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LIFE LESSONS The Source’s new director of quality, curriculum, and innovation Natalie Doherty on breaking down barriers to jobs and training



: N O S U C FO



Offices & Workspace to let

East Sheffield from £15 sq ft (excl.)

Enquiries: • 07889 207 077



OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE EXPO Thursday 7th October 2021 AESSEAL New York Stadium, Rotherham Learn from expert speakers Network with industry leaders Gain insights into operational excellence Focus on sustainability, growth and more

UnLTD’s very own Dan Laver will be hosting a live Q&A panel with industry experts. This is one not to be missed, with limited places available, scan the QR code and register your place today!

Ava Jones of AESSEAL plc, will be talking about AESSEAL's Net Zero journey, and the actions as a business they've put in place.

This FREE event will sharpen your skills and broaden your knowledge on sustainability and operational excellence. SCAN ME 0114 400 0077



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INSIDE... 6-10: News A round-up of news in the region, including new offices and new services and property news from Strata and The SEO Works.


11-13: Appointments All the latest appointments from around South Yorkshire, including news from Glu Recruit. 22-23: Team Talk Q&A Hydra Creative introduce their team in their new column. 60-61: Feature unLTD columnists Actus Insurance announce a new partnership with two local businesses. 65: Property Projects Austin Fletcher’s Wayne Fletcher on the impact of materials shortages on the construction sector. 69: Recruitment ORB Recruitment’s Paul Reddish on the company's rapid growth.

88: Digital Innovation SYMCA board member, Alexa Greaves on the move to digitalisation.

EVERYTHING ELSE: 15: The Diary 17: Legal Matters 19: Entrepreneur Support 73: Launchpad 89: Podcast Spotlight 90: Charity


BRUMBLE IN THE CITY JUNGLE The Bears of Sheffield are proving to be a major hit across the city – and among unLTD readers, too! Last month we asked you to spot Botanical hidden in the pages of our magazine and congratulations to reader Melanie Bancroft who wins Bears merchandise after spotting him in our CC33 feature and tweeting us: Found it @unLTDbusiness! I had to go back and search for the @BearsofSheff Botanical bear as got so engrossed in the articles the first time! Thanks for being the source of a fun (& informative) coffee break. In our September mag, you need to keep your peepers peeled for the bear above – Brumble. He is designed by TADO – whose work is renowned for its cheeky and playful nature, combining the artists’ background in Asia with a good dollop of Sheffield humour. So spot TADO in our mag or on the streets of Sheffield, take a photo of him or you with our magazine open to Brumble’s page. Then tag us on Twitter at @unltdbusiness or email us hello@ to be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win some official Bears merchandise – and help raise much-needed funds for The Children’s Hospital Charity. September is back to school month – so we’re going back to business with an education, skills, and training special. Kicking off with our cover star Natalie Doherty who was often told she was ‘in the wrong neighbourhood’ growing up in a middle-class white area of Liverpool but refused to be stereotyped. The Source’s new director of quality, curriculum, and innovation tells Jill Theobald how she has discovered the drive, determination and values of her home city are rooted right here in South Yorkshire. Elsewhere in our special themed issue you’ll also hear from husband-and-wife team Andy Hanselman and Jill White who share their more than a quarter of a century’s experience in training, learning and professional development. Our new columnists Hydra Creative tell us all about their latest graduate hire. And Jill Thomas wraps things up with some words of wisdom on the lessons she’s learned recruiting – and retaining.

UNLTD BUSINESS UNLTDBUSINESS EDITORIAL Richard Fidler Jill Theobald General 0114 252 7781 ADVERTISING Dan Laver 07867 313995 Phil Turner 07979 498034 General FINANCE Michael Johnson DESIGN Simon Waller and Simon Garlick CONTRIBUTORS Matthew Ainscough Matt Crowder Chris Coates Jo Davison Mike Durham Matt Holmes Sam Leeder

Hannah Johnson Lewis Mackley Jade March Rachel Measures James Marriott Susan Waple Helen Williams

unLTD is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1B Rialto, 2 Kelham Island Sq., Kelham Riverside, Sheffield S3 8SD and HRM PR | Creative Unit 1A Speedwell Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media Ltd and HRM and while every effort is made to ensure information throughout unLTD is correct, changes prior to distribution may take place which can affect the accuracy of copy, therefore Blind Mice Media Ltd and HRM cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific listings.



Jenx take on half marathon to raise over £2,500 for Paces Four employees from one of the UK’s leading postural support specialists, Jenx, have raised over £2,500 for a local charity by running the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Jack Wilson, Sam Hyden, Will Denbigh and Steve Blake completed the 13.1 mile challenge on Sunday 1 August. The money raised will be donated to Paces - a specialist centre, charity and school for individuals and families living with cerebral palsy and motor disorders based in High Green. Holly Jenkins, director of Jiraffe, said: “I’d like say an enormous thank you to Jack, Sam, Will and Steve for helping to raise such a substantial donation for Paces. They’re an incredible organisation doing vital work that’s helping children living with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders to achieve their personal goals and aspirations.” David Hall, Paces corporate fundraising manager, added: “It was an absolute pleasure to be part of the team with the guys from Jenx. The day from start to finish was fantastic and we are so grateful to the Jenx team for supporting us whilst taking on the marathon.”


DONCASTER BUSINESS COMMUNITY CUP BRINGS HOME £7,000 FOR LOCAL GOOD CAUSES Kind-hearted members of Doncaster’s business community have broken their fundraising goal of raising thousands of pounds to support local good causes in the borough, following the return of the Doncaster Business Community Cup. The hotly contested football competition is the first in a series of planned sporting events organised by Doncaster Business For the Community which will take place throughout 2021. Following the postponement of the charitable organisation’s packed fundraising programme

last year, the Community Cup saw the Business All Stars go head-to-head with Commercial Legends in a match which took place at the Keepmoat Stadium. Each of the 38 participants represented local businesses and were put through their paces in a rigorous training programme which began in March. With more than £7000 raised on the day, the real winners were Doncaster’s charities and community-led organisations. Two donations of £3500 were presented to mental health charity Doncaster Mind and Active Fusion. The remainder

of the funds will be used to support a range of grass-roots community initiatives across the borough. Anthony Temperton, KAT Communications director and DB4C trustee, said: “Following a hiatus in 2020 when all planned activities were forced to be put on hold as a result of COVID-19, this year’s Community Cup was a memorable event which not only gave members of the local business community a chance to be put through their paces on the pitch, but one which will help to support the work of a number of good causes within the borough.”

PARK HILL COMMERCIAL SPACE SPARKS INTEREST FROM SHEFFIELD INDEPENDENTS One hundred and seventy of the homes are now sold or under offer at Park Hill – with the first residents due to move in this autumn and over half the commercial space secured or in advanced discussions. Park Hill is an awardwinning joint venture between Urban Splash and Places for People and the redevelopment of Phase 2 includes 195 homes and 20,000 sq ft of mixed-use commercial space which is attracting attention from new homeowners and businesses. Nicky Harries, senior

commercial lettings manager on behalf of the joint venture, said: “The range of independent businesses, that include retail, leisure and

the creative sectors, have not let the pandemic affect their entrepreneurial enthusiasm and have, in fact, kept their businesses healthy."


AGENDA Hallam secures grant to increase diversity in chemistry researchers

NEW SHEFFIELD CHAMBER HUB – ‘A PLACE WHERE OUR PEOPLE WANT TO BE’ Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has opened a new city centre hub at Cubo Sheffield. The new co-working space, part of Sheffield’s Heart of the City development, will be the primary base for Chamber membership. The Chamber’s current home, located in the John Banner Centre in Attercliffe, is being refreshed and transformed into the chief base

of operations for its Sheffield International Trade division. President of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Matt Jackson, said: "We needed our workplace to reflect the modern vibrant Chamber we are and fully cater to the needs of customers and staff. “Our new hub delivers. We are proud to call Cubo home and invite our members and clients. Workplace wellbeing is extremely important to us

and this is a place where our people want to be – open plan and filled with natural light, that helps increase productivity and morale.” Councillor Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “There’s lots of fantastic regeneration happening across our city centre and it’s great to see Sheffield Chamber moving to Cubo. It’s another vote of confidence in the Heart of the City scheme.”

Academics at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) have secured £19,000 funding for a project to increase participation in chemistry research. The Chemistry for All outreach grant, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, will be used to increase awareness of chemistry research as a career by engaging secondary school students (KS3 and KS4) in a bespoke chemistry research project, built around the study of metals in soils, and the environmental effect of these metals.

SCARBOROUGH GROUP TO DELIVER SOUTH YORKSHIRE’S FIRST PADEL TENNIS FACILITIES Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is to become the home of South Yorkshire’s first dedicated Padel Tennis facilities to be developed by Scarborough Group International (SGI), further expanding the sporting opportunities available and reinforcing its health and wellbeing ethos. Three Padel Tennis courts are set to be installed alongside the all-weather, professional 3G football pitch in the grounds of the Community Stadium, which is currently under construction as part of SGI’s development agreement with Sheffield City Council. The courts will be built to the highest specification, with walls of toughened glass, an artificial grass playing surface and floodlighting. Invented in Mexico in the



1960’s, Padel Tennis is one of Europe's fastest growing grassroots sports, played by approximately 20 million people across 30 countries. SGI Chairman, Kevin McCabe, said: “We are extremely proud to be

bringing the very first Padel Tennis courts to South Yorkshire. Now Padel enthusiasts across South Yorkshire, irrespective of age or ability, will have a fantastic community facility right on their doorstep.”

The project will allow SHU students to be science role models, inspiring the next generation of chemists at schools across Sheffield and the surrounding area. Mel Lacey, senior lecturer in the department of Biosciences and Chemistry, will lead the project which gets underway early next year. She said: “We are excited to see the impact on school students taking part in this research and see it breaking down barriers to study chemistry. “We look forward to showcasing chemistry and how it links to other areas of science.”



The Glass Works Square and shops to open Construction on The Glass Works – Barnsley Council’s flagship town centre development – is almost complete, with hoardings coming down this month.

£1,000 donation for Doncaster hospice A donation of £1000 has been shipped to St John’s Hospice in Balby by Freightliner, after the firm asked staff for nominations of where to share the kindness next.

Yorkshire Windows getting greener Yorkshire Windows is meeting its carbon footprint target after planting 500 sustainable trees and with all windows fitted now featuring the groundbreaking EcoMAX glass.

Growth sparks move for digital experts Digital growth experts, The SEO Works, is doubling its office space in Sheffield city centre, creating new jobs for the region as part of aggressive expansion plans.


TECHNICAL EXPERTISE ON DISPLAY FOR LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON Castings Technology (Cti) welcomed the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Hilary Russell, together with Alderman and Sherriff Professor Michael Mainelli, and fellow Sheriff Christopher M Hayward CC. Cti's chairman Kevin Parkin and non-executive director Brian Robb hosted the visit. MD Richard Cook and Kevin Parkin – who together

completed a successful MBO in January this year – spoke about the challenges of the MBO and how it had saved 65 highly skilled roles and ensured the security of the UK's unique supply chain for their customers. The Lord Mayor and his party were given a factory tour to see the latest developments in foundry technology and witness Cti's technical expertise.

They also had the opportunity to meet other directors and managers who explained the processes and techniques employed to produce the high-quality castings used in industries including defence, oil and gas, and aerospace. The Master and Mistress Cutler also attended the visit and thanked the company for their hospitality during a speech at the Forfeit Feast held at the Cutlers' Hall that evening.

Cheers! The Sheffield Half Pint Marathon returns True North Brew Co. and Loxley Brewery have teamed up to bring the Sheffield Half Pint Marathon back for its sixth year. The month-long charity event will run throughout September in 13 Sheffield bars and pubs, with each brewery creating a brand-new beer. ‘One Fort’ Road’ from True North Brew Co. and ‘Get ‘Em In’ from Loxley Brewery will be available in all participating venues and with each Half Pint Marathon beer purchased throughout September, a donation will be made to Sheffield Mind. Sheffield Mind business development manager Lindsay

Doyle-Price said: “We have been lucky enough to be beneficiary of the promotion for the last two years and are grateful to all the participating bars for their ongoing support. The event will run in September in

13 Sheffield bars and pubs

“We very much hope people get behind the promotion, as every penny donated to Sheffield Mind will be invested in local service delivery.” True North Brew Co.’s marketing manager Krissie Petfield said: “We are happy to be bringing back the Sheffield Half Pint Marathon alongside Loxley Brewery to raise money for such a worthy cause. It’s a brilliant opportunity to get together with friends and family and raise a (half) pint to support one another.” More information at halfpintmarathon or @sheffhalfpint


AGENDA HR and employment law firm launches sister company, Bhayani Recruitment

SYNETIQ DRIVES INDUSTRYFIRST APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME A ‘first of its kind’ motorrecycling apprenticeship scheme has been launched by leading integrated vehicle salvage, dismantling, and recycling business SYNETIQ. Opening its doors to new career opportunities in the vehicle recycling industry, SYNETIQ’s Metal Recycling Operative 12-month apprenticeship scheme starts this month with the business offering successful apprentices a job once qualified. Apprentices will take part in a mixture of on and off-the-job learning and will be equipped

with their own PPE and tools – normally dismantlers use their own tools. Practical training includes assessing more than 800 cars a week in SYNETIQ’s ‘Landing SYNETIQ employs more than

450 PEOPLE nationwide

Pad’ where apprentices will learn to identify salvageable parts for reuse – also known as green parts. Head of HR for SYNETIQ Natalie Buckley said: “We’re so proud to launch the industry’s first Metal Recycling Operative Apprenticeship scheme, bringing new employment opportunities to the area. “Apprentices are the future of our business and their role in identifying green parts plays an important role in implementing our sustainability roadmap and making it a success.”

COVID-19 pandemic ‘widens gap between rich and poor’ How quickly households or businesses recover when restrictions are lifted may be down to where people live and their jobs, according to experts at the University of Sheffield. Researchers from the Department of Economics assessed household and business recovery risk at a neighbourhood level, showing significant inequalities even within Local Authorities (LAs) for some areas of the UK. The study found areas characterised by higher


deprivation had fared worse during the pandemic and carried a higher risk of poorer recovery outcomes, due to people living there being more likely to experience increased financial insecurity and higher uptake of benefits. People employed in sectors impacted by social restrictions including retail and hospitality have also experienced larger losses in hours worked – it is in these areas that targeted interventions are needed to promote economic recovery

as final public health restrictions are lifted. For SMEs, the risk is characterised by an increase in debt, the effects of ‘zoomshock’ causing a reduction in demand for goods and services, and loss of workers where these sectors dominate. Threats to businesses’ recovery are mainly concentrated in town and city business districts regionally, and in Sheffield, central neighbourhoods such as Cathedral and Kelham, Devonshire Quarter, Tinsley, Carbrook, and Sharrow.

Following a 40 per cent year-on-year increase in turnover since 2015, Sheffield-based Bhayani HR & Employment Law has launched a new recruitment service to deliver flexible recruitment solutions for businesses and the third sector. Bhayani Recruitment will work hand-in-hand with the existing employment law firm to deliver additional recruitment and search services to both existing clients and new ones.

The new service will focus on roles for HR and internal recruitment, charity and not-for-profit, legal, office and customer support, sales and marketing, and board level appointments. The companies have invested in additional office space and refurbishment, the latest technology platforms for recruiters and a new website. Three new staff members have joined and the team is expected to grow with several sector specific consultants over the next 12 months. Jay Bhayani, MD and solicitor at Bhayani HR & Employment Law and director at Bhayani Recruitment, said: “We’ve worked hard to establish a strong client base to act as our first recruitment clients. During the lockdowns, we took the time to reflect and develop a strong strategy for launching Bhayani Recruitment.”



GROWTH SPARKS ‘EXCITING MOVE’ TO ‘ICONIC’ CITY OFFICE SPACE Digital growth experts, The SEO Works, is doubling its office space in Sheffield city centre, creating new jobs for the region as part of aggressive expansion plans. The SEO Works has signed a lease on an 8,600 sq ft office space at Fountain Precinct, one of Sheffield’s most iconic central office buildings, situated next to Sheffield City Hall at Barker’s Pool. The team, which was recently voted ‘SEO Agency of the Year’ at the UK Digital Growth Awards, will move from its current 3,788 sq ft base on Scotland Street to its new third floor home complete with open plan offices, meeting rooms and break-out areas for its growing team. MD Ben Foster said: “This is an exciting move for us. We had outgrown our current space, having hired 18 staff in the last six months, and have further plans to recruit more this year.


“The move was driven by two factors. The first was all about confirming our confidence in office-based working as a hub, and then secondly, seeing the value of the space and using it to its maximum. “We are now offering a hybrid working style where staff have the flexibility to work from home and from the office on days of their choice. During the last year remote

working has been possible, but still the office is important. “It is crucial to our culture, how staff work and where ideas are born, better developed and delivered. The new office represents a centre for collaboration and our culture.” Peter Whiteley, partner and head of the Sheffield office of Knight Frank, added: “These offices fit The SEO Works’ style of business and reinforces the

critical relationship they want to have with their employees and clients.” Ric Tsang, fund manager at Aegon Asset Management said: "The SEO Works' space increase is testament to the success of the recent refurbishment works undertaken which have ensured that the building continues to be fit for the future."

