How Skills Support For The Workforce Can Help Your Business And Employees Grow tell tale signs of a declining business.

How Skills Support For The Workforce Can Help Your Business And Employees Grow is something many have asked us. I saw this article this morning which may help.

hThe Skills Support for the Workforce and Skills Support for Redundancy programmes are designed to deliver responsive workplace learning courses across the Humber region to meet individual, employer and regional economic needs.

By up-skilling the workforce, the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) and Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR) programmes aim to reduce the risk of long-term unemployment and enhance employee skills and career prospects.

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW)

The SSW programme provides fully funding workplace training to SME’s to meet individual, employer and regional economic needs. The training includes bespoke and vocationally relevant qualifications that are responsive to the needs identified. All training is delivered in the workplace or at nearby convenient locations.

The SSW programmes were specified by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) to meet the skills gaps within local businesses with a focus on the LEPs priority sectors.

The programme is being delivered by HCUK Training (part of the Hull College Group) and a network of specialist training providers to engage with learners and key employment sectors as identified by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

The key sectors include: Creative and digital

  • Chemicals
  • Visitor Economy
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Food Manufacturing

Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR)

The SSR programme provides support for people who are under notice of redundancy with their employer.
You are entitled to individualised and bespoke training and employment support opportunities if you meet the criteria below;

  • You are aged 19 or over and have been identified by your employer as at risk of redundancy and/or commenced formal consultation with your employer.

Early identification of your career objectives and training requirements is a key component to the success of the SSR intervention, which features assessment and guidance at the start of your programme and works with your current or prospective employers to identify the type and level of training appropriate to support you. Wherever possible, any support and training activity should be successfully completed before employees at risk of redundancy leave employment.
This support is available to help you to refresh your skills or identify transferable skills to help you to compete in today’s job market.

How can tailored training and development improve your organisation?

How Skills Support For The Workforce Can Help Your Business And Employees Grow

Investing in the skills of your people is always good for business. For employers across our region striving to improve their productivity while facing multiple skills shortages, it is essential.

Experts will complete a full training needs analysis to identify skills gaps in your workforce. They will also signpost opportunities for development which could make all the difference to your business’s ability to thrive in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment.

Upskilling your staff not only increases productivity and boosts efficiency; it also motivates and makes people feel valued, which research shows improves staff retention. Investing in tailored training and development will also widen your appeal as an employer as you will be able to offer clear career and progression pathways to potential employees.

The SSW programme can help you to nurture new talent and ensure your business can draw on the right mix of skills. And, because our training can be delivered flexibly, whether at your workplace, from home or at one of our centres, it can fit around the working day minimising the impact of time out for training on your business.

The SSW/SSR programme is fully funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) but employees must have been granted the time to participate and complete their agreed programme of learning.

For more details about the programme and how to apply, visit the Skills support Website.

If you have completed your apprenticeship or learnership raining we an help bridge the gap between that and going into business, either as a new startup looking for business skills or as an employee upskilling your self to make headway into your new employers business.

Contact me if you have any queries.


Dr Michael J Freestone

The Future of Marketing: Five Marketing Megatrends for 2018

The following article, The Future of Marketing: Five Marketing Megatrends for 2018, has been provided by MarketingProfs.

There is no doubt that we are in the next great Golden Era of Marketing. And with this new era comes an entirely new set of possibilities—along with commensurate consumer demands.

Here are the five megatrends marketers need to be aware of as we move into 2018.

1. Context replaces advertising as a growth lever

Tesla sold three times as many cars as its closest competition, but spent just 1/190th of the advertising budget. Airbnb used native conversations within Craigslist to create its user base and expand its services.

Advertising is a one-way communication, and consumers don’t like it. In fact, the world’s largest boycott is currently in effect, with over 600 million consumers using ad-blocking technology. Consumers are demanding a better way.

Click Here!

The future of marketing is about context. Advertising is designed to distract away from the task at hand, while context matches it. Advertising simply can’t stand up to consumer demands, and some of the fastest-growing mega brands of our modern time have proven context to be the solution.

