Thursday 18th January 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 13/12/2017

Region's optimistic employers remain keen to recruit

Employers in the East of England are more optimistic than elsewhere in the country and have recorded an outlook of +8%, against a national average of +4%, according to recruitment firm ManpowerGroup. Simon Edwards, operations director for Manpower UK, said: “….there is…a huge amount of competition between employers to find and retain the best candidates. With the uncertainty around Brexit negotiations continuing, a number of employers are already reporting that EU workers have chosen not to reside in the UK any longer. As employment demand continues among employers, such as Lidl which is opening a new distribution centre in Peterborough, the competition for the best workers will only intensify.” Nationally, Brexit fears have boosted the transport sector by 10 points, to +12%, as employers “stockpile” permanent employees to avoid the pressure of an exodus on an ageing workforce.

However the national outlook hasn’t dipped below +5% since the final quarter of 2012, reflecting a fall in confidence nationwide and flat hiring in London. James Hick, managing director for ManpowerGroup Solutions, said: "This makes for a pretty bleak midwinter considering it comes at a time when Brexit talks are on a knife-edge. It will no doubt prompt fears that our high-flying jobs market might be cooling off.”

Cambridge and Luton set to shine as region’s economy grows

The East of England economy will expand at a faster rate than previously expected over the next three years although fractionally below the national average, according to forecasts from EY. Luton and Cambridge are expected to outpace the region’s growth with gva per year of 2.3% and 2.0% respectively with over half of Cambridge’s growth in the next three years is set to come from ICT and professional services.. The forecasts predict that the East will average 1.7% gross value added (gva) per year until 2020, up from the 1.4% previously expected, and equal to the South West and East Midlands. But growth in the East will be slightly below the South East (2%) and West Midlands (1.8%) as well as the UK average of 1.8%. Total employment in the East of England is expected to increase by 0.4% per year until 2020 – in line with the UK average. Nick Gomer, managing partner at EY in the East, said: “The East of England is forecast to grow at a faster rate than the majority of UK regions, with only London, the South East and Midlands’ economies growing ahead. Previous forecasts have set the region’s growth at 1.4% so it’s positive to see the East of England exceeding this – up to 1.7% per year until 2020. The performance of Luton and Cambridge illustrates the importance of sectors in determining growth prospects and the economic performance of UK cities.” Read more….

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Low cost transatlantic flights keep hopes high for the new year at Stansted

London Stansted Airport handled a record 1.8 million passengers in November, up almost fiver 5 per cent up on the month last year and the airport has high hopes for 2018 partly due to new low-csot transatlantic flights. The total number of passengers in the year to November rose 7 per cent to over 25.9 million. November also saw a significant increase in cargo tonnage, up 12.5 per cent to almost 26,000 tonnes. Last month industry minister Claire Perry attended the start of construction on the £11m Stansted Airport college. London Stansted commercial director, Martin Jones, said: “Thanks to the continued increase in passenger numbers and new route announcements including new low-cost transatlantic flights from Primera Air and WOW Air from 2018, we anticipate this growth will continue into the new year and beyond.”

NHS medtech innovation company launched

Health Enterprise East (HEE) has launched a development company backed by £9 million of investment capital from NVM Private Equity and a private US investor to boost the financial and technical support available to medical technology innovators in the NHS. The new business, Medovate, says it will be the first company dedicated to the development and commercialisation of innovative medical technologies from the NHS which will commercially benefit the NHS. By providing funding at a key point, it will aim to ensure that medtech innovations with high potential identified in the NHS are supported through the clinical trial and regulatory approval phases and are ready for market as quickly as possible. Medovate’s projects pipeline will initially have an intensive care, anaesthesia or surgical focus. Dr Anne Blackwood, CEO of HEE, said: “Medovate is truly a market first. No other company exists that supports NHS innovation at the same time as delivering direct commercial benefits to the NHS. It is fitting that such an innovative business structure should itself act as the incubator and launchpad of ground-breaking medical technologies."

Port of Felixstowe passes rail milestone

The Port of Felixstowe has become the first port in the UK to handle over 1 million TEU (twenty foot containers) by rail in a single year after the one millionth unit was loaded today onto the 13:34 Freightliner service to Birmingham. Clemence Cheng, executive director, Hutchison Ports and CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “This new milestone for the port reflects the dedication of our workforce and the excellent relationships we have developed with all the rail freight operators at the port. Rail is an increasingly important differentiator for shipping lines as well as importers and exporters and we are able to offer them a greater number of rail services to more destinations, more often, than any other port." There are a total of 66 freight train movements at the Port of Felixstowe making it the UK’s busiest intermodal rail freight terminal.

