Compass Media Relations

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A Newport-based accountancy firm has appointed ten additional members of staff as it continues to invest in supporting its clients in digital recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

HSJ Accountants has appointed Alex Finch, Zoe Hobbs, Malek Ammar, Kojo Baisie, Sarah Fox, Bethan Rice, Hannah Pockett, Alexandra Edinborough, Ashleigh Faulkner and Sarah Harris to the practice. The ten new members of staff will work across payroll, administration, client care, audit and accounts to help service the practice which specialises in helping businesses utilising automation software to further improve their efficiency. 

Leanne Owen, Partner at HSJ, spoke of the new appointments: “It goes without saying that the past 18 months have been incredibly challenging for everyone. We are incredibly lucky that our staff have been able to work remotely in a seamless fashion and continue to service our clients when they have needed us the most.

That is why I am delighted to welcome our ten new recruits which demonstrate our commitment to continuing to help our clients and guide them through what is hopefully the end of the pandemic

As our business is more than just accounts, we are able to work with our clients on their business processes and systems and identify where smart and easy-to-use technology can help free up time and make businesses better.

As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, we need to be able to support businesses who wish to operate globally at the touch of a button. We can support these businesses and are committed to being at the forefront of the digital recovery from COVID-19.

The ten recruits range from assistants to trainees, to managers and senior hires, with Alex Finch coming into the practice as Audit and Accounts Manager. Alex joins HSJ after spending time with a national top-15 firm as well as extensive experience with a big-four practice specialising in audit services. 

“Aside from this investment in supporting our clients, we are extremely pleased that nearly all the staff joining our team are either from the local area or studied at neighbouring universities. This goes to show what an excellent talent pool we have in south Wales and it demonstrates  our commitment to supporting those who wish to further their career by working with some of the most exciting businesses in the country.” 

HSJ’s commitment has also been recognised by the global body for professional accountants when awarded ACCA’s coveted Platinum Approved Employer status.

For more information about HSJ, please visit hsjaccountants.co.uk , call 01633 815 800, email help@hsj.uk.com and follow @HSJhelps on Twitter. 

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An audiology business has expanded into a third site in the Midlands less than two years since being established, creating a number of new jobs in the process.

Lifestyle Hearing Solutions was founded by industry leader Jo Miller, who has over 30 years of experience in both public and private sector audiology. Jo established the company in mid-2019 following a hugely successful career in the NHS and high street retailers and has recently opened the third branch of the business in the Midlands with sites now in Hagley, Rubery and now Wombourne. 

Jo said: “The business was set up with a clear mission to provide lifestyle-based care for people who wanted to take back control of their hearing. Our first clinic, Hear in Hagley, has proven more successful than ever imagined which has been sustained by excellent dedication from our staff to our loyal clients.”

“Our new clinic, Hear in Wombourne will allow our expanded team to extend our services across the Midlands in a COVID-compliant environment. The success we have enjoyed has been down to word of mouth referrals as a result of the exceptional client care implemented every day by the team. This relentless dedication will be replicated across our three clinics by our fantastic team.”

Hear in Wombourne is situated on High Street in the village in a unit comprising 1050 square feet. Three jobs will be created that will see the business take its staffing levels up to a total of 7 with plans for more this year and next.

Heading up the new branch of the business in Wombourne is Jo’s daughter Sophie. Jo said: “As a family-run and completely independent business, I am delighted that Sophie has decided to join the team and spearhead our expansion in Wombourne. 

“Sophie comes from a long-standing background in audiology and is the perfect fit for all clients. Sophie will manage Hear in Wombourne and ensure that the care and service levels are sustained at our usual high standard across all service offerings.

“We have made a significant investment in new equipment which can help expand our offering, especially relating to wax removal, and continue to be a renowned specialised centre.”

Summarising her commitment for expansion following a hugely successful first two years in business, Jo said: “If we can thrive in our first two years of business during a global pandemic, I know we can soar in years to come.”

Lifestyle Hearing Solutions offers services such as ear wax removal and hearing tests. For more information please visit www.lifestylehearingsolutions.co.uk

 or email hagley@lifestylehearingsolutions.co.uk or wombourne@lifestylehearingsolutions.co.uk

 

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Less than 12 months from successfully exiting a £10M pound business he built from scratch, one Welsh entrepreneur is back on the scene with a new firm. 

Jay Ball founded DataKom in 2007 and following its merger with long-standing competitor Pinnacle in December 2019, he exited the business and moved away from the telecoms industry. 

