups that weren’t around 10 years ago and might not be around in another five. More and more, even white-collar workers change jobs and sectors every so often. Even if they were to work in the same sector, the nature of the skills they need to succeed and thrive are constantly changing. In this context, there has been a rise in self-employment around the world, with a concomitant rise in the interest in entrepreneurship. When more and more people are self-employed or seek such forms of employment, digital manufacturing and high-value-adding mini factories in cities could be a valuable and popular source of high value adding employment.


How can large and small companies tap into the frugal innovation/digital manufacturing revolution? Thanks to digital manufacturing (and frugal innovation more generally), many small companies are now able to survive and prosper not only in software and small-scale hardware but also in traditional heavy industrial categories such as automotive. Take the case of Local Motors, the American manufacturing company which focuses on the low-volume manufacturing of open-source vehicles using a chain of microfactories. Founded in 2007 in Phoenix, Arizona, the company manufactures vehicles using 3D printing and vehicle designs developed by its online community. Falling barriers to scale and the rise of such start-ups is likely to challenge large companies to follow suit. Indeed, General Electric has begun to develop its own chain of microfactories that use small-batch manufacturing to focus on product development and innovation. In collaboration with Local Motors, the behemoth intends to develop several such “small factories” to do rapid prototyping and small-batch manufacturing in partnership with its engineers as well as its customers, entrepreneurs and students.

What are the implications for policy makers and governments? The linked phenomena of frugal innovation and digital manufacturing pose several challenges for governments even as they offer many new opportunities. First, governments can celebrate and help spread information and awareness about grassroots trends such as the maker movement. A case in point is Barack Obama hosting a Maker Faire in the White House in 2014 that showcased the achievements of makers across the USA, many of whom had produced interesting products and services such as affordable incubators using digital labs and maker spaces. Second, governments, especially at the city level, can do more to make land and facilities available for maker spaces. The city of Barcelona is a case in point. Over the last five years the mayor has facilitated the growth of a network of Fab Labs in the city that engaged local communities and focus on different sectors including automotive, construction and architecture, and household appliances. Finally, governments can create a regulatory framework and procurement regime that enables small groups of people to compete against large conglomerates that might otherwise use their greater resources and lobbying power to dominate what is now being called the 4th industrial revolution.


C ambr id ge J ud ge B u siness S cho ol

It is now possible for small teams to engage in the entire innovation process – from developing and prototyping ideas, to manufacturing solutions and even distributing and selling them – without investing huge amounts of capital in personnel, land or equipment. Such frugal innovation in manufacturing has the potential to revolutionise how industry is organised.



E N E R GY FOC U S C a r b on Tr u s t

CARBON TRUST/ ENERGY EFFICIENCY ADVICE FOR SME S Simple measures can deliver significant benefits when it comes to energy efficiency. Here the Carbon Trust outlines some initial steps that small to medium-sized companies can take.



C arb on Tr u st


easures to reduce carbon emissions and save energy are becoming more widely adopted across the UK. The government has recently committed to reducing UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, demonstrating growing ambition on climate change. Companies are waking up to the cost advantages of reducing their energy consumption, as well as the reputational ones. However, not all businesses have fully embraced energy efficiency widow. In 2016, ScottishPower commissioned a survey from YouGov which found that over 60% of UK small to medium-sized businesses (SME) business owners don’t regard energy efficiency in the workplace as a key priority, and more than half of SME business owners don’t have any active measures in place to reduce energy use. For many SMEs, their reticence can often be attributed to concerns around the time and money required to implement these measures. However, energy savings can be quicker and more affordable than many believe and can bring a wide range of benefits to a business that far outweigh the costs.

Where to start There are many low to no cost measures that can be implemented to achieve significant reductions on energy bills. Businesses can save 5-10% on their energy costs through minimal capital expenditure measures, such as behavioural changes e.g. switching off equipment and closing windows at the end of the day. Small changes, including the avoidance of over-heating and over-cooling (especially during non-operational hours) and engaging employees on taking energy saving measures, can make a big difference. Companies can also start reducing energy by looking at energy bills and taking regular meter readings. By analysing energy consumption, companies can identify where energy wastage can be minimised and improve their overall decision making on energy usage. Installing a smart meter can provide vital information on those areas of a business that are consuming the most energy. While, installing cost-effective technologies with short payback periods, such as LED lighting, should also be undertaken where possible. To ensure the best results, taking action to reduce energy consumption should not be a one-off initiative, but rather part of a comprehensive plan. Companies who perform regular energy reviews will help to ensure that energy saving policies are delivering the promised benefits. Other than saving money on energy bills and lowering the environmental footprint of your business, saving energy can also reap reputational benefits. Customers are increasingly attracted to environmentally conscious companies, which can give a competitive advantage.

Employee engagement Employee engagement in resource efficiency and carbon reduction measures can help change behaviour in the workplace to reduce unnecessary energy consumption, cut an organisation’s carbon emissions and realise significant savings. It is vital that companies communicate their energy management plan to employees at every stage, as effective energy management relies on everyone being involved and playing their part. Among the benefits of employee engagement are: Energy savings: a well implemented employee engagement scheme can lead to energy savings of approximately 5-10%. Employee satisfaction: participation in employee engagement schemes can make employees feel valued. Knowing that their organisation cares about sustainability can improve employee satisfaction and retention. Reputation: an employee engagement scheme around sustainability shows that an organisation cares about both its employees and the environment which can positively impact its reputation with its customers and other stakeholders, such as suppliers and investors.

How the Carbon Trust can help you The Carbon Trust has produced a number of guides and resources to support SMEs who are trying to become more energy efficient. These can be downloaded free in the Tools, Guides and Reports section on the Carbon Trust website:


The Carbon Trust also has free online tools available which are specifically designed for SME businesses in the UK and which take users through a step-by-step process with the aim of reducing their energy bills. They include the: SME Energy Benchmark Tool: comparing relative performance of sites against industry benchmarks, helping to prioritise savings opportunities. SME Carbon Footprint Calculator: enabling companies to measure and report on their greenhouse gas emissions. Lighting Business Case Tool: assessing current lighting use and potential savings from upgrading to more efficient lighting and controls. Sector and technology guides, energy saving self-assessment tools, and more information can be found online at:



PLANS TO TRANSFORM TRAVEL IN GREATER NORWICH MOVE A STEP CLOSER Proposals for a substantial funding bid to central government have been submitted to a council committee and have the potential to transform travel in Greater Norwich if approved.


n September 2018, Greater Norwich was one of 10 city areas shortlisted to apply for a share of an £840m grant from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Transforming Cities Fund. In the following budget announcement, this was extended to 12 city areas and a £1.2bn total fund. The fund aims to make it easier for people to access jobs, training and retail, and also aims to respond to issues around carbon reduction and improving local air quality, with a strong focus on increasing use of public transport, walking and cycling. Transport for Norwich, which is a partnership between Norfolk, Norwich, Broadland District and South Norfolk councils successfully secured £6.1m from an initial £60m pot in March 2019 for six schemes, several of which are already on the ground, with Beryl announced as the provider of the city’s new bike share scheme just last week.


Members of the Transforming Cities Joint Committee will now meet on 16 October to discuss the schemes proposed in the main bid before submitting its recommendations to the November meeting of the council’s cabinet. If approved, a successful bid could attract an unprecedented level of investment in local transport infrastructure in excess of £70m which would enable the delivery of a high-quality, integrated transport network for the area. More frequent and faster bus journey times, cleaner vehicles, improvements to ticketing and travel information, better interchange between transport modes, improved facilities for walking and cycling and a more efficient use of the highway network are all features outlined in the proposals for Greater Norwich and the bid highlights strategic corridors, each with a focus on where they meet the city centre. A major city centre scheme central to the proposals is the remodelling of the layout of

St Stephens Street, Red Lion Street and Castle Meadow to enable buses to pick up and set down passengers more easily, whilst reducing emissions and improving safety and the overall experience for passengers, pedestrians and cyclists using the city centre. Our assessment to date indicates that the schemes outlined in the bid are those that best fit the requirements set out by the DfT, meet the priorities for investment outlined in public consultation and will deliver the maximum benefit for local residents, the economy and the environment. If approved by the cabinet and joint committee, final plans will be submitted to The Department for Transport at the end of November 2019 with a funding decision expected in March 2020. Each individual scheme or group of schemes would then be subject to further development and public consultation, where appropriate.


Haven Powe r L td

HOW ENERGY MARKET CHANGES COULD AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS AND ITS SUSTAINABILITY In previous articles, Ipswich-based electricity and energy services provider Haven Power discussed how you can easily switch to renewable energy and ensure your employees engage with your sustainability journey.


his time, the company addresses the transformation of the energy market and associated technology developments, and what this might mean for your sustainability strategy and business success.

Blowin’ in the wind… The UK has set its net-zero emissions target for 2050. Many generators have chosen to play their part in this decarbonisation drive by relying more upon solar photovoltaic (PV) or wind turbines for their power. While this is good news in terms of reducing emissions, it also means that the country will be more reliant upon intermittent, weatherdependent sources. This reliance raises the issue of ensuring there’s enough power to meet demand. This is something that the new, decentralised “smart grid” should handle by replacing today’s centralised national network. This future system will use the data gathered from smart meters alongside an interconnected grid of smaller generators (plus existing national operators like Drax) to match supply with demand. Put another way, the “smart grid” will balance the sun- and wind-generated electricity with sources of ‘dispatchable power’. Easy to turn on (of off) quickly and cost-effectively, this power is likely to come from existing, larger generators such as Drax. This may create an opportunity for your business – as long as you can develop a small-scale solar PV or wind operation. Becoming a generator can both reduce your carbon footprint and allow you to sell any excess power (the electricity you don’t need to run your business) back to the Grid. If you do have surplus electricity, you should also explore the viability of using battery storage technology. Generating your own power and then storing it can give you the option of reducing your peak time energy usage – and the associated costs – by using your stored power. This also allows you to benefit from Demand Side Response schemes that pay you for cutting down (or shifting) the amount of power you use when market demand is high.

