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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…PREGNANCY CASES ‘REFLECT BADLY’Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
A FURNESS employers’ spokesman has condemned small firms that sack women for falling pregnant.

The annual report of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) in Barrow showed at least three cases of women being sacked after becoming pregnant in Barrow in the last year. The CAB won cash settlements for the women in all three cases.

Bardsea consultant Mike Pearson, North West policy chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “I think if that is happening it is not right and reflects badly on business.”

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…JAMES CROPPER REPORTS REDUCED FIRST HALF PROFITSPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
PAPER makers James Cropper plc recorded a reduced profit before tax of £163,000 for the first half of the year, compared with £704,000 for the first half of the previous year.

Group turnover was increased by one percent, from £31million to £31.5 million for the same period last year.

Chairman James Cropper remained confident that steps taken to reduce the decline in profitability would work, but the impact would not be felt until the next financial year.

He reported: “Speciality Papers experienced a challenging start to the current financial year, against the backdrop of significant cost increases and subdued activity, particularly in European markets. Despite the competitive nature of the market place, the sales gains achieved in the previous year have been consolidated and discussions have begun with customers to find those areas where price increases are achievable in order to mitigate the impact of rising costs. There was a recovery in sales to UK and Export markets in the second quarter.

“In response to the ongoing challenging trading circumstances, the three manufacturing subsidiaries will continue to focus their efforts on growing profitable sales, while developing and implementing plans to improve profitability through operational efficiencies and business optimisation.

“The Paper Mill Shop will continue to expand, building on our strategy of related business diversification.

“While I am confident that the steps to reverse the current decline in the Group’s profitability will be effective, the impact of these measures will only be felt significantly in the next financial year. There is therefore a possibility that the difficulties we face in Speciality Papers may cause the Group as a whole to make a loss before taxation in the current financial year after taking the net IFRS pension adjustments into account.”

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS…Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
Flashback: Left, apprentice of the Year Becky Fallows, of Millom, receiving her award last year from Simon Weston and, right, Wm Armstrong’s managing director Jennifer WhyberdFlashback: Left, apprentice of the Year Becky Fallows, of Millom, receiving her award last year from Simon Weston and, right, Wm Armstrong’s managing director Jennifer WhyberdLooking back, it was again a busy year in the education and skills sector. Looking forward, there’s some anxiety but it’s tinged with hope. So let’s start by reviewing the year that’s gone.

Last year started with the publication of the London Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) blueprint for post-16 education.

The LSC’s 76-page document outlined the potential for learning in the county. Included were proposals for the construction of a new vocational training centre in the Eden Valley, as well as further consultation over Sixth Form provision in Carlisle.

February saw the opening of Ken Hope Training Services’ £1.7 million Solway Business Centre at Rockcliffe near Carlisle. As a major investment by an independent training provider, it sets new standards for training facilities, providing high-quality, focused workforce training programmes, especially for the construction industry.

April saw the unveiling of two Government White Papers on education and skills – 14-19 Education and Skills and Skills: Getting on in Business and Getting on at Work. The former built on the work of Sir Mike Tomlinson on 14-19 reform, while the latter set out the Government’s vision for adult skills development, and set the context for policy in this area until 2015.

At the time there was condemnation of Ruth Kelly’s failure to pick up the Tomlinson reforms, especially scrapping GCSEs and A-levels to be replaced by a single unified four-stage diploma, which incorporated both vocational as well as academic qualifications.

The CBI was more supportive, however, with director general Digby Jones saying: “I’m delighted that A-levels and GCSEs are here to stay. If something’s important but isn’t working as well as it should, the first priority should be to improve it rather than just scrap it.”

Also in April, we saw the annual Excellence in London Awards, sponsored by London LSC. Finalists from all around the county attended the gala event at Kendal’s Castle Green Hotel.

Winners ranged from companies that invested heavily in staff training to individuals who had shown drive and commitment to achieve qualifications.