Now, one year from selling his stake in the business he built from scratch, he is back with new business Springo; a software firm aimed at helping the hospitality industry bounce back from COVID-19. 

Speaking of the new business, Jay said: “’I’ve always loved tech and creating solutions to help businesses grow. 

Our software starts with getting to know your customers – so with COVID-19 meaning you must know who your customers are – it meant we could quickly side develop a track & trace service that gives an easier alternative to downloading an NHS app.

Working with so many of my clients within the hospitality sector I saw how so many didn’t offer Free WiFi due to the complex regulations needed, technical know-how and most did very little marketing other than social media due to the cost and time it needed to truly get it working.

I wanted to create something that was low cost and gave every hospitality business an easy way to bring their customers back and find new ones, too.

Jay concedes that launching a new business in pandemic may be a challenge: “It is a challenging time to launch when all our customers are only operating at reduced capacity, however, the beauty of our offering is that we have the opportunity to play a huge part in helping our customers grow again.” 

When asked about how he feels about starting in a new direction away from telecoms, Jay said: “I was hungry for change after 13 years of telecoms and you so go through a rollercoaster of emotions of missing the team and the day to day of driving the business. 

I always built DataKom to one day exit – so a lot of everything we did was in place ready to go. However, I learnt a huge amount during the sale and being part of a larger group that it would very much change some aspects of how I run Springo.

The biggest lesson I learnt about myself was how important being engaged and inspired. I realised I wasn’t someone who could work for just financial gain and needed a true mission that I fully believed in.

The last year has made me realise how important time is and ensuring we enjoy every minute with the people we love and doing what we love as we just don’t know what’s around the corner.

It was a huge decision to leave the business I built from scratch for 13 years. I left a well-paid role, gave up future group shares and progression as I realised that I needed more than financial motivation to be engaged.

“I found either I needed to be inspired or inspire a team to be happy in what I do – and growing Springo for a real cause has given me my true passion back.

When asked about the vision for Spingo, Jay said: “We want to help UK hospitality businesses bounce back from COVID by using our software, then once we’ve achieved this we’d love to see Springo working in every country across the world delivering fantastic results.

Springo uses data to help hospitality businesses grow through easy-to-use technology that automates marketing and customer engagement.

The software assets businesses to adhere to COVID-compliance such as arrival and exit times as well as monitor close-contact for employees.

For more information on Springo, visit https://www.springo.io/.  

 

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Educ8 Group has appointed rugby legend Martyn Williams MBE as Vocational Skills Ambassador.

Martyn Williams MBE has teamed up with apprenticeship specialist Educ8 Group in light of their shared admiration for the impact workplace training can have on local communities.

The Ystrad Mynach-headquartered business has brought on board the former Cardiff Blues, Wales and Lions openside flanker to help promote the work it does with younger people and adult learners.

Speaking of the appointment, Martyn Williams said: “Becoming an ambassador for Educ8 means a huge amount to me. When I met the Educ8 board I was blown away with the strength of their values and I can massively relate to the culture of the business. I know the sort of people Educ8 is looking to help, adding value to their lives and the community. I’ve always been proud to be a team player and living my life along the same values as Educ8 such as honesty, integrity and hard work

There’s no substitute for hard work but with Educ8’s help, so many people can benefit from having better lives and brighter futures. I’ve kept an eye on Educ8 and I’m aware of their recent success in the Sunday Times Top 100 Small Companies; it’s a really exciting time to join the company and I look forward to making a huge difference.”

Founder and Chairman, Colin Tucker, said: “This is a fantastic appointment to our business. Martyn is a globally recognised figure as a rugby player but also has an impressive reputation as a businessperson. We welcome Martyn to the Educ8 family and look forward to him helping us grow as a company and help young people and adult learners realise their potential and build better futures.”

Winning 100 Welsh caps in a career that spanned 18 years, as well as being selected for three tours for the British & Irish Lions, the man from Pontypridd knows the importance of adult education. Since retiring from rugby, Martyn has qualified as an independent financial adviser and undertaken many exams to further his knowledge of the financial sector. 

Speaking of the importance of work-based learning, Martyn said: “The best years of my playing career were after I was 30 and I put that down to engaging my brain more away from rugby. Picking up other skills and meeting other people in a different environment enhanced my job and my life as a whole.

Educ8 CEO Grant Santos said: “This is another important landmark in our strategic growth plans. Martyn will help us promote the importance of education at all ages as well as assist us with our internal events. 2019 has been a monumental year so far for us already and this is another reason to be proud of the company we have built and the work we are doing.