Strata launches interior design tool following ‘hugely positive’ first half Luxury house builder Strata has announced the launch of its new design programme which allows customers to create an entirely bespoke interior that can be factored into the build process and completed ahead of their move-in date. Doncaster-based Strata boasts developments across Yorkshire, Derbyshire and the Midlands including the recently completed Belong in Eckington. The launch of its new design platform – called Home Configurator – allows customers to customise the fixtures and fittings of


a property’s bathroom and kitchen, including kitchen cabinets and worktops, lighting, flooring, tiles, and built-in appliances. The move follows a ‘hugely positive’ first half of 2021 for the business, bolstered by the Government extension of the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday and the easing of lockdown restrictions. Strata has also partnered with Yorkshire retailer Nest to provide access to its range of luxury furniture and lighting, as well as the personal customer service offering of its interior design experts. The deal, which is available

for selected plots and developments, is offered to customers who have made reservations completed since July 3 2020. Strata marketing manager Natalie Wilson

said: “One of the benefits of purchasing a home off-plan is that it is entirely possible to have an instrumental role in designing how it looks and how it feels.”





WHAT THE END OF FURLOUGH MEANS FOR RECRUITMENT With the final phase of the furlough scheme set to end on 30 September 2021, this brings to an end over 18 months of governmentbacked support for businesses affected by the pandemic. Rob Shaw, MD at South Yorkshire based recruitment consultancy, Glu Recruit, takes a closer look at what this means for the local job market. The end of furlough is likely to bring about two different scenarios for Sheffield City Region employers – they will either bring staff back into the workplace or look at restructuring and resizing their workforce as they continue on the road to recovery. Businesses will bring their staff back, albeit to a very different workplace to the one they left, but this could cause some staff attrition with many employees either facing redundancy or becoming more open to new job opportunities. Welcome back! Employers welcoming staff back will be doing so under

are likely to have split their time between home and the office. Offering this flexibility has become a key driver for candidates choosing new roles.


very different circumstances – are they ready for employees to return to a different way of working? Our research during the pandemic shows a mix of both home and office-based working patterns are high on

the agenda for employees, so a phased return to the office may be a better approach than going from being at home to a full return. The same can be said for attracting new recruits. Those working throughout COVID-19

New faces at Virgin Money Sheffield Virgin Money has welcomed new hosts Iwan Zawadski, Lily Higgins, John Facer and Anna Royce. Iwan and Lily have joined the city team. They are both fresh out of Meadowhead Sixth Form and will be with the bank for the next 12 months before they head off to university. Vicky Travis, growth manager at Virgin Money UK said: “What really impressed us was their work ethic, both having worked part time while studying, and also their confidence. “Iwan plans to use this time to gain experience in



the financial sector before he progresses on to a Degree in Politics. “John and Anna have joined our Hillsborough team. Coming from Debenhams and John Lewis they are both highly experienced in the retail sector. “John has a degree in Built

Environment and is already proving to be popular with customers and colleagues. His passion for delivering exceptional customer experiences is certainly shining through. “Welcome to the Virgin family!”

A time of change It’s also important to note the candidate market is moving much quicker than before. With the likelihood of more candidates entering the market once furlough ends, there’s the potential to go from not enough quality candidates to many – competition for jobs will be high. This means employers must ensure their recruitment processes are robust and efficient. As the market pace quickens, delays could result in candidates accepting jobs elsewhere. Whichever route a business opts for, managing expectations is key. Glu Recruit are here to help, with employee retention strategies or recruitment advice. Contact us on 0114 321 1873 or to start a conversation today!

The Curve bolsters senior management team Leading software development and technology consultancy The Curve has appointed Andrew Sherwin to its senior management team. A results-orientated director, Andrew will work alongside business development director Melise Jones, and the firm’s co-founders, to expand the current national offering to clients in a range of sectors including financial services.



CURRENT VACANCIES ABOUT GLU RECRUIT Glu Recruit are a full-service recruitment agency established in 2016. We specialise in temporary, permanent, contract and graduate recruitment – offering a tailored solution from entry level to senior management and board level spanning your entire organisation. As an independent recruitment

agency, we focus on the long-term stick of the placement. Whether you’re a candidate looking to make a career move, or an employer looking to add to your team, our thorough and proactive recruitment and retention service ensures you are well looked after! Call: 0114 321 1873 Email:

Role: Key account manager Salary: £30,000 per annum plus commission scheme Location: Sheffield Sector: Property Role: Marketing manager (B2B) Salary: £26,000-£30,000 per annum Location: Sheffield Sector: Property Role: Head of web development Salary: Up to £42,000 per annum Location: Sheffield Sector: Creative agency

NEW TAX ADVISORY PARTNER BRINGS FURTHER TRANSACTION EXPERTISE TO BHP Award-winning Yorkshire and Derbyshire accountancy firm, BHP, has strengthened its tax team with the appointment of tax advisory partner Fletcher Adamowicz. Having provided expert tax advice to owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years, Fletcher will be taking on a new challenge to use his expertise with existing clients and further build on the services offered into the Private Equity sector. Fletcher, who will be based in BHP’s Leeds office, said: “The role will be very hands on with both clients and the market, which is what I love doing, but I’ll also have the chance to scale up the transaction side of


Charity creates new role


the business tackling complex owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurial tax issues.” Hamish Morrison, joint managing partner at BHP,

said: “There’s no denying Fletcher’s reputation when it comes to intricate tax issues and complicated transactions, which is why we’re absolutely delighted he’s joining us.”

Urbana continue rapid expansion Planners and urbanists Urbana Town Planning are celebrating a third hire across its Sheffield and London offices. Urbanists Tom Breislin, Chloe Parmenter and Tom Vincent will support in delivering development proposals that improve cities


and towns nationally. The consultancy recruited based on how aligned applicants were with the values and cultures of Urbana, rather than for specific roles. Each team member is encouraged to work on projects they find most exciting, to ensure staff always

give 100 per cent and have the maximum positive impact on new developments. Urbana MD Adam Murray said: “Tom and Chloe, who started with us earlier this year, have already made a huge impact, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from Tom, who joined in July.”

Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) aims to boost its referral services by creating a new role. SCCCC appointed Helen Coates as engagement officer with the aim of strengthening relationships with new and existing partner organisations. Helen said: “I was really keen to work for SCCCC as they have such a strong heritage in Sheffield's health and social care sector. It's a very well-respected charity, which is always striving for excellence and really committed to high quality care and services for older people.”



HIGHLANDER TEAM STRENGTHENED WITH APPOINTMENT OF NEW DUO IT services provider Highlander has strengthened its team with two further appointments. Daniel Beal joins as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) support advisor and will be working in Highlander’s new software division, while Taylor Thrall joins as a helpdesk engineer. The appointments continue the trend of growth for the business, as well as the widening of the services that it offers. MD Steve Brown said: “Daniel and Taylor are fantastic appointments as they have the customer focus that we continually strive for. “The bolstering of both our service desk and on-site operations has been key during the pandemic. “It is also exciting to be working on new ventures that

Lord Kerslake takes up role as Sheffield Culture Collective chair


will soon be ready to launch. These will complement our existing portfolio and will give

our clients greater choice and a greater return from their technology.”

Talented team (Kick)start new roles at Airship Airship has recruited five new starters through the Government’s ‘Kickstarter’ programme – designed to get 16-24-year-olds on universal credit into work. Airship and Toggle CEO Dan Brookman said: “As soon as it was announced, we thought the programme was a fantastic opportunity to get some great talent into the business – so that’s exactly what we’ve done! “We created the roles around the candidates, filling knowledge and expertise gaps in our team, with the aim of retained employment at the end of the six months. “Two roles have already gone full time and we’ve another role to fill in sales over the coming months. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have been


very supportive in helping us recruit.” Social media manager Ben Travis has been in post since March. Graphic design specialist Dominika Matuszkiewicz has given the

website a total makeover. Lewis McKay is a support engineer, Emma Allsop is customer relationship management (CRM) administrator, and Monique Grimwade has joined the customer success team.

Sheffield Culture Collective has appointed Lord Bob Kerslake to oversee implementation of the organisation’s inaugural strategy and help drive investment and growth in the region’s cultural sector. Lord Kerslake takes over from Dame Julie Kenny and will take up his new role this month. Sheffield Culture Collective is a public private partnership which was formed in 2019 in response to a national enquiry into how cities can use culture to drive growth and create a stronger and fairer society. In July the Collective launched its first ever strategy for how culture can unlock Sheffield’s untapped economic and social potential, spotlighting delivery of four pivotal arts projects including the S1 Artspace at Park Hill, The Graves Gallery and Central Library and Tinsley Art Project. Lord Kerslake said: “I congratulate the Collective for the excellent work it has already done under Dame Julie Kenny’s leadership in creating its groundbreaking strategy. “The task ahead is to move this to delivery. This will only be possible with a clear focus on the priorities and close collaboration across the partnership. It will predominately be about influencing leadership and powerful advocacy.”


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Our editor asks if the pandemic has changed our leisure choices

GOODBYE TO OLD TIME LEISURE PURSUITS? As we enter autumn and the run-up to Christmas, we’re still very much in a time of uncertainty. Having done two laps of the COVID-19 track for the summer months, I think we know what we can expect when the clocks go forward in 2022. But what about the long dark days ahead? This time last year there was an air of caution, but also much optimism after a relatively quiet summer. Life was far from normal – but compared to how it had been just a few months before, things were looking good. Of course, as we now remember, universities returning led to spikes in infections in those towns and cities and eventually we had another lockdown month in

November before a changing of the rules over Christmas, which was followed by the difficult start to 2021. The huge success of the vaccination programme has changed the game with how we view the virus now. But until we get through the winter period and see how the NHS copes – hopefully plans have been put in place – then the true picture won’t be clear. For businesses, it’s again a tricky time. Many offices have returned to normal (if I can use that word) working practices with people comfortable again in an environment surrounded by their colleagues. Particularly in the private sector, pragmatic decisions have been made about where people should work from.

There is still flexibility but the rules are clearer – whether that’s everyone back in, or moving to full time remote working or a hybrid model. Any return to working from home for a long period of time during the winter wouldn’t be a popular decision, in my opinion, for those tasked with managing teams or running businesses. But we’ll have to see what happens and whether the vaccines do their job of limiting the effects of the virus. On a separate, but related, note I’ve been wondering about how FOMO (fear of missing out) is impacting on our new habits and whether old routines will ever make a comeback. It used to be called keeping up with the Jones’s – but is

now more likely to be copying what friends and influencers are doing on Instagram which informs our choices. The thing is, while holidays in Cornwall or Northumberland are all over our feeds – quite rightly because foreign travel is so difficult – there are activities that are open for business which barely get a look-in. Cinemas, for instance, are open, but I can’t remember speaking to anyone who has been since they were allowed to. Whereas football matches this season have been very well attended. Without that peer pressure nudge to conform, will other traditional staples of our free time go the same way as many high street stores and close for good?

Got views of your own? Let me know: LinkedIn: Richard Fidler



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BY MATTHEW AINSCOUGH, BELL & BUXTON INCORPORATING IRONMONGER CURTIS The lawyer has some advice on settlement agreements for employers and employees


WHAT IS A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT? A settlement agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee. Effectively, the employer promises to give the employee something (normally in the form of a lump sum payment) in return for which the employee promises not to bring claims against the employer. In order for the agreement to be legally enforceable, the employee needs to get legal advice and a lawyer’s signature on the agreement. Generally speaking, a settlement agreement will prevent an employee from bringing any claims of any nature at all against the employer. This is called ‘waiving claims’. Some settlement agreements


exclude from the waiver claims for latent personal injuries or claims relating to pensions, so that the employee may still bring such claims even after signing the agreement. Normally a settlement agreement will ask the employee to keep the terms of the agreement confidential. They may also be required not to make any negative comments about the employer to anybody else. Most settlement agreements state that if the employee breaches any of the terms they are liable to pay the money back. Usually, a contribution towards legal fees for taking advice on a settlement agreement will be met by the employer.

Summary A settlement agreement is a contract between the employer and the employee where the employer promises to give the employee something (normally a payment), in return for which the employee promises not to bring certain claims against the employer;


Once the employee has signed the agreement, they will be barred from bringing certain claims against the employer;


Generally speaking, most payments from an employer are taxable. However, in certain circumstances the employer can make a payment of up to


£30,000 to the employee tax free; Most settlement agreements contain a clause requiring the employee to pay money back if they breach any of the terms;


The settlement agreement may state that the employee’s legal fees will be met by the employer – however, if the employer defaults, the employee will be liable for the fees (as a client of their firm of solicitors).


If you would like advice on a settlement agreement as a business or an employee, please contact Matthew Ainscough on 0114 249 5969 or M.Ainscough



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Our columnist challenges readers to be aware of their inner and outer language

THE POWER OF YOUR WORDS The power of your language is a universal realisation regardless of your current business or career positioning right now. Once brought to your attention you will begin to appreciate how powerful and influential the language you use is, especially when it comes to the monologue, dialogue and narrative you use for yourself. We can often be mindful of what we choose to say and how we choose to say it to others can’t we? Mainly due to not wanting to offend, upset, knock someone’s confidence etc but how come we don’t treat ourselves in this very same manner? The general rule book, respect and mindfulness seem to fly straight out of the window. Listen, we all have selflimiting beliefs and shackles on our potential for a whole host of different reasons. But if we start with the controllable elements from an internal perspective then we are giving ourselves half a chance. It is like opening Pandora’s box when it comes to language and linguistics, and I am by no means an expert. However, it is definitely a vital area that

using and how you are using it. Secondly, understand how you can start to frame words and sentences in such a way that they elevate you, not restrict you – or your beliefs and behaviours. Check out the example below for some strong reframe fixes, word replacements and reconstructed sentences: From: I’m struggling. To: I’m learning. From: I am finding it really difficult. To: I am embracing the challenge.

we work on with individuals and businesses so that levels of self-awareness can be achieved and changes in behavioural practise can be implemented. Common language errors are ones that come from a negative and pessimistic mindset and, as such, even if used naively or subconsciously have a detrimental ripple effect on belief systems and our respective actions and behaviours. We almost sign our own deal off with a limitation without even realising it. We are aware of what to say to

others, while simultaneously holding ourselves back. When we tell ourselves time and time over that we can’t do something, for example, we condition ourselves to believe it and approach the task in question with complete apprehension – or even avoidance. Words can be so subjective and emotionally manipulate a situation which can mean even the smallest of tweaks have a great impact. The beauty is in firstly understanding the short straw and its impact on the language you are currently

From: I don’t know how. To: I will find a way. From: We are cheap on price. To: We pride ourselves on being affordable and accessible. From: I can’t do that. To: I can – or I am choosing not to do that. Just like the familiarity of a swear jar, this month I challenge you to commit to self-awareness and observation of the words and language you use outwardly – and with those pesky thoughts and conversations that happen in your own head.

Get in touch today to book a consultation call






CELEBRATES THIRD BIRTHDAY A Barnsley-based company established to ‘offer clients the full package when it comes to animation and design’ is celebrating its third birthday. B Animated studio, founded by award-winning graphic designer Laura Blackburn, specialises in creating bespoke 2D animations to promote businesses, services, and products. Founder and creative director Laura has over 15 years’ experience as a graphic designer and set up the business to offer clients the full package when it comes to animation and design. B Animated is based in the town’s Digital Media Centre on County Way and past clients include Manchester City Council, Welcome to Yorkshire, Barnsley Premier Leisure, and Enterprising Barnsley. Laura said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our third birthday! Since setting up the business in 2018, we’ve gone from strength to strength and have worked with some great clients. “We’ve been involved in some amazing projects and are proud that work produced by the studio has been used to promote major events, including the Tour de Yorkshire and UCI Road World Championships.



“Graphic design and animation can have many benefits for businesses when used well, so I created B Animated to help companies tap into that potential. “Our mission is simple – to use our expertise in animation to help businesses get the best results.” One of B Animated’s most popular client services is the creation of high-quality animated explainer videos, which can explain a product or service in clear and simple terms. Laura added: “An explainer video is a short, animated

video, which helps businesses detail what they can offer more quickly and clearly. “Animated explainer videos can work particularly well for clients who have something technical they need to communicate, as they break things down into more simple terms. “Because they are eyecatching and engaging, they are perfect for helping customers to better understand what a business does and what it can do for them.” Other services offered by the team include the creation of character animation,

animated logos and social media graphics – all designed to help brands engage with their audiences and stand out from the competition. Laura added: “Animation can make a really big impact with an audience, and we love working with our clients to bring their vision to life. “When it comes to design and animation, we appreciate every client is different, but what never changes is our personal approach. “Whatever the project, from initial discussions through to creating a storyboard, concept creation and bringing the finished project to life – we are here every step of the way. “We’ve had a fantastic first three years in business and are now looking forward to building on that in the future. “There are some exciting plans in the pipeline, so watch this space.” Web: Email: Tel: 01226 720 774




Our Mission: To attract and retain women in STEM careers in South and West Yorkshire

VICKIECLARKE BROWN CDIR CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, CUSTOM SOLAR LTD What is your current role? I am chief financial officer at Custom Solar Ltd, the chair of South Yorkshire Branch of Institute of Directors, and a non-executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. What does that involve on a day-to-day basis? There are several responsibilities, including ensuring the company has access to sufficient funds to achieve its strategic plans, and that the board and management team understand the financial performance of the business and how we are tracking against our plans. In addition to the longterm strategy, there is also the day-to-day management of the finance function, overview of the cashflow and daily spend, plus management of external stakeholder relationships with bankers, auditors and other funders. Much of what I do as a finance director is about communicating with people and developing relationships.