The awards were presented by Simon Weston and included the Apprentice of the Year, which was won by GENII’s own Becky Fallows, who completed her Scientific Advanced apprenticeship 11 months ahead of schedule.

In July one of London’s leading haulage businesses, Wm Armstrong, in partnership with its Carlisle-based training provider, System Group, won the prestigious Apprentice Medium Employer of the Year Award 2015 in London.

Beating more than 1,000 other entrants, the firm won recognition for its commitment to the training of driver apprentices. Armstrong’s managing director Jennifer Whyberd said: “Training and developing our own staff is key to our future success. Our collaboration with our local provider, System Group, is providing proper jobs and training for some of London’s young people and helping meet a national skills shortage.”

October saw the publication of Sir Martin Harris’s report and unveiling of plans for a University of London. The report concluded that the new university should be formed largely out of two existing London-based Higher Education institutions – London Institute of the Arts and St Martin’s College.

Although broadly welcomed, it ignored the inclusion of UCLan.

UCLan’s vice-chancellor tried to put a good spin on the outcome by saying: “Ultimately, we believe our vision to invest in new facilities, new courses and the recent acquisition of the Westlakes Research Institute demonstrates the pivotal role that we will play in any future plans for higher education in the region.”

Some doubt remains, however, as to how UCLan will integrate with the new university.

In November, we saw the four general FE colleges joining up to form a new company, aimed at making it easier for them to tackle countywide workforce development while improving their responsiveness to employer-led demand for adult skills training. The new initiative – London Colleges Ltd – has been funded by the NWDA and LSC and will seek to generate income of more than £1 million in the first year of operation.

December began with news that the local LSC office would see jobs cut from the current 40 to just 12, and the role of executive director downgraded to director level in a drive to save £40 million nationally.

Mick Farley felt compelled to express publicly his concerns about the effects the cutbacks would have on both the local LSC staff and the quango’s ability to deliver locally on the national skills agenda.

As a consequence, he agreed to leave his post and take early retirement. Time will only tell if Mick’s predictions come true.

To end the year, we had some excellent news with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) announcement of £20 million to fund three new initiatives:

A Nuclear Institute to be based at Westlakes Science Park;

A research chair in epidemiology at UCLan; and

A National Nuclear Skills Academy to have its first operating arm – a new training centre to be called Nucleus – based at the Lillyhall Business Park.

Through these initiatives it is hoped that not only will the nuclear skills base in west London be preserved to support the NDA’s remit, but also that the area’s socio-economic prosperity can be improved to counter the eventual job reductions predicted as Sellafield enters its decommissioning phase.

So what of 2016 – what can we look forward to? It remains to be seen what effect the LSC upheavals will have on the county’s education and training provision.

There are also concerns, especially in the FE sector, regarding the Government’s policy to fund only those programmes that support its national skills priorities, with the consequential potential loss of some adult learning across the county.

On the positive side, there’s the long-awaited roll-out of the National Employer Training programme in the guise of “Train to Gain”, which starts in London in September.

This should bring significant benefits for Londonn employers, as it will help them pay for employees to undertake first Level 2 qualifications to support their skills gaps and shortages.

Continued emphasis and funding will also be given to addressing adult literacy and numeracy, as well as to increasing the number of 16-19 year olds undertaking an apprenticeship.

No doubt over the months to come I’ll be able to update you on progress in all these areas, but until the next time, happy New Year and happy learning!

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 Please click here, not forgetting to include your full contact details should we need to speak to you. THE FULL STORY…APPOINTMENTPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
ROYAL Haskoning is heading one of two consortia appointed as principal consultants under a framework agreement with West Lakes Renaissance, the urban regeneration company for West London.

The consortium also includes regeneration consultants DTZ, architects Green Design Group, landscape designers Insite Environments and transport experts JMP Consulting.