Educ8 has operations across Wales and England and since the start of the year, Educ8 has been named as the Best Small Company in Wales to work for at the annual Sunday Times Best Companies Awards, as well as acquiring hair and beauty training specialist ISA Training and nearly doubling its staff numbers in the process.

Educ8 offers employers a series of interlinked opportunities such as Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship Programmes as well as providing a seamless solution to staff recruitment and development requirements across many organisations.

For further information on Educ8’s services, visit www.educ8training.co.uk, call 01443 749000 or email enquiries@educ8training.co.uk.

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Juliet Thomas, the Family Law Partner at Shanahans based on Cathedral Road, Cardiff, has recently become a published author.  

Juliet, who has practised law for 27 years since qualifying in 1992, has been published in a book entitled 101 Questions Answered About Separating With Children. Juliet contributed an article on supervised contact in conjunction with OnlyMumsandOnlyDads; a member organisation, of which Juliet belongs to, that assists separating parents.

Speaking of the book launch, Juliet said: “To become a published author recently, less than a year after being appointed a Partner in Shanahans, has been a career highlight for me. I’ve worked in law for nearly 30 years and this has been hugely satisfying.

“The book highlights the importance of careful consideration when it comes to parents deciding to separate, in terms of the impact on their children.

“The book launch in London was very well attended by family law professionals from across the UK.  I look forward to contributing to more published works in the future.”

Juliet’s speciality in family law is aided by her membership of The Law Society’s Family Law Advanced Scheme as well as her accreditation by Resolution, the family law organisation. In September of last year she trained with Resolution as a Collaborative Lawyer, one of the few solicitors in South Wales qualified in Collaborative Law.

For more information regarding Shanahans Law, please contact 02920 190184, visit www.shanahans-law.co.uk or email enquiries@shanahans-law.co.uk.

 

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Cwmbran-based law firm Rubin Lewis O’Brien has been nominated for an award at the first-ever Wales Legal Awards.

The Family Department at Rubin Lewis O’Brien is a finalist in the Family Law Team of the Year category.  

Speaking of being shortlisted as a finalist, Partner and Head of Family Department Valerie Henley said: “We are thrilled to be finalists at the inaugural Wales Legal Awards 2019. It is an honour to represent the sector as Family Law Team of the Year. The family team here at Rubin Lewis O’Brien pride ourselves on being professional and dedicated, offering a holistic approach to the problems arising from all areas of relationship breakdown, planning both for the present and the future.

“It can be an emotionally difficult and painful time and we do everything in our power to help it run smoothly. We deal with people at a time that can be very stressful and I am proud to say that every member of our team goes above and beyond for our clients.”

The Wales Legal Awards has been established to celebrate the success of those practising in and providing services to the legal profession. The black-tie event will take place on Friday 17th May 2019 at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel.

Rubin Lewis O’Brien provides legal advice to both individuals and businesses.

For more information about Rubin Lewis O’Brien call 01633 867000/ 01633 869191, visit www.rlo.law, follow @RLO_law on Twitter or email info@rlo.law.

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Educ8 Group has been named as the Best Small Company in Wales to work for. The gong came at the annual Sunday Times Best Companies Awards.

Founded in 2004 by chairman Colin Tucker, the business is headquartered in Ystrad Mynach and has operations across Wales and England, with the ambitious company acquiring Bridgend-based ISA Training as recently as January.

Educ8 topped the Welsh contingent in the Best Small Business To Work For category, coming sixth overall across the UK; the fifth year the business has been named in the top 100. Its CEO Grant Santos picked up the Leader of the Year award for small businesses, too, making it a double celebration.

Colin Tucker said: “To say that I am incredibly proud of our business and our people is a huge understatement. I am bursting with pride at what we have achieved and I would like to thank everyone at Educ8 who works so hard to make this a great place to work.

“To be ranked this highly among the UK’s very best employers is great validation for the work we do to ensure our staff are happy, engaged and motivated. We’re nothing without our people and their satisfaction means better results for our learners and their employers. We will continue to ensure our people are valued, listened to and shown the appreciation they thoroughly deserve.”

CEO Grant Santos said: “I really am humbled at the Leader of the Year award, I certainly wasn’t expecting that! As nice as a personal award is, it really could not have been achieved without the support from my co-directors, managers and all the people within Educ8 who have supported my leadership. It really was a night that I will never forget.”

Educ8 is on track to turnover £9m this financial year and it currently employs 185 staff across England and Wales.