What’s happening now? In addition to these technologies, UK businesses are also considering electric vehicles as a means of achieving lower emissions. For example, Drax employees in Ipswich travelled 5,007 km between October 2018 and May 2019 in the company’s electric vehicle (EV) pool car – preventing 1.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions entering the atmosphere. The site’s also set to expand its EV fleet and add extra charging points to cope with the increasing demand from staff, customers and visitors. Recently, Drax has also helped SES Water to lease 10 electric vans (taking that number of its dieselpowered fleet vehicles off the road) and to install 16 charge points. This is in addition to supplying the utility with 100% renewable power, backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs).

HAVEN POWER LTD If you’d like to start transforming your business by a simple switch to renewable electricity, or to reduce your emissions by talking to Haven Power’s Energy Services team, please email:

What’s next? Haven Power can support your business on its sustainability journey by helping you make sense of the array of technologies available – and ensuring you reap the benefits.


E N E R GY FOC U S E a s t A ng l i a O ne

FIRST POWER GENERATED AT EAST ANGLIA’S LARGEST OFFSHORE WINDFARM East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm, a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Green Investment Group, has successfully generated its first power as the project takes another significant step towards completion.


s of Thursday 12th September, clean, green power from one turbine is now flowing to the onshore substation at Burstall, near Bramford in Suffolk. The first of the 102 turbines to begin generating power is known as WTG E19, and is located over 43km from the coast of Lowestoft.

EAST ANGLIA ONE East Anglia ONE is the first of four offshore windfarms ScottishPower Renewables is developing in the region. For more information about East Anglia ONE visit:

Engineers have already started commissioning further turbines and more power will come online at regular intervals. So far 25 turbines have been fully constructed. Once complete, East Anglia ONE will produce 714 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy for the UK, enough to power over 630,000 homes*. The largest offshore windfarm built off the coast of East Anglia, each of East Anglia ONE’s turbines are being pre-assembled and loaded out from Peel Ports Great Yarmouth to the windfarm site 43km from the coast. The power generated from the turbines is then transferred via underground cables from the windfarm to the onshore substation. Each 7MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbine consists of three, 75-metre fibre glass blades, a 90 metrehigh tower and a nacelle (the head of the turbine). The generation of first power marks another milestone for East Anglia ONE, and all of the


turbines will be installed and operational in 2020. Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE Project Director, said: “First power being generated at East Anglia ONE is a huge achievement. “We are continuing to progress towards completion of the offshore windfarm and reaching this point is down to the incredible efforts of everyone involved, from local contractors and employees through to national and international businesses. We’ve worked hard to get to this point and look forward to continuing to work together to bring each turbine online. “Once operational, East Anglia ONE will produce clean energy the UK needs, whilst also providing long-term jobs and opportunities to the people and businesses of East Anglia both now and in the future.” Ed Northam, head of GIG in the UK and Europe, said: “First power is always an important milestone for any project and I congratulate the Scottish Power Renewables team working on the project from Great Yarmouth. This is an important project for Suffolk, and the UK, and we look forward to the day when all 102 state-of-the art turbines are producing green power.”



THEME ANNOUNCED FOR SNS2020, EEEGR’S ANNUAL FLAGSHIP CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION: SMART GENERATION – THE TRANSITION TO 2050. The energy sector is undergoing a seismic shift as it reacts to the UK Government’s plans to be a net zero producer of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


ith this in mind, SNS2020 will showcase presentations, speeches, meet the buyer sessions and workshops from industry leaders on the decarbonisation of the energy sector. Simon Gray CEO East of England Energy Group, outlines why this theme was the obvious choice for SNS2020: “This ambitious target will have far-reaching consequences for energy producers, long-term investment plans, supply chain engagement and the skills required for the next generation of energy producers. At SNS2020, we’re asking what effect these changes will have in the East of England, nationally and in the global energy markets. As public opinion converges on the importance of decarbonisation, we are at a pivotal moment where real change is coming. With the East of England’s diverse energy mix, this region is at the very heart of these challenges – we will be spearheading the transition.” On April 22nd and 23rd at the Norfolk Showground Arena, SNS2020 will showcase the latest developments and insights from leading businesses, politicians, industry leaders and futurologists as well as energy producers, their supply chain, skills providers, stakeholders and financial institutions. For over fifty years, the East of England has been a volume producer of nuclear power and offshore gas. Over 50% of the entire UK’s offshore wind capacity is now installed off the East Anglian coast, cementing its place as a cornerstone of the UK’s energy networks for the next fifty years. This also puts the East of England at the heart of the solution to decarbonisation by 2050. Decisions made following SNS2020 will have farreaching consequences to the energy transition process for producers and the supply chain at large. The value of the East of England’s energy sector is estimated to reach £59.4bn by 2040i. Tackling the challenges of decarbonisation head on

whilst nurturing this valuable contributor to the UK economy requires fresh approaches and new technologies. SNS2020’s speakers will be examining the potential for advances in the Southern North Sea gas basin, looking at opportunities including tight gas, gasto-wire, power-to-gas and platform electrification. Also being investigated will be; possibilities for brown, blue and green hydrogen production, carbon capture and storage, the role of nuclear generation and the prospects for new nuclear projects in the region. With collaboration at the forefront, how can these sectors work together; are there economies of scale and can supply chains diversify to support these emerging technologies?

EEEGR EEEGR invites anyone who wishes to participate as a speaker to visit events/sns2020/?preview_ id=18467&preview_ nonce=255ff23468&preview=true and complete application form.

These questions and their solutions will be accompanied by passionate debate, industry presentations, panel sessions, workshops, breakout gatherings and one-to-one meet the buyer opportunities. SNS2020 will be the pivotal conference and exhibition for businesses leaders mapping the road to 2050 and its impact on their businesses and lives.



DJ V B o u t ique I p s w ich



£493 + VAT




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01223 633 951

01473 877 111

Model shown is RX F SPORT (£55,205), including optional metallic paint at £670 (£55,875). Exact fuel consumption figures for model shown in mpg (l/100km) combined: 35.7 (7.9) and CO2: 134 g/km. RX model range in mpg (l/100km) official fuel consumption figures: combined 35.3 (8.0) – 35.7 (7.9). Figures are provided for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results. Fuel consumption and CO2 produced varies significantly depending on a number of factors, including the accessories fitted (post-registration), driving style, conditions, speed and vehicle load. All models and grades are certified according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which replaces the New European Driving Cycle test procedure (NEDC). All CO2 figures quoted are NEDC equivalent. This means the CO2 figures are based on the new WLTP test procedure but calculated (using a standard European calculation method) to allow comparison with the 0 NEDC test4procedure and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration. All mpg figures quoted are full WLTP figures. More information can be found by visiting:


DJV B o ut iq ue Ip s w ich

*Business users only. Initial rental and VAT applies. Available on new leases of model shown when ordered and proposed for finance between 1st October 2019 and 16th December 2019, registered and financed by 31st March 2020 through Lexus Financial Services on Lexus Contract Hire. Advertised rental is based on a 48 month customer maintained contract at 8,000 miles per annum with an initial rental of ÂŁ2,958+VAT. Excess mileage charges apply. You will not own the vehicle. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time. At participating Lexus Centres. Lexus Centres are independent of Lexus Financial Services. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s only. Lexus Financial Services is a trading name of Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC; registered Office: Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, KT18 5UZ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Terms and conditions apply.


APP R E N T I C ES H IP S /T RA IN IN G A p pre nt ice s h i p s Gro u p

AN APPRENTICESHIP IS A REAL JOB WITH TRAINING, BRINGING BENEFITS TO APPRENTICES AND EMPLOYERS ALIKE. Apprenticeships benefit people of all ages and backgrounds – from those with children returning to part-time work and looking to re-train; young people who are strong academically, but don’t just want to do an academic course and those for whom an apprenticeship has opened a new world of work and learning.


pprenticeships help individuals of all ages to build their confidence and fire up their career and research tells us that 90% of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing their apprenticeship. The benefits apprentices bring to business are plenty, with anyone who’s aged 16 - and up to any age - and from any background applicable to apply. There’s a wide selection of apprenticeships available, covering hundreds of different job roles and providing training that employers can adapt, according to the needs of their organisation.


Whatsmore, apprentices allow employers to diversify and freshen up their workforce. In East Anglia there are currently around 500 live vacancies – in digital marketing, hair and beauty, chef, dental nursing and pharmacy, to name a few – all with employers eager to recruit the right individual into their business. Reforms to apprenticeships in recent years have ensured that apprenticeships last longer, better meet the needs of employers, have more off-the job training and a proper assessment at the end. These changes ensure the quality of apprenticeships have

A PPRE N TI C ES HI PS /TRA INING A p prent iceships Gro u p

improved, for everyone – for the apprentice, the employer and the training provider. Employers in England who pay the apprenticeship levy, introduced in 2017, can choose and pay for apprenticeship training and assessment through the apprenticeship service. Research tells us that over 90 per cent of large levy paying organisations set up apprenticeship service accounts after the introduction of the levy in order to access their levy funds. Now we have almost 19,000 accounts registered – showing how well levy payers are engaging with the system. As the system stabilises and we expand the offer, we are now commencing with testing the extension of the service to smaller employers that do not pay the levy, helping SME’s in every sector to take more control of their apprenticeships funding. From early 2020, we are helping SME’s to give them greater choice over training provision, and greater involvement in increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships. In the most recent user satisfaction survey, 78 per cent of employers reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with the apprenticeships service and 75 per cent said it was easy or very easy to use (July 2019).

