National Apprenticeship Week in Coventry and Warwickshire

National Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday 9th March 9 to Friday 13th March. Coventry and Warwickshire businesses, colleges and organisations are celebrating with a wide range of events, promoting apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) is co-ordinating the highest ever number of activities to mark the week-long promotion of the benefits apprenticeships can bring to businesses however large or small.

Events in Coventry include Midland Group Training Services holding an Open Evening to promote engineering apprenticeships to young people and parents at its Technical Centre in Gulson Road, Stoke, on Tuesday, March 10 between 4pm and 7pm.

Over in Warwickshire, the activities include Warwickshire College Group organising a breakfast event for construction businesses to find out more about hiring apprenticeships on Wednesday, March 11 from 7.30am to 8.30am at Rugby College, Technology Drive, Rugby.

Marion Plant, chairman of the CWLEP Jobs & Skills Business Group and chief executive and principal of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College and South Leicestershire College, said apprenticeships were a valued part of the workforce and more young people as well as businesses were aware of their importance.

She said: “There is no doubt that businesses from SMEs to blue-chip companies place a great deal of emphasis on recruiting apprentices because they are aware of the importance of training the next generation in the skills they need.

“National Apprenticeship Week is focused on urging more small businesses to recruit apprentices, promoting the range and breadth of apprenticeships on offer including those at higher level within global companies and celebrating apprenticeships and the level of success that learners can achieve.

For a full list of events taking place during National Apprenticeship Week in Coventry and Warwickshire, visit

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From Dragons’ Den to Harrods! Find out more at our Info2Grow Hinckley event on 25th March!

Info2Grow -Solutions4Success - Event Invitation

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Job Opportunity at SFB – Office Administrator (Marketing)

The successful candidate will be part of a small team based primarily at our Nuneaton office.

The Role

The marketing division delivers an exciting schedule of activities. The office administrator will provide support by undertaking a variety of duties including:

• Preparing client correspondence including letters, newsletter and customer surveys.
• Maintaining client and prospect data on the Maximizer CRM system.
• Organising meetings and taking minutes as required.
• Providing support for events – including collation of packs, delegate lists and name badges.
• Liaising with clients to obtain testimonials and customer feedback.
• Managing supplies of marketing materials, equipment and stationery.
• To collate, record and analyse data and information.
• To manage incoming/outgoing mail.
• Other office duties including managing meeting rooms, making refreshment and reception cover.

The Person

The ideal person will have experience in the following areas:
• Good literacy and numeracy skills.
• Excellent telephone and interpersonal skills.
• Experience of using a CRM system to handle and process computerised information.
• To be able to analyse and interpret information to identify trends and draw meaningful conclusions.
• To be able to communicate, in person and/or in writing, a variety of information to a range of people.
• The ability to work under pressure including meeting deadlines and dealing with interruptions.
• Have a positive, cheerful and friendly ‘can-do’ attitude.
• Ability to efficiently use a variety of software packages e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel & Publisher.
• To be able to use a keyboard with some precision and speed.
• Experience of mail merging documents.

To apply for this post, please email us your CV with a covering letter (including salary expectations) to The closing date is Friday 27th March 2015.

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SFB are exhibiting at Chamber Expo!

On Friday 13th March, SFB will be exhibiting at Coventry & Warwickshire’s Chamber of Commerce Business & Trade Expo held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

We shall be exhibiting alongside 120 local businesses from a wide range of sectors including engineering and manufacturing, financial services, professional services and leisure and tourism.
Over 500 visitors are expected at the event, providing the perfect opportunity to expand your business network and gain new contacts. There will be seminars throughout the day and an Export themed Breakfast; for more information please visit

Drop in and visit our stand between 10am – 3pm – It’s free!

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Hinckley Business Association

Ben McBean to speak at next HBA event.

The 17th March event – in the Grove Suite of the Sketchley Grange Hotel, will provide an opportunity to hear from Ben, a massively inspiring and hugely motivating 26 year old businessman, who is a double amputee who managed to recover from stepping on a Taliban land mine in 2008.

To register to attend please email

Ben McBean

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Tax Year End Planning Possibilities 2

    Spouses with no taxable income

Non-working wives and others with no pensionable earnings are entitled to invest up to £2,880 p.a. in a personal pension and to have their investment topped-up by the Government to £3,600.

If one of the partners in a marriage or civil partnership has not used the whole of their personal tax allowance or basic rate tax band, they can save tax by transferring income-producing assets to the other partner. HM Revenue and Customs has no concerns when transfers of property or investments are made in this way, but may object to transfers of shares in private companies.

Please contact Mike Bates on (024) 7638 8911 or by emailing to discuss the opportunities available to you.

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Tax Year End Planning Possibilities 1

    Pension planning

The annual allowance is now £40,000 for all pension input periods on or after 6th April 2014. However, carry forward allowances up to and including the 2013/14 tax year remain at £50,000. Therefore individuals could maximise their pension contributions still using the higher amounts.

Clients making personal contributions may not be able to maximise carry forward relief because they can’t contribute more than 100% of pensionable earnings. However, this restriction does not apply to employer contributions. This makes carry forward planning a particular attractive strategy for owner manager businesses with surplus retained profit to invest, who could potentially invest up to to £230,000 as long as the wholly and exclusively test is met.

    To discuss your pension plan, please contact Mike Bates on (024) 7638 8911 or email
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