Look at Airbnb again. Its messages were sent to users on Craigslist who were looking to rent or lease a room. Airbnb leveraged Craigslist’s own messaging capability to solve the consumer’s individual problem the moment it arose, in the way the consumer was asking for it to be solved. It was native, personal, authentic, and purposeful.

The Future of Marketing: Five Marketing Megatrends for 2018

Airbnb now does rely on advertising, yet it still obtains drastically different results based on its context-based approach. Airbnb is on target to book over 100 million stays in 2017 while spending only $23.5 million on advertising, while Hilton Hotels is on target to book more than 140 million stays on an advertising spend of $188 million.

That is the power of contextual marketing, and why it is the future of growth.

The Future of Marketing: Five Marketing Megatrends for 2018

2. Purpose becomes the heart of marketing

The Libre sweater is one of Cotopaxi’s recent hits. It’s a brand you’re not likely familiar with unless you’re an adventurous outdoor lover, like me. Cotopaxi is also a genius at marketing and sold over $900,000 worth of a single sweater in less than 30 days. Then, the company turned around and did it again a few months later with a backpack!

The secret to its marketing? Purpose—not promotion.

Recently, I worked with a team of researchers at The Economist Group to conduct a study, and we found that 79% of consumers prefer to purchase products from a company that operates with a social purpose. The role of purpose also goes far beyond just consumer preferences. During the same research we also found that 83% of junior staff would prefer to work for a company that operates with a social purpose (the data will be published by The Economist Group Insights Team in early 2018).

The modern marketplace demands that we rethink what drives our businesses and the profits we create.

Cotopaxi considers its “profits” to include the welfare and education of its workers and those in its supply chain; it also includes the creation of sustainable living conditions for the farmers it sources materials from. With those considerations driving its actions, Cotopaxi is able to create authentic experiences its customers are looking for, allowing it to break through in the highly competitive outdoor-sports business.

“Business profit” should be expanded to include the interests of stakeholders such as employees and communities. That change would help brands to relate to their (and our) world in new and powerful ways, allowing them to break through where other methods can’t.

3. Public relations gets participatory

Traditional propaganda and PR work when publishers control the narratives. In our modern era, however, people—not the publishers—have greater control. And, in the future of marketing, the key to setting the narrative is participation, not publication.

Following the 2016 US presidential election, a fake news site held the top search result for “Election Results,” and the article stated (falsely) that Donald Trump had won the popular vote. That article had over 325 backlinks, hundreds of comments, and over 450,000 shares on Facebook; the CNN “Election Results” page, on the other hand, had only 300 backlinks, no comments, and 1/10th of the shares on Facebook.

Proving that participation is more powerful than publication…

Alica Wanless is the queen of “participatory propaganda,” and she has shown that it is the key reason Brexit, Trump, and ISIS have been so successful as of late.

PR is about controlling the narrative, and in our modern world collective engagement has proven to be a more powerful at narrative-setting than placement or coverage. The future of PR is participatory.

4. Automation 2.0 will be on the rise

When the Author wrote “Marketing Automation for Dummies,” the marketing automation focused only on behavioral driven marketing across two channels (email and the company website); there were only three data sources (CRM, Website, MAP); and there was only one execution point (the marketing automation platform).

Today, however, best-in-class marketing organizations use 14 tools, on average, the 2016 State of Marketing report from Salesforce found; it also found that creating a cohesive customer experiences requires integration and automation across dozens of channels, data sets, and applications.

We are now in the era of Automation 2.0, where the marketing automation platform is just a node in a connected network of automations—not the only place automations happen.

In a recent conversation, Brendon Ritz, growth hacker and marketing operations lead at AdRoll, explained to me that the marketing tech company uses multiple tools to source individual and behavioral data, and multiple middle layer applications to then run logic and automate the execution of experiences across a web of applications. Its marketing automation platform is now simply a node in the network, not the central processor. With this new connected network, the company increased its sales team appointments 30%.

The Future of Marketing: Five Marketing Megatrends for 2018

Experiences, not messages, are the future of marketing, and growth hacking is the discipline of using data and testing to create optimal experiences. Because of the variances in tools, data structure, and workflows, only an Automation 2.0 framework of a web of data and tools can support this future.

