There is further growth for Stafford based software development company, Langley Foxall Ltd, as they relocate to bigger premises on the Staffordshire Technology Park.

The company, specialising in designing and building bespoke business software, has achieved excellent progression with over 100% growth for the last three consecutive years. The office move indicates the next steps for Langley Foxall with additional focus on internal progression.

The Langley Foxall team has been reviewing and updating their branding ahead of their next set of goals, keeping the well-favoured fox logo but adding the finishing touches. This has been in preparation for a new and exciting website which has since been launched.

To sustain the levels of interest gained through an improved sales process and ahead of the new and improved marketing strategy, Langley Foxall has expanded its development team with two new members since moving into the new location. This will help them improve individual team performance and exceed customer requirements in a timely manner at each step of the process.

On top of that, Langley Foxall has been reviewing and improving its internal operations further. With the development of their own internal system, they have been able to further optimise their processes. The overall experience for customers will improve since introducing the new sections to their own software which has allowed the team to nurture their relationships with their customers, reduce project completion times and ease the implementation process.

This internal progression is just one way Langley Foxall are promoting innovation. Their impact in the development world remains as active as ever, driving up the development standards industry-wide and providing resource materials and tools for other development companies to use.

‘Our entire business is based on innovating for other companies to improve processes, something which we must do and succeed at ourselves in order to move forward. Internally, we promote innovation heavily from introducing lightning talks at lunchtimes, to department managers frequently pushing to achieve more by innovating their own processes. This has a huge impact on the culture of the business and therefore has a direct impact on our customers’ experience,’ states Nicholas Langley, Managing Director at Langley Foxall.

Langley Foxall’s push for change across the board has resulted in their move to the technology park, updating their software to align with the new processes and inspiring the team to push even harder to continue the progression.

If you are interested in speaking with Langley Foxall regarding a bespoke software solution, get in touch via info@langleyfoxall.co.uk, call them on 01785 220892, or visit langleyfoxall.co.uk

The percentage of UK firms facing recruitment difficulties has returned to previous highs, while one in four businesses expect to increase headcount according to the UK’s largest survey of employers.

Over half (54%) of British businesses recruited in the last three months, with nearly three quarters reporting recruitment difficulties, as skills shortages persist. One in four (27%) British businesses plan to increase their headcount in the next quarter (Q4 2019), with two thirds believing their workforce will remain constant.

The latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with Totaljobs, reveals that almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of businesses who attempted to recruit faced recruitment difficulties in Q3 2019, compared with 64 per cent in Q2.

Skills shortages were predominantly felt across skilled manual roles and professional roles, with 80 per cent of construction firms and 71 per cent of transport and distribution businesses facing difficulties recruiting the right staff. In the run up to Christmas, 70,000 transport and distribution roles were advertised on Totaljobs in Q3, receiving an average of 23 applications per vacancy.

Despite concerns over Brexit deadlock, labour market performance and expectations are holding up fairly well.  Only 11 per cent of businesses have decreased their workforce in Q3, with one in four businesses increasing their total headcount. Headcount remained consistent at 62 per cent of responding businesses.

Looking forward, one in four businesses plan to increase their headcount in Q4 2019, and two in three expect to keep their workforce consistent. Just 8 per cent of UK firms expect to decrease their headcount in Q4 2019. Supporting signs of a buoyant recruitment market, over 740,000 job vacancies advertised on Totaljobs in Q3 2019, with over 13 million applications made on the platform.

Although over half (54 per cent) of UK businesses tried to recruit in Q3 2019, just one in four (28%) micro- businesses attempted to recruit. In contrast, 75% of small and mid-sized businesses (250+ employees) and 90% of large businesses (250+ employees) recruited in the same period.

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said:

“Jobseekers will welcome the fact that many businesses are continuing to hire staff, but policymakers should be alarmed that skills shortages continue to bedevil firms – particularly in the skilled roles that will be needed to drive healthy manufacturing and export performance following Brexit.

“The next government must swiftly translate election promises into action and deliver more generous investment in high-quality technical and vocational education at all levels, alongside a flexible, fast and affordable immigration system that provides access to a broad range of skills. It must radically reduce upfront business costs so firms have the confidence and cashflow to back this up with on-the-job training and apprenticeships.”

Patrick Wehrmann, CEO of Totaljobs said:

“The labour market remains one of the strongest pillars of the UK economy, and in the previous quarter, there were almost 750,000 vacancies advertised on Totaljobs, driving over 13 million applications from the UK workforce.

“Despite economic uncertainty, our latest research indicates that the labour market is buoyant, and with over a quarter of businesses looking to expand their workforce with an increased headcount in Q4, this looks set to continue.

“However, it’s notable that skills shortages continue to affect businesses UK-wide, and as such, regardless of wider economic concerns, employers should be mindful that they are doing what’s necessary to attract and retain the best talent on offer.

“Totaljobs research shows that workers are particularly driven by professional development and training, clear progression paths, and a healthy work-life balance. It’s vital that employers put these things front of mind and continue to drive investment in their people in order to keep staff engaged, and drive business output during a dip in the economy.”