Training makes people more productive and they earn more. On average, a Level 2 apprenticeship boosts earnings by 11 per cent, whilst a Level 3 apprenticeship boosts earnings by 16 percent. Research tells us that the lifetime benefits associated with the completion of apprenticeships at Level 2 and 3 are significant, standing at between £48,000 and £74,000 for Level 2 and between £77,000 and £117,000 for Level 3 Apprenticeships. Higher apprentices could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime compared to those with Level 3 vocational qualifications. The second phase of the Fire It Up apprenticeships campaign took place during September, highlighting through real stories the return on investment apprentice employers achieve. The campaign is reinforcing the real benefits of apprenticeships to individuals, employers and the economy. We encourage all employers to fire up their business with apprenticeships today. For more information, please visit: www. apprenticeships.

Apprentices are integral to the success of our organisation – they are our workforce of the future.

As we continue to learn from the best international systems to make the apprenticeships in England a world-class offer, we are helping employers to create the high quality apprenticeships that they need for their business. These new apprenticeship standards, available at all levels, are being designed and driven by industry; creating higher quality training that will lead to a more skilled and productive workforce . This financial year (2019-20), funding available for investment in apprenticeships is over two and a half a billion pounds. That’s double what was spent in 2010 in cash terms. The apprenticeship levy is an important part of the apprenticeship programme; creating a longterm, sustainable investment in training. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is putting employers at the heart of decision-making processes and supports the quality of apprenticeship standards. It exceeded its target of 400 standards available for delivery by April 2019, and is maintaining the momentum with over 480 now available, in everything from forensic practitioners and data analysts to land based engineers and metrology technicians.

Case study:

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are an apprentice employer from the region, and recently received recognition for their commitment to apprenticeships by winning Macro Employer of the Year and the Recruitment Excellence award at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2019 regional ceremony in East of England. The Trust employs over 8000 people, with almost 400 apprentices in the workplace, in a variety of roles, including Business, Administration and Law, advanced Clinical Practitioners, Human Resource Management and Registered Nursing amongst some of the apprenticeships they offer.

KEITH SMITH Director, Apprenticeships Group, ESFA

Talking of the impact apprenticeships have on the business and individuals, Career Development Manager said: “We really are incredibly proud as a team. Apprentices are integral to the success of our organisation – they are our workforce of the future. Winning an award for our commitment to apprenticeships is so valuable in encouraging other employers, particularly other macro employers, to consider hiring apprentices.”


APP R E N T I C ES H IP S /T RA IN IN G C i t y Col le ge Pe te r b oro u g h

APPRENTICESHIPS WITH CITY COLLEGE PETERBOROUGH Apprenticeships have evolved in recent years and have become an exciting career opportunity and pathway, benefitting both apprentice and employer. Employers with under 50 employees: If your apprentice is 16-18 years old, the training will be 100% funded by the government. If your apprentice is 19+ you will need to co-invest 5% of the cost of training and will benefit from government funding to cover 95% of the cost. Incentives are available for apprentices aged 16-18, and if aged 19-24 and have an Education and Health Care Plan, or are a Care Leaver. The £1000 incentive payment is paid in 2 instalments, at 3 months and 12 months into the training programme.


pprenticeships are now available from Level 2 up to Level 7, the equivalent to a master’s degree, and are available to anyone from the age of 16.

CITY COLLEGE PETERBOROUGH City College Peterborough was recently awarded ‘Provider of the Year’ at the 2019 Peterborough Apprenticeship Awards. For more information on apprenticeships, including recruitment or further information on the Levy please contact 01733 761361 or email apprenticeships@

Apprentice training can bring many benefits to your organisation and a huge return on investment for employers. An apprentice can enter your business as a novice or be an existing member of staff looking to develop skills within your business. Training an apprentice is often more cost effective then hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs. Apprentices are motivated, dedicated members of a team as they learn, earn and gain hands-on experience.

Apprenticeship Levy The Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy to improve the quality and quantity of apprentices in England. Apprenticeships benefit employers and individuals by boosting the skills of their workforce and help economic productivity.

Levy If you are an employer with a pay bill of over £3 million each year, you will be paying the Levy through HMRC. 0.5.% of your wage bill will enter your account each month, with 10% “top up” by the government, and this money can only be used to fund apprenticeship training.


Apprenticeships with City College Peterborough Here at City College Peterborough we are very much learner and employer focused. We define apprentice needs, create individualised learning plans and our expert team of highly qualified assessor/trainers will support the apprentice throughout each stage of the learner journey. We work closely with the employer to meet expectations and to enable the learner to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be fully competent within their role. At our (November 2016) short OFSTED inspection our strengths were highlighted as: Very satisfied employers were contacted who talk about receiving “exceptional service”. Overall, 96% of apprentices remain in employment. Excellent employer links – meeting skills shortages. Our Achievement rates are consistently above the national benchmark, recently achieving 90% (February 2019) We are the preferred training provider for the local authority, supporting Peterborough City Council in using their apprenticeship levy to upskill their existing workforce and develop training opportunities. We are also proactive in securing transfers of levy funding for local small businesses, including childcare and care settings.


We offer a free recruitment service to help you find the right apprentice for your organisation and business needs.

Employers with 50+ staff but have a wage bill under £3million will need to co-invest 5% of the cost of apprenticeship training and will benefit from government funding to cover the remaining 95% of the cost.

We deliver apprenticeship training across various sectors, including Business Administration and Customer Service, Leadership and Management, Teaching Assistant, Social Media and Marketing and IT Professional, Childcare and Health and Social Care.


TRA I N I N G A N D E D U CAT ION T he O p en Uni ve rsi t y

The College of West Anglia works with over 900 employers, providing training to more than 1,100 apprentices a year, across different industry areas, including engineering, management and agriculture amongst many others. The employer benefits of hiring apprentices are numerous: • Hiring an apprentice is an effective way for any business to develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce • Employers who have an established apprenticeship programme reported that productivity in their workplace had improved by 76% • Other benefits include; increasing employee satisfaction, reducing staff turnover and reducing recruitment costs

01553 815 600


Apprentice Laboratory Technician at Bespak

“Apprenticeships are a really good way for anyone to gain the skills and knowledge to aid them in building a career. The apprenticeship programme at Bespak helps you gain practical skills necessary for your job role as well as learning about the company and understanding the role each department plays. Whilst studying at the College of West Anglia my course has covered many different avenues of science allowing me to learn about as much as possible, I am then able to bring that knowledge back into the work place and apply it to my role in the lab. I’ve already learnt so much and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of my apprenticeship will involve”

Developing Skills Through Learning


APP R E N T I C ES H IP S /T RA IN IN G G ov i a T h a me sl i nk R ai l way ( GT R )

YOUNG PEOPLE TRAIN FOR SUCCESS Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the UK’s largest rail operator, and young people’s charity, The Prince’s Trust, have announced that their Get into Railways training programme has generated £1.6 million of social benefit to UK society over the last five years. “The scheme has helped hundreds of young people boost their confidence and inspired them to build a future, for themselves and for their families. It is hard not to feel an immense sense of pride in what we have achieved.”

Reinventing Recruitment On the Rails The Get into Railways programme takes place over four weeks across classroom and field-based learning provided by GTR with pastoral and financial wraparound care provided through The Prince’s Trust. The scheme has seen GTR completely re-think traditional recruitment approaches in order to increase the diversity of its workforce and access a bigger talent pool.


he programme has so far helped 182 18-25 year old’s gain skills and work experience since the start of the partnership in 2014. 164 of these young people have completed the course and secured sustainable, permanent jobs in the GTR network which covers Great Northern, Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express. GTR operate services to locations in the East of England including Kings Lynn, Peterborough and Cambridge. The news is revealed as part of GTR’s Social Impact Report marking the fifth anniversary of Get into Railways, which is funded by Govia Thameslink Railway and delivered in conjunction with The Prince’s Trust. The report also announces that the programme, which takes an innovative and inclusive approach to training and employment, is set to be extended for two further years with a commitment to training at least 70 more young people. Patrick Verwer, Chief Executive Officer, Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “We believe young people should have fair opportunities in life regardless of background or the barriers they may face. Get into Railways is helping us reach our shared goals: to enable young people to secure jobs and be active players in the economy.


Michelle Clark, the Head of Employee Experience at Govia Thameslink Railways, added: “Working with The Prince’s Trust has been revolutionary in helping us create opportunities for young people who need them the most whilst maintaining our incredibly high standards of working. “This meant asking tough questions of ourselves around recruiting and onboarding team members from different societal backgrounds with different needs. For example, we created a network of fully trained staff mentors, who have provided over 800 hours of dedicated mentoring over five years so we have complete peace of mind that we can get the most out of the talents these young people have.” Alban Stowe, Senior Head of National Public Sector Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, said: “Our recent Futures at Stake report has shown that 46% of young people don’t feel like they have any role models in the community, and sadly, 33% say they do not feel their communities care about them. This is why initiatives such as Get into Railways and the work of companies like GTR are so important: they don’t just provide direct skills and opportunities to young people, they have a robust economic benefit and show young people they can have a real stake in their communities.” Guy Battle, Chief Executive Officer, Social Value Portal, said: “GTR and The Prince’s Trust have developed a programme together that is generating

A PPRE N TI C ES HI PS /TRA INING G ov i a T h amesl ink R ail way (G T R)

significant social value. Clearly the most important value comes through the stories of the young people whose lives have been transformed through being given a job, but it is also useful to understand the social value in financial terms. The programme has generated at least £1.6m in social value since the partnership began; a number which is calculated by drawing on the fiscal savings and economic benefits of a company going above and beyond to offer job opportunities to unemployed young people.” South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen said: “To really tackle the barriers to social mobility, it is vital that businesses play their part, so I am delighted to learn of the opportunities provided by Govia Thameslink’s Get into Railways scheme. Young people benefit, the business benefits, customers benefit and the country benefits. What a fabulous initiative!”

Careers On Track Paula Hilliard, who lives in Peterborough, is the Engagement Manager at GTR and co-ordinator of the Get into Railways scheme with the Prince’s Trust. She said: “At GTR, we believe that everyone should have the chance to embark on a stable and rewarding career. Today, far too many young people are struggling to find work and, as a result, they’re giving up hope for the future. Working with The Prince’s Trust allows us to provide these young people with an opportunity to find fulfilling roles on the railway. We share many of the same values as The Prince’s Trust when it comes to training up the next generation. And as our partnership with them continues, we look forward to providing more young people with the chance join our GTR family.”

