Prof. Jon Fairburn

About Prof. Jon Fairburn

Professor of Sustainable Development. EU projects have been funded under INTERREG, GRUNDTVIG, FP7, ERASMUS, TRANSVERSALS

Evaluating the potential of public policy to jointly promote firms’ exporting and innovation – new PhD for Ema Talam

Ema Talam - a new PhD student in the Business School

Ema Talam – a new PhD student in the Business School

Ema Talam has recently joined the Business School to start research for her PhD.  Her topic is “Evaluating the potential of public policy to jointly promote firms’ exporting and innovation”, supervised by Dr Mehtap Hisarciklilar-Riegler and Professor Geoff Pugh.

Ema completed her Bachelor’s degree in the field of management at the School of Economics and Business of University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and received the Golden Badge of the University of Sarajevo for her accomplishments.

Ema then completed her Master’s degree in Economics at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). Her Master’s thesis explored the link between (un)employment, income and ethnic tensions and was titled “The link between ethnic tensions and unemployment in multiethnic countries: The case of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

At the beginning of 2018, Ema has received the Preseren Award of the Faculty of Economics of University of Ljubljana for her Master’s thesis. Ema has attended several other notable educational programmes, such as the International Summer School in Human Rights at University of Oslo (Norway) in 2014. So far, Ema has written and published two papers that covered two distinct topics: “Socialism and Marxian economics: An overview” and “The link between globalization and gender equality”.

Currently, Ema is surveying the literature. Generally exporting and innovation are treated as separate activities. Only a small portion of the literature recognises that the link between the two exists and explores the link between exporting and innovation (i.e. how exporting influences innovation and vice versa). Furthermore, public policies aimed at promoting exporting and innovation are directed towards just one of the activities. Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of such policies.

The research will examine the links between exporting and innovation. The research will explore how exporting and innovation affect firm performance, both when undertaken separately and jointly. Furthermore, it will analyse the impact of public policy support on exporting and innovation activities.

Finally, based on the all of the previously stated, the research will examine the implications of findings for policy and institutional design. The focus of this examination will be to explore whether programmes for firms aimed at supporting exporting and/or innovation activities should be designed and implemented jointly or separately.

Ema is on linkedin here

or email her on t028882h@student.staffs.ac.uk.

 

Website Design: Inclusive Experiences Part 1 Visual: Colours and shapes

By Nick Heywood on the MSc Digital Marketing Management award

Why is accessibility important?

In order for the consumer to have an overall positive experience, it is strongly recommended that your project is designed to be inclusive. If the right accessibility isn’t in place, it could exclude consumers who may struggle or even be unable to interact with the project. The information that will be covered in this blog series can be applied to digital projects ranging from websites to computer games.

Visual Colours

Visual Colours

Visual: Colours and shapes

Visual aspects are crucial in any digital project, the appearance of your content is the first thing most consumers see, and influences how they will interact with it.

Using colour schemes/overlays

Using colour schemes/overlays

Colour-orientated design

This can be a tricky one, the use of colours can aid the experience for some consumers, it can however also hinder others if substitutional elements aren’t implemented.

Colour Schemes/overlays

Let’s start with how colour can aid experience, consumers with conditions such as Dyslexia and/or Irlen Syndrome can struggle to read against certain contrast and colours, due to struggles including the processing of spectral light, which influences how they process visual information; the use of coloured overlays to tint colours in front/behind the text can ease readability for them.

There is software that can help them with this online such as ColorVeil and nOverlay, although other platforms would benefit from access to alternative text colour schemes.

Alternate text colour schemes refer to the colour of the text, and the background behind it, especially in sections containing large bodies of text, or requiring quick reference during interaction. Providing options for the consumer to alter them provides an opportunity to not only tailor the experience to their needs, but also make it their own.

Colour schemes to take into consideration are shown in the image below

Text-Comparison on different colour backgrounds

Text-Comparison on different colour backgrounds

Taking font style and size into consideration can also aid this experience, Sans-Serif style fonts tend to be more comfortable to read, an extensive list of similar/other fonts to consider can be found at Dyslexic.com.

Communicating through shapes

If you rely on only colours to communicate functionality or change to consumers, it will be inaccessible to anyone who has a form of colour-blindness. Colour-blindness is a colour vision deficiency that affects how many colours a person can see in general; average colour vision is formed by three colour receptors in our retinas that process red, green, and blue, whereas a colourblind person will lack one or even all of them. The image below makes an accurate comparison of how people with various conditions perceive colours through their vision.

