People on the Move: Langricks; Project Four; Travel Counsellors; Express Gifts; Monitor Creative

From left: George Yates, Will Sant and Lizzie Hill

Langricks Chartered Accountants in Wilmslow has offered career opportunities to several young professionals and is now seeing that belief rewarded at a time of increased demand for financial and accountancy professionals and a marked lack of available skills.

According to research and insight specialists IHS Markit the private financial services sector is showing the highest increase in vacancies for permanent workers (January 2018) while at the same time availability of candidates has dropped at the fastest rate for two years.

Director Chris Langrick said: “It is certainly the most challenging picture I have seen, hence our focus on bringing through enthusiastic, younger individuals who we can shape and develop.”

The move reflects a wider trend of non-graduate entry into the accountancy profession with firms picking up students much earlier and offering them an alternative ‘earning while learning’ route into the sector – a strategy supported by Chris who also took this way in, qualifying as a chartered accountant at the age of 22.

Senior Associate Will Sant, 26, will qualify as a chartered accountant in July 2019 and describes his working and studying journey at Langricks as a new lease of life.

He said: “I completed my AAT training in 2014 and took a couple of years off studying but now I know what I want.

“At Langricks there is a clear career path with plenty of variety and responsibility and constant support along the way. I am already involved in a portfolio of clients – it’s great to work for many businesses.

“I want to continue doing that and get to a stage when I can use my knowledge to add real value and help companies grow.”

Associate Lizzie Hill, 21, has re-joined Langricks on a level 7 ACA apprenticeship after becoming Level 3 AAT qualified at another accountancy firm, which followed a stint with a leading pension provider.

She is now studying towards her own ACA qualifications at the firm – due to qualify in March 2021 – while working for clients preparing annual accounts and VAT returns.

She said of the atmosphere for young people: “It’s a relaxed, friendly place to be studying and working for clients and we are certainly made to feel appreciated. Langricks make plenty of investments in young people and it’s clear they believe in us and think it is a great route into the profession.”

Junior Associate George Yates, 20, is currently studying for AAT qualifications with Total People in Middlewich and is well on his way, passing recent exams first time. He said: “I aim to be a qualified accountant by the age of 25.”

Langricks’s newest recruit is 18-year old Tilda Tobias who has just joined as an associate after completing A levels at Aquinas College in Stockport.

Chris Langrick said: “In the face of shortages in the profession and yet increase in demand for our services we are building a workforce for the future. Will, Lizzie and George all show immense potential. It is important that we, as employers, recognise this and give opportunities when we can.”

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Fast-growing health & safety and CDM consultancy Project Four has added to its team of industry experts with two new appointments.

The firm, which is based at Avenue HQ on Liverpool’s waterfront, has recruited Richard Ellis and Andy Black as safety advisers, and has also taken on Connor Mcilroy, an 18-year-old from Wirral, as its new apprentice.

Launched in October 2016, Project Four provides Construction, Design and Management (CDM) advisory services to the construction and industrial sectors and is currently working on developments across the UK worth more than £500m.

To handle the growing pipeline of new work, directors Alan Robson and Max Meadows felt it was crucial to add to the team and say Richard and Andy are exactly who they were looking for.

Richard Ellis joins from international architecture and building consultancy AHR, where he spent 18 years gaining a broad understanding of building practices within the construction industry and the CDM regulations.

He has taken on the role of CDM consultant on a wide variety of projects ranging from small to multi-million pound schemes. These include public and private sector schemes involving schools, academies, colleges and universities, hospitals, retail parks, transport hubs, industrial, residential, and hotels.

Richard Ellis

Richard will also be taking a leading role with retained architectural clients, which is a new approach to supporting the CDM stakeholders through retained contracts – which is reducing the project by project fee/eliminating the higher fees.

Andy Black has recently completed a six-month contract providing health and safety support for automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover at its huge new factory in Nitra in Slovakia, a £1.2bn project that will create thousands of jobs.

After graduating from Reading University Andy began his career as an environmental manager in the petrochemical sector and later retrained in health and safety construction, working previously with Alan and Max on a number of North West projects.

On the new appointments, Max said: “The highly specialised, and often complex, nature of our work means we need to have the best people in our operation and so we are really pleased that Richard and Andy are joining us at Project Four.

“Our pipeline of work is growing all the time and in the coming months we are going to be playing a key role in some of the most high-profile construction projects in the North West.”

Alan added: “We have been in business for less than two years and our growth has been phenomenal. Richard and Andy are great additions and we also think our new apprentice, Connor, will prove to be a real asset. He is really positive and mad keen to get started.”