Control Officer at Stevenage station. He is now based at Hitchin in the same role. He said: “I have worked for GTR for over two years and still enjoy the job. Every day is different. I like working on the railway, interacting with people and the general environment. There’s a very good team here and we get on very well. It’s like a big railway family.

At GTR, we believe that everyone should have the chance to embark on a stable and rewarding career. Today, far too many young people are struggling to find work and, as a result, they’re giving up hope for the future.

Oliver Gibbs, 25, of Girton, Cambridge, works at Great Northern’s Hitchin station as a Revenue Control Officer. Prior to joining the railway, Oliver had been studying for a degree in Transport and Logistics Management at the University of Huddersfield. He successfully completed his studies and started looking for work, applying for various jobs. It was at this point that his local Jobcentre referred him to The Prince’s Trust and from there Oliver heard about the Get into Railways scheme. Oliver was keen to take part in the course, which involves two weeks in the classroom and a twoweek placement. He said: “I have always been interested in railways since I was young.” Following the course, Oliver became a Revenue

“I’m very grateful for The Prince’s Trust. I’m not sure where I would be now had I not taken part in the Get into Railways scheme. My family are extremely proud of me. Working for GTR has also enabled me to buy my own car, rather than sharing my mum’s.”


Ben O’Day, 24, lives in Peterborough and is a Hitchin-based Rail Enforcement Officer. He is looking forward to becoming a Train Driver. Reflecting on his teenage years before joining the railway, he said; “I was 18. I was a typical teenager in that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life and a I lacked motivation. “A lot of employers would read your CV and say you don’t have a lot of experience, but it’s difficult because you’re 18. You need to get experience somewhere. The Prince’s Trust aren’t like that. They see what skills you have and ask you where you would like to go, which is cool. They don’t shy away from a challenge.”



WHY TIME MANAGEMENT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT Time is limited: it doesn’t last for ever. We need to make the best use of it we can.


hether we’re thinking about the amount of time we have left on Earth, how we’re going to spend the weekend, or how we use our time at work.

seeking to achieve; resistance to distractions that get in the way and don’t help you to achieve your objectives; and control of each day’s agenda so that you make the best possible use of the time available.

The need to control or reduce costs is a fact of corporate life, and staff salaries are often the biggest single cost. Cost-cutting, perhaps involving an increased use of technology and a flatter management structure, can mean fewer people doing more work. Salary costs have to be balanced against each person’s contribution to the organisation.

It’s very easy to waste time. There are so many potential distractions. Reading stuff you don’t need to read. Constantly checking your email inbox. Spending time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media. Surfing the net to check up on the football results or the winning lottery numbers. Going to meetings you don’t need to go to. Phoning or texting friends. Chatting to colleagues about things you don’t really need to discuss. And spending time on routine, inconsequential stuff

Effective time management can be boiled down to three essentials: a clear focus on the results you’re



because that is much easier than tackling the difficult task you should be getting to grips with.

is some other objective reason that justifies your attendance – don’t go.

One useful technique is the 80:20 rule, named after the Italian economist Pareto. For any manager, focussing on just 20% of the work is likely to produce 80% of the results. So the trick is to identify, and spend most of your effort on, that critical 20%. If you devote most of your time, your energy and your creative thinking to dealing with that vital 20%, it is likely to account for 80% of your outcomes. That should mean focussing on those work objectives and targets that are most important to your organisation, to your boss and (last but not least) to your own career prospects. It means doing the big things well.

If you’re faced with a particularly tricky task, mark off a time slot in your diary when you won’t be available to others. Find somewhere quiet away from colleagues where you won’t be disturbed, such as a meeting room that’s not being used. Or you may be able to work at home, or in a quiet corner of your favourite café or bar. And give yourself an incentive. Resolve that you won’t leave (or have lunch or go to bed) until you have completed the task.

If you’re faced with a new task, ask yourself two simple questions: is it urgent; is it important. If it’s both urgent and important, do it as soon as you can. If it’s urgent but not important, get one of your team to do it. If it’s important but not urgent, you can do it later. If it’s neither urgent nor important, don’t do it! It’s a good idea to begin each day by jotting down a list of things you’ll aim to get through – a “to do” list – and the order in which you’ll tackle them. For some you might even want to go a stage further and write down not just the task (e.g. chair staff meeting), but also the outcome you hope to achieve (e.g. persuade them that the CEO is not such a bad guy). Inevitably, your plan will sometimes be thrown out of kilter by an unforeseen emergency or by a boss who believes that his/her deadlines are more important than yours; but that’s life. Get into the habit of setting deadlines – both for yourself and for others. A deadline concentrates the mind. If you have several tasks to do, write down the date by which you’ll aim to complete each one. It needs to be realistic but reasonably challenging. Don’t be too reactive to the demands of others. Remember that your boss will judge you on the work you produce and the results you achieve. So concentrate, first and foremost, on meeting your own objectives and targets. For some managers, meetings are a way of life. Remember that you don’t need to go to every meeting to which you are invited. Ask yourself whether or not it will help you to achieve your own work objectives. If it won’t – and unless there

It’s easy to waste time by having to reread a paper that you read a few days ago without deciding what to do with it. Try to handle each piece of paper only once. There are really only four ways of dealing with it: Delegate it, Act on it yourself, File it away for future reference, or Throw it away. Handle each piece of paper only once: be DAFT.

TONY ROSSITER Author, Effective Negotiations in easy steps

Despite IT and wishful thinking about the paperless office, the chances are that your organisation and those it deals with produce lots of paper. Don’t feel obliged to read every piece of paper that lands on your desk. A glance at the heading will often be enough to tell you that it can go straight into the wastepaper basket. And even if you need to look at it, you can probably skim through without reading every word. Look out for key headings: Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations, Action points. Only read what will help you to do your job or develop your career. These days, papers landing on your desk are probably outnumbered by emails arriving in your inbox. Apply the same principles. Often the subject (or the name of the sender!) will enable you to press delete without reading the message. If you do need to read it, you can probably skim through, looking for those key headings, without reading every word. Make a habit of being on time. If you’re chairing a meeting, begin on time and don’t wait for anyone who is late. If you do, you’re wasting not only your own time but also that of everyone who has made the effort to be punctual. Time management is one of the most important of all management skills. You can improve your effectiveness as a manager by putting the tips in this article into practice. A new edition of Tony Rossiter’s Management Basics in easy steps was published earlier this year.


TO DAY ’S MAN AG ER O b j e c t i ve I T

TAKING UP YOUR FIRST DIRECTORSHIP? From the moment you become a director, you are no longer responsible just for your own actions, performance and responsibilities, but for those of everyone in your company or corporation.


n fact you become legally responsible for, and to, many others, including shareholders and customers.

Good governance lies at the heart of all successful businesses. However, whether you are starting up or have been a director for years, good governance can be challenging. ‘Governance’ should not just be viewed as a corporate phenomenon, but rather a way of leading by decision-making which weighs up the right and the wrong in order to succeed. It is about making those decisions in the most efficient, affordable and stress-free manner. Lara Fox, winner of the Institute of Directors (IoD) East of England ‘Young Director of the Year’ Award 2019, puts the principles of good governance into practice as she embarks on her first directorship: Objective IT is a bespoke software development and data analytics company. Until two years ago, the company was run by the founder and two other directors. After all three retired or moved on, I was asked to take over as Managing Director. We still have staff here from when the company was founded, and


the average length of service is 8 years. It was no easy step to come into this team as MD, especially when I have been working with them since 2012. My plan was to see the company last another 30 years and make sure the staff were confident in this, especially in this time of transition. I set about communicating my vision and expressing how I thought we would get there. Some people pushed back on a few ideas I had. “We tried those years ago”, they said. However, whilst I listened to some advice and did not pursue all my ideas, I did decide to go with my gut feeling on others. One change that developed a lot of resistance was the new way we ran projects. We have a web portal which our clients were intermittently using. I dedicated internal resource to make this more appealing for our customers, which in turn cut down our admin time. Along with this I ensured each project was run by a developer and an account manager, with the use of a business analyst or director only when required. This was a departure from director-led projects. The team feared that clients would be upset being looked after by an account manager and not a

TO DAY ’S MA N AGER O b j e c t i ve I T

director, but this was not the case. The enthusiasm from the account managers being more involved in the project and the ability to talk directly with clients meant that they had fewer queries about the work being done and saved us from having to repeat requirements. In our recent round of reviews everyone said they were happy with the new direction and changes. The staff were more engaged and felt that they were helping to shape the future of the company with me. This taught me to have a vision and stick to it. Yes, make changes and react where necessary, but you need to know in your own head where you are going. As I became Managing Director we were hit with a very serious problem when our largest client suffered unforeseen difficulties and had to suddenly withdraw a lot of work. This obviously had a huge knock-on effect for our business. So we added a new service: data analytics. This was initially a request from a customer who we had built a very large database and multiple systems for. After building their database they asked us to analyse the data within it. We invested heavily in our learning, hired a knowledgeable member of staff and completed a Knowledge Transfer Programme.

We started a weekly communication email. This was a hit. Everyone could see what work was going on and they liked the communication. Typical updates included things like “We signed a new client”, or “A member of staff is having a baby”, or “This new tool has just come out”, or “We donated money to charity”. This transparency also allowed us to know each other’s work load so that we could assign people to tasks accordingly. At Objective we have built a tool which allows our clients to add tasks, track time spent and the progress of projects. I opened up the possibility for developers and data scientists to make requests for it too. This made life much easier for everyone because developers were being briefed directly by the client, meaning that we were saving time explaining tasks multiple times! Small changes like these were what helped us maintain our turnover. In hard times of change, it was important to implement changes in small increments so as not to break the morale of the company, while building the team’s trust in me as MD. I believe that as a new MD it is important not to jump in and start dictating sweeping changes straight away. You need to build trust first.

