As a follow on from last weeks World Book Day here ae some thoughts from our Business Manager – Elouise Smith
I walked into Waterstones the other day, and the place was vibrant with life. Not a speck of dust on a cobweb covered shelf housing a couple of unloved books to be found. There was a queue at the tills, the coffee shop was busy, the slide (!?) for the little ones was in full use and just the smell made me feel intelligent – offering the potential to walk out with a purchase of great meaning or self-development in my hands like a shield as I ventured back into the real world.
So how apt that we have a World Book Day, were we celebrate all things book! Something that has been happening annually now for the last 20 years suggesting, no, confirming that actual books and reading are most certainly not going out of fashion.
Within those 20 years the fear that the book shops days were numbered was very real. As technology continued to progress and ‘digital’ was becoming a part of our everyday lives to a point that we could never have imagined, the ‘tools’ and media that we could access became infinite and universal. I remember my mother telling me that I had to learn maths because I couldn’t carry a calculator with me everywhere I went…sorry ma! (although she was correct, you always need your basic mathematical skills kids!!) So as our phones moved off the wall and into our pockets and mainly because the internet became portable changing how we access music, videos, and of course books so too did the consumer’s choice.
What happened? In very general terms: Continue reading
Our Apprenticeship Expert Elouise Smith discusses the new apprentice levy during National Apprentice week
Here we are again, apprenticeships are the buzzword from the 6th – 10th of March, and, it’s the 10th anniversary for National Apprenticeship Week! 10 years, that’s a big anniversary that just happens to coincide with another one that is about to become a buzzword around apprenticeships – levy.
Here are the facts; almost 2 years ago it was announced in the summer budget that the government would introduce an apprenticeship levy, so this isn’t a surprise, but come 6th April do we really know what’s actually happening?
Apprenticeships are the employers’ duty, or at least the government thinks so. Control of apprenticeship funding is being handed to the employers and, rightly or wrongly, whether you agree or not, any companies with a payroll of £3million plus will have to pay this. In real terms this means that only 2% of UK businesses will be financially affected. However, each business that qualifies to pay the levy will be given an ‘allowance’ of £15000 towards the 0.5% fee. This should help soften the blow of additional administration etc.
Is the government therefore cost saving and forcing the hand of employers to take apprentices?
Does a big payroll mean big profit?
Will these companies find a way to push the cost down onto their clients?
Employment Agencies are a good example, the ones that are big enough to be paying the levy, of course won’t be paying it, because I would expect that the cost will be passed onto their clients, who could potentially be hiring agency staff, so it could be that many more businesses will be paying this levy than the gov.uk website would have you believe.
Is this negative association really the right message for apprenticeships and the positives that they bring? As it appears that in one way or another most businesses are paying this levy, it will be interesting to see what Apprenticeship week brings, and how the positives are publicised amongst this potential cloud hanging over it all.
Fundamentally this is about people and work. It’s about encouraging, empowering even, employers to take untrained people into their businesses and train them up, as we find nowadays that the education route perhaps isn’t always relevant, achieved or successful in leading to the goal of a job. Continue reading
I’m having to write this earlier than usual because I’m off to the Chamber Enterprising Women Awards dinner tonight at Colwick Hall in Nottingham. I’ll let you know who wins next week!
This week we’ve launched a couple of digital campaigns for clients to coincide with the new month & we celebrated World Book Day by posting favourite books from our friends, clients & suppliers. I now have a list to order that I don’t think my postman will appreciate!! (If you want to check out the suggestions just look at the posts on here from yesterday.)
We also had a couple of conversations with suppliers we will be welcoming into the fold later this month to broaden and strengthen our services. Exciting times. And we spent a fabulous (if wet ) day in Ashbourne as the guests of Flint Bishop & Smith Cooper watching the Shrovetide football match. A great day out in a busy week.
But now a glass of something special & a very posh frock are calling – have a great weekend!
We’d like to take this chance to say a huge thank you to all our contributors today.
If you would like to answer any (or all) of the following questions then please let us know on WBD@businessignitiongroup.co.uk and we’ll post your answers very soon
What is your favourite business book?
What was the last business book you read?
Is there a book you want to make time to read this year?
What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you?
Annmarie Hanlon is Programme Leader BSc (hons) Marketing (Digital)
What is your favourite business book? Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky An older book, but memorable as it explained the notion of crowd power
What was the last business book you read? Cognitive (Internet of) Things: collaboration to optimize action by Arvind Sathi it looks at the connected world and how the internet of things will influence our future. From artificial intelligenece to driverless cars
Is there a book you want to make time to read this year? The analytical marketer, how to transform your marketing organisation by Adele Sweetwood.
What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you? So many to choose from! Wild swans by Jung Chang. I selected at random at the airport and read on a flight back from Hong Kong and despite jet lag had to stay aake and finish the cultural journey through different generations living in China.
Rachel Hayward is Managing Director of Ask the Chameleon Ltd.
What is your favourite business book? Starting your own business, the good, the bad and the unexpected by David Lester
What was the last business book you read? Single Minded by Claude Littner
Is there a book you want to make time to read this year? Game of thrones – whole series (again, got half way through and got confused) and The Winning Bid by Emma Jacques
What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you? Mort or Shepherds Crown by Terry Pratchett
Nick Tooley is the Derby Connector for Business in the Community
What is your favourite business book?Transforming HR: creating value through people by Mark Withers
What was the last business book you read? see above
Is there a book you want to make time to read this year? afraid not
What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you? Lord of the Rings, it may be a cliche book but it has enthralled me for over 40 years
Andrew Edmondson is the Managing Director of Purely Digital Ltd
What is your favourite business book? 21 great ways to manage your time, double your productivity by Bria Tracy – available as an audio download so great to listen to when driving in unproductive time
What was the last business book you read? I listen to snippets of audio books when in car
Is there a book you want to make time to read this year? no, unless there is a book to get me time to read a book
What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you? I could never sit still to read a book if it’s hot so pointless taking one
Dawn Spendlove is the Managing Director of Love Marketing
What is your favourite business book? Zero to One by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters , this is also the last one I read
Is there a book you want to make time to read this year? Shoe Dog: a memoir by the creator of Nike by Phil Knight
What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you? Lord of the rings: complete set
Richard Medley is a consultant with Asset House
What is your favourite business book? Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki
What was the last business book you read? The Great Tax Robbery by Richard Brookes
Is there a book you want to make time to read this year? Winners by Alistair Campbell
What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you? Boris Johnson’s autobiography, if there is one