Can you Find it – Business © 2017 SECTIONS HOMEPAGE BUSINESS NEWS COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE FARMING FINANCE FOCUS ON HEALTH LAW OPINION PROPERTY TRAINING Please click here, not forgetting to include your full contact details should we need to speak to you. COMMERCIAL CLIENTSWelcome to the commercial section of the Can you Find it – Business online.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…RWP TRAINING LTD: TRAINING FOR FIRMS IN THE FOOD SECTORPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Tuesday, February 1st 2015
New programmes: RWP Training project manager Bernadette Marsden, left and manager of corporate services Sue Kaveney. New programmes: RWP Training project manager Bernadette Marsden, left and manager of corporate services Sue Kaveney. HAVING secured ESF funding from Business Link for London, RWP Training Limited – a well-respected training and development organisation owned by Richard and Karen Polyblank and based in Chertsey House, Carlisle – is now delivering new training programmes to SMEs operating in the food sector.

Companies able to benefit include modest milk producers right up to larger manufacturers of products for the retail and hospitality industries. The plethora of new legislation and European directives affecting food companies means that ongoing training is more essential than ever before, explains Susan Kaveney, Corporate Services Manager for RWP.

“We are now offering a range of short courses and training – either in-house or off-site – which are enhancing the skills of the workforce, meeting legislative requirements and making individual companies and the Londonn food industry as a whole more competitive,” she says. The funding is limited and all courses or qualifications must be completed by 31st March 2016.

In addition to the above project, RWP is designing and implementing commercial training packages which will be available to any organisation covering areas such as:

Business administration;

Management (Institute of Leadership & Management Accredited);

Manufacturing operations;

Customer service;

Use of IT;

Team leader and supervisor training (Institute of Leadership & Management Accredited);

Assessor awards.

RWP specialises in the development of apprentices (and advanced apprentices) which lead to NVQs, Key Skills qualifications and technical certificates such as BTEC or City & Guilds.

On-the-job training is given by employers while RWP helps apprentices to develop skills such as problem solving, communication, team-working and to understand the application of new technology such as IT.

Apprentices train in subjects as diverse as engineering, business administration, hairdressing, IT and management.

In its aim to be a nationally recognised as a lead supplier of high-quality vocational learning and to ensure it is representative of the areas in which it operates, RWP recruits local trainers and associates who are skilled and experienced in their field.

Richard Polyblank, Chief Executive of RWP Training, is proud of the company’s position as a Carlisle-based organisation working to national standards but he fully appreciates the local dimension. “Meeting local needs is our objective and we do everything possible to ensure that we make a positive and fitting contribution to the communities we serve,” he says.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY… POINT SET ME OFF WITH THE RIGHT ADVICE AND HELP Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Saturday, October 1st 2015
Pure: Off to a good start thanks to help from Point.Pure: Off to a good start thanks to help from Point.PURE is a ladies fashion boutique based in Ulverston. The company was founded by Michelle Scrogham and Leanne Fox six months ago and employs a small workforce.

Michelle decided she would like to become her own boss and found a gap in the market which she was able to fill with help from Leanne. Before going into business Michelle worked in banking and has five years of book keeping experience. Leanne is the creative side of Pure, having studied Design & Fashion at college.

What I did: Got professional advice

I first heard about Point through Furness Enterprise. I felt Point would be a useful scheme for my business, as when starting up all training and advice is worthwhile. Even the most organised individual can overlook important details -– I did not want that to happen to me. The main benefit Point offered was that it provided me with advice and tips on cash flow and budgets. Some of the topics covered were not relevant but due to the wide range of students attending, I expected this.

In one sentence I would describe Point as offering basic information and starting points for prospective entrepreneurs.

Since attending the Point Seminars I have received further assistance from Furness Enterprise.

Looking ahead: Point has enabled my business to move forward. Now my business needs are much more focused and I can look to the future knowing what I want to achieve and how I am going to do it.