In our recent round of reviews everyone said they were happy with the new direction and changes. The staff were more engaged and felt that they were helping to shape the future of the company with me.

In order to convince our shareholders this was worth doing I managed to find a matched funding grant we could use for our marketing and sales efforts to ensure we could justify the investment we were putting into this new service. They went for it, the business grew, and we now have a data science team of 4 members of staff.

Investment allowed us to increase our marketing budget and host events, from which we gained more clients. Other activities have also been successful but have taken a little longer to show success. This taught me how important it is to have patience when running a business. Thankfully, despite a very stressful period, we have managed to maintain our total turnover. However, it would not have been possible without the team’s confidence in my decision-making. One of the main criticisms in our staff reviews was that they often did not know what another team were doing, or they would not hear the big news, even though we are only a company of 20.

Our shareholders are happy, the staff are happy, and our charitable trust we started has grown. We might not have as much cash in the bank as we once did due to directors retiring with their shares, but we have a healthy cash flow and business is growing.

LARA FOX Managing Director, Objective IT

Becoming a director is a difficult task. Diving straight into a Managing Director role during turbulent times is even harder. Whilst this was all going on I was doing an MBA, getting married, buying a new house and a puppy. The last year has been one of the toughest, but proudest of my life. Having the support of other directors has been invaluable. I attend a monthly Mastermind with the IoD, but I think having any form of group is important. Having an advice line, whether it is your accountant, a mentor or a more formalised method such as the IoD Advice Service is also essential for a new director. Being a good director is about building trust, being patient, seeking advice and remembering that although there is a lot to wrap your head around, you are not alone.


DI GTAL AN D I N N OVAT IO N U n i ve rs i t y o f E a s t A n g li a



Universi t y o f E a st A n g li a

ROUTES TO INNOVATION Innovation has proven a popular topic and it’s one we’re keen to explore further. Who better to continue the conversation with than Professor Fiona Lettice, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) of the University of East Anglia.


s Professor of Innovation Management in the Norwich Business School, Professor Lettice’s research spans all business sectors, whilst her earlier career included working as a project manager for Centrica and as a change consultant on a major project for BMW/Rover. “Innovation is about coming up with a good idea and bringing it into widespread and effective use. A rather narrow definition of innovation prevails which focuses on technology. “Innovation is about more than technology, it can refer to a business model, a company’s operations or how customers’ access or pay for services. To foster innovation, we need to be open to new ideas and to think about problems in a different way.” How can we, as business people, be more innovative? Professor Lettice identifies several routes to innovation:

Disrupt Disrupt, change the way people do things. A radical breakthrough, what you might call disruptive innovation, changes how people do things – like the advent of the world wide web. The way businesses operate has been transformed with the advent of the internet, with opportunities for services like Deliveroo, Airbnb or Netflix. Disruptive innovators tend to come from outside an industry because once you’re established within an industry, innovation efforts tend to focus on improving an existing product rather than making a game-changing innovation. The digital camera is a good case in point here as some established camera manufacturers were slow to embrace digital technology due to the additional revenue they made from producing and developing the film. Resulting in some familiar brand names like Kodak and Polaroid struggling. Fast forward a few years and the convenience of smartphone cameras has meant demand for these devices has outstripped the demand for digital cameras. Where convenience led, technology soon followed and cameras on phones swiftly improved. Today, the bulk of digital cameras are made for the high-end specialist camera market, whilst most of the lower end of the market is catered for by smartphones. Disruptive innovators completely change the product range, think of home entertainment and the transition from VHS to DVD and then to streaming

services like Netflix. Disruptive innovators may also change the key players in the industry, putting companies which once dominated an industry out of business or forcing them into niche positions.

Be radical A radical innovator, on the other hand, will bring about a step-change in an industry, like the advent of the camera flash for example, but won’t change the market like a disruptive innovation - they are still working within the original product concept

Improve Don’t standstill. As a business, always look to improve what you’re doing, how you are doing it and improve your customers’ ease of use. Consider how an existing product could be improved, by adding a new feature or by improving performance – longer battery life or faster service, for example.

Build Some innovation takes the middle road, such as businesses that add new product lines which build on their existing reputation - like confectioners adding ice creams to their product offering.

Reposition Re-appropriating an existing product so it’s perceived completely differently is another route to innovation and one which can potentially open up a whole new market. A good example of which is when Lucozade was repositioned as a sports drink, here the product didn’t change much, but how it was perceived by customers changed radically.

Rethink Seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking what nobody has thought is another example of innovation. Reframe an existing problem and come up with a different way of doing things, just as Airbnb has done in the way it offers cost-effective accommodation.

PROFESSOR FIONA LETTICE Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) of the University of East Anglia

Translate Taking an idea from one field and using it in another field is another example of innovation. James Dyson famously took inspiration from the industrial dust extractor in a factory, scaling down the technology to make a bag-free vacuum cleaner. A project which illustrates how technology used in one sector can be translated to another. Here, by being creative and 


DI GTAL AN D I N N OVAT IO N U n i ve rs i t y o f E a s t A n g li a

 looking at a problem from a different perspective, the shortcomings and frustrations previously found with a product have been negated.

Re-express Innovation can involve re-expressing an existing idea – making what was once undesirable, desirable. Tesla worked on the principle that it is not that there is no demand for electric vehicles (the prevailing thought at that time), but that there is no demand for an undesirable vehicle. Tesla partnered with Lotus to deliver a desirable electric luxury sports car.

Be a first-mover… First movers recognise the importance of an emerging market or changes in consumer behaviour, taking steps to meet those needs early on, ultimately becoming synonymous with that market.

…Or a fast follower The Apple iPod emerged after the MP3 player market was established, but became the product most identified with the portable music system. Reimagining the technology, Apple made it more aesthetically pleasing, improved the user interface so it was more intuitive and ultimately made it a better, more desirable product. Though they were not the first to come up with a portable music system, Apple’s design transformed what was on offer – hence they dominated this new market.

How to galvanise innovation So innovation is a broader concept than we might at first envisage – but how do we foster innovation? Here Professor Lettice explains a few tactics for fostering innovation in your business.


Seek peer support East Anglia is a vibrant place to live and work, if you’re setting up a business in the region, there’s lots of support available, organisations like TechEast and SyncNorwich are great sources of information, expertise and support. Your peer group can assist in negotiating the hurdles you may encounter as a startup as you can learn from others’ experience. Finding a community of innovators outside of your industry can also be beneficial as you’ll learn what’s happening in areas adjacent to yours, paving the way for translational innovation.

Value teamwork Whether you’re starting up a business or working within an established concern, creating a multidisciplinary team can be extremely beneficial. By drawing on a diverse range of expertise, you are more likely to get things right the first time. A multidisciplinary team will look at problems from different perspectives and bring a range of solutions to the table.

Work in partnership “There’s never been a better time to work collaboratively,” observes Professor Lettice. Work in partnership with organisations outside of your business. Connect with your local university as they can share research expertise and help you to access funding. Universities today are very outward looking and open to partnership, with a pool of talented researchers who could benefit your business. Long term partnerships between the public and private sector are also being supported by Innovate UK and the Industrial Strategy to boost innovation and productivity.


Universi t y o f E a st A n g li a

Be prepared to fail Within an established business, creating a dedicated innovation team, with a separate structure, remit and budget, can be helpful. Innovation is frequently rejected because “it doesn’t feel like how we do things around here,” so having a separate department where the team has the freedom to break the rules, take short cuts and do things differently, can be beneficial. In evaluating innovative ideas, don’t equate success with immediate commercial gain. Think long term, so ideas can be explored and experimented with, without having to meet short term commercial targets. Be prepared for the fact that not all ideas will be successful for various reasons. You might say that to be successful in business, you have to be prepared to fail, some of our most successful tech firms have experienced significant failures as well as the spectacular successes for which they’re best known.

Consumers are demanding that businesses are more responsible, so how we go about employing and deploying innovation is crucial in making your products stand out from competitors. We need to get better at being more responsible in the ways we employ or deploy innovation.

Consider consumption In bringing products to the market, consider the different models of consumption available, as this may reduce environmental impact - people now tend to stream films and music rather than to own them, car clubs are becoming more popular and we are used to leasing photocopiers – what else can we consume without having to own a product outright?

Observe your product

Harness the whole of the work world, remember that good ideas may come from all areas of the business and from outside too. Listen effectively and be open to the ideas forthcoming from your colleagues and your customers. Good ideas may come from unexpected sources.

Never distance yourself from your customers. Observe people using your product, see first-hand how they are interacting with it and consider how it could be improved. Make it as easy and convenient to use as possible and put the user at the centre of your product or service design. For example, if you design cars, watch someone loading the boot with shopping and think about how you could make it more accessible. Always be open to feedback and harness this feedback to bring about continuous improvements.

Innovate responsibly

The cycle of innovation

In evaluating a project’s worth, consider the whole life of a product including its environmental and ethical impact. Strive to build a responsible supply chain and consider the eco credentials of the materials used in a product, as these factors are increasingly important to consumers. Look at how a product’s life can be extended, how it could be disassembled, reused and recycled.

So innovation is a broader concept than we might at first consider and several avenues exist to instigating innovation in our businesses. As for the cycle of innovation, “humans have always been creating and innovating,” explains Professor Lettice, “and this isn’t going to change. Innovation is the key to addressing some of the greatest challenges we face today.”

Listen effectively






WHAT WE CAN DO TO ENCOURAGE MORE WOMEN INTO TECH ROLES? Inspiring women from a young age to pursue careers in the technology sector is one of the industry’s biggest challenges.


ot only will diversification help businesses to grow a greater and more varied talent pool, it can also increase innovation.