Educ8 offers employers a series of interlinked opportunities such as Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeships Programmes as well as providing a seamless solution to staff recruitment and development requirements across many organisations.

For further information on Educ8’s services, visit www.educ8training.co.uk, call 01443 749000 or email enquiries@educ8training.co.uk.

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The value of good advice is hard to measure, but for one Pontypool-based business, it has been the difference between coasting and flying high.

M&N Motors, based on Abersychan Industrial Estate, has seen at first-hand the difference since switching accountants and taking professional advice from Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors, who are also based in Torfaen.

Trude Evans, co-owner of M&N Motors, said: “Our previous accountant was retiring and following several recommendations from our contacts, we approached Green & Co and it became obvious very quickly that they did things differently.

“It has made a huge difference having them explain to us, in easy to understand language, how we can make the business grow.”

M&N Motor Services offers vehicle repair and MOT testing, and after consultation with Green & Co, the business stopped renting the premises they had occupied for a number of years and purchased their own property.

Trude said: “We were looking at a rental increase of 30 per cent at our existing premises, so Green & Co helped us look into how we could acquire our own unit. With the professional advice from Green & Co, plus the help from Barclays, we are now operating from a new purpose-built unit with better facilities, better location, additional customer parking, and paying significantly less per month in mortgage payments than we were in rent. It has been a huge game-changer for us.”

Speaking of M&N Motors and their success Ed Gooderham, Partner at Green & Co said, “It’s been very rewarding for us to see M&N Motors flourish and to help the business grow. We are always on hand to offer advice and support and look forward to building on our relationship with them as the business continues to prosper.”

Trude continued: “One thing that has resonated with me is the service from Green & Co; it’s not just about doing your accounts, but supporting you to such a degree that they are an extension of your business.”

For proactive advice, contact Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors on 01633 871 122, follow @Green_and_Co on Twitter or email ed@greenandco.com.

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Educ8 Group has acquired ISA Training Ltd for an undisclosed sum which sees the leading training and apprenticeship provider continue on its ambitious growth plans across Wales and England.

Founded in 2003 by Chairman Colin Tucker, the business is headquartered in Ystrad Mynach and takes over Bridgend-based ISA Training with immediate effect.

In the last financial year, Educ8 had a turnover of £7m and employed 125 staff across England and Wales. Established in 1998, ISA Training employs 60 members of staff and has a direct contract with Welsh Government for the provision of training services worth nearly £2m. ISA Training Ltd will continue to operate as a separate entity under the Educ8 Group Ltd umbrella.

Speaking of the acquisition, Educ8 Chief Executive Officer, Grant Santos, said: “This marks an extremely exciting time for us as we continue to exceed expectations and deliver great results for our clients and partners. The success of our business is down to the hard work of all staff and I know that 2019 will deliver more positivity and growth.”

This is the second acquisition in recent years for Educ8 as Port Talbot-based Network Training Services Ltd was brought into the group in 2015.

Mr Santos continued: “I would like to thank the ISA shareholders for their professionalism during this process as well as thank our existing Educ8 customers for their continued support over the years. This is an exciting acquisition for Educ8 and a key part of our strategic growth plan.”

Educ8 offers employers a series of interlinked opportunities such as Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeships Programmes as well as providing a seamless solution to staff recruitment and development requirements across many organisations.

For further information on Educ8’s services, visit www.educ8training.co.uk, call 01443 749000 or email enquiries@educ8training.co.uk.

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Caerphilly-based IT firm Team Metalogic is the only Welsh business to be named in the Top 50 Managed IT Firms in the UK for the second year in a row.

The top 50 list, which was announced at a ceremony at the Institute of Directors, London, was vigorously scrutinised with over 200 questions being posed to the applicants during a three-month process.

Mike Parfitt, Managing Director at Team Metalogic, said: “In over 15 years of running the business this certainly ranks as one of our greatest achievements. To be considered as a top 50 firm across the whole of the UK is incredibly satisfying, especially as we’re flying the flag for Wales.”

Mr Parfitt attended the ceremony along with Business Development Manager, Paul Thomas, in London to receive the award at a time when the business is going through impressive growth.

“For over 15 years we have strived to deliver excellence whilst solving problems for our valued clients. Over the last 18 months, we have really focussed on growth whilst retaining the strong relationships of those businesses that have stayed loyal to us over a long period of time. We are seeing some fantastic results and coupled with the recent launch of our telecoms arm, this is a really exciting period for the business.