How did you get started working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? South Yorkshire has a proud history of manufacturing and I’ve been fortunate enough to work for some great companies such as AESSEAL Plc where I was based for ten years following my training. Accounting is a transferable skill, but the management accounting qualification is particularly applicable to the manufacturing process, understanding the profits made by each product stream and what levers can be pulled to maximise a company's returns. What qualifications did you take or gain along the way? I’m a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and also the only female chartered director in South Yorkshire.I’m a huge believer in lifelong learning and achieved my chartered director qualification only a couple of years ago. Why do you love working in STEM? Every day is different, there

are always new challenges to tackle, new products being developed, new processes established. As a finance professional I have to understand every part of the business to be able to ensure we achieve our targets. The costs and what drives them are fundamental to the board's decision-making on what we take forward into production.

find someone you think is inspirational and reach out to them, you might be surprised at the people who are willing to lend a hand.

What challenges have you faced in your career? And how did you overcome them? Early on in my career it was a challenge to be taken seriously – tenacity is important. Just keep going, and take every chance to prove yourself, grasp every opportunity and even when you don’t succeed, learn from the experience. Never be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something, and never miss an opportunity to learn – everyone can teach you something. Seek out mentors who can advise and support. They don’t need to be in your business, or even your sector, but if you

What do we need to do as an industry to attract and keep more women in STEM? Fly the flag for women in STEM and let the younger generation know how exciting and diverse the different roles are.

What advice would you offer for someone joining the STEM sectors? Go for it – it’s such a vibrant exciting fast-moving environment, you will never be bored!

To find out more about equality in STEM, including individual and corporate membership, visit our website




Our columnist on continued career development in digital agencies

HOW LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT IS CRITICAL TO BUSINESS GROWTH The ongoing development of staff is key to any business; investing in your employees can increase performance, commitment and profitability. Sheffield-based Digital Agency, Hydra Creative, explore the importance of continuous personal development in digital careers. Directors’ thoughts: We asked directors Gemma and Ryan, for their thoughts on staff training and development. “Our business has been built on offering training and ongoing development to our staff. Rather than always choosing the most qualified candidate, we have instead found the most success through taking on people who are the best cultural fit. We then provide them with ongoing support and training, both formal and in-house. CPD for staff ensures an everevolving workforce that grows in confidence and is able to achieve goals and meet individual personal potential. Match this with staff that have a positive attitude and a desire for self growth and development, and you’ve got a winning formula as a business owner.” Staff opinions: We spoke to Jana, Amy and


Jasmine in the office about their thoughts on CPD. How important is Continuous Personal and Professional Development to your career?


It is imperative to continue learning and evolving as a marketer, as the marketing world is continuously changing. Without keeping your finger on the pulse, you will fall behind on the latest trends and developments. – Jana


When working in a fullservice digital agency, it is vital to have a good understanding of all departments. This ensures that you can work well as a team, as well as giving you the ability to lend a hand to other departments if needed. – Jasmine


What personal development have you undertaken whilst at Hydra Creative?


I have been A Whilst here, I have completed a Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing, a CIM qualification. Doing this

course, alongside the day-to-day work, was integral as it helped me understand how strategy and theory are essential to digital marketing tactics. I have also completed professional courses in the Adobe Suite, which has helped me with document creation. – Amy I have completed a level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship while at Hydra Creative. This also included taking various courses such as the CIW Site Development Associate, and the BCS Certificate in Digital Marketing for Businesses. I am currently partaking in the Next MBA marketing director course, which includes lectures from industry leaders such as Neil Patel and Guy Kawasaki. – Jasmine


From the Expert We asked one of the leading providers of Adobe Certified Training, Gary Bradley of Creative Frontiers, how important CPD is in the creative industries. “Creative teams must get regular training to explore the latest techniques to improve efficiency and effectiveness in their design work, to ensure

that the finished product is slick, yet within budget for the client. As a leading digital training provider, our success has been built on face-to-face delivery. However, due to the increase of remote working and agencies investing more in their staff, this approach presented logistical challenges, limiting our ability to meet the needs of a diverse client base. We have recently invested in a bespoke, online learning platform that has been critical to pivoting the business model. We now offer a blended learning experience incorporating eBooks, live stream or on-demand masterclasses and even prebookable mentoring sessions. As a result, our courses are more inclusive and support thousands of students across fifty countries, twenty-four hours a day.” Learn more about Creative Frontiers, here: Want to work with an agency that is always learning? Get in touch with the friendly team at Hydra today.



If someone searches online for your services and your business doesn’t appear…

Do you even exist? A website without a robust digital marketing strategy is like an ice cream van with no music! To be able to use it as a lead generation tool it needs to be visible online. There are many ways to increase your visibility, but the most efficient way to increase your online presence is to work with a digital marketing agency that is knowledgeable, experienced and cares about your business.

Contact our team today, and challenge us to increase your online presence.

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23/04/2021 16:05



AN I.T. GUIDE This month Sheffield-based Highlander – one of the UK's leading IT service providers – join unLTD as regular contributors. In their debut feature MD Steve Brown says the company is here to help ‘clear the mist’ for companies navigating the industry.

How did we end up here? Well, new people coming into a business often bring new ideas and perspectives to the table, but one of the things that we’ve always ‘thought’ we did quite well was maintaining a good presence within our local business community. However, after taking some time to reflect, the consensus was that we aren’t quite where we should be. With that in mind, some of our recent


recruits suggested we should do something to reconnect with local organisations. A chat with Dan Laver and the unLTD team followed, and now here we are. So, what’s in it for you? We’re here to stir up some further interest in the world of IT. Through our monthly column, we want to advise, educate, and provoke some thoughts on a range of

IT-related topics. Everything from helping you and your family avoid a cyber-attack, to sharing a few hints and tips on how software can revolutionise your business and help deliver the goals you seek. It’s as simple as that. We previously wrote a monthly column several years ago for The Sheffield Telegraph. Back then it was hard to find subjects to keep the interest levels up – Zoom

and Teams were a million years away, fixing IT systems without leaving your desk wasn’t possible on those 56k modems, and while security was important, a little bit of Norton Antivirus sat on your PC did all that was needed. These days, an endless stream of mind-blowing buzzwords and acronyms such as AR, AI, machine learning, data mining, phishing, IoT and LoB continue to emerge.



They are often confusing, overlapping and, without assistance, can make the IT industry feel like a minefield or a dark art. This simply isn’t the case, and we can help with clearing the mist. What we do every day, and what we’ll do in these articles, will be to reinforce our motto of ‘Making IT uncomplicated’. We’ve been in the game for over 25 years and one thing has never changed - we engage with people to help them get the most out of their IT in the most uncomplicated way possible. We’ve recently implemented Net Promoter Score (NPS), a customer feedback tool that some will already be familiar with. Whilst we love complex hardware, software implementations, and all of the buzzwords and new tech listed previously, we also love hearing from people using the data and systems we provide to serve customers or run their business. ‘You didn’t make me feel like an old person!’, ‘Call logged, called back, explained and helped me with my issue within 30 minutes, thank you!’, is just some of the positive feedback which has been shared with us. It’s this uncomplicated customer engagement that



makes our people tick, and it’s quite apt that we are joining unLTD on the month that training for the NPS platform is given to our team. I’ve been lucky enough to work with our chairman Dr Richard Field OBE for decades now. One gift he has given us is the knowledge that the continual development of our people and systems is crucial to achieving our goals. I had the pleasure of working with Richard and Professor Robert Copeland of The Advanced

Wellbeing Research Centre during lockdown to develop a leadership course with a focus on skills that help manage work and life pressures – a key aspect when looking to improve an organisation’s performance. We know IT can help, but people need to be at the front of any plans for progression. The lack of an available talent pool for many industries right now is pushing training and development to the forefront for many.

Whether it’s hospitality, HGV drivers – or indeed IT engineers – the shortages seem to be growing. I’m proud that as a business we’ve always taken pride in the internal progression and development of our people. The fact that 66 per cent of our team have been with us for over five years, and 35 per cent for a decade or more is testament not only to the positive working environment we’ve created together, but also to the trust we put into our team to take on new responsibilities when the opportunity arises. As the IT industry leaps forward those opportunities are aplenty, so the training and development budget grows to facilitate this! I hope this article gives a little insight into what we’re all about, and what we hope to share through upcoming issues of unLTD. In our next column we'll be looking at security and how we can help the everyday user, and vulnerable family and friends, stay secure as the frequency of online fraud and cybersecurity attacks continues to rise. For more information visit:





A REBOOT Sheffield Chamber is once again showing that their team knows how to collaborate – by partnering with unLTD to take the Sheffield Business Awards to the next level. Read on to find out all the details of the rebooted event to celebrate the ‘amazing successes’ of our business community after a challenging year.



SHEFFIELD CHAMBER It has been a hell of an 18 months. Even if you sailed smoothly through the pandemic and have a bumper order book, the last year has seen every business face real challenges. Locking down in just a few hours in March 2020. Going virtual in a hurry. Keeping offices and factories open to essential workers. Retail and food businesses moving online. Dealing with ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions and guidance. The list goes on and on... And that is without even mentioning Brexit. We are not out of the woods yet. There are still many challenges being felt by many businesses. But the success of the vaccination programme, coupled with us learning to live with the virus, means hopefully the worst is behind us. Now is the time to take a breath and then unashamedly celebrate some of the amazing things achieved during the pandemic and to showcase the best businesses in our region. That is why the Sheffield Business Awards are returning later this year. In a break from the past, we are saying goodbye to penguin suits and a formal dinner. After 18 months of virtual working or social distancing


in workplaces, this year’s Sheffield Business Awards will be a more informal affair as hundreds gather to enjoy a night of celebration, networking and culinary delights at the venue best known for hosting Peddler Market.

Not only is the venue changing but we’re rebooting the categories, simplifying the entry process, and making sure that businesses, social enterprises and charities all have an opportunity to shine. The Sheffield Chamber is once again showing we know

how to collaborate. We are teaming up with our friends at unLTD, in a partnership that will take the Sheffield Business Awards to the next level. Whether you plan to enter, want to attend or simply want to celebrate with the winner online, get involved in the 2021 Sheffield Business Awards. We are a city of more than 500,000 people and 30,000 businesses. Our economy is worth over £12bn a year. We need to shout more about our business success. The Sheffield Business Awards will not just be a great night out and a key date in the diary, but also an opportunity for us all to say that Sheffield is home to some of the best businesses in the UK. Whether you still want to wear a tux or dust down that ball gown is up to you. Either way, Sheffield Chamber and unLTD hope to see you there for the biggest night of the year. It’s time again to celebrate the best of business after the most challenging of years.






Natalie Doherty was often told she was ‘in the wrong neighbourhood’ growing up in a middle-class white area of Liverpool, but refused to be stereotyped. The Source’s new director of quality, curriculum, and innovation tells Jill Theobald how the drive, determination, and values she learned in life are now helping people into jobs and training across South Yorkshire.




I am very people focused. If I am not comfortable with the people, I won’t be comfortable where I am.

“South Yorkshire appealed to me because it’s so much like Liverpool – even though we’re on different sides of the hills, people have the same mindset. I do believe that northerners have a passion and spirit that southerners just don’t have.


“The openness and the friendly nature of South Yorkshire attracted me, and I do have a lot of friends in Yorkshire. It’s all about the people – I am very people focused. If I am not comfortable with the people, I won’t be comfortable where I am.”

And Natalie Doherty certainly is comfortable in her new role as the new director of quality, curriculum, and innovation at The Source Skills Academy. “When I came to The Source it just felt right, so normal and natural to be here,” she says. “I came for the interview and felt

like I’d been here forever.” But her background growing up in a mixed heritage family combined with her experience of working around the UK for a very varied range of sectors including education, dance and culture, and the prison service has put her on a mission to get



people OUT of their comfort zones – especially those young and talented people in deprived areas. And this drive takes us back to her roots. “It is my goal to address widening inequalities – even more now because of how they have been increased by the pandemic. “I was born in Liverpool 8 which was perceived as a deprived area although it did have some of the most expensive houses in the city. I’ve always had that ethos of not falling into a stereotype and believing in yourself. If there’s something you want, go for it – failure is a possibility but it’s also an opportunity to learn.” Much of her inner strength came from her love of sport and dance – she began


dance lessons aged six and believes the self-discipline and confidence she developed have shaped her life. “My dance training gave me a can-do attitude and a thick skin, which helped me in life. To ensure you can execute a specific move with precision you need perseverance and consistency. That translated into helping me achieve my career goals.” Natalie studied A Level history, sociology and maths and her dad wanted her to be an accountant. But she spent more time in the P.E. department and didn’t get the grades she could have aspired to. So she studied the courses that were right for her, in P.E. and dance, and became a professional dancer – going on to work with choreographers from around the world and

becoming head of dance at Hertford Regional College in North London. Natalie believes those who don’t have that surety of direction early in life - just as she didn’t - can be given a second chance to get on track for success, given the help and support they need to access learning and qualifications. This was particularly evident during the two years she enjoyed as head of education at a male prison in the east of England, enabling inmates to study subjects including maths, mechanics, and construction. “A large majority of inmates are from deprived areas, and I used to sit in staff meetings and say, ‘if these guys weren’t criminals and got their heads together, they could actually run this country’. They were all

business-minded with flair, creativity, and energy but they had taken the wrong path. “What attracted me to The Source was that it was a charity and I think all education should have a charitable status. I’ve worked all over and at big institutions that claim to be doing the right thing. However, they’re often thinking about making money so they can have big buildings and high spec resources. “I’ve also worked in the private sector which is very money-driven. Many companies might have the ethos of education for everyone – but everyone becomes a pound sign. At The Source it’s very different. Okay – it’s a business and it’s got to survive – but our learners are not numbers. “It’s the innovation and the



ideas. Sitting in a SMT meeting yesterday listening to all these plans and ways of approaching things. It’s a collective view. It’s not one person saying: ‘this is my vision’. Everybody is on board. “I have worked in many different places and sectors, and I’ve never been in an organisation where it is so aligned. Here there is one focus, and it is the right one. Its ethos of helping people to find their forte in life is exactly in line with mine.” And Natalie is pleased her home-grown northern spirit is equally alive and well in South Yorkshire. “I think Sheffield and the city region is very similar to Liverpool – you have your affluent areas where everyone has got the nice jobs and big houses and cars and then


you have your less wealthy areas. But the deprivation is scattered, it’s in pockets not clumped together. “It’s all about breaking those barriers – it’s like there are imaginary walls between them and the rest of the world and so people tend to stay in those areas, where resources are lacking. “At my interview we talked about The Source taking what we do out of this building because, while it’s accessible by transport, it’s maybe not accessible to people who fear coming out of their neighbourhoods because of the labels and stereotypes they’ve been given. “That’s my mission – to get out into communities and meet people, rather than expect people to come to us. So that young people

The Source’s ethos of helping people to find their forte in life is exactly in line with mine.

especially feel comfortable leaving their postcode – I know from working in north and east London how that affects people with the conflicts that goes on between postcodes. “But once you break that preconception – that either the grass is greener, or if you go into that community you’re not going to be welcome – by entering the area and being accepted, it’s then easier to take people out of their comfort zone because they’ve now got that common link. “For businesses, this is key because there’s a lot of talented people living in neighbourhoods that aren’t being reached. The Source’s role – together with businesses – is to work in collaboration to get into those communities to get that talent out and into jobs to break the cycle.”





The Source Skills Academy in Sheffield is passionate about bringing out the best in people. It has been helping businesses to increase the talents of their teams since 2003 and is proud to sponsor Skills Focus, a monthly spotlight on training and apprenticeship news and funding to help you develop your staff.

PLEA TO BOSSES: GIVE APPRENTICESHIPS TO GROWING TIDE OF YOUNG JOB-SEEKERS Just weeks ago, students were celebrating exam results hard-won during the challenges posed by the pandemic. September is usually when many head to university or college intent on gaining further qualifications. But leading Sheffield skills and training academy The Source is highlighting a huge surge in young people wanting to go straight into work. It also believes yet more will come onto the jobs market before the year is out, as students find college or university life is not for them and decide to quit - a view in line with a report in FE Week, which found in 2020 nine per cent had left by the age of 17 and only 51 per cent were still in college at 18. Many will find jobs. As the pandemic eases and Brexit’s effects on migrant workforces rises, this summer UK vacancies numbered almost a million - but The Source fears they risk ending up in roles with low prospects. Said Mark Jackson, The Source’s Head of WorkBased Learning: “We urge young people not pursuing further education to opt for apprenticeships. The time-tested apprenticeship programme is unbeatable for the training, mentoring and qualifications it provides, all of which give career progression.”



The organisation on Meadowhall Way is pleased to have 100 vacancies waiting for the right applicants, but says far more are needed. It has over 500 educationleavers waiting and predicts numbers will increase. “More and more are deciding to avoid student debt and find a career path instead, and each autumn we

see a steady influx of people who found their college and university courses were not for them,”said Mark Jackson. “We urge businesses to offer apprenticeships – solid, career-oriented opportunities – to young people who decide that for whatever reason, further education is not their path. “Benefits for employers are

huge. There is up to £3,000 a year in Government cash grants for each apprentice and we give our learners full support and mentoring with their studies. We help them to learn with you.” Contact 0114 2635721 or apprenticeships@ for help and information.





WHY THE YOUNG ARE CHOOSING APPRENTICESHIPS… Earning while you’re gaining valuable experience, avoiding student debt and the risk of ending up with a degree but no job… These are the most common reasons why many of The Source’s current learners have chosen an apprenticeship instead of college or university. Evie Pitcher shares those views and has never looked back since choosing an apprenticeship after successful A Levels.