Marina launches apprenticeship scheme

Suffolk Yacht Harbour, based at Levington, near Ipswich has launched a new apprenticeship scheme in its 50th anniversary year. James Noble, 19 from Hadleigh, and Albie Algar, 18 from Newborne (photo) have joined the marina’s boat building team on a four year apprenticeship, combining traditional training with hands-on work in the boatyard. The apprenticeship scheme, which began in September, will include formal training supported by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and Paragon Training. Jonathan Dyke, managing director of Suffolk Yacht Harbour, said: “It is an exciting time to be training an apprentice as the demand for boat maintenance and repairs has grown considerably in recent years. With many boats out of the water for the winter season, James and Albie have a busy few months ahead but I am certain they will get stuck in and enjoy the challenge.”

Recruitment firm opens in Colchester

Cooper Lomaz Recruitment is opening a new office in Colchester in March where four new staff will recruit across the engineering and manufacturing sectors in Essex. The firm has existing offices in Norwich and Bury where it also recruits in finance, food, IT, sales & marketing and supply chain roles. Simon Brown, Cooper Lomaz managing director, said: “Opening the third office at this time in a new location is an important step to helping to grow our brand presence in the Essex area. I am pleased we will be hiring four new people in Essex into our business, a number which I am sure will grow further before the end of 2018.”

Sponsorship deal with Essex cricket agreed

Scrutton Bland has agreed a new three-year sponsorship deal with Essex Cricket, extending the existing three year relationship by becoming the first-ever sponsor of the Premier Suite at The Cloudfm County Ground. Jason Fayers, managing partner at Scrutton Bland said: “The Scrutton Bland Premier Suite is a fantastic space for corporate hospitality for members on match days, with a superb view of the pitch and perfect facilities for entertaining. As a corporate sponsor, we are able to show our ongoing commitment to cricket in Essex, whilst simultaneously promoting our brand in the region.”

Photo (l to r): Simon Pinion, partner, Scrutton Bland, Nick Browne, Player, Essex Cricket, Sam Cook, player, Essex Cricket; Tim O'Connor, partner, Scrutton Bland.

Law firm marks long service anniversaries

Prettys Solicitors has marked the long service of nine members of staff who have worked at the Ipswich-based law firm for 20 years or more. Three marking 30 years at the firm are senior partner Ian Waine, head of the corporate and commercial team and Peter Blake, partner and head of dispute resolution as well as Jane Hayward real estate secretary who all started at Prettys in 1987. Others with long standing service are partner and head of family and private client, Georgie Hall, partner and employment law specialist Matthew Cole. Matthew Reeve, facilities, (all with 27 years), Sandra Yellop, health and safety and personal injury secretary (26 years), Elaine King, family secretary (25 years) and Rachel Fortnum Adams, compliance manager (20 years) are all being recognised for their long service.  Ian Carr, CEO, said:"While many of the issues facing businesses have changed over the years, it is wonderful to see that the passion from our staff and their commitment to their clients remains as it was when they first joined.”

Photo (l-r):  Ian Waine, Rachel Fortnum-Adams, Jane Hayward, Ian Carr, Sandra Yellop, Elaine King, Georgina Hall, Matthew Cole, Peter Blake and Matthew Reeve.

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Cambs company supports science club at local school

Domino Printing Sciences has donated a selection of scientific equipment to use in the classroom at Bar Hill Community Primary School to enhance science lessons – and as the first step towards sponsoring a regular after-school science club. The scientific ‘stocking’ includes five Log Box Data Loggers to enable pupils to make links between science and technology and use electronic sensors to monitor the environment. The science club will be set up in 2018 to encourage children to engage in the subject and potentially decide to study it at a later stage. Domino employees will play an active part in the club, sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm. Christina Bird, senior analytical chemist and STEM ambassador at Domino, said: “Key Domino staff are currently working towards providing support and activities including events during the Spring and Summer terms as outlined in the school’s curriculum. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to lead this exciting collaboration between Domino and Bar Hill Community Primary”.

Photo: Children and teachers from Bar Hill Community Primary School receive scientific gifts from Domino.