Discussing the process, Mike said: “Throughout the 200-question process for this award, we were able to put our systems under the microscope. That in itself was worthwhile. We were able to really hone in on what makes us different from our competitors, as well as reaffirm our values as a business. This award highlights that we are vindicated in our decision to always put the clients’ needs and objectives first. I am especially proud that we have secured this for the second year in a row.”

Team Metalogic was founded by Mr Parfitt in 2003 and over 15 years later, the business employs a team of nine staff from its base in Caerphilly Business Park.

For more information regarding Team Metalogic, or for any advice on IT systems when it comes to mergers and acquisitions please call 0345 521 0618, email info@teammetalogic.com and follow @TeamMetalogic on Twitter.

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It is often said that school isn’t for everyone. Many people find their calling later in life through vocational means, volunteering and work-based learning. For one lady from south Wales, it is the latter that helped her identify where she wanted to go in life.

For 32-year old Kirsty Davies, work-based learning has helped shape her future at a time when all other avenues seemed to come up short. Kirsty found her ideal course via Educ8, the leading training and apprenticeship provider which is headquartered in Tredomen near Caerphilly.

Speaking of her journey, Kirsty said: “I left school when I finished my GCSEs and started a hair and beauty course combined with a job. I had my first child and fell out of love with the industry and the direction I had taken. After having my second child a few years later I had a series of casual jobs but nothing that I would define as a career. I had my third child a few years after that and I was out of work for a period of time and after numerous attempts, I found dead end after dead end.

My Job Centre put me in contact with Educ8 Training. Within a week I was on a health and social care course that was right for me and within eight weeks my confidence had skyrocketed to the point where I had gained employment with Help4Wales Foundation in Caerphilly.”

Within six months, Kirsty had been nominated by her employer for Apprentice of the Year at the Caerphilly Business Awards where she clinched the prize.

“To come that far in such a short space of time was an absolutely unbelievable boost of confidence for me, especially as I had spent so long out of work.”

For Kirsty, each working day is an early start. Aside from getting three young children ready for school, she uses public transport to get from her home in Rhymney to Caerphilly on a daily basis which is a one hour and 20-minute journey in itself.

“It is an early start, with 5.30am being the normal time I get up. Once my two sons and daughter are ready for school, I drop them off and get myself over to Caerphilly, the working day begins I then tend to get in just after 6pm where my other job as a mother starts.  

“I have fantastic support from my mother as well as breakfast clubs. Without them, I would not be able to do what I do.”

Discussing her role as Trainee Supervisor, Kirsty said: “I really feel as though I’ve found my calling. I help support victims of domestic violence and abuse as well as the homeless. I have helped launch the rucksack appeal and I have been blown away by the generosity of donations from clothes to toiletries.

“Working on these types of initiatives in an autonomous way has really helped me learn and develop as a professional. Having found Educ8 and the course on offer, it has pushed me to achieve what I really did not think was possible. I am so grateful for what it has afforded me.

“However, it is just the start. I’ll always keep up my development as there is always room to learn. I feel that with all the years I was out of employment and education, I missed out. So there’s lots of time to make up for.

“I used to have anxiety attacks and problems with my confidence but I really couldn’t tell you the last time I had these problems.”

Educ8 employs 125 people across two sites in Wales and has an established reputation as a major provider of apprenticeships and vocational training courses.

Educ8 offers employers a series of interlinked opportunities such as Jobs Growth Wales and a range of Apprenticeships Programmes which provide a seamless solution to staff recruitment and development requirements across many sectors.

For further information on Educ8’s services, visit www.educ8training.co.uk, call 01443 749000 or email enquiries@educ8training.co.uk.

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A new telecoms business has been launched in South Wales by two experienced professionals with a passion for putting customer service back into the sector.

Incom Wales has been launched by co-Managing Director’s Dean James and Ian England, with the business having a combined 50 years in the telecoms industry in South Wales.

Speaking of the launch, Dean said: “The reason we started Incom Wales is that we wanted to provide local businesses with an experienced but personable approach to telecoms and IT. We specialise in on-premise and cloud-based telephony solutions along with the ability to supply all of the customers’ network requirements including WIFI, SIP Trunks, Leased lines, MPLS networks and IT infrastructure being just a few of the services we are able to offer.

“Ian and I have worked in this sector in and around South Wales for decades now and great customer service is our driving focus, this is why we have set the business up; we want to look after businesses throughout their lifespan, regardless of their size or location.