She approached The Source, who spotted her potential, and joined the finance team at AVT Reliability, part of the AESSEAL Group, as a Business Admin Apprentice in 2019. Now 21, she is on track to become a fully-fledged accountant - and is a Rising Star finalist in the Sheffield City Region Apprentice Awards on September 23. She completed her BTEC Level 2 in 2020, is now studying an AAT advanced accounting diploma and

aims to be a fully-qualified accountant by 2025. “I knew university wasn’t for me aged 14, but teachers and my peers were telling me I really ought to go to university if I wanted to be an accountant. Obviously that’s not true!” she says. “My apprenticeship has been the stepping stone to kick-start my career. I’ve gained far more industry knowledge from working in an accounts office than I would have learned at university.”

Want to expand the skills of you and your team? The Source has numerous commercial courses launching this month and a limited number of places are still available for training in First Aid, workplace safety, fire safety and courses for security officers and door supervisors Go to www. thesourceacademy.

FIND THE RIGHT APPRENTICE Are you an employer searching for the right apprentice? A recruitment event is being staged at The Source on September 9 (9am-5pm). Employers can meet candidates face to face and either interview on the day, or book dates via Source staff on site. To join the event and advertise your jobs, email apprenticeships@

WHY EMPLOYERS VALUE APPRENTICES Enthusiasm, hard work and new ways of thinking are just some of the positives which apprentices bring, say employers with learners supported by The Source. Medical and Legal Admin Services in Ecclesfield began recruiting apprentices in 2019 and now has seven. MLAS director Colette Benn said: “They are very capable, eager to learn, dynamic and


have a great work ethic. We have learned a lot from their alternative perspectives, which generate a greater level of diversity in our business.” Meadowhall-based Galaxy Insulation and Dry Lining Ltd has five Source apprentices across its branches. The company launched an apprenticeship scheme after beginning the government’s Apprenticeship Levy in 2020.

Group operations director Richard Walker said: “Utilising our funds is a win on so many levels – we can increase staff and grow the business while giving young people a head-start in a very difficult climate. “Our apprentices are enthusiastic, bright and quickly learn skills from our experienced long-serving employees. It’s really

important those skills are passed on.” The Source’s apprenticeship team currently works with hundreds of employers and offers 20 different subjects from Level 2 to Level 5 in sectors including healthcare, digital marketing, hospitality, retail, supply chain, and customer service. Get in touch to find out how you can start recruiting.



THINKING AND TRAINING IN 3D Andy Hanselman Consulting is husband and wife team Andy and Jill White – the dynamic duo who are well-known throughout the business community in South Yorkshire. Here they share their more than a quarter of a century’s experience in training, learning and professional development.

WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY DO? Jill: We’re a husband-and-wife team who help businesses, their leaders and their people create competitive advantage by ‘Thinking in 3D’! That means being, ‘Dramatically and Demonstrably Different’! We’ve been in business 26 years together and have spent the time researching, working with, and learning from successful, disruptive and forward-thinking entrepreneurial businesses and their leaders. Andy speaks at conferences and events sharing these lessons, and with the help of Danielle Sheldon – our


creative administrator – we run leadership and business development training programmes and workshops locally, nationally, and – excitingly and ever more so – internationally, too!

HOW HAS LOCKDOWN BEEN FOR YOU? Andy: It started off terribly! My diary just emptied overnight, and we earnt nothing for six months! We kept things going though – we had no choice. Jill: We worked hard to keep in touch with clients and Andy did lots of webinars and online

seminars in a wide range of locations including Canada, Kuwait, Hull, and Barnsley! We also worked hard to continue our 3D Connect network events which bring local leaders together to learn from each other. It felt important to maintain links between them. We managed to get two of our leadership programmes for local business leaders up and running and did them virtually – we definitely ‘learned on the job’ as we did them and they went very well. Andy also hosted two online social events for unLTD too, which were wellattended with guest speakers from businesses including City

Taxis, Redbrik, Jiraffe and Jenx who talked about how they were surviving, if not thriving, during the pandemic. Andy: The second half has been much better and 2021 has seen us extremely busy, running courses online and now, much more, face-to-face. We even got a booking for our first management conference, so things are definitely looking up!

HOW DID IT ALL START FOR YOU TWO? Jill: 26 years ago, we set up our business having both worked for a consultancy business


COVER STORY that decided it wanted to concentrate on start-ups – our focus was on growing entrepreneurial businesses. We were ‘just good friends’ at the time (we’re now married!) and it was the start of a great adventure. We concentrated on training and developing business leaders – typically people who had grown their businesses, but everything was still reliant on them. We ran our programmes in Sheffield and around the country and targeted forward thinking business leaders.

sectors which recognise the power of developing their people in the areas that count and equipping them with the skills that will make a difference to their business now and in the future.



Andy: We built the business and then sold it to the management team back in 2004 but carried on doing what we were doing – we concentrated on the things we really loved so we could pick and choose what we did and who for. This meant running some of the open leadership programmes and doing more in house training and speaking at conferences and events around the country. A chance conversation with a client who asked if we could do something for her ‘next level of managers’ sparked the idea of one of our most popular and successful programmes. She said: “You’ve developed me successfully – what can you do to bring through the people I want to drive this business forward without me?” We talked to other clients who told us they’d like us to design a programme for


Jill: We also see lots of third sector companies and charities getting involved. Many recognise they need to create a commercial focus. When we mix private businesses and charities together, we find they face similar challenges and really benefit from hearing each other’s perspectives.


their aspiring leaders and managers, so, we did! Jill: The result was the ‘Up and Coming Leaders Acceleration’ (UCLA) Programme which is aimed at equipping the next level with the appropriate skills and aptitudes to lead. This then became the ALP Programme aimed at helping people ‘Accelerate their Leadership Potential’. At the time, people could apply for funding for the training from a number of sources, but the UCLA Programme was far too low down the alphabetic list of all the courses available, so we

changed the name to ALP to make it easier to find. It’s been so successful – we’ve run more than 30 programmes. We design, develop and run tailored in-house programmes for clients too.

WHAT’S THE BASIS OF ALP? Andy: It basically takes the things we see successful entrepreneurial leaders do and translates them into proven practices and processes. The participants tend to be from local forward-thinking businesses from a range of

Jill: There are lots of reasons. We find in many businesses, ‘management’ is one of the few jobs that people get promoted into for being good at something else. We hear things like - “She’s a good engineer – let’s make her ‘head of engineering”, or “He’s a good salesman, we’ll promote him to sales director” and see lots of people in management positions who have all the technical skills, but not the crucial ones – the leadership skills. Andy: Lockdown accelerated this – lots of people have been thrust into management roles, and many are having to step up to take on more responsibilities. Lots of growing businesses tell us they are struggling to find new people and recognise the way forward is developing their existing assets. That’s what we help them do.


COVER STORY HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED WHEN IT COMES TO LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT? Andy: Wow, lots of ways! Back in the day it was overhead projectors and printed workbooks. I remember us taking the decision to go all ‘innovative and modern’ and abandoning them for new-fangled – and very expensive – digital projectors and an amazing thing called PowerPoint that we thought might be worth a try! It also involved lots of regular reminder letters to delegates, tons of photocopying, and constantly ongoing follow-up phone calls. Today, we have online resource pages for participants, WhatsApp groups for discussion, and digital resources sent before each session. What hasn’t changed are the core issues we know many busy business leaders struggle with –creating time to think, establishing a clear direction, getting their team on board, learning to ’let go’, prioritising, delivering outstanding customer experiences and maximising profitability. These are the same issues leaders face today, but it’s a faster, transparent and everchanging environment. Jill: With more remote working and huge changes in the way we work, our ‘3D approach’ is needed. The old ways no longer deliver, and we help managers thrive in this chaotic world. Andy: Employee expectations are rising, and job seekers and new recruits are looking to their employers for learning and development opportunities.


Most of the businesses we’ve been involved with over the years have always recognised this, but, without doubt, it’s now a key factor when people look for new jobs.

their own online resources – we’re talking to several of our clients about ‘blended learning’ approaches where people learn through a mix of online and face-to-face initiatives.

Jill: The other challenges for businesses like ours, although we like to see them as opportunities, is the way people are accessing training and development – i.e., when and where they want, using platforms including Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and Corsera. There’s also lots for free on YouTube. Many large businesses are developing

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR YOU? Andy: We’ve responded with our own blended approach. We’re working with a number of clients internally to help with this and have developed a series of seven online 60-90-minute training programmes covering leadership, maximising

people performance, delivering outstanding customer experiences and maximising profitability – all being released shortly. We are developing the ALP Programme as an online programme, too. Jill: We’re still running the ALP Programme – our next one starts at the end of September and the brilliant news is it can be funded by Skills Bank – part of The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub – meaning some local businesses can typically get 50 per cent funding towards it.


COVER STORY 3D DEMONSTRATED: HIGHLANDER IT support provider Highlander pride themselves on their passion, proactivity, and exceptional customer service and work hard to maintain and build on this. They invited Andy Hanselman Consulting on several occasions to run in house-training programmes with different teams on key areas such as selling skills, building customer relationships and delivering outstanding customer experiences. One example was a sales programme for several sales teams. Technology services director Chris Muscroft said: “The feedback from all that took part was incredible and it was refreshing to see the change in approach and attitudes. The team also felt more gelled as a result as it gave them an opportunity to share experiences and work on common goals. “The long-term result has been a more energised workforce, a focused approach to the sales cycle and an increase in sales revenues for the entire team.” Highlander have also sent many team leaders and rising stars on the ALP Programme. MD Steve Brown says: “We always encourage our teams to think about their personal development, and the ALP Programme has become a key pillar for us to use as a business. “We know 100 per cent we can trust Andy to deliver exceptional management training that will result in satisfaction for the individual, which, of course, leads to delight for our customers. The team love working with Andy, and we look forward



to continuing our long relationship.”

3D DEMONSTRATED: LNS TURBO When Barnsley-based bar feeding equipment and accessories manufacturer, LNS Turbo’s Operations manager Mark Scanlan saw Andy present at an Enterprise Barnsley event, he recognised the potential benefits to him and his management team. He asked Andy to design and develop an in-house programme for him and his managers to help them work together on key business issues. Andy designed and developed a programme of ten

half day sessions spread over eight months to help equip his team to deliver. Mark said: “We were already doing lots of things well, but I could see that Andy had something to offer us as a team through his practical approach. “We’re now a more focused and cohesive management team that understands much more about the commercial running of the business which has brought real benefits to us as a business.”

3D DEMONSTRATED: CODA Abel Hinchliffe joined successful architects practice CODA Studio at just 16 after

a two-week work placement the year before. After a few years in the business, and recognised as a future star, he and another colleague, were sent on the ALP Programme to develop their leadership and commercial skills. Abel said: “The ALP Programme really helped me to develop as a leader. It equipped me with a great grounding in both commercial and people management skills that I have worked hard to put to use as I’ve progressed.” Earlier this year, Abel and his colleague were both part of a successful management buyout of the business and it continues to go from strength to strength.



OPEN YOUR DOORS – AND OPEN THE NEXT GENERATION’S EYES Forget a week’s ‘work experience’ chained to the photocopier and kettle – Dan Laver visited Sheaf Training Specialist Vocational College to discuss Sheffield City Council’s exciting See It Be It campaign with their passionate team, Graham Booth and Megan Cornick, and find out about their mission to inspire young people. Dan: unLTD is excited to be working with you all! For the benefit of our readers, can you introduce See It Be It? Graham: At its heart, we are bringing together schools and colleges with local businesses to help raise the aspirations of young people and open their eyes to the opportunities available. We want to provide them with meaningful encounters with employers and give them real, contemporary experiences of the workplace. See It Be It is a local campaign in response to a national issue around improving young peoples’ life chances, and it’s something that both schools and colleges and businesses have been asking for. We are asking all employers to get involved in the campaign, and pledge to provide one meaningful encounter for every seven employees and one workplace experience for every 25 employees. Megan: So many people didn’t even know that their own job existed when they were at school! So we want to introduce


short clips with employees where they discuss their roles, their routes into them and what they like most. These are already being used by schools and colleges in tutor time and


young people to the world of opportunities available in the modern workplace. Dan: Today we have been coming up with a few ideas about how unLTD can help you – what else have you been working on? Graham: Our YouTube channel is up and running already and has a series of

Young people are


less likely to be not in Education, Employment or Training after 4 or more employer encounters

lessons to paint a picture of the different roles available in Sheffield and the skills they need to be successful. We ran a virtual careers fair, in partnership with Sheffield College. Young people met guests from businesses in an online environment to discuss pathways into their sector, promote opportunities available and connect directly with their future workforce, hearing how they felt about their own careers and what they really want from an employer in the future. We’ve also hosted workshops in schools where employers can work directly with students on a range of topics, and we have connected subject teachers with appropriate businesses to work together on lesson plans that integrate those skills. A maths teacher was matched with an employer in



the finance industry, and they jointly conceived examples of using skills from the curriculum in real world work situations. Dan: That was always a contentious topic in rowdy classrooms! I remember my maths teacher telling me I wouldn’t always have a calculator with me… Graham: Exactly! Teachers had the chance to update their own knowledge of modernday working too! Dan: Brilliant! How are businesses reacting to the offer, what benefits are they gaining themselves? Megan: Businesses love to be connected and we are already building a community of employers, sharing ideas among themselves. See It Be It is an amazing facility for businesses that want to look forward and plan for future challenges. Many industries are already planning five, ten years ahead – they really want to help young people acquire the skills they need to join


them and to be better, more valuable employees. Graham: Aspects like diversity are important to employers and we can offer a way for businesses to reach a much wider and more diverse audience. Employers have formed great relationships with schools across the city, and can access a future potential workforce that often better reflects their customer base, which is invaluable. Megan: Employers really value being able to give back to their own community. They can help improve the life chances of young people right across Sheffield. Dan: And what’s lined up for you over the next few months? What are businesses planning now that restrictions are easing? Graham: We are really getting things moving with some of our big projects. The Business and Education Alliance offers support for small to medium enterprises and micro businesses to engage


of young people feel finding a job is now more difficult post-pandemic

Join us by helping young people to See it and Be It in Sheffield! To get involved and learn more contact us at: seeitbeit@ lifelonglearning

directly with careers education and The Enterprise Adviser Network provides strategic support for schools, linking them with more employers. Megan: We also have a whole host of opportunities for employers including mock interviews, skills workshops, enterprise projects, mentoring and more, but we want to create brand new ways for businesses to offer experiences of the workplace, too. I’ve heard far too many horror stories of young people spending two weeks in an office making teas and coffees! Graham: We are going to be launching our Sector Safaris, where students can visit an employer at their premises, meet different departments and learn about their roles. It’s a much more meaningful experience than spending a week chained to a photocopier! We can work with the employers to design tasks that are two way and offer everyone something really rewarding. Megan: What made you want to get involved yourself, Dan? What do you think would work at unLTD? Dan: I think you’ve covered a lot of them! Every day, I’m amazed by the stories we get to cover in unLTD and the people working on great ideas in our region’s businesses. I’d like to share that inspiration with young people and help open their eyes to what they can do. Megan: The workplace will keep evolving, too! If we inspire young people by letting them see what they can be themselves, they can be more than we even showed them!



A NEW RESOURCE FOR SHEFFIELD CITY REGION SMES TO BUILD BACK STRONGER At Sheffield Hallam University, we’re one of the region’s biggest employers and education providers and this means we have a responsibility to our local community. We take this seriously. Our students, researchers and local business partners work hard to improve social mobility, quality of life, and the economy in the Sheffield City Region. And now, as we emerge from the pandemic, we’re reaching out to local SMEs to help them grow and innovate. As part of our new Civic University Agreement, we’re going above and beyond business as usual and offering a package of support to the 52,000 SMEs in our region. Tailored support to local SMEs Working in collaboration with the Sheffield College and the RNN Group, we’re providing SMEs, start-ups and microbusinesses with a tailored business package to support innovation and develop new opportunities. Part-financed by the European Social Fund Programme, ‘Higher Skills, Higher Growth’ is available to businesses with less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50m per annum. Support includes training, access to facilities, and help to develop research and innovation.


Supporting SMEs in the Sheffield City Region to grow and develop is at the heart of the Higher Skills, Higher Growth project. We look forward to supporting more businesses across the region, exploring their specific challenges and aspirations, and connecting them with sector specialists and our work-ready students. Rachael Frith Project manager, Higher Skills Higher Growth


COVER STORY How does it work? First, our team of SME experts sit down with you to identify your particular business challenges. Then we connect you with a university-wide network of academic and sector specialists who offer their advice and expertise. We can also provide you with training opportunities, access to our pool of work-


ready students, and use of our world-class facilities. Some examples of our tailored support include: • connecting you to funded initiatives to help your business innovate and grow • finding the right graduates and students for projects and placements

• upskilling your workforce with professional development programmes • sourcing sector-specialist academics to solve your organisational problems Come and speak to us on 16 September Interested in how we can support your business? Meet our team of experts and

hear from business leaders at our networking event on 16 September. Sign up at making-business Get in touch: Talk to us today to find out how we can support your business. Call 0114 225 5000, email or visit


Through the Higher Skills, Higher Growth project, we’ve been helping local SMEs as they build back from the pandemic. Here are five businesses who have enjoyed our support. 1


IndustryTap has been serving craft beers from independent breweries at their bar in Sheffield since 2019. They took on two interns from Sheffield Hallam to create digital and social content to raise awareness of their brand to a broader customer base. The interns have allowed IndustryTap to build its online presence, showing tangible results on a weekly basis.