However, attracting women to tech roles takes more than a boardroom discussion. According to a report from WISE, an organisation which aims to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in the UK’s Scientific, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) workforce, there was a 0.3% decrease in women working in the core STEM sector between 2017 and 2018. Even more astonishing are the findings of PwC UK’s paper, “Women in Tech – Time to close the gender gap”, which revealed some startling statistics: Only 3% of British female high school students would choose the technology sector as a career choice. This is due to there being a lack of role models and advice in how to get into the industry. Only 16% of females had a career in tech suggested to them compared to 33% of male students. Only 27% of British women would pursue a tech career. It has also been revealed that only 7% of students currently taking Computer Science at A-level are female, and just half of girls who study IT & Tech subjects at school go into a job in the same field.

One firm that is looking to raise the profile of women in their workforce is SimpleClick, a technical agency based in Ipswich. Currently, 38.5% of the SimpleClick workforce are women, and the company is keen to increase this further. The agency is always looking to recruit the best talent, and believes that inspiring women to pursue a tech career is something which starts in the classroom. Claire Thorpe is SimpleClick’s Director and a STEM Ambassador. She believes that having a female STEM ambassador within an organisation – someone who is actively encouraging women to consider technical roles and sparking interest in these positions – can be hugely advantageous for businesses. She commented: “It’s astonishing that so few women are pursuing careers in the technology sector. “This is why I became a STEM ambassador – I truly believe that if we can become role models who young women will want to hear and learn from, we can give them the confidence they need to study STEM through to degree level. Giving them practical advice and showing them first-hand that tech roles for women do exist should help to improve perceptions, and show that tech can be a natural career path after graduating. If we can do this, more women will be inspired to consider careers in the field.” 

CLAIRE THORPE SimpleClick’s Director and a STEM Ambassador



Amazon’s £130,000 annual bursary for female students, numerous apprenticeship schemes and open tours of the company’s offices for children. However, with all of these fantastic schemes and initiatives it is a wonder why only 15% of British women are in STEM roles, and of those, only 5% are in technology leadership roles. So what are the driving forces which make women second guess whether a career in technology is right for them? Claire continued: “Currently, the sector is very male-dominated, and it’s important that businesses encourage more women to apply for these roles without them feeling outnumbered or marginalised. “One of the many reasons that women tend to veer away from tech roles can include work-life balance, particularly if they have a young family. I believe that if businesses encourage flexible working hours and the option to work from home, they will see a more diverse range of candidates apply for positions. It is important for any employer to break down the barriers and start a conversation that evokes positive action.” Another way which businesses can encourage women to pursue a tech role and a leadership position is recognition through award schemes.

The lack of gender diversity in the tech sector isn’t a problem that’s gone unnoticed. In April this year, the Department of Education granted £2.4 million of funding to the ‘Gender Balance in Computing’ research project, which will trial a number of schemes aimed at improving girls’ participation in computing. A total of 15,000 students aged between five and 16 across 550 schools in England will be involved in the trials, which will run from 2019 to 2022. After this date, the interventions will be measured and studied in order to understand how to support more girls to study computer science.

It is a great opportunity for businesses to nominate their female counterparts for awards, showcasing an employee’s talents and highlighting their work. It also paves the way for a business to become actively involved with the community which award scheme can create. This year SimpleClick sponsored, judged and presented the award for the apprentice category, giving them the platform to increase brand awareness with potential new recruits.

In East Anglia, the DevelopHER awards scheme has gone from strength to strength. Now in its fifth year, the awards take place across Norwich, Cambridge and Ipswich.

But it isn’t just in the classroom where young women can develop the skills to work in the technology. There are various schemes which aim to encourage women to consider a career in technology such as the BBC’s Step into Tech, and


In East Anglia, the DevelopHER awards scheme has gone from strength to strength. Now in its fifth year, the awards take place across Norwich, Cambridge and Ipswich.

There are many ways in which businesses can encourage more women to apply for tech roles, and it all begins with communication: break down barriers and apply innovation to your HR processes; incorporate diversity and inclusion into the company’s fundamental values; and provide support for managers to lead change.

If you think cyber security is expensive Your wrong! If you run business in the UK and use any kind of technology, you are at risk from a cyber-attack. This is a fact. I’m not scare mongering and there is lots of supporting evidence to support my statement. One of which is the recent report from Hiscox the insurer that found 55% of UK business had faced an attack in 2019, up 40% from last year. Hiscox also said a lot of businesses “incorrectly felt that they weren’t at risk”. And this for me lies at the crux of why UK companies continue to be targeted every day. I find a disconnect between business owners understanding the importance of cyber security threats and their appetite to invest in measures to protect against them. I think it’s understandable from the perspective that these measures have a financial impact on the business and as such need a level of due diligence. But I think cyber security controls should be an intrinsic part of your business operating model and the good news is you don’t have to do a lot to minimise the impact from some of the most common techniques used by hackers. Everyday UK companies continue to be targeted and the loss to the UK economy is significant. So much so that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) the government department established to protect UK PLC from cyber-attacks developed a cyber certification for business. The certification called Cyber Essentials is designed to be low cost, low impact and help companies protect themselves from the most common attack techniques. Cyber essentials is also

mandatory for organisation working within the government supply chain. Primarily as we have seen hackers move across the supply chain to reach their primary target such as recently with Airbus (Link). So, if you think your not at risk, consider who in your supply chain maybe. Cyber essentials is a great starting point for any company especially small and medium companies which is its primary audience. But adoption remains slow and I’m unclear why? On its own, the submission is £300 for your company to become certified. You can do this yourself, it’s a self-submission process and within a few days you can have a certificate and logo to share with your current and future customers. If you’re not confident to complete the submission and need advice. The analogy I use hear is like writing a will. Anybody can write their own will, but it is not my area of expertise and the impact if I misinterpret something could be significant. Typically, depending on your organisation this can cost vary between £600 to £1500 per organisation. It is really important to note, the objective of cyber essentials is that you understand the risks to your business and have documented and treated those risks within your company’s risk appetite. Cyber security is not all about investing in technology it’s also about people and processes in equal measures. An example is training your staff to recognise the signs of fraudulent emails and having a process that ensures any invoices are validated before being paid is a good example of how this does not require technology. Another example is setting

For more information visit or contact

some time to work through a cyber response plan. The NCSC website provides some great free material that walks you through how to develop, run and document your cyber response plan. This can significantly reduce the impact on you from a cyber attack and again can be done at a low cost.

Mo Ahddoud Interim CISO / Security Consultant / Board Advisor

Mo Ahddoud is the managing director of MA Consulting Ltd a cyber security consultancy focussed on helping companies protect themselves against cyber threats. He is a security expert who last served as the Chief Information Security Officer at SGN, which manages and operates over 74,000 km of gas mains and services in Scotland and the south of England. Prior to coming to SGN, Mo acted as the International IT Security Lead at NBC Universal. His professional history also includes leading companies like IBM, BAE Systems, and a ten-year tenure as an officer in the British Army. His depth and variety of experience across public and private sectors gives him a unique insight into all angles of cybersecurity

HE ALT H AN D W ELL B EIN G L ind s ay a nd L a ng

LEADERSHIP, DEVELOPMENT AND COMPANY CULTURE Your business is reliant on your people. Enhancing the personal and professional development of your employees is in the best interests of the company.


aking a holistic approach to people management by aligning development with wellbeing and communication is the most effective way of enabling people to be the best they can be. Ultimately, treating people as people to enhance business outcomes.

Development Developing your skills and those of your colleagues will help to get the best out of yourself, your team as well as enhancing your role as a leader. Increased self-awareness and awareness of others is crucial to unlocking hidden potential, understanding emotional intelligence and behaviours. Indeed, some of the most challenging aspects of business, such as conflict resolution, can be better addressed as a result of skills development, making you and your company more resilient.

LINDSAY & LANG Begin a conversation with impact: Fiona Lindsay & Louise Jenkins-Lang M: 07703 203584 or 07838 247829

Wellbeing at work A culture that supports wellbeing is essential for people to thrive at work. Creating a workplace in which employees feel fairly treated, supported, safe and happy, is in everyone’s interests, as happy people are more productive. Promoting wellbeing in the workplace needn’t be expensive or require a lot of resources. There are simple, straightforward steps employers can take to improve their employee’s wellbeing. Mental health at work is a vital component of wellbeing and as employers, we have a duty of care for our employees. Fostering a company culture in which there is an awareness of mental health issues and where employees feel comfortable having open conversations about their wellbeing is imperative.

Mental health In recent years, there has been an increased focus on mental health in the workplace and rightly so, with the presence of Mental Health First Aiders likely to become a legislative necessity.


As well as being the right thing to do, from a purely commercial perspective, promoting wellbeing makes sense too, as poor mental health is estimated to cost the UK £94bn per year according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Indeed, poor mental health is now recognised as the leading reason for staff absence, according to the charity Mind.

The role of leaders Low levels of wellbeing at work have been linked to poor management, so it is important not to neglect the development of managers and leaders within your business. Leaders set the tone for a company’s culture. Creating an ethos of wellbeing is impossible without a commitment from the leadership team. Promoting wellbeing and development also necessitates effective communication. Respectful, impactful conversations are required for communication to be effective, and business leaders must be prepared to have these conversations, leading by example and from the top.

Employee engagement Aligning wellbeing and development with communication is the most effective way to enable your people to prosper personally, professionally and emotionally. Open, two-way communication is essential to building trust and integrity within your business and to facilitate employee engagement. At Lindsay and Lang, our combined experience of over 40 years in human resources and communication, provides us with a unique insight into why a holistic approach to people management works best. Our professional and personal experience, in addition to our qualifications, mean we provide consultancy and training with authenticity and credibility. Align development, wellbeing and communication in your business.

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WELLBEING IN THE WORKPLACE: A CORPORATE INVESTMENT All of us as human beings are vulnerable to stresses and challenges with our wellbeing and mental health, both within work and at home. The first step to managing this, like anything, is to recognise it.

Taking care of ourselves naturally makes us more resilient at handling stressful situations, but in many circumstances, this isn’t solely enough. Having a positive support network, open lines of communication and resources to educate and guide us are all ways to encourage us to talk about it, and most importantly not be afraid to do so.

approach in many organisations sees wellbeing policies reaching further afield with a greater purpose of connecting workplace wellbeing with the organisation’s values and objectives. Positive workplace cultures play a vital role to individuals and companies with most people’s time spent in the workplace environment.

