December 2019 / January 2020 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.
This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.
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NEWS Workforce diversity attracts purple pounds A new support service aims to help businesses tap into £249 billion a year of spending power, which many are ignoring. That’s the value of annual purchases by disabled people and their families, which they are more likely to spend with businesses who employ a more diverse workforce. The aim of the Be Ready Employer Hub is to support Devon-based businesses, charities and social enterprises who can provide meaningful employment opportunities for people with a disability or longterm health condition. It is a two-year pilot project jointly funded by Devon County Council (Learn Devon) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The aim is to create a central hub of specialist knowledge and information, supported by employers, service providers and Jobcentre Plus, with contributions from individuals with ‘lived experience’ of working with a disability or long-term health condition. Help and advice The Be Ready Employer Hub will provide practical assistance and knowledge through: ➤➤An online knowledge resource hub providing all the information and links for employers who are ready to take the next step but not sure where to start. ➤➤Training – either delivered on-site (for larger organisations) or as a group bringing together smaller businesses, covering topics such as the Access to Work scheme, the Equality Act 2010 (Disability as a Protected Characteristic), what ‘reasonable adjustments’ are and how easy and low cost they can be to implement. ➤➤A telephone helpline (callback service) for specific Cyber security is a growing concern for many businesses and was the topic of a recent workshop organised by the South West Police Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and Lineal Software Solutions Ltd. 30 business people from across the South West took part in Lego-based group exercises highlighting key concepts in cybersecurity, as they sought to protect a fictional utilities company from a common real-world cyber crime attack. This was followed by a short Q&A including advice for businesses on related topics such as network best practice, password policy, physical security, and the Government’s new Cyber Essentials certification. Designed to raise awareness of coordinated digital threats, the workshop is part of a new educational initiative being run by the Police in the region. The winning team defended their company by spending their budget on the correct countermeasures at each stage of the exercise and strategically limiting the damage from questions about any aspect of inclusive recruitment for people with a disability. ➤➤Peer networking groups for employers to share experience, ideas and have open and honest conversations about employing individuals with a disability. ➤➤Opportunities to achieve the different levels of the Disability Confident scheme, which is often seen as a ‘badge of honour’ by many disabled people when making buying decisions. Good business sense One of the project’s key objectives is to show employers that it makes good business sense to work with a more diverse workforce, such as attracting some of the £249 billion a year spend. Having people working in the business who think Protection from cybercrime any breaches in security. Supported by five Police forces, SW ROCU delivers specialist capabilities to target and disrupt serious and organised crime. Lineal’s head of technical services, Matt Norris, said: “We were to delighted to be able to organise the Cyber Crime Unit to run this very special workshop for local companies. Many businesses struggle to grapple with cybersecurity but help and expertise are accessible.” differently, have developed their skills by overcoming adversity and have ‘lived experience’ of the disabled ‘target market’ is a major competitive advantage. By focusing on ability and talent, rather than the disability or health condition, employers will see the business benefits of valuing difference and diversity. The Be Ready Employer Hub goes live in February <strong>2020</strong> and while in set-up phase, the project team are hosting focus groups around the county to get the opinions of businesses as to what the service should cover. The North Devon focus group was held in <strong>December</strong>, but the team still want to hear from more businesses. For more details on how to become involved in the Be Ready Employer Hub, contact project manager Debbie Stafford (debbie.stafford@devon. gov.uk) or project co-ordinator Sue Windley (susan.windley@ devon.gov.uk). ■■Details readydevon.org.uk Protect officer Samantha Parsons from the SW Regional Cyber Crime Unit explained: “The overwhelming majority of businesses are reliant on online services, which exposes them to cyber security risks. Despite 43% of businesses reporting breaches or attacks in 2018, only 27% had a formal policy or policies covering cyber security risks. It was great to see so many organisations attend the workshop, wanting to understand more about cyber security and how they can protect themselves.” ■■Details 01271 375999 or lineal.co.uk 2 business action | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2019</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2020</strong> | business-action.co.uk
NEWS your link to success covering Temporary, Permanent and Contract in Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing and <strong>Business</strong> Support offices in Barnstaple and Somerset 01271 349 745 www.coopergolding.co.uk Boden Group managing director Steve Boden and former local MP Peter Heaton-Jones officially opened the company’s newly refurbished offices in Barnstaple in November. Peter also discussed the company’s significant growth across the South West over the past 10 years with the Boden team. Established in 2009, the Boden Group has achieved rapid expansion to become a regional leader in providing multi-trade building services to commercial, governmental and residential clients. The group has established itself as a trusted partner working (from left) former North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones with the Boden Group team at its newly refurbished office Multi-trade building group’s new offices within the Ministry of Defence (MOD), health, education, local government and leisure sectors across Southern and South West England as well as providing services for largescale contracts across the UK. The group has three core divisions – Boden Facilities Management, Boden Fire & Security and Boden Construction – and is the only company in the region to hold such an extensive range of supply, installation and maintenance services under one roof. The newly refurbished offices offer all staff a kitchen seating area for their lunches, new storage facilities and increased office space with more desks to support the company’s expansion. Boden Group has also created a purpose-built office and storage area for its sponsored charity Chemohero, which enables it to create and pack boxes of kindness given to chemotherapy patients across North Devon. Peter Heaton-Jones, former MP, said that Boden was “another example of a hidden gem in North Devon’s economy: an important local employer providing a vital service across the region”. Steve Boden said, “Our plans going forward are ambitious and we aim to continue our story of success through further growth across the South West and nationwide.” ■■Details 0845 646 0112 or bodengroup.co.uk The Fox at Fremington Bar, café, pub Sunday Carvery £10.95 (£14.95 including desert) Booking advisable 01271 344161 Church Hill, Fremington, Barnstaple, EX31 2NT facebook.com/thefoxfremington @businessactionm | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2019</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2020</strong> | business action 3