“It was really easy to access the support and the team at Sheffield Hallam are always there to make it seamless. We survived the pandemic, and with our newer focus around digital content I can see the business not only surviving, but growing.” Darren Filsell Company director, IndustryTap

HSHG is delivered in partnership by Sheffield Hallam University, The Sheffield College and RNN Group, and is part-funded by the European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020.




The evolution of change Future Life Wealth Management offers a bespoke financial planning service to Generators of Wealth, including business owners, executives and professionals and also to Receivers of Wealth, such as inheritors, divorcees, widows and retirees. You may be at the beginning of your financial journey and need to establish your future life financial plan, or be heading towards your golden years and wishing to consider tax efficient ways in which your estate can be distributed. Future Life Wealth Management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation & trust advice. We are entered on the FCA Register No 509960 at

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Moore Insight has been supporting clients with its Enterprise Resource Planning systems for over 30 years, helping with core processes such as finance, HR and procurement.

With big growth and ambitions to expand the business, the company accessed invaluable support to recruit graduate talent in the local area, through the Higher Skills, Higher Growth programme. Having previously recruited graduates from

Sheffield Hallam in 2020, this year they took on a further intern. “We wanted someone who was hungry to learn, eager to help, and most importantly not afraid of making mistakes when learning to do new

things. Our new intern Henna has been so valuable to the business that we have just extended her contract for a further couple of months.” Mercy Ubani Bid manager, Moore Insight Sheffield

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Do you want a more sustainable future for your business? If you are an SME in the Sheffield City Region, join us for a networking panel event to share best practice and seek practical solutions towards a more sustainable future for your business. Event details Making business more sustainable: environment, consumption and energy Thursday 16 September, 08:30-10:30am Sheffield Hallam, City Campus Register your free place at

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Higher Skills Higher Growth is delivered in partnership by Sheffield Hallam University, The Sheffield College and RNN Group, and is part-funded by the European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020.





Elecomm is one of the UK’s leading multi-disciplined business service providers, offering a coordinated package of electrical, mechanical, data & IT services and facilities management solutions. The company was seeking an intern to provide handson practical support for the business’s finance functions and worked with Sheffield

Picture Perfect Photography is a creative photography studio that helps companies and individuals produce creative and specialist images. They were seeking a talented marketing executive and a photographer’s assistant who could bring technical and creative skills to the team. Through the Higher Skills, Higher Growth programme, we matched them up with two interns.


“I’ve been working with Sheffield Hallam for a number of years, and I’ve always found that injecting young and fresh perspectives into the business has benefitted our brand. The employer partnerships team are very approachable and make it easy to access support from the university.’ Collette Evans Owner, Picture Perfect Photography

Hallam University to recruit to the post.

Accounting graduate Trisha Patel was recruited as an intern to Elecomm through the Higher Skills, Higher Growth project.

“As an SME in the region I would recommend recruiting a student intern from Sheffield Hallam University. You’ll get free support for your organisation, in exchange for providing great realworld experience.”

“The internship was an opportunity to build up my skills and experience. When it was a success and my internship was extended for another 100 paid hours, it gave me the confidence to start my graduate scheme with Amazon as a financial analyst.”

John Hamilton Supply chain director, Elecomm





The Suited Baker is an artisan bakery based in Sheffield supplying freshly made glutenfree and vegan products to cafes and restaurants across South Yorkshire. They needed someone with a research background who could help to identify trends within the sector and help map a new social media strategy. Through the Higher Skills, Higher Growth programme we matched them with a graduate intern who fit the bill.

“Our intern Charlotte has worked very hard carrying out detailed competitor analysis to help feed into our wider marketing strategy. The depth of knowledge and insight we have gained has been invaluable. She has brought a new level of creativity to our businesses, with fresh ideas and a great deal of knowledge.” Ermes Giummarresi and Natalie Fletcher Co-directors, The Suited Baker


ARE YOU LOOKING TO... MAXIMISE THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR ‘RISING STARS’? TRAIN YOUR EXISTING MANAGERS TO BE BETTER LEADERS? ALP is an innovative 7 half day session leadership programme from Andy Hanselman Consulting spread over 7 months that helps Accelerate the Potential of your Leaders – it’s one of the region’s most successful business and leadership development programmes. These are just some of the local businesses who have benefited from ALP….

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LEARNINGHANDS-ON IN THEHEART OF BUSINESS Beth Richardson is now in her final year of a Management with Marketing degree at the University of Leeds. She tells unLTD all about her 13-month industrial placement year at HRM PR and Creative who she joined as an account executive in June 2020. Why did you decide to take a year’s work placement during your degree? I first heard about the Year in Industry placement scheme on an open day at the University of Leeds from a student who had just finished her placement year – her enthusiasm for the experience she had gained was infectious and I decided I would apply for a placement myself when the time came. I believe there is only so much you can learn in the classroom when it comes to marketing, the rest is best learned hands-on. Why did you choose HRM as the company to work for? I was fortunate enough to have completed a week of work experience at HRM in the summer after my first year at university, so I already knew the team pretty well. I learned so much in just one week, and so it seemed natural to return to the company to complete my year in industry and advance my PR and marketing experience further.



How did HRM integrate you into their company culture and workplace? Much like many other placement students in 2020, I spent a large part of the last year working from home. However, this didn’t impact on my ability to settle into my role and the company as all my colleagues took the time to offer their help and advice when needed. What were the three key things you learned about your chosen industry?


Always be prepared to try new things – in this

industry, everything is always changing! Whether this is a social media trend or a new feature, it’s always worth a try. No two days are the same – one day I could be writing blog content for a client and the next heading out on a content visit for social media.


Quality over quantity – taking the time to fine-tune each detail helped us to produce the best results for the client in the long-term.


What was the best advice you got from the team – and

what are the core lessons you learned that you’ll be taking back into your studies with you? Give everything a try – I was encouraged to be involved in all the different parts of the business, from traditional PR to social media and design. This helped me to understand how the agency as a whole works together to produce the best outcome for the client. My final year at university will be busy (to say the least!) and organising my workload will be paramount, but I feel the fast-paced environment at HRM has prepared me for this. What would you say to fellow students considering a year’s work placement? Go for it! Having a year’s experience under your belt before graduation will always be an advantage, and it helps you to learn so much about yourself. It’s also a great way to try out a role/industry for nine months to a year to see if it’s something you’d like to pursue in the future.









DL were amazing from start to finish. They really helped me to visualise what the space could become, they thought of things that I would not have imagined. It is so important to be happy at work and the environment is the starting point from which to grow. – Fiona Keane, Keane Creative THE DL COMPANY, 20 JESSOPS RIVERSIDE, BRIGHTSIDE LANE, SHEFFIELD S9 2RX FOR A FREE CONSULTATION, CALL ALAN, MICK OR DAN ON 0114 244 0202 OR EMAIL SALES@THEDLCOMPANY.COM



BOASTS FURTHER SUCCESS Sheffield Hallam University’s Media Arts and Communication department recently launched its Degree Show on the new ‘Hallam Live’ site as we reported in our last edition – and one of its standout graduates has already landed a job. unLTD’s Lewis Mackley finds out more... Hallam Live contains some of the amazing work produced within the department, including animation, digital media production, games design, games art, film production, arts and cultural management, photography and more. The main focus of the site and degree show is about showcasing how the students have developed their creative and enterprise skills – fresh talent that can be harnessed by employers straight away. One of the standout success stories is Izzy Hackney, a graduating student who has just gained a job straight out of university with unLTD’s new technology columnists Hydra Creative. Izzy said: “My experience of Digital Media Production was really positive. The staff are so passionate about their teaching, and they make you truly inspired about all aspects of your course. “My skills massively developed through each year of university. Every year there was such a diverse selection of modules ranging from photography to making documentaries to graphic design to motion graphics. I really enjoyed the different



paths you could go down and it was great to continuously learn new things. “Graduating during a pandemic I’m sure was a completely different experience to the norm – having not seen my tutors or course mates for a long time and submitting my work online. I was definitely supported the whole way through and attained a really good grade to show for it though. “Through submitting online to receiving my results online, I truly was on a digital media course! And graduating into the ‘real world’ was daunting,

to say the least. “Thankfully my course leaders had arranged a degree show in which Hydra Creative attended. They passed me their business card, and in turn offered me a trial job as a junior graphic designer. It is a great experience and every day I learn something new. I’m very lucky to have been offered employment so soon after graduating.” It’s clear to see the success of Hallam Live and their ability to provide their students with appropriate education and teaching which improves and builds skills realistic to ones used within a work

environment, enabling students to be ready for employment post-graduation. Izzy’s senior lecturer Anne Doncaster is delighted with her success and progress. “As a student on the Digital Media Production BA Course at SHU, Izzy has always been very proactive in getting involved in industry opportunities, so when Hydra were invited to our final year Degree Show, Izzy was able to apply these skills to engage them in her work and experience! “It’s fantastic to see our students gaining these opportunities right out of university and with a company we think very highly of as an employer within the industry.” Ryan Daniels, MD and founder of Hydra Creative, and Gemma Daniels client services director, said: “As a constantly evolving digital agency, we understand how important it is to hire new talent, as this brings fresh ideas to the business and offers young people that crucial first step in their careers. “Izzy stood out to us as an enthusiastic graduate who was keen to start her professional career, and we are delighted she has fitted in well with the rest of the team.”




FOR FIRST INTUITION It’s an exciting time for education provider First Intuition, with a new base in Sheffield recently secured. Director and senior tutor Chris Cain spoke to unLTD’s Chris Coates about the company’s expansion plans and what they can offer to the city’s young people.

First Intuition specialise in training accountants to complete their professional qualifications and has a strong presence in Yorkshire. The company offers courses across the country including AAT, ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA, all of which can be packaged up into apprenticeship programmes at levels 3, 4 and 7. The company prides itself on providing a local and personable service, which sets itself apart from other training providers. Employers are allocated a dedicated account manager and given regular updates on how their student is progressing. Director and senior tutor Chris Cain said: “For those looking for a career as an accountant, going to university to study an accounting degree isn’t always the best option in the long term. “We are increasingly seeing students who, having done their A-Levels, get straight into an accounting role to gain on-the-job experience whilst completing their professional qualifications



through First Intuition at the same time. We also have students who have been to university to study a degree in an alternative subject and then decided they want to enter the accountancy industry, or even more mature students who decide to have a complete career change. “The courses we offer are similar to a Postgraduate degree and they equip the

student with the accreditation needed to become a qualified accountant.” First Intuition have had a presence in Sheffield for three years, running courses out of The Source Skills Academy near Meadowhall. Due to considerable growth and to meet the needs of current and future clients, the time seemed right to set up a permanent base in Sheffield

City Centre at Pennine Five, the former HSBC building on Tenter Street. The building is currently being significantly refurbished by OVO and will be transformed into a modern and stylish new professional space. “We’ve had a permanent base in Leeds for the last five years and with so many key clients in Sheffield, it’s only right for us to have a base in the heart of the city centre,” Chris said. “Our courses have obviously had to move online since the start of the pandemic but with restrictions now being eased, we are starting to move back to face-to-face teaching and it’s so wonderful to be back in the classroom. “I think it’s important that local businesses in the Sheffield area can see that we are committed to the city and having a base here will enable us to stand out from our competitors. We see a massive future in Sheffield – our personalised service and commitment to our students means we have a really loyal



client base here and we can only see this growing in future.”


First Intuition are also set to offer the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification in Sheffield for the first time, starting this month. Chris added: “With Sheffield’s breadth of industrial and commercial based businesses this opens up a quality locally based training provider for a qualification that is tailormade for an accountant working in business. “One of the great things about accountants is that the work they do impacts every element of businesses and organisations in terms of profitability, regulation, how they operate, how they manage their finances and the key information needed for decision-making. By offering the CIMA qualification we are opening up a Sheffield-based option for companies to develop their future business leaders.”



First Intuition’s student intake for September has been huge, largely thanks to a government scheme which is aimed at helping young people who have found job opportunities hard to come by get into work. The scheme, which offers financial incentives for employers who hire apprentices, and has been running since August 2020, expires at the end of November. Employers hiring an apprentice, who starts work before the end of September and whose apprenticeship start date is before the 30 November are eligible to benefit.

Up to


How much an employer could be entitled to from hiring an apprentice

Chris said: “As well as the financial incentives, Accountancy Apprenticeships help new staff develop their skills and behaviours, as well as passing their professional exams and employers are seeing huge benefits from this. “That has translated into increased demand for our courses. We also offer a free apprenticeship recruitment service to help with the initial listing of vacancies and screening of applicants. “An employer could be entitled to up to £4,000 from hiring an apprentice so it’s well worth considering if you need an extra pair of hands. The new apprentice will then train through First Intuition using government funding to gain their qualifications so there are benefits all round to bringing in new talent in this way.”


The support for students doesn’t just begin when they enrol on an accountancy course. First Intuition also run academies which are aimed at

students at school or college who are considering a career in accountancy. Chris said: “We put on a two-day event which runs through the different types of accountancy and what skills are needed. We also invite employers along who give a presentation about what it’s like to work for them, and they also offer mock interviews to give the students a flavour of what they can expect if they apply for an accountancy role. “We’ve had situations where a student has attended an accountancy academy and on the back of that secured a role within a company which was presenting there, so the academies work really well, and I’d highly recommend attending if you’re looking to get into accountancy.” First Intuition’s next accountancy academy takes place on 19th and 20th April 2022 in the company’s new premises at Pennine Five. For more information, visit


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Head Office and Training Centre Eco Business Park, Eco Way, Doncaster, DN7 4JJ


‘ACTTNOW’ DIVERSIFYING TO CONTINUE BUSINESS GROWTH ACTTnow is a nationwide training provider with a head office and training centre in Doncaster and regional offices in the North West and North East. Director Mick Heatlie shares how COVID-19 restrictions enabled the firm to adjust and diversify its training and consultancy services and portfolio in established and new sectors.

Incorporating many years of industry knowledge and a team of experienced instructors and assessors, ACTTnow delivers high quality training and exemplary customer service. We work closely with small, medium and large employers and also individual contractors bringing a wealth of knowledge and industry experience to our training and assessment services. Our core focus is to build long lasting relationships and to understand our customer’s needs to develop industry leading training solutions. As an accredited training provider, we deliver a comprehensive portfolio of courses approved by leading industry bodies such as ECITB, CITB, EAL, IOSH, QA and FAA. Since being established in April 2019, the management team has grown the business, initially delivering a broad portfolio of courses. We initially focused on the engineering and construction sectors and then diversified into health and safety, first aid and mental health training across all industries including logistics and education and schools. COVID-19 forced us to adapt our strategy which was based on face-to-face classroom


delivery and practical training. Restrictions helped us diversify, substituting face-to-face training where required. Introducing a blended approach including virtual and e-learning methods of delivery was vital for our continued success and growth. We developed partnerships with several companies to provide a comprehensive suite of virtual and e-learning courses, including APM qualifications and Microsoft Office courses to enhance our portfolio, delivering classroombased training where

restrictions allowed. As a new provider, and despite the ongoing restrictions, we have been able to creatively innovate. Not only are our financials positive, our organic growth has increased too – enabling us to invest in a new training facility in Doncaster, and offices in Middlesbrough and Warrington. In a major initiative, ACTTnow supported employees who were facing redundancy with the closure of SSE’s Fiddlers Ferry Power Station site in March 2021.

Within a short time-frame, supported by SSE, PJD Engineering, Warrington and Co and Warrington’s Urban Regeneration, an intensive programme of training took place to upskill those facing the stressful and daunting prospect of entering new workplaces and possibly new industries. In total, 70 training courses were run for 522 candidates, many choosing multiple courses to increase their range of skills and future prospects. Ensuring some continuation of ‘normality’ during lockdown, our adapted blended learning model, in combination with our renewed focus on delivering mental health training, saw clients we partnered with greatly benefit with ongoing employee engagement and upskilling opportunities. During this challenging period, maintaining and enhancing skills has been critical to uphold standards. Products and services have been reimagined and developed further, and there has been investment in training and retaining employees – all to secure skills for the future. ACTTnow offers a multitude of training opportunities aimed across all industries, organisations, and individuals.


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WHY PEER-TO-PEER BUSINESS SUPPORT IS GROWING IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE – AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED It is safe to say most companies in the UK have faced more challenges than ever before in the last 18 months. However, one incredibly positive thing that has come out of a tough time is the growth of peer-topeer business support, underpinned by the help and encouragement business owners showed one another. The pandemic has served to reinforce the importance of peer-to-peer support for business owners to overcome adversity and to keep moving forward. This support is not only important during challenging times but also crucial in resuming future growth strategies. The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub are delighted to announce the launch of the second Peer Networks Programmes – a fully funded initiative, aimed at supporting 88 SMEs across the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield areas.


Peer-to-peer support is a chance to meet other likeminded business leaders to share ideas, best practice and learn from one another. The groups bring together businesses from diverse sectors to encourage dynamic


thinking and provide a fresh perspective on existing challenges and opportunities within your business. Each session provides the chance to build relationships with other business leaders, while seeking advice and discussing in an open and confidential forum the thorny issues in your business and how to take positive actions going forward.


Peer-to-peer support encourages growth opportunities and 89 per cent

of businesses that accessed the first programme early in 2021 rated the programme as ‘extremely satisfying’ and ‘instrumental’ during the pandemic. John Hamilton, supply chain director, Elecomm Ltd: “I enjoyed the whole experience and the group got on so well from the start making it easy to share our issues and experiences, which has assisted us all managing our businesses going forward. “The network went so well, that we continue to meet after the sessions finished.