“As we grow, we will ensure that all of our clients are catered for and experience the consistent level of high-quality service. We deliver an on-going, high-quality service that ensures our loyal customers are well looked after and continue to receive the best pricing and sustained support.”

Co-founder, Ian, said: “Our business is based on having a local presence with national strength. We can cater for any business needs when it comes to telecoms and IT. Incom Wales may only be in its infancy but the power and experience behind it are not.

Dean James has years of industry experience, advancing from an apprentice engineer to Technical Director in his previous roles, before realising a dream by founding Incom Wales. He has a broad understanding of the industry, both from a technical viewpoint and behind the scenes knowledge of delivering successful solutions.

Ian England’s industry experience took him to most recently a Sales Director at another, local communications business before launching Incom Wales. Ian’s primary focus is on building and maintaining customer relationships, ensuring he delivers the right solution and ongoing best pricing and support for his customers.”

“Due to our wealth of knowledge, contacts and experience, we can assist any size business with straight-forward needs to complex projects.”  

Incom Wales is basing itself out of Merthyr Tydfil, having taken on an office lease in the heart of the town and have had great support from the council. Dean said: “Merthyr County Council has been a great source of support for us in helping us set up our offices and secure us office space that we can grow into.

Ian said: “Merthyr is a part of Wales that is seeing lots of investment and we are proud to be at the forefront of that. We are already on target to smash our first-year forecast, little over eight weeks since starting.

Incom Wales has been established in partnership with Manchester-headquartered Incom-CNS Group which is a national award-winning organisation. Incom Wales will be able to tap into the support of Incom-CNS Group and help all size business and in all sectors to maximise their investment in telecom and IT solutions.

For more information about Incom Wales, please contact 01685 700 838 or email sales@incom.wales.  

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A Newport-based accountancy firm has appointed additional trainees as it continues to grow its client base amid consecutive years of success.

HSJ Accountants has appointed Karen Yumol, Mollie Jones to its accounts department, and Bryony Hughes to its tax department, who join Elena Harris, Matt Jones and Demi Hurley on HSJ’s training programme.

Gareth Howell, a Partner at HSJ, spoke of the new appointments: “The last 12 months has been a successful period for the business in terms of new client wins as well as diversifying our offering as a firm. We launched our technology arm, HSJ Strato, last year and earlier this year our audit division, HSJ Audit, was boosted by the arrival of Andrew Hill. This has allowed us to improve on every aspect of our client’s journey.”

“We are extremely excited about bringing on the next generation of accountants and tax advisers, with Elena, Matt and Demi stepping up to the plate of senior team members in the very near future, and Karen, Mollie and Bryony making excellent progress already, I am confident they will soon follow in their footsteps. I am sure they all will have long and prosperous careers at HSJ, and who knows; we could be looking at the firms’ future partners”

All six trainees are from the local area and their appointments reflect HSJ’s involvement in the development of their ever growing team. HSJ’s commitment has also been recognised by the global body for professional accountants when awarded ACCA’s coveted Platinum Approved Employer status.

Gareth continued: “We want to develop our business from within and by investing in the future of our firm we will ensure that the good practice, hard work and ethics demonstrated by all of the team will be carried forward into future generations.”

For more information about HSJ, please visit hsjaccountants.co.uk , call 01633 815 800, email help@hsj.uk.com and follow @HSJhelps on Twitter.

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A Caerphilly IT firm has promoted a former apprentice as it looks to develop its own talent on its journey to tripling in size across the next three years.

Team Metalogic, based in Caerphilly, was founded in 2003 by Mike Parfitt and 15 years on, the team has grown substantially with the business launching its own telecoms division this year. Like many Welsh businesses, one area that has been a challenge is recruiting the best talent. However, the business has made some key strides in recent years in order to combat this.

Speaking of how the business has neutralised the skills shortage, Mike said: “Finding the right people with the relevant skill set has been difficult at times. There have been instances where the talent has had the right the skill set but they haven’t had the attitude that fits best into our team. A couple of years ago we identified where we would need to be in terms of succession and team skills, that’s when we made the decision to bring in an apprentice.”

Step forward, Jamie Richards.

After leaving college at the age of 17 with little idea about what he wanted to do in life, the young man from Cross Keys soon got his chance after a stroke of good luck.

Jamie said: “It was actually my mum who spotted the position. I was busy looking for jobs in all different industries when one day she sent my CV into Mike at Team Metalogic. After going in for an interview Mike and the management team decided to take a punt on me. Aside from using my own computer, I knew next to nothing about IT but I was keen to learn. I started full-time almost immediately and I haven’t looked back since.