 

 

Staff and students at a Staffordshire college are celebrating today after a sector league table confirms Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) is one of the top colleges in the country.

At the Association of Colleges (AoC) annual conference in Birmingham on 19 November 2019, NSCG were ranked in second position nationally in the 2019 NICDEX.  NICDEX is an annual league table of colleges published by FE Week, a leading specialist publication for the further education sector.

172 colleges are ranked in the league table which is compiled using a point-based system, with points awarded against a number of key criteria published by the Department for Education (DfE).  The index includes scores for student and employer satisfaction, as well as taking into account information on 16-18 and adult progression, and Ofsted ratings.

This latest accolade comes less than a week after an Ofsted inspection report, published on 14 November, confirmed that NSCG was judged to be Outstanding in every inspection measure, making NSCG the first further education provider in England to achieve top grades in every area of the newly reformed Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (EIF).

Karen Dobson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of NSCG said: “This is another fantastic achievement for NSCG, and coupled with our recent Ofsted Outstanding grading confirms our status as one of the top colleges in the country.  Ofsted commended the work we do relating to learner experience and progression, and highlighted our exceptional employer links, so it’s pleasing to see the ranking in the NICDEX league table endorse this.”

Painting and decorating apprentices from PM Training will be travelling to Slovenia to share skills and support local education as part of an international humanitarian campaign.

The campaign is organised by the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia. Now in its 21st year, it will see 55 painters and decorators from seven countries collaborating to paint an elementary school in Ormož, Slovenia.

Two PM Training painting and decorating apprentices will be showcasing their skills on the project, accompanied by tutors and assessors from the Stoke-based training provider.

John Adams, Construction Team Manager at PM Training, said: “This is the first year we’ve taken part and I can’t wait. It will be a great experience for our apprentices. It allows us to give something back and helping others has always been a passion of mine so I’m incredibly proud to be able to offer our skills and expertise”.

Apprentices Mike Ball, 22, and Jordan Naylor, 19, from Stoke-on-Trent are currently working towards their Level 2 Painting and Decorating apprenticeship with Wallace Contractors Ltd.

Mike commented: “This is an amazing opportunity. Being able to go abroad and paint a school with others in the industry is an experience too good to miss.”

Sean Wallace, Owner of Wallace Contractors, said: “We’ve been working with PM Training for over 30 years, recruiting apprentices and upskilling our staff. Opportunities like this just strengthen our partnership and allow us to showcase the great skills we have in this country with others across Europe.”

Apprentices will land at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport in Slovenia on Thursday 28th November and begin the project to paint the local school that weekend. Over three days they’ll get the opportunity to work together with other painters and decorators to paint classrooms, staircases, door frames and corridors whilst also learning about the culture of Slovenia.

Jordan Naylor said: “I’m in the second year of my apprenticeship and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve never been to Slovenia and can’t wait to meet the other painters and decorators. It’s not something you get to do every day!”

PM Training’s involvement in the humanitarian project is being funded by Realise charity as part of its pledge to boost skills and education in North Staffordshire and to support charitable causes.

Chloe Robinson, one of Beswicks Legal’s trainees, has completed her training contract and is celebrating becoming a fully qualified solicitor.

Chloe joined Beswicks in 2017 as a paralegal in the private wealth department and over the last two years has developed in-depth expertise in trust and estate administrations, estate planning and protecting family wealth.

Chloe said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my training contract at Beswicks and would like to thank the firm and all of my colleagues for their continued support. I am very much looking forward to my career as a fully qualified solicitor in Beswicks’ private wealth team.”

Beswicks’ managing partner Nick Phillips added: “Chloe is an outstanding private wealth solicitor who is loved by clients who praise her efficiency, professionalism and ability to explain complex matters in easy-to-understand terms.

“She is a key member of the private wealth team who has worked hard to qualify and richly deserves this success.”

The team at Beswicks Legal held a special lunch at their Festival Park offices in Stoke-on-Trent to celebrate Chloe’s qualification.

 

Scabetti wins Northern Design Award

Hundreds of the North’s leading designers, developers, architects, movers and shakers assembled to have their achievements marked at the seventeenth annual Northern Design Awards in a glittering ceremony at the stunning Principal Hotel, Manchester. Scabetti were proud winners of the Designer Maker award on Friday, in this their 20 year anniversary.

The Scabetti studio was established 20 years ago in 1999, by Dominic Bromley, with a passion to combine the artistry of sculpture with the industry of product design. Now Dominic and Frances lead their small dedicated team in their hometown of Leek, Staffordshire, and offer their creations to an international audience.

“With origins in the field of industrial design and the traditions of the Potteries, Dominic and Frances pioneered the idea of suspended ceramic sculptures at a design show in 2004. Their concept became an instant sensation – now different versions of their signature fish-themed Shoal can be found in prominent locations all over the world,” said Theo Pike for Flyfishers’ Journal.

 

Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships is running a free breakfast event on cloud computing for businesses as a trending digital disruptor. It takes place on Friday 6th December, 9am-11.30am, at World of Wedgwood.