“The whole programme was well-structured, organised and had a clear agenda with intended outputs which made it flow throughout, excellent network and highly recommended.” The group sessions can be a great source of pragmatic advice – learning from other business leaders who have already ‘been there, done that’ – to drive future business growth. Lisa Lister, peer-to- peer facilitator, said: “We relish the opportunity to work with SMEs in a peer group, as it can often be a journey of discovery for many business owners. “Business ownership can be a lonely place at times – these groups fill that void, as they allow unjudged, impartial ‘sense checking’ as well as space to grow and learn from others.”


The Peer Networks are being delivered by Winning Pitch on behalf of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, who are a leading business support provider in the UK. James Clayton is the project manager at Winning Pitch and can be reached at: j.clayton@winning-pitch. peer-networks




Jill Thomas, founder of Future Life Wealth Management, tells Jill Theobald why investing in her staff’s personal and professional development over the last 12 years has created her dream team – and is helping her pass the baton on to the next generation. “I never thought 12 years ago one of my most important roles would be actually creating the future employees. Now I realise it really is important. Not only for me – I’ve had a damn good life out of this occupation, and it’s given me some fantastic rewards – but I now need to create the baton to pass on to the next generation.” When Jill Thomas shared her inspirational personal and professional story with unLTD back in October 2020 she was surprised and overwhelmed by the fantastically positive response from the Sheffield City Region business community. Jill decided to share her success story in a bid to inspire employers and employees during the pandemic. And what a cover story – of self-discovery and belief and building herself back from the lowest point to where she was empowered to start her own business. Now, as part of our education, skills, and training special, she is back in 2021



with more wise words. “From an education point of view, we owe it right now to support the next generation. However, we do this – financially, inspirationally, or by mentoring – they’re going to need support coming out of this pandemic, probably in a way that we’ve never seen.” And entrepreneur Jill is quite literally the voice of experience on this very subject, having started in

2009 and growing Future Life Wealth Management to today’s 11-strong team – including three in the ‘barketing’ department, Elmo, Barney and Vincent, the office dogs! (“They were a really crucial part of getting through the pandemic – when people were down or needed a break, they used to take a dog for a walk or give them a cuddle.”) Jill’s first employee was Stuart Ibbotson who was

with the business until his retirement three years ago. “I’d known him for over 20 years, and he had just been made redundant. The thing I found out at the beginning, which I had never factored in, is when you’re a brand-new business you have absolutely no track record. You’re trying to attract talent from a talent pool, but they will go elsewhere because you’re not established. “In the very beginning – and this is no disservice to Stuart whatsoever – but you invariably have to take what you can find rather than what you necessarily want. But, over a period of time, it’s like you create your stripes and now we are at a point as a company where people approach and want to join us. “I used to go out to source and meet prospective clients and when I walked back in Stuart would be sat there with a big smile saying: ‘It is thumbs up or down – have we got a new client?!’ From absolutely nowhere we created a client



bank and I have really fond memories of that time. He was an outstanding support mechanism. “Slowly but surely, we started to build a team. We couldn’t specialise at that point and one of the biggest issues, as an industry, then was that we were an aging sector. The average age of a financial planner is mid to late 50s, predominately white, and male. Very early on I realised the quality of candidates was not satisfactory for where I wanted my dream to go to. People were asking for astronomical salaries but weren’t always in the quality band needed.


“I quickly realised I needed to change my outlook to find people I could tutor and mentor and help create their future opportunities. One of the most remarkable was Sam (Williams – director of technical operations). She came for an interview when we were moving out of our old office. I said: ‘I want to employ you, but we’ve also got to move, and I just don’t think we can take someone on, give them the proper training required and also relocate’. “I said ‘If you’re still around in a month’s time there’s a job for you’. I later got a message to say she was working at a place in Barnsley. Meanwhile

we were settled in, so I texted Sam to congratulate her and say: ‘If at any point in time you’re unhappy and want to work for me give me a ring’. “Within seconds she replied to say she wanted to hand her notice in and join me – she’d only been there two weeks! She came with a lot of talent, bucketsful of enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge. I supported her through her exams, and she’s been with me six years now. I’ve made her a director, a shareholder, and I would put her up as a paraplanner against anyone else in the UK. “Then there’s Keeley (Woodcock - director of

operations) who I used to work with previously. She literally came in and learned her trade from me. I left, then she left, and it had been about four years, but we’d kept in touch. “She came in one day just to say hi, with some Krispy Kreme donuts, and we had a cup of tea and I said ‘I’ve got a job for you. I know you haven’t come in for that purpose, but I’d like you to come and work for me’. She just beamed at me with a big smile and said: ‘When can I join?’ I’ve now worked with her on and off for over 20 years.” And the legacy of learning in the workplace continues today. “It’s all about developing people as individuals,” said Jill. “Our second university degree apprentice Thomas Bradford started in July and is studying for his Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) paraplanning exams. We’ve also got Callum Cole-Needham who was supported on an apprentice programme by the CII. We have to release them for 20 per cent of their time and arrange a schedule of training but that also helps them get through their exams. “The fourth member of our team has just gone through the Advanced Leadership Programme with Andy Hanselman, supported by Sheffield City Region. “My training spend over the last 15 months is circa £22,000 – and there’s more to go with the apprentices – but it’s investing in people and that’s important. “The rewards are they are trained the right way to get the right outcomes – no naughty shortcuts, you do it the right way.”


Gil Kahana, London Founder of ChattyFeet

Nurture your ambıtıons South Yorkshire Libraries, in partnership with the British Library, are transforming the way ideas grow into successful businesses. We’re supporting a thriving community of bright and inspiring people by partnering with local libraries all over the UK. It is free to join and open to everyone. Business & IP Centre South Yorkshire supports entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business. The BIPC provides access to a range of business databases, trade publications,

business literature and guides to support your business information needs. Whether you are just starting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property, or are ready to take the next step in your journey, we are here to help. We’re bringing business inspiration and support to more people than ever before with resources available at Sheffield Central Library, Barnsley Library @ the Lightbox, Doncaster Central Library, Rotherham Riverside Library and Crystal Peaks Library.

Our Serv�ces Workshops/Seminars

One-to-one advice

Legal and accountancy clinics

Intellectual property (IP) and trade mark advice

Free access to online databases

Links to useful start-up websites

Networking opportunities

All services are provided free of charge to the local community.

Get ın touch

To find out more about how we can support your business, if you have an Intellectual property query or need advice on how to research a new business idea, drop us an email and we’ll get back in touch.

ıntellectual Property Support

You may not have thought that you have intellectual property (IP) that you need to protect. We can help you to gain an understanding of the vital role of trade marks, copyright, registered designs, and patents in protecting your business.

Onlıne databases

Free access to business information and market research databases to help you find information on your market and customers. We have a wide range of comprehensive resources for anyone wanting to start a business or conduct research into a new market.

Events and Clınıcs As well as providing research information, BIPC South Yorkshire runs regular business events and workshops to offer you specialist advice from the experts and learn the practical skills you need. @BIPCSheffield @bipcsheff



LESS COMPLICATED Modern businesses juggle issues each day and are being challenged to be more agile and competitive. Here we find out all about the EMS Group, Actus Insurance, and Buzz Safety’s new partnership to provide a one-stop-shop for insurance, environmental consultancy and health and safety services.



FEATURE In modern businesses there are so many issues to juggle on a daily basis – this is particularly challenging at the moment given a global pandemic and Brexit issues thrown in for good measure. It is therefore almost impossible to have a team member who can manage all areas of legislation and risk within your business. For this reason, the EMS Group, Actus Insurance, and Buzz Safety have developed a new partnership to provide a one stop shop for businesses for insurance, environmental consultancy and health and safety services. Environmental Monitoring Solutions Ltd (EMS) is a Sheffield based environmental company founded in 2002 which provides a holistic service to clients around their environmental requirements. Sheffield-based Actus Insurance was formed in 2017 to provide a highly personalised insurance broking service to businesses across a variety of sectors. Buzz Safety has been established for five years and offers general health and safety consultancy services and support,

specialising in outdoor safety, environmental, education and third sector companies. Through collaboration with the new partnership, the three companies ensure clients are completely protected, compliant with relevant legislation and minimise risks within their businesses. Becky Chapman, consultancy manager at the EMS Group, said: “I have known and worked with Helen Byram at Buzz Safety and Sam Leeder and Paul Taylor at Actus for a number of years, and I am delighted we are bringing our businesses together to better support customers. “All three businesses adopt a similar approach working in partnership to understand an organisation’s specific needs and to tailor solutions which are best suited to their clients. “There is often a crossover between environmental and health and safety responsibilities within a business so this collaboration will help to bridge that gap. “The consultancy team at EMS work with customers seeking guidance and support for maintaining compliance with legislation to support and protect their businesses

and improve their green credentials. “Our comprehensive range of consultancy services help to assess, quantify, and manage their relationship with the environment. “In many instances, addressing environmental issues also has a beneficial cost savings effect to business. “Through this new partnership, clients will benefit from access to a team of experts across the environmental, health and safety and insurance sectors.” Discussing the new offering, Sam Leeder, director at Actus Insurance, said of the benefits for businesses: “Working with companies across a variety of sectors, and of differing sizes, it is

Through this new partnership, clients will benefit from access to a team of experts across the environmental, health and safety and insurance sectors.

important to us to be able to properly support them in their business journeys. “We are able to provide protection for businesses when something goes wrong – however, by taking a proactive approach to managing business legislation and mitigating risks, our clients are less likely to claim on their insurances. “This not only helps manage insurance premiums but also avoids those uninsured costs being incurred when things do go wrong. “We are delighted to be working with EMS Group and Buzz Safety to ensure that clients are receiving the advice and support they need.” Founder of Buzz Safety, Helen Byram, who is a corporate member of IOSH and has been a health and safety professional for more than 20 years, said: “Health and safety with Buzz Safety consultants is personal. You won’t get an off the shelf package from us. We believe in getting to know our clients and their businesses and providing the support you need. “We work closely with our partners at Actus and EMS to integrate the advice and support that we give to reduce bureaucracy and repetition and make implementation as smooth and simple as possible.” For more information on the newly launched service please contact info@




If you are a property investor it is likely that you have already encountered a negative experience when dealing with a utility provider. Poor communication, navigating a complicated and regulated process, volatile costs or unexpected lengthy lead times are common complaints which cause delay. A delay can of course disturb your lending conditions. At Utility Source we believe in sharing information with our customers to provide ongoing education and understanding.

HERE ARE THREE TIPS WHICH MAY SUPPORT YOUR UTILITIES JOURNEY: Carry out a utilities review before you buy a piece of land or a building. The results may identify potential cost and inconvenience and in some cases can support the land price negotiation. No two jobs are ever the same. Try not to shoehorn data from your last project into your new project as it can lead to nasty surprises. Site specific data will influence an accurate budget and help mitigate any costly delays. Understand timescales! It is normal to allow four weeks to collate utility quotations and 6-8 weeks to have the work completed. There are many unavoidable factors which can slow these anticipated lead times and you need to know what they are.




TRAINING PROGRAMME THRIVES Charlotte Repton, project manager of Community Chesterfield, a National Lottery funded partnership between Derbyshire Voluntary Action and University of Derby, discusses the project’s successful training and shared learning programme, which has thrived during the pandemic. Derbyshire Voluntary Action is a specialist voluntary and community sector (VCS) infrastructure membership organisation supporting 320 groups, clubs, charities, and organisations in Derbyshire. All members offer support and services to their local communities to improve health and wellbeing. When University of Derby opened a new health and social care campus in Chesterfield in 2016, it seemed like a natural fit for a partnership. After a successful application to National Lottery’s Reaching Communities fund, Community Chesterfield was born. Community Chesterfield, which links up the skills, knowledge, and experience at the University of Derby with VCS groups, is now creating a resourceful and knowledgeable health and social care sector in Chesterfield through its training and shared learning programme. The project aims to strengthen the local VCS to support the health and wellbeing of the people of Chesterfield, as well as


enriching the wellbeing and learning experience of students and staff at the University of Derby Chesterfield Campus. Delivery of its training programme is one of the elements that has thrived throughout the pandemic. The ability to move training sessions online, as well as being responsive to community need, has allowed Community Chesterfield to deliver remote training courses throughout the year. After assessing the needs based on conversations and feedback from groups, Community Chesterfield added in a provision for e-learning courses, completed at each learners’ pace, as well as the project’s popular Training and Tea model - a series of 45-minute long sessions on a Wednesday morning. Another area of Community Chesterfield’s work that has thrived during the pandemic is through creating ‘meaningful connections’ between voluntary and community sector organisations and the University, where the activity

organised brings benefits to both. These meaningful connections have included Experts by Experience sessions, which have seen the project connect individuals from VCS groups with nursing and health and social care staff and students from the University to share their lived experience. Individuals have been able to share their experience of managing pain, navigating the health system as an informal carer or living with mental health conditions, directly with students as part of their course. Students can relate theory to how it affects real people, supporting the NHS ambition towards personalised care, as well as showcasing existing support within the community. At the heart of everything has been the desire to uncover and nourish opportunities for new relationships, collaborations, and innovation and to link university staff, students and programmes with community-based groups and initiatives. This has been achieved by harnessing and maximising the project team’s

extensive networks within Chesterfield and utilising existing well-established relationships across all sectors. Access to Community Chesterfield’s training and shared learning workshops is free for University of Derby staff and students with a connection to Chesterfield, as well as those working at or volunteering for Derbyshire-based not-for-profit community organisations helping people in Chesterfield. Some subsidised tickets are also now available for the project’s Training and Tea sessions for anyone living or working in Derbyshire. For more information about Community Chesterfield, visit




TO THE FUTURE The past 18 months have been an enormous challenge for almost every sector, especially charities. With an increase in demand, the Nomad Opening Doors team tell unLTD about expanding their services – and how the pandemic was no match for ‘exceptional and dedicated staff’.

Without busy offices, fundraising events, supermarket collections and community gatherings, many charities have struggled to sustain their income and provide the same level of service they did before the pandemic. For some, this has meant scaling back on services. But for Nomad Opening Doors, a global pandemic, a housing shortage and large numbers of unemployed young people meant the number at risk of homelessness is higher than ever. For the past 30 years Nomad has been providing safe, secure, long-term accommodation to those at risk of homelessness. Their support services and dedicated team help 60 people each year


to transition permanently out of homelessness. With an increase in demand, Nomad expanded their services and learned along the way the pandemic was no match for an excellent team of dedicated staff. CEO Steve Rundell said: “When I joined Nomad in May 2020 we were in the middle of lockdown. The team were having to find ways to support clients and maintain our housing standards in a new environment. I knew then I had the pleasure of leading an exceptional group of people. “I could also see they needed help – they were under so much pressure. We set about bringing in new members of staff to help the current team.” Expanding the work force

was far from the focus for most organisations in 2020. But Nomad took on three full time staff members to join their team of seven, including a finance manager, a fundraiser coordinator, and a lettings agency coordinator to join the Four Trees Lettings Team. The aim was to grow the services offered and increase awareness of the charity. That expansion has already begun, with Nomad’s commercial arm, Four Trees Lettings, increasing its portfolio by 50 per cent this quarter alone. Nomad also has its sights set on helping different client groups. Karen Awdhali, head of operations, said: “For years, our focus has been single adults, with shared accommodation being offered to anyone over the age of 18. But many of our

clients are refugees, who are desperate to reconnect with their families now they have found safety. We realise that many struggle to find a service which can provide support for families with rental advice, education, and community engagement. “This is why we are launching our Family Reunion project, to help families discover each other again, as well as find a safe home – a family housed in temporary accommodation is still homeless. “Sheffield is a City of Sanctuary, and Nomad are proud to facilitate that through our work.” Nomad’s Family Reunion Project is awaiting confirmation of funding, and it set to launch early 2022.




BY WAYNE FLETCHER, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF AUSTIN FLETCHER Wayne Fletcher discusses the impact of material shortages on the construction sector

NAVIGATING VOLATILE MARKETS IN A BUOYANT SECTOR Amid a buoyant construction sector, 2021 has seen a number of factors combine, resulting in a surge in demand and a limited availability of some essential materials. Wayne Fletcher of Austin Fletcher discusses the impact this has had across the industry. The pandemic. Aggressive stockpiling. International competition. Import and logistical complications. Staff shortages. Market manipulation. These are all reasons I’ve heard mentioned amid disruptions in the supply market. The real reasons are probably a combination of all the above – plus a few more that may or may not be entirely factually accurate! However, one thing most industry professionals will agree on is the cost of materials has been incredibly volatile in recent months, and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future with tender prices rising as a result. Under certain


circumstances, supply issues can cause a project to grind to a complete halt. We have been lucky not to have any issues result in a complete stoppage, but we have certainly seen our projects, and certain contractors, hit by supply chain delays and/or price increases. For those who have already entered a contract, conditions may vary greatly from those envisaged when it was signed. The big question is, who pays for delays and increases in material costs? If faced with this scenario, the first thing to do is to check the contract to establish which clauses and provisions are relevant to the current situation. Building contracts usually permit extensions of time due to a force majeure event. If the delay can be proven to be a result of COVID-19 and the specific contractual clause refers to a ‘pandemic’, this should be grounds to grant an extension as COVID-19 is a classified

pandemic. This may not be the case however for those who are now embarking on new contracts as it could be argued that the situation is now a known factor. A point that should be considered when drafting and/or entering into new contracts going forward. When considering the impact of increased material costs during a live project, the impact will mean significant stress for the contractor which, in turn, will lead to financial risks, most of which have likely not been factored into the price. Again, all parties should review their contracts – not all contracts, especially those which are amended, deal with issues in the same manner. Due to its nature, a cautious and collaborative approach to the current situation would be advised to ensure the integrity of relationships between all contracted parties and the project is maintained. For future projects, the best course of action, where

possible, is to account for the reality of a volatile market upfront. Undertaking feasibility studies and obtaining early cost advice will help you make realistic choices about the viability of your development, while identifying and minimising risk where possible. At Austin Fletcher, we will help you cost a project thoroughly, taking into account, and advising on, project risks, putting you in an informed position prior to making strategic decisions. For live projects that have been impacted by delays or other contractual issues, we are able to provide advice and help to negotiate solutions, enabling a project to get back on track as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you are embarking on a new project or need advice on how to resolve any of the above issues, give us a call – we’d love to help you in any way we can.



