Responsible business week panel sees students put us in the hotseat again

  25 MAY, 2017
Responsible business week panel sees students put us in the hotseat again

Our chairman Stuart Seddon has chaired a ‘Question Time’ style panel of Staffordshire firms that faced a grilling on responsible business from more than 60 students from five local schools: Cooperative Academy, Thistley Hough, Ormiston Horizon Academy, Excel Academy and Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews.

The event gave local students the opportunity to ask representatives from six different businesses how their organisations endeavour to behave responsibly. This was followed by a networking session, where students were encouraged to share their ideas for improving the way businesses work, making workplaces better and helping communities thrive.

Stuart Seddon chaired the panel of local businesses that included Keele University, Lucideon, Waterworld Group, Stoke College and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.  The companies were joined by a group of enthusiastic young people from schools that are part of Business in the Community’s Staffordshire Business Class Cluster.

Organised by Business in the Community (BITC), the event took place for the second consecutive year as part of Responsible Business Week, an annual awareness week run by Business in the Community to inspire and challenge more businesses to take action which creates positive change in society when businesses and organisations share ways they can work together for a fairer society and a more sustainable future.

The schools and businesses taking part are all part of Business in the Community’s Stoke Business Class Cluster, a group of schools and businesses who work together all year round to ensure that young people attending local schools gain the workplace skills they need to build successful working lives.

The pupils had prepared a series of questions which they put a series of questions to the panel, covering issues such as Brexit, business ethics, technology, and opportunities the businesses can offer school leavers in Stoke.

Stuart Seddon said: “We’re thrilled to be taking part in this worthwhile event for a second year. It’s great to see the next generation showing an interest in responsible business and we hope we demonstrated the benefits of operating responsibly.”

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MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS MADE BY CHANCELLOR RISHI SUNAK

Rishi Sunak has today set out plans to mitigate the impacts that coronavirus has had on the construction sector and economy at large. Here are some of the key highlights from today’s announcement. The Construction Talent Retention Scheme In a move to protect against widespread redundancies across the sector, the Government in conjunction with the Construction Leadership Council, announced a new Construction Talent Retention Scheme. Under the scheme, employers will be able to redeploy staff at risk of redundancy through an online portal and temporarily loan employees between different businesses. This scheme will also make it easier for redundant workers from other sectors to find employment in the construction sector. The Talent Retention Scheme will launch later in July and all services provided by the scheme are initially free until April 2021. Further information on the scheme is available by downloading CLC’s flyer and businesses are able to register their interest in the scheme by visiting the website. The Green Homes Grant With the UK aiming to go carbon neutral by 2050, it was also announced that from September 2020, homeowner occupiers and landlords are able to apply for vouchers to cover costs associated with making their properties more energy efficient. The vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost to make their homes more energy efficient, up to a limit of £5,000 per home. Up to £10,000 will be provided for low income households to cover the entire cost of the upgrade. “Taken together we expect these measures to make over 650,000 homes more energy efficient, save households up to £300 a year on their bills." "And, most importantly right now, support around 140,000 green jobs.” Said the chancellor. In order to pay for the vouchers, the Government has set aside £2bn, with a further £1bn allocated to making public buildings and social housing more energy efficient. reminder that Novus are able to assist with any energy efficient works required to properties. Make an enquiry via our contact page >> Temporary cut to stamp duty From tomorrow, the Government will raise the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 in a move that will see “nearly nine out of 10 people buying their main home this year will pay no stamp duty at all.” The chancellor hopes that this will give people the confidence “to buy, sell, renovate, move and improve” properties that will in-turn “drive growth, that will create jobs.” This temporary cut is in place for England and Northern Ireland and will run until at least 31 March 2021. VAT has been slashed for hospitality sector To get the hospitality sector moving again, VAT will be slashed by the chancellor. Beginning 1 week from today (8th July) until 12th January, VAT has been cut from 20% to 5% on food from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, and attractions such as cinemas, theme parks and zoos. Mr. Sunak also introduced a surprise pioneering scheme to provide everyone in the UK "Eat Out to Help Out" discount during August. "Meals eaten at any participating business, Monday to Wednesday, will be 50% off, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children," he said. Further job retention schemes Further measures to ensure job retention were also given the green light today. “If you stand by your workers, we will stand by you.” That was the clear message to struggling businesses faced with making their staff redundant due to the coronavirus pandemic. "If you're an employer and you bring back someone who was furloughed - and continuously employ them through to January - we'll pay you a £1,000 bonus per employee.” So for businesses to get the bonus, the employee must be paid at least £520 on average, in each month from November to the end of January - the equivalent of the lower earnings limit in national insurance."

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