“Being in a classroom didn’t appeal to me so to learn the trade in the hands-on way I have has been fantastic. I’ve learned more in my two years here than I ever would have imagined.  Lots of my friends are in university but I genuinely don’t wish I was there with them. I have disposable money that’s my own and I can still socialise; it’s best of both worlds in my opinion.”

After two years of working in the business, Jamie has now been promoted to Level 1 Support Engineer, something that Mike and the management at Team Metalogic are hugely pleased about: “Jamie has worked incredibly hard since coming on board two years ago. He has always had an excellent attitude to develop and to learn but it is his dedication to the business which has impressed me the most.”

Backing up the claims of Mr Parfitt is Grant Santos, CEO of Educ8- one of Wales’ largest providers of apprenticeships and training and development programmes.

Grant said: “Apprenticeships offer individuals the opportunity to enter the world of work, learn new skills and develop their knowledge and competencies in their job role. The opportunities available range from Level 2 to Level 5 and support individuals as they progress in an organisation.

“Apprenticeship frameworks include a blend of vocational, technical and essential skills training enabling individuals to achieve accredited and nationally recognised qualifications and it is great to hear that Team Metalogic has worked with Jamie and are promoting from within.

“With a £74 return for every £1 invested, compared to £54 return for the average HE degree programme, apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for individuals to learn new skills and knowledge and develop in their chosen career.”

Mike continued: “He fully deserves his promotion and the model on which we have developed Jamie will be used to bring on new talent into our business across the next three years as we look to triple the size of the business in that period.”

For more information regarding Team Metalogic, or for any advice on IT systems when it comes to mergers and acquisitions please call 0345 521 0618, email info@teammetalogic.com and follow @TeamMetalogic on Twitter.

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A leading training and apprenticeship provider has appointed a new Sales Director as it looks to grow its business across Wales and into the private sector in England.

Timothy Barnett joins the board of Educ8, which is headquartered from its base in Tredomen, Caerphilly, after spending a decade in Cambridge running his own business.  

Speaking of his appointment, Mr Barnett said: “I am delighted to be joining Educ8 at a pivotal point in the company’s evolution. Despite challenges within the sector, the company has achieved impressive growth in recent years founded on values that remain at the core of the business. The opportunities to accelerate the rate of growth are significant, which is just one of the many reasons why I am looking forward to joining the senior team at Educ8 and play my part in the next phase of the company’s development.”

Educ8 employs 125 people across two sites in Wales and has an established reputation as a major provider of apprenticeships and vocational training courses.

Speaking of the appointment of Mr Barnett, Educ8 CEO Grant Santos, said: “We are incredibly lucky to have appointed someone of Timothy’s calibre to such a vital position on our board at a critical stage of growth for our business.

“Timothy brings 20 years of sales and marketing experience to the role across a range of sectors, fourteen years of which have been spent at director level. Timothy joins Educ8 from FTSE multinational IWG Plc, where his role included responsibility for the entire revenue generation operation in Wales. We are confident in his ability to guide our sales function as we look to expand into the private sector both in Wales and England.”   

Educ8 offers employers a series of interlinked opportunities such as Jobs Growth Wales, Young Recruits and Apprenticeships Programmes provide a seamless solution to staff recruitment and development requirements across many organisations.

For further information on Educ8’s services, visit www.educ8training.co.uk, call 01443 749000 or email enquiries@educ8training.co.uk.

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The new season of the Gwent Landlord Forum kicks off on Tuesday 25th September at the Parkway Hotel in Llantarnam, Cwmbran.

The free event, sponsored by Cwmbran-based Rubin Lewis O’Brien and Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors will kick off the fourth year of forums aimed at educating landlords from across Newport and Gwent.

The event will continue on a guest speaker format, with September’s forum covering the basics of the private rented sector, including the most common mistakes landlords make, as well as an update on the Renting Home Act.

The speakers are Emily Samuel from letting agency SerenLiving and Simon White from the Welsh Government.

Ed Gooderham, Director of Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors said: “We are excited to launch the new season of the Gwent Landlord Forum alongside our partners at Rubin Lewis O’Brien.

“Our contacts and clients alike enjoy the forum and find it an incredibly useful tool. We welcome both Emily and Simon and look forward to two interesting and informative talks.”

Managing Partner at Rubin Lewis O’Brien, Sam George, said: “The Gwent Landlord Forum is now in its fourth year and it is an important part of our stakeholder engagement. By hearing first-hand the views of our clients and the people of the Gwent area, we are able to ensure our understanding of the buy-to-let market is spot on.