UNDERSTANDING PROPERTY – INSIDE AND OUT The property market has been booming in the UK – and Josh Weston, lead director for Fourth Wall Building Consultancy, says it doesn’t look like our desire to own and develop property is going anywhere soon.

Whether it’s the search for a bigger home or the commercial development of city centre spaces, the property market is booming. As the needs of people evolve, and with working from home looking like a permanent fixture for many, we’ve developed our reports to include further advice on factors that are increasingly important to occupiers and developers, such as mobile and broadband availability, and noise levels in the area. Property is a big investment, and it can be a complex one, too, so ensuring you have the right support and advice to continue that journey is

essential. Purchasers, owners, and property managers across the north work with Fourth Wall to gain a true understanding of their property. We don’t issue a report and walk away – we’re focused on developing your knowledge, building your confidence, and supporting you at every stage of the property cycle. However, time is precious, and nobody wants to be bombarded with information. Fourth Wall bespoke reports are developed with you in mind – from an Executive Summary displaying key findings at a glance, traffic light risk ratings and action

notes showing what needs doing, when and by who, to clear budget costs for remedial work, and legal queries explained for solicitors to action. Fourth Wall Building Consultancy chartered building surveyors are based in Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle, offering preacquisition building surveys, planned preventative maintenance reporting, dilapidations advice and architectural design services to commercial and residential clients. Visit for more information.





IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE Did you know Barnsley College Higher Education has been rated the best college in South Yorkshire for student satisfaction?* Director of quality for higher education Andrea Clarke tells unLTD all about its ‘high academic standards, expert staff, and excellent facilities’.

The College offers a range of higher-level programmes including foundation and honours degrees, Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, HNCs, HNDs and professional business and leadership courses which are validated by leading universities. Anyone can become part of our higher education community by studying with us from September 2021. A wide range of part-time and full-time courses are available in subjects including animal management; art and design; business and management; construction; childcare and teacher training; criminology, communities and criminal justice; health and social care; music; and sport. The small and friendly campus offers flexible courses, designed to maximise your development, which are suitable for anyone who is wanting to study at university-level – including those that will be finishing college or sixth form, those currently in employment


higher-level course at Barnsley College. The new 2022 guide is available to download at: www. For more information about higher education courses at Barnsley College or to apply for a course starting in September 2021, visit higher-education, call 01226 216 123 or email

wanting to improve their skills and knowledge to help with a promotion or career progression, and those wanting a career change or looking to retrain. Students will be taught in excellent facilities by staff with first-hand industry experience and will enjoy a great level of contact with their tutors throughout their course. Those studying a higher education course with us at Barnsley College will benefit from high academic standards, expert staff who are passionate

about their subjects, and excellent facilities. Competition in the job market is fierce and a higher-level course provides the best possible chance for career progression. Combined with our excellent results and student feedback, now is the perfect time to start thinking about studying a

*Barnsley College achieved 88 per cent overall student satisfaction rate in the 2019/20 NSS Satisfaction Survey.



ORB LEADING THE WAY IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE Award-winning specialist recruitment consultancy ORB Recruitment was founded in 2018, with ‘big ambitions and a clear vision’. Three years on, operations director Paul Reddish tells unLTD the rapid growth of the company is ‘putting it on the map as a leader in the sector and the region’s business community’. When we founded ORB back in 2018, we had big ambitions and a clear vision of becoming Yorkshire’s leading recruitment agency. Just over three years on and this dream is well on the way to becoming a reality with the company going from strength to strength. The firm focuses on the manufacturing, production, healthcare, construction and engineering sectors, providing temporary, permanent, and fully outsourced recruitment solutions to clients across the UK. Founded in Doncaster, ORB is also dedicated to helping candidates improve their skillsets, offering access and funding to training courses and qualifications. This holistic approach and


the team’s willingness to go the extra mile has led to the company’s rapid growth, putting ORB on the map as a leader in both the recruitment sector and the region’s business community, too. In addition, ORB is proud to have won several awards including at the Doncaster Chamber Business Awards and is a finalist at the Yorkshire and Humber FSB Small Business Awards. ORB MD Stewart Olsen also made it into the prestigious Yorkshire Insider’s 42-under-42 list. As part of our future growth plans, ORB has recently moved into a larger, self-contained annexe in Doncaster as well as expanding into Scotland with a new office in Edinburgh headed up by Scottish recruitment specialist, Alan Wallace –

another sign of the exciting future ahead for the company. We have an amazing team here and are all proud to have built up excellent relationships with clients and candidates. Thanks to exceptional service standards, we have achieved 100 per cent client retention, with 90 per cent of candidates rating the service eight out of ten or above and more than 80 per cent saying they’d recommend ORB to others. Developing a strong CSR programme supporting local organisations is very important to me. This year has been no different with donations to a local theatre in South Yorkshire to help during the pandemic, donations to a food bank and sponsoring a local junior and adult football team. We also made a donation to

a cancer charity following the sudden death of a staff member of a client. All these factors – impressive and sustainable business growth, excellent candidate placement, client satisfaction rates, an expert team, and emphasis on supporting the local community – have contributed to ORB’s success story. As our MD Stewart says: “After what has been such a challenging year for businesses up and down the country, we are really excited about what the future holds for us here at ORB and continuing to build and expand on what we have achieved so far. “Most importantly our staff and the people we work with are the heart of everything we do and that is what really makes us stand out from the crowd.”



ALL ADULT S T E K IC T R E T S A M L E V A R T Travel the safer, cleaner, greener way.



CIPD STUDY CENTRE OPENS UP Sheffield based training provider, Whyy? Change, spoke with unLTD about recently becoming an approved CIPD centre and the importance of having a qualified HR and L&D team. Why is HR important to your business? With Covid-19 still around, face to face meetings starting to reappear and the world starting to open up again, HR teams have played a crucial role in supporting their employees throughout the pandemic. Whyy? Change’s CEO, Ray Byrne, identified that businesses in the South Yorkshire are screaming out for qualified people professionals, to aid those businesses looking to rebuild their company culture. Ray says: “HR is a core function of any business and is integral to the culture, welfare and development of a successful business.” Learning and Development focuses on helping employees to be the best version of themselves and transforming the culture of the organisation. With employees looking to develop their careers, having a qualified HR and L&D team there to support them is key to their self-development.

professionals the confidence and capabilities to guide their decision-making, actions and behaviours throughout their career. Where can you get a CIPD qualification? People from Sheffield and beyond can now hone and perfect their human resources, learning and development skills at Sheffield's latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) study centre, Whyy? Change in Chapeltown.

The only independent training provider that delivers face to face CIPD qualifications in South Yorkshire. Human resource managers, officers, assistants and their learning and development colleagues can upskill with the new professional CIPD qualifications at Level Three and Level Five. Whyy? Change's CIPD lead, Laura, said: "We're thrilled to have gained our accredited study centre status for CIPD which adds to the extensive list of courses we can deliver.” Laura's career

in HR has taken her up and down the country as Regional HR Manager for Aviva. For 12 years, Laura was responsible for recruitment and selection and the management of day-to-day HR management. Laura also headed up a large team of HR professionals and administrators in Sheffield, Liverpool and Northampton. Whyy? Change work with businesses across the region to deliver business improvement through training and skills development. The Whyy? Change 'Plan. Do. Crack On' ethos is adopted by all their expert tutors who are industry specialists. If you’re looking to gain a CIPD qualification, an accredited HR or L&D apprenticeship, get in touch with us via email; info@, call on 0114 400 0077 or visit our website

What are CIPD qualifications? CIPD qualifications set the international benchmark for the people profession and provides a strong foundation to give





BUSINESSES URGED TO PROTECT THEIR DRIVERS Let’s get back to business safely– that’s the message from the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and more people return to the roads. There are several things employers can do to reduce the risks for staff who drive for work purposes. These steps all form part of the Partnership’s awardwinning training session that can help businesses effectively manage work-related road safety among employees. The Safer Driving at Work session, delivered at the interactive Lifewise Centre in Hellaby, Rotherham, is tailored to suit the needs of individual businesses. It highlights the potential consequences of a serious road traffic collision through the demonstrations featuring a crash investigation, court proceedings and the first day in prison. Safer Driving at Work


is designed to be hard-hitting and thought-provoking to encourage drivers to consider the consequences for them, their families and the company if they make the wrong decision. If this is something your business may be interested in, the Partnership currently has a small number of FREE sessions available. Watch our video to find out more about the session: saferdrivingatwork As well as our course, the Partnership has recently launched a project to promote eco driving which links to road safety.

Eco driving is about driving economically to be more fuel efficient and lower the risk of wear and tear on a vehicle, in turn saving a business money. It is also about driving ecologically to help cut vehicle emissions and help the environment. By changing your driving technique and improving your skills, you will find a variety of benefits including comfort and greater safety. Simple things will make a difference – encourage employees to: • Make regular vehicle checks • Plan ahead • Accelerate/brake smoothly • Slow down • Maintain steady speeds • Remove unnecessary loads.

Drivers need to anticipate what might be going to happen around them and keep a greater distance between them and other vehicles. Basic skills like this will help make you a safer driver. For more information, please contact: or 07794 074 492. If you would like to find out more about eco driving why not listen to our podcast or watch the short film – visit For further road safety information follow us on social media @SYSaferRoads.



BETTALIVES BETTALIVES offers day provision for people over the age of 19 who have additional Special Education Needs (SEN). Founders Gail Tonge and Michelle Atkinson share how the support and ‘excellent resources’ of Launchpad have boosted their business confidence. Tell us about your company? BETTALIVES offers day provision for people over the age of 19, who have additional needs. Gail Tonge and Michelle Atkinson both collectively have over 40 years’ experience working in a special educational needs school. The focus is around providing a wide range of opportunities to enable all individuals to gain the confidence to reach their full potential, while promoting individual independence and social skills to enable a sense of self-worth within their community. When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you? Over the past year we felt there was not enough provision within our area for our young people after leaving school and college. This inspired us both to leave our existing jobs and open our own private-run day provision. We started the ball rolling in January 2021 with a view to being a two-year plan. Just six months later, after speaking to parents and carers about the lack of provision around the area, we have had a lot of interest and will be officially opening our doors on Monday September 6. How has Launchpad helped you? Launchpad were the first people we contacted, and we attended a series of workshops.



This gave us an insight into how to run a successful business. The workshops were an excellent resource for us and gave us the confidence to realise we could make our business work. With the help of the trainer during the workshops and the aftercare we received, we produced a business plan and a cash flow document and are both excited to begin our new journey. What are your hopes and aims for the business? We are very passionate and intend to offer outstanding


provision to support all of our adults to achieve personal goals, live more independently and potentially seek employment. Our long-term passion is to expand our business to provide a service to meet the needs of all young adults in our area by opening further provisions that will cater for more complex needs. We would also like to open up provision to offer opportunities for our clients to work towards their ‘preparation for adulthood’ outcomes which are written into their Education Health and Care Plans.

Business start-up advisor Nicole Harte said: “Gail and Michelle have such passion and enthusiasm for working with people with SEN. They have identified the lack of provision after leaving education and want to fill that gap, providing a safe setting where adults can continue to develop their independence. “They have worked really hard on developing their business plan and getting everything ready to open in September. I have no doubt they will make this a success. “Starting and growing a business is not easy and that’s why the Launchpad programme was created. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and our partners means there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality. “Stop dreaming and do it. Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email growthhub@” Launchpad is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund meaning there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality.




ENERGY SAVING Landlords, developers and businesses alike increasingly need to manage energy in a cost-effective way that acknowledges soaring prices, sourcing green power, and regulatory requirements. A number of industry experts share their expertise on how to manage energy without breaking the bank, with unLTD's Michael Durham and Rachel Measures.




WHY GREAT PROCUREMENT IS ESSENTIAL FOR NET ZERO Linda Spencer, MD of local business energy consultancy Professional Energy Purchasing, discusses how energy procurement has a crucial role to play in delivering better energy management and important net zero goals. Buying energy and planning for net zero can often feel like a daunting task, with many businesses unsure where to even begin. We help businesses to secure the best procurement contracts to meet their objectives, reduce their energy through data analysis and efficiency audits, and plan to achieve net zero carbon.


With energy prices soaring to reach levels not seen for years, businesses need to have a well-considered energy plan in place. Many of our clients are moving away from traditional fixed-term contracts, which would lock them in at these current high rates, to more flexible dynamic contracts which spread the risk. Industry charging is also changing, which will affect business energy pricing. Having no contract in place will generate even higher variable rates so it’s important that businesses make sure they arrange contracts before they move to out of contract terms. When businesses are looking to reduce their energy use as part of their efficiency drive, they need to ensure this is co-ordinated with existing contract terms. Take or pay contracts will charge for the forecast power, whether it is used or not, which could be significant and may impact on payback periods.



Reducing energy is the first step to a greener business. Having solid data which explains how much energy is used, and where and when it is used, is essential for a clear actionable plan. It will help to identify savings opportunities, allow you to set realistic targets and measure success. Reducing out of hours waste which can be picked up through occupancy reports taken from half hourly meters can be a quick win, save money and help drive behavioural change. A detailed energy audit will identify additional opportunities for energy savings across site(s) to generate a robust, costed plan which operational KPI’s can be created and measured against to involve the whole business.


Buying green energy generated by renewable sources has become much more accessible

Buying green energy generated by renewable sources has become much more accessible, with suppliers offering most or all electricity from zero-carbon sources. Buying good quality REGO backed renewable energy will help you meet Scope 2 emission reporting, a net zero requirement, although costs may be prohibitive as demand has considerably pushed up prices. With renewable energy having ongoing limited capacity which drives up prices, a solution might be to have on-site energy generation to store volumes needed and then buy when renewable energy generation is high and market prices are stable. Get in touch for a chat about your business energy to see how the team can help you by calling 0114 327 2645 or emailing


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Comprehensive boiler cover and boiler servicing for your peace of mind. Our heating and plumbing insurance packages start from as little as £10 and help you spread the costs of servicing, breakdown and repair across the year. Our team operate on a 24-7 basis, meaning you can be sure your plumbing and heating will be working again as quickly as possible.

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INTRODUCING HOME SERVICES ASSISTANCE Sheffield-based Home Services Assistance chatted to unLTD about their approach to providing top quality plumbing and heating services that won’t break the bank. Home Services Assistance was established in June 2013, and aims to provide first-class boiler breakdown and home emergency cover by delivering excellent customer service across Yorkshire, Midlands and parts of Lancashire. Our ambition is to drive customer experience to the next level, which is why we strive to provide the latest information about the industry and are committed to keeping all of our customers up to date with regulations that may affect them. Since we started as a business, we’ve gone from strength to strength. In 2022, we’ll be expanding our offering


by becoming a one-stop shop for home maintenance including services like electric, roofing, and even cleaning. We find the biggest cause of increased costs for our customers is usually down to efficiency. A poorly optimised or failing system will use more gas than necessary, and subsequently cause monthly bills to become far more expensive. We offer a health check on your whole business premises or home, checking often neglected aspects such as identifying individual radiators for cleaning, to ensure it’s all running just as you would expect.

Replacing a system is another one of the biggest costs, so we want to do everything we can to help customers identify problems before they become costly. We ask customers to keep an eye out for dead giveaways like strange noises, signs of rust in the water, inconsistencies in temperature or a dated water heater – all of which are tell-tale clues you should give us a call. Alternatively, our Home Care Cover is a great solution for customers that don’t want to get caught out with unexpected costs by spreading the costs of servicing, breakdown and repair across the year.

When things go wrong, our team operate on a 24-7 basis, meaning you can be sure your plumbing and heating will be working again as soon as possible. We work with a lot of landlords who own multiple properties, so we ensure our clients get their properties looked at quickly as we understand they’re relying on rental income. We believe that knowledge is power, and that educated customers are happier customers. For more information and advice, visit our website at


Space to work and play at Park Hill Opportunities for a variety of workspaces, retail and leisure space Get in touch to find out more 0333 666 0000



UTILITY DELAYS Dean Pattison, director of utility consultants Utility Source, shares some of the most common issues that their customers overlook which cause costly utility delays.

