Movers and Shakers: SkillBuild success for Otley Student Joshua Coyne

: : CONSTRUCTION trainee Joshua Coyne, 17, from Ipswich, proved he is at the top of his game after coming first in the senior plastering category at the East of England regional heat of SkillBuild, the UK’s largest multi-trade competition.

The competition, which is managed by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board, as part of its ongoing work to bring new blood into the construction industry, saw budding trainees build, plaster and paint their way to success to be crowned the best in their chosen field.

Joshua, who attends Otley College said: “I’m really proud to have won at SkillBuild as it shows that I am one of the best trainee tradespeople in the East of England, which is a huge achievement.

“The competition was really tough but it was a great chance for me to show some of the skills that I use every day and to have these recognised. I would definitely recommend taking part in SkillBuild as it’s great fun and you get to show off your skills to your peers, employers and the industry, which is good for your career.”

The East of England regional heat, which took place at Otley College was one of 14 regional heats taking place around the UK. The highest scoring competitors could go onto compete at the three day SkillBuild UK final in September at Preston College.

SkillBuild is supported by local employers, many of which sponsor the competition, but also those who employ the competitors. It provides a great opportunity for employers to showcase their most talented trainees, helping to give them a competitive edge, in addition to demonstrating their commitment to training and excellence.

Mick O’Flynn, CITB-ConstructionSkills’ regional delivery manager in the East of England, said: “The level of quality, skill, determination and professionalism shown by the competitors has been outstanding so we are very pleased with how successful the East of England regional heat has been.

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Paul Williamson, director of construction at Otley College, said: “We have previously hosted the Eastern Region SkillBuild competition and it is a very prestigious event. We were delighted to host again. And we were proud that our students competed so well - winning two top awards.”

: : MY Business FD, the rapidly expanding East Anglia-based provider of part-time professional finance directors to growing businesses, has appointed an investment director to further strengthen the portfolio of services offered to clients across East Anglia, London and the South East.

Trevor Overall joins My Business FD from Finance East where he was a fund manager responsible for loans and investments in a portfolio of early stage and growing SMEs across the eastern region. He also ran regional business angel networks the Suffolk Investors Club and Eastern Capital Alliance, building an extensive network of connections within the sector.

Trevor, who is a former entrepreneur himself, said: “Our priority at My Business FD is to help growing businesses, particularly but not exclusively those in the early stage tech sector, to achieve their ambitions. We are passionate about this and raising finance is a vital part of the process, especially for smaller businesses that do not have the balance sheet or asset base to secure bank funding.

“We have a very strong pipeline of young ambitious businesses that, with our help, are either already searching for investors or are about to do so, so I will be extending our existing investor relationships deeper into the angel and VC community.”

Chris Chapman, managing director, said: “We are very fortunate to have someone on board who is as experienced on the investment side as Trevor. His skills will undoubtedly add considerable value for our clients and complement the commercial knowledge and expertise of our growing team of FDs.

We are heavily involved with the early stage business community via projects like Springboard in Cambridge and London, and organisations such as Techhub in London’s Tech City. Trevor’s appointment will enable us to draw on these links and further help the companies we are involved with.”

: :LARKING Gowen chartered accountants and business advisers has announced that, as from July 1, Andrew Kelsall will be joining as business recovery director.

Bob Rose, managing partner, said: “We are looking forward to Andrew joining us, and his appointment is an important development for the firm, boosting our resources as we look to continue expanding the Business Recovery side of our business. This appointment will give us four appointment takers which we believe means we will have the most in East Anglia.”

Andrew said: “I am both delighted and excited to be joining the business recovery team at Larking Gowen at this time. To date my main practical experience has been in personal insolvency, liquidations and investigations and this coupled with the existing team’s experience will provide Larking Gowen with four appointment takers, able to offer a full range of business recovery and insolvency options. I am looking forward to helping develop and promote the excellent reputation that Larking Gowen already has.”

: :WHERSTEAD-based infra red technology experts Green Energy EU has appointed Karen Scrutton as director of sales and training.

Karen will spearhead the development of Green Energy EU’s franchise programme including leading the development of its bespoke training package.

Karen was the first person in the UK to be appointed to the role of “Expert” by British Gas, where she was responsible for training sales consultants. She then went on to lead the implementation of British Gas’ solar expertise programme.

“I’m extremely passionate about renewable energy and alternative sources,” said Karen. “The renewable sector is one of the biggest growth industries in the country. This company is heading in the right direction and I’m really looking forward to becoming part of it.”

Michael Howard, director, said: “We are pleased to have someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Karen joining our team and we’re confident that she will drive forward our ambitious growth plans.”

: : COOPER Lomaz has appointed Mark Fletcher as operations manager, with responsibility for 27 consultants across its offices in Bury St Edmunds and Norwich.

Mark has risen through the ranks of the company, having joined as a recruitment consultant in 2005 in its then newly opened Norwich office. He gradually took over the responsibility of recruiting and managing other consultants within IT and finance, and when the post of business manager in the Norwich office became available he was promoted into the role, initially managing a team of six consultants. Having grown the consultancy team to 12, Mark has again been promoted to his new role of operations manager.

Mark said: “I combine experience of hands on recruitment across a number of business areas, with a passion for business growth. I enjoy starting up new ventures and seeing them grow and develop. It also gives me great satisfaction to develop other people and see them progress in their careers.”

Jane Lovell and Charlotte Cooper, joint managing directors, have welcomed the opportunity to maximise Mark’s skills, commenting: “Cooper Lomaz has made an extremely strong start in 2012, facilitating a record number of interim, contract and permanent appointments in middle to senior management roles within successful East Anglian companies. Mark has considerable recruitment experience as well as operational management skills, this has allowed him to build some extremely talented and high performing specialist teams at Cooper Lomaz.”

Before joining Cooper Lomaz, Mark was employed by a leading national recruitment business.

: : IPSWICH-based integrated digital marketing agency Crafted has appointed Vicki Cole in the newly created role of marketing manager.

Vicki joins from Essex-based LapSafe Products, where she was PR and marketing executive for the education brand. Her management of LapSafe’s social media presence ensured the company received rounded coverage in both traditional and digital channels, including significant growth in followers and activity on Twitter. Her activities with the firm culminated in a highly successful competition, which received more than 7,000 entries from primary school children across the UK.

Vicki previously worked at London integrated agency Kindred where she delivered successful communications for organisations including the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), ConstructionSkills and the British Association of Dermatologists.

With both agency and in-house experience, Vicki is ideally placed to promote Crafted and its successes.

Her appointment forms part of Crafted’s overall growth strategy, which saw business development director Tom Gillman join earlier this year. In the past 12 months, Crafted has added a further 15 staff to its Ipswich team, with now more than 40 staff based at its offices in Fore Street.

In her role, Vicki will oversee marketing communications, PR and internal marketing activities.

Vicki said: “Crafted is not only an agency with a proven track record of digital marketing success, it is a company that recognises the importance of its staff and continues to invest in their development. An offer to work for such an energetic, engaging and face-growing agency was impossible to refuse.”

Brad Warwick, commercial director and co-owner of Crafted, said: “The decision to appoint a marketing manager in a newly created role is another strategic move for our business. We continue to be successful at retaining our clients and receiving repeat business, since we continually provide our existing customers with new and innovative ways to engage with their target audiences online. Vicki’s appointment will complement the new business activity Tom has been undertaking, and her expertise will help generate greater awareness of Crafted’s digital expertise within East Anglia.”

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