September – the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us and I really enjoy this time of the year. Even more so this year as I have been travelling around NI catching up with our members and running the series of IoD Drop-In Clinics.
We have been in Lisburn and Newry to date and have really enjoyed meeting members and non-members, talking about their business, how IoD can help through our membership benefits and sharing details on the suite of professional qualifications we offer. As ever, these meetings are interesting, informative and offer a real insight into the challenges faced by NI business. We are planning more drop-in sessions in Cookstown, Bangor, L/derry and Ballymena. So please do get in touch if you are in these areas and want to catch up. It would be great to see you!
September has also been a busy month for our professional development team and it’s great to have Lisa Maltman back as our PD Manager. Lisa has hit the deck running as the September courses have been full and she is preparing for the rest of the programme of 2019 courses. In true Lisa fashion though, she is planning ahead to 2020 and helping directors decide on the best path for their professional development. She also has plans for new initiatives and alumni events – so watch this space!
Brexit: As the deadline of 31 October draws closer, IoD believes the common theme within Northern Ireland businesses is the importance of putting the political wrangling over Brexit to one side and to focus on the practical things that can be done to prepare for whatever the outcome may be.
We know that planning for such an outcome is intrinsically difficult, however, there are actions directors can consider between now and 31 October. To this end, we have updated our planning for Brexit guide, which we hope will help you to understand some of the key elements in your role as a leader.
Our Brexit policy leads sit on many different working groups on planning with government, across areas ranging from customs and IP to immigration and Northern Ireland border preparation. In the weeks ahead we will also be running a sequence of webinars, focussing on specific aspects of Brexit-related change. Please keep an eye out for further information.
Additional Brexit support has just been announced by HMRC for: Customs Training and IT Grants Scheme. The scheme has been designed to increase the capacity in the customs intermediary sector, both through improvements in the IT infrastructure of the sector and also upskilling staff in customs procedures. The available funding is up to 100% of the cost of eligible training, and IT improvements. The training element of the fund is open to traders that import or export, whereas the IT funding stream is open only to customs intermediaries.
PwC is administering this system – more information here www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk
Finally, IoD is currently recruiting for vacancies on our NI Committee. Committee members are representative of senior decision makers across private, public and third sector.
Deadline is 5.00pm on 25 October.
As always, please get in touch if you have any queries or want to talk about IoD membership.