Simon Jordan's Blog - March 2015

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This month, we welcome some fantastic news about growth across many sectors.

The country’s businesses reached a personal best at the start of the year, with more than 5.2 million home-grown, private sector businesses now in operation. That number has never been topped. It marks an exciting time for the UK and we hope it spells out a future of economic growth and a stronger position for the UK’s private sector. The construction industry has also been celebrating a rise in confidence after January’s figures for the tail end of 2014 saw the sector enjoying seven consecutive months of growth in output. Our fantastic new Construction and Future Technologies Centre has been developed to tackle the skills shortages within these growing sectors. Using brand new technologies and outstanding training staff, we were very pleased to open the centre to employers and Apprentices last month. Now there’s something to be optimistic about! To round off this rather upbeat introductory paragraph, there has also been some encouraging news from the manufacturing sector via the Manufacturing Barometer, showing that SMEs in England are posting increases in current and predicted sales despite rumblings of a slowdown. However, the skills gap remains a concern to small and medium sized enterprises, with 32% of manufacturing employers admitting in the Manufacturing Barometer survey they could not find candidates with the skills they need. Below is an infographic we’ve put together to show how Apprenticeships can help bridge those skills gaps in areas such as manufacturing and construction, as well as detailing some of what we can offer through our fantastic Centre of Engineering Excellence and our brand new Construction and Future Technologies Centre. Skills Infographic  

National Apprenticeship Week

March also has National Apprenticeship Week in store for us and we hope that from March 9 – March 13 2015 that our current employers and Apprentices will shed some light on how Apprenticeships are benefitting businesses and organisations in the UK every day.

My job swap at Mackintosh

As part of Apprenticeship week, I’ll be visiting Themis employers Mackintosh to job-swap with one of our Apprentices. I’ll be finding out what it’s like to work for a global heritage brand which remains based in Nelson as well as how to sew buttons to a high-fashion standard! I’ll be posting photos and updates about my day with Mackintosh on my Twitter account, so please feel free to share your own Apprenticeship experiences with me as I work. Themis recruitment manager Stephanie Coleman will also be taking part in an Apprenticeship Week job-swap with one of our Apprentices at New Call Telecom. New Call have created hundreds of jobs since re-locating their call centre from Mumbai and Stephanie will be finding out what it’s like to work as an Apprentice for one of the area’s most successful telecoms companies, as well as how New Call Telecom feel Apprentices have contributed to their business.

Centre of Engineering Excellence Networking Event

Simon Jordan's Blog We are hosting another of our popular engineering networking breakfast events on Friday 20 March, where visitors will also have the opportunity to network over breakfast and meet partner organisations like IMechE, the Manufacturing Advisory Service, Enterprise Lancashire / Orvia, Skills Support for the Workforce, East Lancs Chamber of Commerce, UCLAN Burnley and Burnley Borough Council. Visitors will also be able to tour our expansive new Centre of Engineering Excellence development within the Princess Way Burnley College campus. There are two start times for the breakfast event: 8:00am and 8:45am, with a full event schedule to follow on the Themis website. To book your free place, you can book online, contact the Themis team on 01282 733005 or email employer@themis.ac.uk.

 Gong Xi Fa Cai!

And if you don’t speak Mandarin, that’s “Happy Chinese New Year” to you! More than 1.5 billion people celebrated the start of the Year of The Goat last month and in celebration, we’ve been taking a look at some of the ways Chinese businesses conduct themselves and making notes. Some of these etiquettes should be more widespread! Handshakes: In China, handshakes aren’t a display of business aggression, so don’t be surprised if you are at the receiving end of an easy handshake. If things go well, you may be on the receiving end of a prolonged handshake: anything goes. In China, rather than shaking hard, the ‘competition’ is “who lets go first?” Business Cards: In China, it’s customary to use both hands when giving and receiving anything of value, including gifts and particularly business cards. Your Name: Get your meeting with Chinese business associates off to a flying start by translating your name into its Mandarin or Cantonese  counterpart (depending on the language they speak). This is seen as very respectful, however don’t just use Google translate or you could end up with some embarrassing lost-in-translation moments… Here’s a great tool to find your own Chinese name:  www.mandarintools.com/chinesename.html

And finally, some congratulations are in order!

To round off this positive post, I’d like to say a huge well done on behalf of the entire Themis team to Arthur Padgett, who won Micro Business of the Year at the National Apprenticeships 4 England Awards on Tuesday 3 March. Themis also won a silver award for Apprenticeships 4 England, so it’s fair to say a good night was had by all! Congratulations to all the winners on the night, it was a pleasure to meet and network with so many employers and training providers. We’re very much looking forward to attending the Lancashire Business View Red Rose Awards on March 12th. Last year they were so much fun and are always a great chance for businesses and organisations from across Lancashire to get together and celebrate in each other’s’ successes. We can’t wait. (Themis is also a finalist for Skills Provider of the Year – cross your fingers us!)


I had a fantastic time at Mackintosh learning about the roles our Apprentices cover. I was able to have a go at sewing some buttons myself - not sure if they will be used on the finished coat they were sending to Prada next week though! Watch the video below of me at Mackintosh talking about National Apprenticeship Week.
Source Url: http://www.themis.ac.uk/simon-jordans-blog-march-2015/
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