Now more than ever it is becoming increasingly important to understand stress – the impacts this has and how to deal with this. Corporate responsibility on this subject has been a big focus in recent years and continues to be so with more than two thirds of us admitting that our stresses, worries and anxieties are work-related.

Both employers and employees can all assume a personal responsibility for a pro-active approach and positive behaviours which empower us all to understand stresses and wellbeing, learning to support each other and bring out the best in our abilities.

Last year alone almost half of recorded work sickness in the UK was due to stress within the work environment, with ever growing challenges being a key factor. It’s now becoming vital for corporate companies to raise awareness and support for people’s wellbeing at work. Corporate organisations are now making positive changes which see forward thinking and pro-active approaches to support all areas of wellbeing, from social and physical to mental and financial aspects. All organisations are different and unique and therefore personalising and tailoring their strategies are essential to supporting employees across varied and diverse workforces. An ongoing

Encouraging happy and healthy employees will promote an encouraged and energised workforce. Corporate companies continue to acknowledge that the ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for wellbeing in the workplace, and that it’s vital to understand people and their requirements for any wellbeing strategy to effectively work. Much the same is communicating these strategies, and organisations are encouraged to identify the best communication channels which are both personal and tailored to the business culture. Integrating wellbeing initiatives and fun with wellbeing strategies are all hugely successful; seeing individuals succeed in their approach to wellbeing often has a positive knock on effect.





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B MI He al t hc are - B ur y S t E dumund s

FOUR THINGS EMPLOYERS CAN DO TODAY TO IMPROVE STAFF WELLNESS Happy and healthy staff feel more fulfilled, go home feeling valued and will do a better job.


t sounds like a straight-forward statement, yet this is not the case for a lot of people. And there are knock-on effects beyond just the obvious: stress can take its toll on family and colleague relationships and injuries can limit both work and home-related activities. An estimated 137 million working days are lost due to sickness or injury in the UK. Musculoskeletal and mental health issues are the greatest causes. However, there are some measures employers can take today to avoid a negative spiral.

Make people feel valued Asking people about their working day, asking for ideas, engaging people in the business, sharing successes - these will all impact how your staff members feel about working for you. Simple things like saying thank you and noticing successes are a start. Action – listen to staff about their ideas, perhaps with a feedback or reference group. Consider the desired outcomes for the problem that you want to solve and then assess ideas against the ease and cost of putting them into practice against the benefit of doing so. Make sure you explain decisions.

Keeping people healthy They say prevention is better than cure, and smart businesses that implement health screening for their teams are reaping the benefits of this. GP Dr Fiona Virgo, from St Edmunds Hospital in Bury St Edmunds says: “So-called ‘silent’ conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood glucose can result in unexpected serious illness, taking a person out of action for weeks or more. These conditions can be identified early with regular health screening.”

Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility Employers have a legal requirement to make sure that working conditions meet the required standards of health and safety, and it’s important that employees feel empowered to raise any issues or concerns that they have. No staff member should be asked to take on anything which is not up to standard or which is beyond their physical capability. Action – ask your staff if they would feel comfortable raising a concern if they had one. The answer should be Yes! If this is not the case, consider why they would prefer to put their own health at risk rather than point out a health and safety issue. There could be underlying reasons, including having confidence in you as an employer, which you should address for a variety of reasons.


Keep things in perspective

Many healthcare providers, like BMI Healthcare offer a corporate discount to companies wanting to enrol several employees. Health checks and health insurance are beneficial to employees and employers alike, as short waiting lists in private hospitals can increase the speed of return to work. In addition, the health insurer Bupa notes that 80% of people change negative lifestyle habits following information they receive during or after their health checks.

We are all individuals. Different people address different scenarios or conditions in different ways, and what one person might find exhilarating others may find stressful. Similarly, people communicate in different ways and have different priorities in life. Take time to listen and understand your teams’ needs and put measures in place to promote mental wellbeing, such as flexible working, fitness initiatives and special time off for important occasions.

Action – investigate corporate health screening initiatives for your business.

Action – ask staff for ideas that would improve their work and home life balance.


DI GI TAL AN D I N N OVAT IO N C h a r te re d I ns t i t u te o f Ma rke t i ng

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS TODAY’S MARKETERS NEED TO KNOW? A successful marketer today requires a wider set of skills than ever before, excelling in creativity, number-crunching, networking, and flexible working. But how do you know which skills to look to add to your repertoire?


ooking online, there are thousands of articles offering advice and training courses, but with time short and everyone’s skill set different how do you make sure you invest wisely? The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) partnered with Target Internet to address that very issue. We launched a free benchmarking tool which allows marketing teams to test their skills across 12 areas. We then tested the benchmarking tool with 5,000 marketers and the results were surprising. Marketing directors were shown to have an insufficient working knowledge of the essential skills to be able to effectively oversee digital marketing campaigns. On average, marketing directors had a lower understanding of PPC, SEO, Ecommerce and data and analytics than junior executives with only 1-2 years of marketing experience.

Across the marketing profession, professional marketers’ skills were strongest in email marketing and general marketing, but weakest in content and mobile marketing and in skills related to usability and the user experience. Programmatic marketing was particularly poorly understood, with many marketing professionals answering questions incorrectly rather than skipping questions or saying they did not know an answer. Programmatic marketing has caused problems for a number of major brands, especially where products have been displayed alongside controversial content on YouTube, an issue that might have been foreseen by marketers with a fuller understanding of how the process of programmatic advertising works.

A key general characteristic which is much underrated is resilience. Because we work in a creative and highly visible role, everyone has an opinion on what you do.

While marketing directors surpassed their teams in general marketing and digital strategy, their lack of practical digital skills is a cause for concern in an industry in which digital channels are a growing part of the marketing mix: PPC: Directors scored only 29% in the test of their knowledge of PPC, compared with executives (34%), managers (31%) and of department heads (39%). Ecommerce: Directors scored only 26% on Ecommerce compared with executives (37%), managers (41%) and department heads (42%).


Data and analytics: Marketing directors scored only 32% on a test of data and analytics skills compared with 33% by executives, 35% by managers and 42% by department heads.

So, once you’ve worked out what your strongest skills are, which skills do you need for a sector to succeed? I spoke to some of CIM’s sector specialists across industries such as: charity, social marketing, higher education and food, drink and agriculture, to find out what they thought the key skills marketers in their sector need in order to succeed in their roles. 

D I G I TA L A N D I N N OVAT ION C h ar tere d I nst i t ute o f Ma r ke t i n g


DI GI TAL AN D I N N OVAT IO N C h a r te re d I ns t i t u te o f Ma rke t i ng

Continuing Mark Dodds, chair of CIM’s Food, Drink and Agriculture sector interest group added: “A key general characteristic which is much underrated is resilience. Because we work in a creative and highly visible role, everyone has an opinion on what you do. A skilled marketer will not only be able to take the inevitable criticism in their stride, but more importantly be able to explain why they have taken their actions and why they make business sense. I believe this makes us a stronger and more analytical breed of people.” (Some may say thick-skinned!)

 Charity and Social Marketing sector Liz Barnes, secretary of CIM’s Charity and Social Marketing sector interest group said: “Demonstrate the ability to ‘understand’ the customer, supporter, client and service-user. Whether that was formally through demonstrating experience using research, data analysis or whether it was informally through other ‘customer-closeness’ activities such as listening in, observing or just taking a real interest etc. But they need to make the customer, supporter, client and service-user, the reason why they are doing their job. Willingness to and demonstration of how they can learn from all sectors, product types and services, B2B, B2C – not just stick with charity or public sector paradigms. The need to cross-fertilise ideas and examine practices across industries to develop best practice is key.”

Food, Drink and Agriculture sector

MARIE LAKE chairwoman of CIM’s East of England region


John Giles, president of CIM’s Food, Drink and Agriculture sector interest group said: “It is clear that digital marketing skills are going to be more and more important in the future and we all need to be au fait with what can be done and what the impact of this can be. At this stage, most of us seem to be able to handle a few apps, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - but there is so much more we can do. There is no shortage of help out there on how to learn and so there is no excuse not to. “We also need people who can handle increasingly large and complex data sets on all aspects of agri food production and marketing, as well as the environment. We need to have the imagination and commercial flair to see how they can be used in new situations and the possibilities to create new data sets with genuine added value. We also need people who have strong analytical skills and can interpret what this all really means and how we can best use these (data sets) to commercial advantage.”

“Moving towards a sector, I think the key aspect is to know the pressures and challenges your clients are facing. We work in farming, food and agriculture so it’s critical that the marketing team know what’s happening with for example, prices, climate change, political issues and other aspects. It’s only by fully understanding your sector that you can develop innovative solutions to the challenges they face. The good marketers in our sector are those who can chat with clients about the real issues they face on a day-to-day basis.”

Higher Education sector Julia Weston, chairwoman of CIM’s Higher Education sector interest group said: “Marketing in education is different from many sectors. Higher and Further Education options are many and varied for potential students and it is a competitive market for institutions. With courses aimed at a wide range of students from the UK and globally, including 18-year-old school leavers through to mature student returning to full time education and a range of courses at undergraduate, postgraduate, parttime, degree apprenticeships and so on we operate in many different markets.” “Understanding who students are, where they come from and what their motivations are has become increasingly important. An understanding of our competitors and the markets are crucial to this. The shift of marketing and communications to online platforms including websites and the range of social media channels has been highlighted as an area for increased development and training to enable our staff to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.”

Some final thoughts Having the right skills can revolutionise your team’s performance and therefore drive business growth for your organisation. Consider using CIM’s free benchmarking tool to find out what your skills are. As a professional marketer, or someone starting out in their marketing career, it’s always good to push yourself outside the comfort zone and learn the benefits of agility. From face to face networking events to local training events, find out how you can join CIM’s East of England community and CIM’s range of sector industry groups, by visiting: https://www.