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The business travel arm of global independent travel company Travel Counsellors has appointed Mark Wilson as general manager as it continues to expand its corporate reach.

Mark joins Travel Counsellors for Business following a five-year tenure at ALTOUR as senior vice president and general manager.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the travel sector Mark has held senior strategy and operations roles at a number of multinational organisations, helping to drive sales and business growth. In his new role Mark will oversee Travel Counsellors for Business’ corporate travel strategy globally.

The new appointment comes as Travel Counsellors for Business celebrates a record month for corporate sales. Total UK bookings for September hit £11.3m, an increase of 15% on the same period in 2017, with global sales surpassing £115m since the turn of the year, representing a 14% increase on the previous year.

Mark Wilson said: “I’m utterly thrilled to be joining Travel Counsellors for Business at such an exciting, growth-driven phase in the company’s corporate travel offering.

Mark Wilson

“I look forward to working closely with Travel Counsellors’ global support team across seven countries, who are all so passionate about the ongoing growth of corporate travel across the business, and continue to build on what is already another record year for the company.”

Wilson’s appointment comes after a further six new additions to the company’s corporate travel support team in the UK and Australia, including dedicated marketing, pitch (B2B) sales support and account management. Travel Counsellors for Business has also doubled the size of its corporate recruitment team, which has recruited a further 29 specialist corporate travel counsellors this year alone.

Steve Byrne, Travel Counsellors chief executive, said: “Mark’s proven track record in creating outstanding customer experiences and his client-first approach will continue to drive Travel Counsellors for Business’ global operations forward.

“Mark shares our passion for customer care, and will ensure our corporate travel counsellors continue to feel fully supported in the growth of their individual businesses, and together with our continuous innovation in technology, be empowered to create seamless travel itineraries and enjoyable booking experiences for their clients – all centred around an unwavering focus on customer care.”

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Express Gifts, owner of the online shopping brand, Studio.co.uk, has appointed Chris Chalmers as marketing and digital director.

Chalmers joins the largest multi-channel digital value retailer, which currently employs more than 1,500 people, following his role as marketing and e ommerce director with Thomas Cook.

Chris Chalmers

The hire comes as the Accrington-based brand, which offers a wide range of consumer products, looks to accelerate its digital transformation and broaden its appeal to both current and new customers.

Chalmers has extensive digital and ecommerce experience in the retail, travel and leisure industries, having worked for leading brands such as Asda and Jet2, and is passionate about the brand being a digital leader in the North of England.

Paul Kendrick, managing director of Express Gifts, said: “Chris brings with him a wealth of retail and online expertise, along with a strong vision for the future of our brand.

“His collection of past successes speaks for itself, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for Express Gifts.”

Chris said: “It’s a gem of a business with big digital ambition. I am looking forward to joining the team and taking on the challenge of leading its digital transformation and building a household name.”

Express Gifts, owned by Findel and trading under Studio.co.uk, is an online personal shopping service with flexible payment options. It stocks more than 60,000 products, including clothing, homeware and gifts.

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Manchester-based Monitor Creative has appointed Uma Gally as its new business development manager. just two months before it celebrates its 25th birthday.

Gally, whose previous experience includes extensive business development in the music and hospitality industries, has also worked with high-profile brands such as CBRE, Puma, Wella and boxer Ricky Hatton.

She will be tasked with expanding Monitor’s client base across design, digital and motion.

Monitor Creative managing director Moray Newberry said: “We’re delighted to welcome Uma to the Monitor team at what is proving to be a tremendously exciting time in our history.

“Earlier this year we refreshed our brand to more accurately reflect our ethos and working methods and, having enjoyed significant revenue growth in the last 12 months, Uma’s appointment gives us the perfect opportunity to build on that momentum.

“Uma has a proven track record, a lively personality and plenty of resilience. She was the unanimous choice of our team and we’re confident she’ll be a major asset in the months and years to come.”

Founded in December 1993 and now boasting a creative team with diverse skills and specialisms, Monitor has evolved to focus on three core services: Design, digital, and motion.

Uma Gally

Gally said: “Working with the Monitor Creative team, which is at the cutting edge of Manchester design, is an incredible opportunity.

“There’s no better feeling than sealing a deal, so I’m looking forward to using my skills and experience to help generate more ideas, opportunities and revenue.”

Monitor’s clients include Bromleys Solicitors, International Netball Federation, Polypipe and Today’s Group. It also publishes the Manchester lifestyle magazine M World.

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