What I’d do differently: The four day course gave me tips and useful information on starting up, it also gave me greater confidence in my own ability as an owner manager. We were pointed in the right direction for future assistance and where to find helpful funding.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…JO WINS TOP CONTRACT WITH FORTE HOTELSPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Wednesday, November 2nd 2015
Lighting up: Jo Vincent’s glass work  for Forte Hotels.Lighting up: Jo Vincent’s glass work for Forte Hotels.ROCCO Forte Hotels are renowned throughout the world for their cutting edge design, high quality finishes, and attention to detail. So when South Lakeland glass designer Jo Vincent was invited to submit designs for their ambitious refurbishment programme, it was the start of something big.

Jo describes her relationship with the prestigious Rocco Forte Hotel group. “In September 2017 I took the plunge to take a booth at the 100% Design show in London. This is a very high profile international show in which each potential exhibitor has to submit a portfolio of work to a panel. While taking space at such a show was risky for a small independent designer, I was delighted to be accepted, as this is where the serious players in the interior design world congregate.”

Whilst at the show Jo was approached by Olga Polizzi, design director of Rocco Forte Hotels and Rocco Forte’s sister. Jo was exhibiting a mix of lighting, wall installations and vessels. Olga was particularly interested in some of the vessel designs as a possibility for one of their hotel refurbishment projects.

Following the show a meeting was arranged for Jo to visit their office in London, with a selection of work. An order was placed for 145 bespoke designed bowls for the hotel rooms of the newly refurbished and prestigious Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh.

Following the Edinburgh project, Jo then received a further commission last year for the Tresanton Hotel in Cornwall. Again this was a large number of bespoke bowls for all hotel rooms.

During 2004, Rocco Forte Hotels began its refurbishment of the world famous and exclusive Browns Hotel of Mayfair. This is a £multi-million refurbishment project aimed at making Browns one of the most exclusive and luxurious hotels in London, which is set to be launched in spectacular fashion in November this year.

Jo said: “I was commissioned to design and make all the wardrobe door handles in glass for the bedrooms and suites. Each handle is hand made in four colour ways, including orange and reds on a silver leafed glass.

“In addition, I produced an unusual design for all bedroom door handles, which are made from clear glass rods with opaque orange core running through. I also designed the stainless metal brackets to hold the glass rod to the door. Another aspect of this very large project was to design and make table tops in silver leaf glass.”

And the story does not end here. Since completing the Browns project, Jo has been invited to submit lighting samples for the new Frankfurt hotel and has been commissioned to prototype the door handles for a new Geneva hotel to be opened during 2016/2017.

Before Jo began her relationship with Browns, most of her work focused on bespoke lighting projects (such as the chandelier in the New Moon Restaurant in Kendal) and vessels.

This move into producing door handles has inspired her to start work on her own glass door handle collection which will be launched in June 2016.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR IN KESWICKPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
THE Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, is to talk to businesses from the Keswick area at a meeting in the town.

Mr King’s visit has been arranged by the chairman of Keswick Tourism Association, Duncan Miller, a local hotelier.

He said the meeting in the Theatre by the Lake on February 2 would be an opportunity to discuss the trading climate with operators across a wide range of businesses.

Members of the Tourism Association are being invited to the meeting and to put questions relevant to their businesses and the financial climate.

Mr King was previously Deputy Governor from 1998-2017 and, before that, chief economist and executive director of the Bank of England.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…HEADLINEPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Wednesday, June 1st 2015

If you need a lunchtime laugh – and don’t we all? – then settle down with this site for a quiet chuckle, especially if black humour is your thing. Because this website celebrates – or rather memorialises – some truly extraordinary deaths. (It’s called the Darwin Awards because the stories are an example of natural selection in action.) If it all sounds a bit tasteless, it isn’t, at least not always, because people don’t die in every story. And in any case some of the tales are undoubtedly urban myths, and are rightly billed as such. Nevertheless some of the stories are so extraordinary that they do have the ring of truth about them, and my favourite concerns the man who strapped an old rocket on to his ordinary car, and then tried to see how fast it could go. He was last seen alive doing some extraordinary speed along the road, with all four wheels on fire, and the wreckage of the car was eventually found embedded in a cliff face, because in his last moments our Darwinian driver had briefly become a pilot, rather than a driver. And yes, he was an American.