Dear Editor, In response to the article: “Michelin Development has issued a challenge to North Staffordshire companies to become more entrepreneurial – as new figures reveal the area as the worst performing region for new business development and start-ups”: Birmingham Post Business – Thursday 7 August.
I would like to assure the people of North Staffordshire that enterprise in this region is growing.
It has already benefitted many local industries in the area thanks to Staffordshire University.
Staffordshire University has a large population of enterprise aware students and alumni, and where the opportunity has been created for them to set up their own businesses, they have taken advantage of University enterprise facilities which are proving very effective.
We have three exciting schemes which aim to give help and support to students or graduates wishing to start their own businesses. The Enterprise Fellowship Scheme (EFS) for graduates, postgraduates and alumni, the SPEED scheme for current students of any Facultyand the Staffordshire University Society for Success in Entrepreneurial Development (SUSSED) which is open to both students and academics.
All of these schemes encourage and enable enterprising individuals and teams with a great business idea to put their plans into practice and enter into the world of enterprise.
Many of these businesses continue practising within the region long after they have graduated, which in turn positively contributes to the diverse expertise and skills available in the area.
The workshops, studios and offices available to them within our three Business Villages situated across Staffordshire, are available for a reduced, one off payment, which helps the small creative businesses promote their craft in the region and become quickly established.
It provides a base to develop a creative and vibrant community of enterprise that will be able to populate the planned creative industries development within the University Quarter in Stoke on Trent, thus increasing its likelihood of success.
Tenants of our Business Villages are supported through the university as well as a number of other agencies, including the Chamber of Commerce, Business Link and the BIC (BIC – Stafford Business Village).
The project has also had considerable financial support from Advantage West Midlands via the Regeneration Zone.
This whole system is designed at making life easier for small and growing enterprises when starting up, as there is only one fee to pay which covers rent, rates, energy costs, shared IT, internet access, meeting rooms and even experienced external business mentors in some cases.
One extra benefit also comes from the community itself, as the enterprise environment allows all of these businesses to spin ideas off from each other and allows some inter-trading of expertise, making the region even stronger in enterprise.
We have real energy and creativity here.
It is not an easy journey.
Circumstances are challenging, but with investment and a belief in our potential, Stoke-on-Trent and its region will become the new stars of modern enterprise.
Is this the time to switch to accountancy?
Dear Editor, With the impending announcement of A-level and GCSE results, there will be many students thinking ‘what next?’
Those considering ways of maximising their opportunities in the job market could opt for a rewarding career in accountancy. The global demand for qualified accountants has never been higher, nor their work more varied.
Every eight minutes someone somewhere in the world registers with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) – the global body for professional accountants. We have a number of entry routes including school leaver, graduate and mature student which can be found on our website – www.accaglobal.com.
Opting for an accountancy career opens a world of unlimited possibilities including an exciting international profession. All companies need someone to steer their finances and ACCA will ensure you will stand out from the crowd.
Director, ACCA UK.
Boxing training helps council tackle obesity
Dear Editor, In response to the article inThe Birmingham Post - Page 2 - Thursday 7 August 2008 ‘Doctors criticise move to promote boxing in city schools’
I note with some dismay that doctors make comments about the Birmingham City Council promoting boxing without first of all checking the facts.
Boys and girls are taught non-contact boxing training, which provides both the sporting discipline and the fitness that our young people need.
It is a waste of effort complaining about obesity and doing nothing about it.
This is one of many avenues I am going down to assist our children and young people to become healthy and this in turn will assist the doctors in not having to treat problems that were unheard of 40 years ago.
Coun Ray Hassall,
Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture,
Birmingham City Council.
Recall announced for the Ganges gang
Dear Editor, Many of your readers may not be aware that this association, now in its 26th year and with nearly 4,000 members world-wide, is looking for all former Ganges trainees, staff and instructors to give everyone the chance to meet up with other like-minded individuals.
There has been an HMS Ganges in the Royal Navy for over 225 years.
From 1866 as a wooden-walled ship of the line she was based at Mylor, near Falmouth and used as a training ship for Boy Seaman from the age of 14.
Its last years were spent in Harwich Harbour. In 1905 a new establishment was built ashore at Shotley, Suffolk and Boys training was transferred there.
Subsequently, the name of the establishment was changed to HMS Ganges which continued to function until 1976 when it closed after the school leaving age was raised to 17.
It is estimated that 160,000 boys passed through the famous Gates at Shotley.
With the advent of WW2, the boys were transferred to the Isle of Man where their requisitioned holiday camp became known as HMS Bruce.
HMS Ganges, at Shotley, was used for the training of 50,000 Hostilities Only (HOs) ratings for the duration of the war. The Association also welcomes those who were based at HMS Bruce and HMS St George.
Since its inception, this association has enrolled over 7,000 former Ganges personnel. We hold a Reunion every year at different venues around the country.
In addition, groups of members have formed local Divisions, not only in the UK but around the world, providing a focal point for meeting up with old shipmates.
Mini-reunions are also held in different parts of the country giving the widest possible choice to former Ganges Graduates to meet old friends and shipmates.
The association also publishes a first-class Gazette the envy of all other Naval Associations, three times each year,
Many will recall the famous mast, still in existence as a listed building, which many had to climb.
Some, the Button Boys, will have stood on the truck with the lightning conductor between their knees as their only support.
Please make contact with me, Lee Fleming, and I will arrange for you to receive a Welcome Pack giving you all the information you need to consider joining us.
My address is: 35 St Marys Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 2JP; tel: 0208 589 9662;
I extend my best wishes to you all and look forward to making contact.
Let’s hope Pietersen is made of sterner stuff
Dear Editor, Once upon a time an England cricket captain would simply resign and say, ‘’It’s clear I’m no longer good enough so I’m standing down. Good luck to my successor.’’
But Michael Vaughan’s mawkish performance at his press conference was more Gwynith Paltrow than Captain Oates.
Let’s hope the next captain of England - Kevin Pietersen – is is made of sterner stuff and doesn’t feel the need to invoke the help of his mum and dad when the Australians start their sledging antics.
Walkers Heath Rd,