For this breakfast event, there will be expert speakers from Staffordshire University and Wedgwood, who will be there to share with you their journey with cloud computing in research and practice and clarify some perceived concerns, most notably, security.

Following the discussions guests will have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Wedgwood Factory and see first-hand how digital innovation is being used in a design led industry.

On the day, you will discover:

  • Cloud computing leading the digital transformation
  • Potential benefits to your business
  • Perceived concerns with cloud computing and the security myth
  • The cyber champion in the workplace initiative
  • Cloud computing and GDPR
  • How to utilise digital innovation in your designs
  • Government funding you can access to drive digital innovation
  • How Staffordshire University can support your business

For more information and to register visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cloud-computing-driving-digital-transformation-tickets-81316546981

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with the team to find out more, please send an email to employers@staffs.ac.uk or call 0800 169 2148

 

The University of Wolverhampton is launching a new research centre that will focus on the application of science to the products made by local companies.

The new Science in Industry Research Centre (SIRC) is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will offer support for small to medium sized businesses in the Black Country, The Marches, Greater Birmingham and Solihull and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

The Centre will support companies to develop new science-based products, by helping to create new concepts and refine existing ones in specialist areas like biotechnology, polymers and pharmaceutical developments. The Centre will review and provide guidance for Intellectual Property (IP) applications, offer IP grants and carry out scientific research, laboratory testing and new product design and prototyping.

Professor Andrew Pollard, SIRC Project Director, said: “The Science in Industry Research Centre (SIRC) is a new project based at the Wolverhampton Science Park and run by the University of Wolverhampton.

“We’re looking to work with businesses that specialise in a long list of sectors – Life Sciences, Translational Medicine, Future Food Processing, Agri-food/drink, Agri-tech, Advanced engineering and Advanced manufacturing to help them achieve exciting and profitable new business opportunities.”

The new Centre will be launched on Friday 29th November 2019 at 9.00 am until 12.00 pm at the Wolverhampton Science Park. Places can be booked here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/science-in-industry-research-centre-sirc-launch-event-tickets-80219786541?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Anyone interested in applying should contact the SIRC Project Office on 01902 321826 or email: SIRC@wlv.ac.uk.

The former Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme will continue supporting local charities in her new role on Realise charity’s board.

Councillor Gill Heesom, who raised £18,500 for her chosen charities during her year in office, has joined the board of Realise charity following its 10th anniversary re-launch last summer. Gill will support the Staffordshire-based regeneration charity as it refocuses on new priorities and aims to increase the impact it has in the community.

Gill has nine years’ experience as a councillor, as well as 34 years working for the Territorial Army, during which she completed a six-month tour of Iraq as an army welfare officer. She stepped down as Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme earlier this year.

Gill said: “I was very pleased to be approached to be approached to join the board as I am most impressed with the Realise aspirations, actions and the commitment of the volunteers.

“The majority of my working and volunteer life has been within the local community and I’m glad to be able to continue.”

Will Nixon, Trustee of the Realise charity comments, “Gill has already contributed a tremendous amount to our communities in her role as councillor and mayor, and I’m delighted she’s joining Realise as we embark in a new direction with the charity.”

Cllr Gill Heesom’s new role at Realise charity follows the appointments earlier this year of Philippa Holland as Chair, Tina Holdcroft as Patron, and new Board Member Wendy Dean.

Realise is the charitable arm of we are aspire, which also comprises Aspire Housing and PM Training. Over the last ten years Realise has invested over £2 million across Staffordshire and supported over 10,000 people to overcome barriers to health, education and employment.

Based in Staffordshire, Strategy 365 is a professional services software consultancy business with Microsoft Silver Partner status, specialising in Microsoft Dynamics 365, The Power Platform, and associated technologies. The business’s core services include full project implementation, integration, data management, mobile apps, licensing and support services.

Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s intelligent software platform, allowing businesses of any size and industry to bring about digital transformation to help manage sales, customer service, finance, and any other business processes. The platform includes full applications, mobile apps, automation, data analytics and artificial intelligence, all built on Microsoft’s cloud technology.

The primary role of the Dynamics 365 Analyst Apprentice will be assisting the support desk team with a variety of support case work from simple break/fix issues to system enhancements. You will also be supporting the consultants in delivering project work with a range of customers of differing size and complexity, at various stages in the lifecycle of their Dynamics 365 journey, from initial analysis, through delivery and support. You will learn how Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement can transform businesses and gain a good grounding in associated technologies such as Office 365, PowerApps and Flow. Not only will you work towards a Level 4 IS Business Analyst apprenticeship, you will also have the opportunity to become Microsoft Dynamics 365 certified.

The official training will be delivered in one-week block releases every six weeks at an off-site location (still to be determined). Travel to this location will be required, with costs covered by Strategy 365. Additional support and training will also be provided in-role as part of the apprenticeship.

To apply for this vacancy, call us on 01782 916920 or email careers@strategy365.co.uk with a copy of your current CV.