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Simon Jordan's blog - June 2015

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Bank Notes

Between 19 May and 19 July 2015, the public has been given the opportunity to nominate who they would like to appear on the next £20 note. The only stipulation is that the person being nominated must celebrate Britain’s achievements in the visual arts.

Some of the nominations have been surprising and some, inspired. From classic masters of the arts such as Charles Rennie MacIntosh and J.M.W Turner to the illustrators who brought childhood stories to life like Beatrix Potter and Edward Lear; contemporary film-makers such as Stanley Kubrick, gothic artists like Mervyn Peake and Northern heroes like L.S. Lowry, it seems the UK has taken a real interest in making sure their favourite artist gets this unique recognition. Personally, I'd love Dr. Zeuss to be on the note, he's one of my favourite philosophical thinkers and his quotes are great motivational tools! (Take a look at the full “short”list here.) The response to this intuitive bit of crowd-sourcing has been phenomenal, and it’s got me thinking.  There is so much we could do to improve the working lives of our staff and the work they produce if we reach out to them and ask for their valuable input. Adam-Smith-on-a--20-note-007

Scottish political philosopher Adam Smith's portrait will be replaced in Autumn 2015.

The Bank of England haven't invested lot of time or expense on this project – they were looking to change the image on the £20 note anyway. What they have managed to achieve though, through this ingenious bit of market research, is ensure that their product is desired by an audience who feel they were instrumental in its creation and production. It might be that £20 notes are a necessary product and cannot really be classed in the same way as commodities. It is true, though, that when customers are able to lend their opinions to companies in similar ways, their affability with the brand skyrockets. This buy-in also promotes brand loyalty increases, as does their likelihood of purchasing, recommending and using the items in question. So why not use this valuable marketing knowledge to improve working relations with your employees? It only takes one well-chosen question, idea or suggestion to get that feeling of individual importance and working-togetherness going. Give it a go. You might be surprised at the results.

3 million more Apprenticeships by 2020

The Conservative Party have been quick to increase their support for Apprenticeships after their election in May. Helping to deliver 2.2 million new Apprenticeships as part of the coalition, the party are now looking to deliver 3 million more by 2020. Five years to provide and fill 3 million more Apprenticeships. Is that as big an undertaking as it sounds? We know already that Apprenticeships have led to business in East Lancashire benefitting from a wealth of fresh new skills and talent, and that staff morale, retention and progression (which also translates as overall loyalty) increases when Apprentices are introduced into the workforce. With the Construction skills gap looming ever closer thanks to a sharp increase in demand for housing in the UK there’s an immediate need for training in this sector, but across the board business are looking to improve productivity to ensure a stable level of economic growth in the future. Despite this leap forward in our attitudes towards Apprenticeships, the UK is still leagues behind countries like Germany and Australia who see young people taking up Apprenticeships almost as eagerly as they are applying for University. In a country where graduates are leaving University with an average of £44,000 of debt hanging over them, the need to promote progression and alternative routes into meaningful, skilled careers has never been more prescient. Over the next five years, we must ensure that not only is this ambitious target met, but that it is met with the same high-standards of Apprenticeships that we’ve come to provide for the workforce of tomorrow. A fantastic longread on this subject comes from the Association of Colleges. If you’re in any way interested about the future of our economy or the effect Apprenticeships will have on our businesses as soon as 2020, make sure you sit down with a coffee and have a read.

A month of celebrations

June has already been a positive one for Themis and for East Lancashire, with a host of awards ceremonies about to take place and the Burnley Business Awards about to begin on Monday 29th June. These awards are always the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the true entrepreneurial spirit and world-beating workforces we have here in Burnley and I’m always proud to be involved with them in any way I can.

Burnley Business Awards

The Burnley.co.uk Burnley Business Awards were the first awards to be presented this month, with employers and employees nominated from across Pendle. The event took place on Thursday 11 June, and celebrated the wealth of talent and ingenuity right here on our doorstep. I’m also pleased to be helping to support the growth of Apprenticeships in Burnley in such a positive way, as the Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year 2015 award is sponsored by Themis. Finalists The VEKA UK Group, Speakmans Contractors, Hycrome Europe Ltd, Futaba-Tenneco UK LTD and Aircelle: I and the whole Themis team were exceptionally proud to see your names listed as the best in the area.

LBV Young ‘Uns

The next glitzy awards ceremony the took place this month was the Lancashire Business View Young ‘Uns Awards 2015. On Friday 12 June, representatives from organisations and businesses from across East Lancashire were brought together at the Blackpool Winter Gardens to find out who would be presented with this year’s prestigious awards. With awards in 12 categories spanning the breadth of industry in East Lancashire, the winners always reflect what’s great about business in our corner of the country.

#themisawards 2015

It seems only fair that I now shamelessly plug our own exciting awards ceremony as we are now accepting nominations for the Themis Inspire and Achieve Awards 2015. Recognising our Apprentices and Employers is a huge part of what we do here at Themis and our awards are known thoughout the land (okay, Pendle) for being one of the most positive and uplifting nights in the Burnley business calendar. This year, we’ve accepted nominations for the following categories: Apprentice Award Categories Apprentice of the Year Award Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award Trainee of the Year Award Apprenticeship Ambassador Award Employer Award Categories Skills and Development Award Apprenticeship Development Award Employer and Learner Category Inspiration Award For more information, visit our #themisawards page: http://www.themis.ac.uk/awards/
Source Url: http://www.themis.ac.uk/simon-jordans-blog-june-2015/
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