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HARNESSING DESIGN THINKING Have you ever wondered how entrepreneurs come up with good ideas?


ne tool employed to spark innovation is design thinking, Dr Ivano Bongiovanni speaks to Ellen Rossiter about the benefits the process brings to businesses. A structured approach to galvanising innovation, design thinking incorporates three key stages:

“It’s not about market research, it’s about stepping into your customers’ shoes, so you understand the frustrations they encounter and their needs. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to distance themselves from people. Bring your customers on-board and involve them in the creative process.

1) Inspiration

“Meet customers in person, as this will provide far richer insights than requesting they fill in a feedback form. Based on the information gleaned, create users’ journey maps and personas of typical users, to deepen your understanding.

“To find your inspiration, keep customers at the forefront of your mind,” explains Ivano. “Focus on their needs, identify their feelings and use these insights to inspire innovation.



Don’t discount details, what may at first seem superfluous can prove central to developing effective solutions. “Go through the same experiences as your customers, identify the pain points on their journey and the problems they encounter. Consider your company website, for example, do the web pages download quickly, are the links easy to find and do they work? Can customers filter out information that’s irrelevant to them? What problems do they encounter on their journey through the website? “Tim Brown, one of the doyens of design thinking, sees a problem identified as a source of inspiration and the springboard from which business opportunities may follow.”

2) Ideation “After identifying your inspiration, next comes the brainstorming or ‘Ideation’ stage. Bring a multidisciplinary team together and come up with as many original solutions as possible. The ideas may seem contradictory and divergent, but at this early stage, the more wide-ranging the ideas, the better. “Involve people from a variety of professional backgrounds, who bring different skills, perspectives and insights to the table. Design thinking is not solely for designers, it’s a team effort, it’s about bringing people together, rather than working in silos. The key message is that it’s ok to sit down together, to acknowledge a problem, to discuss potential solutions and how you can make them viable.”

3) Implementation “Once you’ve gathered your initial ideas together, select the most desirable and feasible with a view to developing them. At this point, you’ll find the ideas begin to come together rather than diverge. Prototype your chosen innovation, test it with customers, refine it and test again, gathering feedback all the while so you can make further improvements until you reach your final version. “Within as little as six weeks, during an Innovation Sprint with a multi-disciplinary team, I’ve seen solutions created for businesses, with a clear idea of what the endpoint will be and with work underway on a prototype.”

Be human-centric “Harnessing design thinking is not necessarily about using technological innovations, it’s the end user’s needs, not technology, that drives innovation. Moreover, these innovations may be centred on service, experiences or processes as much as technology or products. You might say that design-led innovation is technology agnostic. Be human-centric rather than technology-centric in developing solutions.

“Imagine, you’re looking at how passengers progress through airport security – what are the frustrations they encounter? How can you make the process run more smoothly or the experience less onerous? Can you remove unnecessary holdups and provide information about the reason for them when they are unavoidable? Can improving the customer experience present additional business opportunities? Design-led innovation bring focuses on satisfying customers’ needs, while leveraging technological affordances and meeting business requirements. “There is a risk of failure, you have to be happy to take that risk, but the upside of successfully introducing innovation largely outweighs the risk of failure. Ultimately, a design which is driven by people’s needs is more likely to have a positive impact on businesses than technology-led innovation. This is why design thinking, which keeps people at the heart, has helped businesses to increase profits and assist public sector organisations to save money and produce greater value for citizens.”

The power of creativity “Don’t underestimate the power of creativity. Design thinking is all about recognising the importance of creativity in today’s life. Sometimes it’s assumed that creativity is not needed in business, but this is far from being the case. Embracing creativity can lead to unconventional but brilliant ideas being explored. “Sometimes offbeat ideas lead to something amazing and therein lies the value of creativity, it can help in looking at problems from a different perspective and coming up with a fresh solution. The creative process is inspiring and can very helpful to business. “Design thinking has been criticised for reinventing the wheel, for bringing jargon to what is merely common sense, but don’t let a perceived lack of uniqueness detract from its value. Being pricey and impractical are also criticisms levelled at the approach, yet design thinking can be bound by limited resources and time. These boundaries, moreover, can help galvanise innovation. Bitesized, Design Sprints of 5 days, have proven a good starting point for developing innovations. Necessity may indeed be the mother of invention.

DR IVANO BONGIOVANNI Dr Ivano Bongiovanni Research Fellow (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow) Digital Fellow (Chair in Digital Economy, QUT Brisbane)

“There are many unmapped needs out there and as business people we need to take the time to find them, to see problems as our inspiration and our opportunity. Identifying problems and finding solutions can open up businesses to new markets. There are many opportunities out there if we respond to customer needs and design thinking provides a powerful tool for bringing businesses and customers together for the advantage of all concerned.”


LEGAL E ll i s ons

THE IMPACT OF BREXIT ON IMMIGRATION LAW – WHAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW Immigration rules can change rapidly and employers must ensure they and their workforce are protected.


rexit discussions are ongoing and there is still uncertainty about when and how the United Kingdom (UK) will leave the European Union (EU). When the time does come, however, there is no doubt that our departure from the EU will significantly change the future of travel and migration across the continent.

Some of the sectors most likely to be affected by immigration changes which are likely to result from Brexit are the horticulture sector, which relies heavily on seasonal workers, and construction and social care, where employers have become reliant on lower-skilled workers.

Indeed, at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in October, Home Secretary, Priti Patel vowed to end freedom of movement “once and for all” by introducing an Australian-style points-based immigration system.

Seasonal Workers Pilot

In the meantime, the Government has appointed the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on future immigration policy. It has also introduced a number of new immigration schemes including the EU Settlement Scheme, and a Seasonal Workers Pilot. As part of the Government’s proposed future skills-based immigration system which is due to be introduced in 2021, there would be a new visa route into the UK for temporary, short term, lower skilled workers. These changes are likely to have big impacts for employers not just in East Anglia, but across the country.


The Seasonal Workers Pilot was announced in September last year and is a national scheme enabling fruit and vegetable farmers to employ migrant workers for seasonal work for up to six months. During busy seasons, an estimated 2,500 workers will be able to come to work in the UK each year to help alleviate labour shortages in the industry, which has grown by 130% over the last 20 years. According to the Home Office, crop maintenance, harvesting, packing and processing of crops will all be included under the two-year pilot scheme.

Temporary Short-Term Workers If the Government’s proposed reforms are introduced as anticipated in 2021, a new visa route for lower 

LEGAL E lli s on s


LEGAL E ll i s ons

 skilled, short-term workers will come into play and will have big impacts for sectors such as construction and social care. The visa will allow people to work in the country for a maximum of 12 months at a time. However, it won’t allow migrants to access welfare benefits or bring dependants into the country with them. Those who are working under this visa also won’t be able to extend their stay in the UK and it will come with a 12-month cooling off period once it has expired to prevent people from effectively working in the UK permanently. This change could have huge ramifications for businesses; a potential lack of consistency within the workforce could make strategic, long-term planning incredibly difficult. Furthermore, the Home Office has said that this arrangement will be kept under review and if economic conditions in the UK change, this route of entry could be abolished.

EU Settlement Scheme

SOHAN SIDHU Partner and Immigration Solicitor, Ellisons Solicitors incorporating Gross & Co. Sohan has practised immigration law for over 20 years and provides advice on all aspects of UK immigration to individuals, families and business clients.

Meanwhile, for those EU citizens who have lived in the UK for years or even decades, the changes afoot will have a big impact on them too. There is a common misconception that EU citizens who have lived and worked in the UK for 10, 20 or 30 plus years won’t be affected because they are already established here, but that’s not the case.

Impact Although there are routes in place to support sectors relying on EU migrant workers and citizens who want to secure their status in the UK, the impact of Brexit on immigration is clear to see. Applications for British citizenship have risen dramatically – 30,000 EU nationals applied for British citizenship between June 2016 and June 2017, double the previous year, and the number of German, Italian and French nationals applying has more than trebled in three years. EU nationals now account for nearly 30% of all British citizenship applications compared with about 10% in June 2016.

There is a common misconception that EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain for 10, 20 or 30 plus years won’t be affected because they are already established here, but that’s not the case.

EU nationals currently living in the UK who are looking to continue living here beyond 30 June 2021 should apply for residence via the EU Settlement Scheme. If they have been living in the UK for a period of five years they can apply for ‘settled status’, or ‘pre-settled status’ if they have lived in the UK for less than five years. Whichever route they go down, they will need to apply by the end of December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and they will have to prove they were living here prior to 31st October 2019. Different provisions apply to those EU migrants entering the UK after the UK has departed from the EU. They will be able to apply for a European temporary leave to remain which will grant them status for three years. At the end of the threeyear period, they will need to comply with the Government’s usual Immigration Rules if they want to remain in the UK. While it is down to the individual to make an


application, employers have a responsibility to ensure that their EU migrant workers have their legal documentation in place. Once the scheme has ended in 2021, EU workers who have not been granted a status will be living and working in the UK illegally, and any businesses found to be employing illegal workers could face a fine of up to £20,000.

Despite these increases, only 1.5 million of the UK’s three and a half million EU citizens have applied for settled status. Furthermore, the net migration of EU nationals has actually fallen to its lowest level in more than five years. In the year ending March 2018, just under 90,000 EU nationals migrated to the UK, down from just under 190,000 in the year ending June 2016. Elsewhere, figures from the Office for National Statistics indicate that the UK currently has the lowest level of births for over 12 years and that immigration is supporting the UK in order to maintain the population at a level that does not threaten the UK’s economy. The significant decrease in migration, coupled with the proposed restrictions on EU migrant workers, is adding to fears that following Brexit and the introduction of the Government’s proposed new immigration system in 2021, there will be a significant skills shortage in various areas of the UK’s economy. The specialist Immigration team at Ellisons Solicitors is on hand to support businesses through these uncertain times and can keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in immigration law as they happen.

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