Marketing automation 1.0 is the tool of choice for the demand-gen/lead-gen expert. A network of data and connected tools are creating an Automation 2.0 environment, which is the choice of the growth hacker.

5. Chatbots take over

In 2015, consumers came to use messaging applications more than social media. And according to a 2017 study by Myclever, over 70% of consumers would prefer to engage via chat rather than use an app. 2018 is the year businesses catch up, because the same study showed consumers consider chatbots the fastest way to access content, get help, and receive answers to their questions.

For example, by using chatbots an AdRoll has increased the number of demos it sets up by 30%; its sales team now sets up almost half of all appointments via chatbot. And marketing consultant and best-selling author Jay Baer told me in a recent conversation that he has begun using a chatbot to communicate with his audience as well. Comparing email engagement rates to chatbot engagement rates, Jay and his team are seeing almost a ten-fold increase in open rates and a five-fold increase in clickthroughs.

Chatbots are also benefiting from the Automation 2.0 framework and are able to combine data from lots of different sources to figure out when to engage and how to personalize the engagement when it happens, thus allowing for the experience to be native, personal, authentic, and purposeful—and highly contextual.

As we roll into 2018 and beyond, learn to focus on context and find more than financial profit from your efforts. Modern marketing execution will require a network of tools, creating contextual experiences across many different mediums. Brands that are able to create native, personal, authentic, and purposeful experiences will become the bastions of success.

The future is here, and brands like AdRoll, Cotopaxi, Airbnb, and Tesla have shown us the path forward. It’s time to catch up.

The Future of Marketing: Five Marketing Megatrends for 2018

If you want to dig deeper, check out this SlideShare presentation covering these topics.

The Future of Marketing 2018 from Mathew Sweezey

Please contact us if you have any questions and don’t forget the training courses brochure on our Contact Us page.

We also offer SME’s with two years of business and audited financial statement assistance to funding via our Funding Site

If you require any further information use the form provided below.

Oh yes if you want a Free MArketing Template just ask in the form and we can also offer a Free Forever n the Cloud Strategy Plan which includes everything you will need to help get your Business plan and financials done.

Contact Us.

‘Why does Canada have so much online learning?

https://interco.mjfgroup.bizwhydiescanadahavesomuchelearning does Canada have so much online learning?

Sourced through from:

Some interesting statistics contained in this report:

Key factors influencing growth in online learning

This is one of those questions where I think your guess will be as good as mine. This is an area where we need more facts and more research. However, here are my thoughts on this.

1. The growth of lifelong learning

With the development of a knowledge-based economy, and with the amount of research and knowledge increasing rapidly each year, more and more people will need to go on learning new things well after they finish their full-time post-secondary education. A lot of this can be done informally (such as through the Danish adult education centres or MOOCs), but there has certainly been strong growth in North America in fully online professional masters programs, for instance. Such programs will become increasingly important given the need for continuous learning in a knowledge-based society.

2. History and geography

It is important to understand that Denmark is a small, compact European country that you can drive across in five hours. Hardly anyone lives more than an hour’s drive (or bike ride) from a post-secondary institution, tuition is free, and there is an excellent campus-based higher education system – so there has probably been little demand for distance education programs in Denmark.

50 Thoughts That Can Motivate You to Do Anything


‘This is why I can’ should be your motto for storming your way into a new year.

Sourced through from

5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting

How do you measure the success of a site? Conversion is an issue if you are not converting so read this Blog 5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting an see if this will help.

You could have a lot of traffic going to your site, but those visits don’t really matter if you aren’t converting them into customers. The only visitors that matter are those that are adding to your bottom-line. All other traffic is essentially wasted.


5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting

Are you finding yourself with a lot of traffic, selling the right products at competitive prices, yet not with many paying customers? Then read on to find out why your site isn’t converting and what you can do about it.

Check Your Current Conversion Rate

First things first, you should know your current conversion rate. Whether you measure your conversions by product purchases, brochure downloads or email newsletter signups: you need to be measuring and tracking those conversions regularly. You can track your conversion rate using Goals in Google Analytics, or through any other analytics platform of your choosing.