For most of the businesses that we work with, which range from property investors to major developers, saving money is an important consideration – that’s why we educate our customers on the best way to approach this challenge. We explain the most costeffective methods of installing new services, the industry options enabling a customer to have a choice of installer and the complicated processes required to achieve a serviced building. Utility timescales now tend to fall by the wayside as it’s become a more competitive environment with multiple parties making it a challenging experience, leading to significant delays. Over the last couple of years, other variables have been introduced - like lockdowns, furlough, Brexit and the changeover of framework contractors – generating even more delays many installers haven’t fully recovered from. It’s important that we help to solve these delays by setting the correct expectations at an early stage. If a customer understands the processes, the expectations of the installer and the timescales involved they will avoid delays which will ultimately help them avoid funding penalties. It isn’t always possible to help a customer to save money on a utility installation, but there are some opportunities. We can help by advising the


client on the best installation method, or by describing the principle of competition in connections designed to deliver a more competitive market. One other area where we’ve been successful is our understanding of an installation’s technicalities. There have been instances where contractor quotes have been included for work such as diversions, which is essentially the network owner moving their infrastructure at the cost of the client. With proper research and communication, the correct challenge often results in the diversionary work and additional cost being removed. We were recently appointed as the utility’s coordinator at a small new build site in Wakefield. When the electric quote came to us from Northern PowerGrid, it included a fee of £12k to divert a low voltage electric main, but we couldn’t see any justification for diverting the cable. Following further investigation, it was identified that the cable was laid through the parcel of land several years ago without an easement. This meant that there was no paperwork providing legal consent for

maintenance. We prepared a proposal which had two options, the first being to move the cable at the network’s cost. The second was to leave the cable in position and capture it within

a new easement. Several conversations later, £12K was removed from the quotation sometimes just taking time to make a challenge in the right way can help the customer manage unnecessary costs.


Get in Touch:

0114 236 9640

With decades of experience, we have developed a well respected reputation for supplying fire alarm systems to a wide and varied client base, including the NHS, Hallam University and the DFEE. Your complete security is our priority and we will endeavour to ensure your property, people and assets are meticulously protected at all times by tailoring your system to meet your exact needs. Whether you have multiple large premises or a single shop, we can install detection systems to cover almost any space to ensure your complete safety.

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WHO COUNTS AS A CIS CONTRACTOR OR SUB-CONTRACTOR? The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules that affect tax and National Insurance for those working in the construction industry. Kevin Radford, director of Sheffield-based C21 Chartered Accountants takes a closer look. Businesses in the construction industry are known as 'contractors' and 'subcontractors' and will need to be aware of the tax implications of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). Under the CIS, contractors are required to deduct money from a subcontractor’s

payments and pass it to HMRC. The deductions count as advance payments towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance liabilities. Contractors are defined as those who pay subcontractors for construction work or those who spent more than £3m on construction a year in the 12 months since they made their first payment. Subcontractors do not have to register for the CIS, but contractors must deduct 30 per cent from their payments to unregistered subcontractors. The alternative is to register as a CIS subcontractor where a

20 per cent deduction is taken, or to apply for gross payment status when the contractor will not make any deductions, and the subcontractor is responsible to pay all their tax and National Insurance at the end of the tax year. The CIS covers most construction work carried out in the UK, including jobs such as: • Site preparation • Alterations • Dismantling • Construction • Repairs • Decorating • Demolition


Exceptions to the definition of construction work includes professional work done by architects and surveyors, carpet fitting, scaffolding hire (with no labour) and work on construction sites that’s clearly not construction. The CIS does not apply to construction work carried on outside the UK. If you are unsure about your own status, or how to make payments to HMRC, seeking professional advice will help clear things up. The team at C21 Chartered Accountants are available on 0114 213 4730 or should you need any assistance.

Do you want to find out more about how your business is performing, or what areas could be improved? Our free business health check is designed to give you practical information about your business that you can put into practice straight away!

0114 213 4730

All we ask for is half an hour of your time over the phone, to ask you a few simple questions. Contact us today to book in your free, no obligation business health check!



+ COLLABORATION = A THRIVING SUCCESS STORY If there is one thing Northend enjoy, it’s a challenge. However, nobody could have imagined the testing times ahead when the company – established in 1889 – celebrated its best year to date in March 2020. MD Nigel Stubley shares the ‘thriving’ Sheffield firm’s lockdown recovery success story. Following the successful merger of Northend Creative Print Solutions with MyPrintPartners, our business was hit hard by the first lockdown. Many customers in the leisure sector were prevented from trading and the knock-on effect was profound. The team went from celebrating our success to almost no business coming in. Turnover halved, and staff were furloughed with a core team manufacturing everything our customers needed. We took a hard look at the business to see where the shortfalls were and what we


could do to come out in better shape. One of the first things that became apparent was how few of the team could work from home, with all machines and servers on site. We identified the need for a system that operated in the ‘cloud’, enabling the clientfacing team to work remotely. A review of the Print Management Information Service was undertaken, and, by November, we had committed to Print IQ, a cloudbased system with refreshing new ideas of how workflow could operate in a £5m fullservice print house. The system went live in June, and there have been

significant advantages – plus more to come in terms of efficiencies which will benefit all stakeholders. Another area of concern was the ageing digital presses. Would they cope as the volumes ramped back up? The answer was to collaborate with another business. Northend bought a minority share and together the business flourished, growing 120 per cent, taking over all their print production and incorporating it into our workflow. The digital volumes in Q1 2021 (April-June) quadrupled, allowing investment to be made in the latest digital

technology from Canon, in the form of its latest engines – the C10010 VPs. Capacity was increased and uptime improved delivering a higher quality image benefiting the customer base. Northend has found a way to invigorate our business model by putting service first and innovating to benefit the entire customer base. In short, it’s doing what we’ve always done. We’ve survived – and thrived – through two world wars and now a global pandemic.”


Your local IT service provider is on hand to take away the stress of managing your IT systems, so you can concentrate on what you do best, running your business.

Why outsource your IT support to Dentech? 1. Cost saving Our services are tailored to your business, so you only pay for what you need.

2. Peace of mind Reduce your risk of cyber-crime and protect from virus, malware and loss of data with our Back up and Disaster Recovery service.

6. Fast implementation of new technology With access to shared resources you will always have the latest software updates, reducing virus threats and software failure.

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Dentech IT is a managed service provider with offices in Sheffield and Rotherham, offering IT support and timely maintenance to SME’s in South Yorkshire – all at a fixed monthly fee. We can work as an extension to your existing IT team, or become your in-house team if you don’t have one. Switching is easy - contact us today to see how we can help!

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In October 2020, Microsoft denied there would ever be a Windows 11 system – but the global pandemic has changed the way we work in immeasurable ways. Here the team at Dentech IT, a Sheffield-based managed service provider, offer their take on whether we should upgrade – and what to expect… In October 2020, Microsoft denied there would ever be a Windows 11 system. As far as they were concerned, Windows 10, launched in 2015, would continue with regular updates and a concept called ‘Release Build’. Welcome to Windows 11! In June 2021, Microsoft announced their ‘next generation’ operating system – Windows 11, launching in 2022. Why have Microsoft had a change of mind? In one word – COVID-19. The pandemic has changed the way we work in immeasurable ways. Windows 11 will make this easier and quicker. Do I need to buy a new PC to benefit from Windows 11? If your PC is older than three years, then probably yes. However, it depends on the specification of your machine. Will Microsoft continue supporting and updating Windows 10?


Yes, offering monthly updates until at least October 2025, with a big update arriving later this year. What new features will Windows 11 have over Windows 10? It’s been completely redesigned to consider how we use our devices in the postCOVID-19 world. This means it will integrate with your mobile devices regardless of the platform – Android / iOS / Windows.

Will Windows 11 be offered as a free upgrade? Yes. If your PC has Windows 10 an upgrade programme will start in early 2022. However, it may take some time before all eligible machines are offered it. Will my existing programmes and software still work with Windows 11? According to Microsoft, they should. However, this isn’t always as straightforward as they suggest.

Does this mean I have to buy a new PC? If you are running Windows 10 on an older machine and only use it occasionally then there is no need to upgrade. However, if you are a business user, involved in education, or a regular user, then now could be a good time to start planning. Can I go back to Windows 10 if I don’t like Windows 11? Yes. There’s a ten-day rollback feature built in that enables you to reinstate Windows 10 while keeping all files and data intact. After this period, you will need to do a ‘clean install’, making sure you have previously backed up all your data. To gain any further information about Windows 11 and the impact it could have on your business or personal IT, please contact us on 0114 279 2820 or



THEHUMANFIREWALL, A SIMPLE WAY TO MINIMISE CYBERSECURITY RISKS Scammers are better equipped than ever in today’s tech-led world. Simoda’s MD Dan Bumby asks: Do you know who in your business would be prone to clicking on a phishing email? Remember the emails that were flying around years ago? You know, the ones where the prince of a faraway foreign country has £5m he wants to give you … and all he needs is your bank details, pin number, date of birth? My name is Daniel Bumby, the MD of Simoda and I have spent over 20 years in the technology industry, and I would like to think that I know a scam email when I see it, however, let’s be honest the scammers are getting good at it and positioned to the right person at the right time they are seeing lots of success. Every now and again you will see one of these emails in your inbox, but most businesses cyber security systems are able


to ensure they don’t get past the email spam filter. But the scammers are a little better equipped these days and have many new methods. In other words, you can have the perfect system in place but somewhere along the line is a human – and unfortunately humans are prone to naivety or, in the worst case, stupidity. A serious question, then – do you know who in your business would be prone to clicking on a phishing email? At Simoda, we continue to find lots of businesses still don’t operate any form of cyber security awareness for their employees, other than an email from the IT team telling them not to click on any unsolicited emails – ironic or what?!

The most popular attack now is via email spoofing, which is where the victim will receive an email that at first looks like it is from a credible internal address, usually someone in higher management requesting immediate action to something. Examples we have seen include ‘Overdue invoice’ ‘Expenses claim’ and even direct requests to purchase online vouchers for the CEO. Okay, so how do you get round the issue and ensure your staff are not putting your business at risk? The old school way would have been herding your users in the breakroom, keeping them awake with coffee and donuts and subjecting them to death-byPowerPoint.

Today’s business email filters have a 10 per cent failure rate – so, you really need a strong human firewall as your last line of defence. Here to help For unLTD readers we are offering a free phishing test for up to 100 of your most prone users with a series of phishing emails and provide you with a report highlighting the risk you currently face. Contact one of our security experts today and see where we can help you minimise your business risk and build the perfect human firewall. For more information call 0114 553 3600 or visit



8 YEARS OF SMARTER TRAVEL IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE TravelMaster’s outgoing MD Matt Smallwood, reflects on eight years of delivering smarter travel for South Yorkshire’s passengers – and helping put the region in the driving seat of smart ticketing in the UK.

This month it will have been eight years since I first started supporting passengers on their journey to a smarter way to pay for public transport. As I now get ready to move on to pastures new, I can’t think of a better time to reflect on the achievements and progress the region’s operators, authorities and my dedicated team have made in that time. When I joined TravelMaster, the same hand-written cardboard passes that I’d used years earlier to get to and from The Sheffield College were the standard ticket media we used, there were no smart products and we primarily fielded a range of hard to understand products priced at a premium for rail valid travel. Since then, we’ve matured to become one of the most advanced multi-modal integrated smart ticketing schemes - with more than 17

million journeys made a year pre-pandemic. TravelMaster now provides a simplified range of products priced primarily for local bus and light rail use and, over those last eight years, has been at the forefront of smart ticketing in the UK. So, what has this looked like in practice? In 2014 we made the huge jump from paper tickets to smartcards – introducing the first smart multi-operator tickets in the country – and alongside that we introduced the UK’s lowest priced multi-operator tickets for kids (the GetAbout range). In 2015 smart products were sold on-board (another national first) and saw

passengers paying less for bus only travel in more zones with the introduction of new bus only tickets. Then, in 2016, we simplified 250 confusing tickets down to 26 to make it easier for passengers to access integrated tickets. 2017 was a slower year as we restructured – but we got right back on track in 2018, with the introduction of the 18-21 Discount Card which discounted tickets for young people and made our one-day tickets available as mTickets on operator apps. 2019 again saw huge changes as we introduced online sales and enabled tickets to be downloaded through an iPhone.

Obviously COVID-19 put the brakes on many plans and hit us hard – but we cracked on and our priority turned to recovery and developing meaningful partnership with business and industry to support this. Ultimately, TravelMaster is a great example of public transport operators coming together voluntarily and collaborating with local authorities to provide passengers with value for money. So, as I pack up my office, I can only be proud of the huge achievements TravelMaster has made – through the support of its operators, and collaboration with our partners and all for the benefit of passengers. I can’t wait to watch what happens next – wearing my new hat as head of digital strategy for Transport for the North.

Learn more about TravelMaster at



DIGITAL INNOVATION Alexa Greaves, board member at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and chief executive of AAG IT Services, a regional IT managed services provider, offers advice on how adopting digitalisation can help businesses thrive.


DIGITALISATION CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS TO GROW In a changing economy, to remain competitive within the market businesses need to evolve and adopt new ways of working. Introducing digital processes should be seen as a long-term investment and moving towards digitalisation can seem overwhelming. But what owners don’t often recognise is they have probably already started that journey anyway. All digitalisation really means is moving from communicating via letters and over the phone to talking and selling online instead. Small Steps Digitalisation isn’t about expecting businesses to invest in advanced software systems either – it’s about integrating digital tools into existing processes to make them quicker and more effective.


It cannot be denied that had it not been for digitalisation, the lockdown would have had a much more devastating impact. We launched our Renewal Action Plan (RAP) which sets out how South Yorkshire can put itself on

the path to recovery. Within the RAP, £2m to £5m funding has been allocated to enable businesses to adapt their working practices and embrace digitalisation. Several support schemes have also been introduced including

the Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP). With South Yorkshire as an important manufacturing hub, the introduction of schemes like Made Smarter, connects manufacturers to the digital tools, leadership, and skills they need to drive sustainable growth. The Help to Grow programme has also been designed to help business owners and managers. The scheme includes Help to Grow: Management, which offers one-to-one business mentor support, while the new Help to Grow: Digital will help SMEs identify their digital technology needs, assess purchasing options and implement new technologies in their operations. To find out more about these schemes visit



CRACKING CONTENT IS – STILL – KING The unLTD podcast is back after its little summer holiday – and we want to recruit you as a new listener. The latest episode is all about just that: recruitment. After the turmoil of the last 18 months, we've seen a boom in employers recruiting new staff, but something of a crisis in them finding the right people. What's the situation like in South Yorkshire? We chat to Rob Shaw from Glu Recruit to get an insight into how things are looking here. And with it being harder than ever to land the ideal candidate, we get MD Rob's top five tips for employers to make sure their recruitment process hits the mark.

If you get the wrong people and talk about the wrong stuff, no-one’s going to listen just because you sound crystal clear. Not a single person has ever said: “I find this podcast really boring but I listen because it’s really well-edited.” But I do think someone might persevere listening to a podcast with poor sound if they find the content genuinely interesting, useful or entertaining. Eventually, you're going to have to fix it. But, if you can crack the content, you can get the rest to fall into place.

Podcast Spotlight: FilmFile I only became aware of the FilmFile recently, when the hosts were featured on Harvey Morton's Social Sanctuary podcast. Lee is a former Radio Sheffield presenter and Andy is from Liverpool but moved to Sheffield in the 90s – what they have in common is their love of film.

We're not talking passing interest here – they are serious film buffs, with a ton of experience in different parts of the industry. There are more than 80 episodes and each one is a deep dive into a movie, be it new or revisiting a classic. The hosts come across as really likable and their friendship shines through, too. If you love a good film, either on the silver screen or the little box in the corner of the front room, you will enjoy this podcast.

Sound quality or content quality – what's more important in podcasting? I wrote a fairly long blog on this age-old question the other day (quick plug – you can find it at and thought it was worth an abridged version on this page. It goes without saying that both are important. I hate hearing podcasts with low fi sound. That’s usually from poor editing, under par equipment, or an obviously bad internet connection on a remote recording – all relatively easy things to fix. But content IS king, and ultimately it is more important. You need the right people, the right spark, the right subjects to talk about, the right questions to ask. Sometimes even with the right people, if the spark isn’t there, it doesn’t quite work.





MUSIC TO MY EARS TO SUPPORT CIC THERAPY PROJECT This last month has been one of helping clients to meet their funding strategy deadlines. I am writing three bids a month for a music related Community Interest Company (CIC) who help children, young people, and adults with disabilities to engage with music as a therapy as well as a way of increasing their social interaction and lowering feelings of social isolation and anxiety. Let’s Save have chosen to apply for some core costs for the overheads and salaries involved in running the project which will engage people with music who have drink and

drug abuse problems. We are also getting some capital work done to the building so that there is full disabled accessibility at both entrances for all users. The third application this month is for the CIC’s Saturday Club, extending the project resources to be able to run a class for deprived children in the area aged 13+ in addition to the under 12s group. This CIC has only been running for just over 12 months, but with their first set of financial accounts now produced, they qualify for more grants and trust funds than they did last year.


FINALISTS REVEALED FOR SHEFFIELD MUTUAL 2021 CHARITY AWARD Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society has revealed the finalists for its 2021 Charity Award. The Charity Award, which launched in 2017, aims to support charities and community groups. Sheffield Mutual asked its members and the public to nominate their favourite charities and the charity team shortlisted the charities to the final ten. The finalists are Abbie's Army, Autism for Supported Employment Centre, Calderdale Lighthouse, Church Army, Fareshare

Yorkshire, Issabelle's Appeal, Moo Haven, Ravens Rescue, Rush House and The Brain Tumour Charity.

The 2021 Charity Award will make donation prizes to the top three, as voted for by the public.

CEO Jamie Bellamy said: “Supporting local charities and community groups forms part of our culture. “We feel it is particularly important right now to continue that support, with many charities suffering due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic and unable to raise funds as they would under normal circumstances.” Find out more and cast your vote by visiting: bit. ly/2XvjWCg Voting will close on 31 October 2021 and the winners will be announced in November 2021.

Give Wendy at Let's Save Consultancy Services a call on 0772 9481010 or email





Profile for unLTD magazine

unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #42  

unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #42  


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