“It is vital that we bring the best-placed professionals to keep attendees informed on what is an ever-evolving industry. On behalf of our firm, I look forward to welcoming all attendees to the start of our new year.”

The Gwent Landlord Forum will start from 6pm and is due to finish by 8.30pm. For more information, please contact Rubin Lewis O’Brien or Green & Co. Alternatively, landlords and those with an interest in the buy-to-let market can follow @GwentLandlord on Twitter.

Register for tickets here.

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For many businesses, investing time and money into researching and developing their products or services is a significant part of how they operate. Making resources available specifically for the purpose of a research project geared towards innovation can be rewarded by HMRC in the form of Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credits.

Businesses can qualify for R&D tax credits if they can show their project has an element of risk and technical uncertainty and will bring something new to the market if successful.

Speaking of the R&D scheme, Nick Park, Partner at Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors, said, “R&D Tax Credits are tax breaks which work by reducing your taxable profits, and the scheme is designed to help companies who make a concerted effort to innovate, regardless of whether they are in profit or not.

Relief for an SME can be as much as 230% of the eligible expenditure, so it can make a huge difference. This is a very complex area and many businesses may not realise that the projects they are working on will contain elements which could qualify for R&D.”

One such business is Edwards Diving, a maritime civil engineering firm based in Bedwas who has been a client of Green & Co for six years. They are often engaged by larger organisations to help establish a means of undertaking underwater projects, including how to effect repairs on aged structures or accessing difficult areas.

Speaking of Edwards Diving and their R&D claim, Nick said, “The unique and high-risk nature of their work means that many of their projects qualify for R&D. Their success is often indeterminable until the related task has been started, and it has occasionally been necessary to develop reverse engineering to rectify a situation which has not gone according to plan.”

With support and advice from Green & Co, Edwards Diving was able to submit a successful claim which has allowed the business to reinvest and further perfect its service to its clients.

Jo Edwards, Director of Edwards Diving, said, “As a specialist engineering company, our work is niche and doesn’t always fit the predefined categories or descriptions that HMRC use. By developing an understanding of our business and working closely with our Project Manager, Green & Co was able to submit a compliant and successful R&D tax relief submission which was a fantastic result. Without Green & Co’s advice and helpful support, we would not have understood or qualified for R&D.

R&D monitoring now forms part of our routine management systems and allows us to reinvest into the business on a consistent basis.”

Any company who are unsure as to whether they can claim R&D tax credits should consult a reputable accountant.  Green & Co specialise in business growth and tax minimisation for businesses across Wales and South West England and have the expertise to advise on the criteria for qualification and the experience to help with any resulting claim.

For proactive advice, contact Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors on 01633 871 122, follow @Green_and_Co on Twitter or email ed@greenandco.com.

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A Caerphilly IT firm has launched its own telecoms division and brought on board a new manager to spearhead growth as it looks to triple the size of the business within three years.

Team Metalogic, based in Caerphilly, has appointed Louise Cryer as Client Services Manager to head up the new division as it works towards its target of tripling the size of the business within three years.

Speaking of the new division and Louise’s appointment, Managing Director Mike Parfitt said: “This is a natural step for us as we become a fully integrated IT and managed services provider. We have worked alongside telecoms providers ever since we started in business 15 years ago, including Louise.

“Louise has been on the account management side of the business for the last few years but before that she was a telecoms engineer, starting her apprenticeship in 2000. Her wealth of knowledge in the industry makes her a perfect fit for us as we launch our new division and offer an IT-sound solution for business telecoms.

“We plan to heavily expand this area of the business quite quickly, with Louise heading up a team to help us achieve our ambitious growth targets across the next three years.  

“Not only are we looking to triple the size of the business within three years with help from the Welsh Government Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) but coupled with our new offices in Caerphilly, it is an incredibly exciting time within the business.”

Speaking of her new role, Louise said: “This is a great opportunity to grow a successful telecoms division within an already flourishing business. Team Metalogic understands the need to deal with customers as people and not a revenue streams. The decision to launch a customer-focused telecoms arm was too perfect a chance to pass up.

“I have been in the industry for over 18 years and I haven’t been as excited about what we can achieve as I do now.”

 

For more information regarding Team Metalogic, or for any advice on IT and telecoms systems please call 0345 521 0618, email info@teammetalogic.com and follow @TeamMetalogic on Twitter.