So what’s considered a good conversion rate? The ideal rate is between 2 to 3 percent. This rate could be higher or lower based on the value of the conversion (e.g. you’d have more difficulty converting customers if you’re selling products or services worth $10,000+). But if you’re having less than 2 percent conversion and your conversion value isn’t very high, then you might have a problem on your hands.

5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting

Here are five reasons why your site may be underperforming.

#1. You’re Providing a Bad Mobile Experience

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, there is no way it will survive in these times. It isn’t enough for your site to be responsive, it has to be designed specifically for mobile in terms of content and structure. Failure to do so would mean marginalizing a substantial portion of your customer base and in turn, decreasing your conversion rate.

But what does designing for mobile entail?

  • Using large and easily legible text
  • Using short paragraphs
  • Making sure that every key feature is just a tap away
  • Having just a single call-to-action

The key is to keep testing your mobile site. Perhaps you should even ask customers and family members for feedback on your site’s mobile experience. Afterwards, you should review what is working and what is not – and address those issues.

5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting

As long as you do not ignore the importance of having a good mobile experience for your site, you can easily hone in on the reason(s) your site is not converting.

#2. No Call to Action

Your website could be user-friendly with engaging and quality content, but without a clear and concise call-to-action, you simply won’t convert. Users may want to convert but just don’t have the opportunity or means to do so. Because you haven’t provided it.

Make your call-to-action clear, concise, prominent, specific and compelling. Provide all the information users need so they know exactly what you want them to do next. Create calls-to-action that are relevant and specific; and place them in a prominent place on every page of your site.

Whatever you do, make sure it is very easy for the user to convert when they are ready to.

#3. Your Users Are Annoyed with Your Website

You may be missing out on conversion opportunities if there is something off-putting about your site. Look at your bounce rate: if it is high, then you know there is something that is not appealing to users.

In such a case, you need to find out what the problem is – directly from the user. You may use heat maps and look at your user journeys via Google Analytics, but perhaps it will make your job easier to ask users directly (e.g. via a quick survey).

A few common annoyances on websites:

  • You do not offer any useful information
  • Navigation is too difficult
  • You have too many ads or popups
  • Your site doesn’t look good

These are all problems with a rather easy fix. Take your time investigating them and fix the errors as soon as you can.

5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting

#4. You’re Off-Target

Your website should be anything but general. A lot of website owners aim to please everyone – but they can’t – and end up isolating their entire audience.

Perhaps you’re writing for the wrong audience, perhaps you’re writing for a larger demographic than you should be; whatever the case, inaccurate targeting could negatively impact your conversion rate. Your copy, branding, marketing and site design should speak directly to a niche demographic.

Conduct market research to properly define and know your audience.

#5. You Have a Slow Site

We previously covered the importance of website load speed and provided tips on to speed up your site. When your website doesn’t load fast, your visitors leave and are unlikely to visit again in the near future.

5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting

There are many factors that can slow down your site, such as:

  • A site that isn’t optimized for mobile
  • Broken links
  • Not using caching
  • Messy code
  • Images that aren’t optimized
  • Flash and Java
  • Average web hosting

You can check your current site speed via Page Speed Insights. If your site is taking longer than 3 seconds to load, you need to work on it. Studies show that most users quickly exit sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.

Measure, Measure and Measure

This is actually a sixth reason why your site may not be converting. The measure, measure and keep measuring. If you’re not measuring, you’re guessing, and in turn, not really making any strides.

The problem most website owners encounter is that they are either not tracking their website traffic or that they are tracking but not reviewing their metrics. Some do know they should be tracking, but just aren’t sure what to look for or what to make of the results.

Well, you should always start with your goals in mind. Then you can identify which key metrics will help you to measure your progress towards those goals.

Once you start measuring, you can improve on those metrics; figure out what is working, what isn’t, and then fine-tune and optimize.

5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Converting

Wrapping Up

These five reasons are just a starting point to help boost your conversion rates. There are many other reasons why your site may not be converting. However, these are fairly common in under-converting sites.

If you find that any of these reasons apply to your business, simply make the changes and you’ll see a big difference or improvement in your conversion rates and bottom line.

If you need any Digital Marketing help please contact me.

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