Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: 24 March

First published in the Worcester News on 24.03.2017 

As the new financial year approaches, there are a few national changes that you must make sure your business is ready for.

The National Living wage and the National Minimum wage are going up on 1 April 2017 and employers must make sure to pay the new increased rates. Further information on the new eates are available on the gov.uk website. On 6 April, the new Apprenticeship Levy will also come into effect for all apprentice employing businesses with a monthly payroll of over £250k per month (£3million over a year). For any further information on the Levy, contact the Worcestershire Apprenticeships hub by phoning 03006 663666 or emailing info@worcsapprenticeships.org.uk.

Government are also proposing a new national strategy for businesses and there are now only a few weeks remaining for submitting your feedback on the Industrial Strategy. Government’s Industrial Strategy is designed to improve the living standards and economic growth of our country and will have a great impact on businesses locally. The strategy covers many important aspects of business growth, from skills to research, infrastructure and productivity. I would urge you all to submit your responses by the 17 April deadline, and a link is available on our website.

As we begin the new financial year, now is the perfect time to adopt new practices to take your business’ growth to the next level, and innovation is a great example of this. The next Worcestershire Innovation Wednesday is taking place on 5 April 2017 and I would encourage all businesses to register at the earliest opportunity. The next Innovation Wednesday event will be an interactive knowledge café, and will advise attendees of the role of conversation in business and how it can be used to promote innovative thinking. For more information on how to boost innovation within your business, visit the Worcestershire Innovation website, www.winn-hub.com