Colours perception for various conditions

Colours perception for various conditions

Photo Credit: Cole Seidner

This is why using various shapes can also help communicate your design, for example: how iOS Mail uses circles and Flag symbols to identify content you may wish to check, or how Twitter “fills” the Like/Love symbol to indicate you have Liked/Loved a post (see example below).

The role of colour and grey-scale options

The role of colour and grey-scale options

Viewing your content in a Greyscale colour filter is a good way of reviewing if colourblind individuals are able to visually process the information without the need of colour. Most modern smartphones have this feature under their Accessibility settings, up-to-date versions of Windows 10 (Windows+Ctrl+C) can also do this, Macs can do this via Universal Access in their System Preferences, it’s also feasible in Linux with plugins.

Following these steps in your project design will take it one step further to becoming an inclusive experience for consumers. Next time, we will be looking at how to communicate information that can’t always be seen or heard.

Nicholas Heywood

Twitter – LinkedIn – Portfolio

MSc Digital Marketing Management Student (Full Time)

New opportunities for workers over 50

Blog by Marzena Reszka

People in the UK are living longer than ever before – a major achievement of modern science and healthcare. Older people make up a growing proportion of the population, and so make an increasing contribution to society.

However, the UK is not making the most of the opportunities afforded by an ageing population. Too many people are forced out of work in later life by poor health or unwelcoming attitudes in the workplace. Too few people access the training they need to adapt to a changing labour market. Too many families face the choice between working and providing care for a loved one. Too few homes meet the needs of older people.

At Staffordshire University we have a project to support over 50s who want some enterprise and skills training. This will help develop both the confidence, mind-set and skills in this area. It is worth remembering that people in their 40s and 50s are the most likely to start up a business.

Smiling

As the population ages, so will the UK workforce. The productivity and economic success of the UK is increasingly tied to that of older workers. Thus, learning and training  becomes of even greater importance as the population ages.

The proportion of the working age population aged between 50 and the state pension age (SPA) will increase to 35% in 2050 – an increase of approximately 8 million people. Encouraging older people to remain in work will help society to support growing numbers of dependents, while providing individuals with the financial and mental resources needed for longer periods of retirement.

Population ageing and increased life expectancy changed traditional thinking about learning. Longer working lives and other changes to the labour market means workers need to be more adaptable than they were before. More broadly, evidence shows that life-long participation in learning can improve people’s health, cognition, wellbeing and resilience. The need to reduce the level of dependency in society means that learning, and any other tool for extending the period of time that people can live independently, is increasingly important.

We therefore, need employers support a multigenerational workforce maximising the opportunities for older workers, and secondly we need to support older workers to take a new direction or for those unemployed return to working. This is where self-employment can offer a more flexible form of working, that may allow older people to stay in work for longer.

Moreover, the age profile of self-employed people they tend to be older than employees are, with 43% of those recorded as self-employed are over the aged 50 compared to 27%, which are employees. Age UK says that older workers are more likely to have a higher chance of success with over 70 per cent of these businesses lasting over five years compared to only 28 per cent set up by younger entrepreneurs.

Here is a few questions to ask yourself:

Do you have a hobby or interest in an area you could turn into a business? Do you want a better work-life balance? Are you unemployed, facing redundancy or looking for a change? Are you wondering how to set up a community interest company?

The training will look at how to come up with a business idea in the first place. It will explore if it could be viable. In addition, once you know what you want to do we then guide you through the process of how to set it up. We can help you to identify who your customers will be and how to promote your product to them.

The project is funded by the EU and includes partners from trade unions in Italy, and business organisations in Spain, Belgium and Portugal all working together to deliver a good training package and to help boost life-long learning and economic recovery.

The training is free and if you are interested please contact  Hazel Squire h.squire@staffs.ac.uk  01782 294985 or Jon Fairburn jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk 01782 294094 at Staffordshire University.

Silver Workers "Use your expertise" logo

Funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and EU flag logo

 

New survey launched to help SMEs with reporting

A new survey has been launched by the Business School. The aim is to inform the development of training materials and tools to help SME’s deals with their sustainable accounting and reporting practices.

If you are a SME please fill in the surveyhttps://report-asapproject.eu/questionnaire

To find out more details of the project visit the project website

https://report-asapproject.eu/

or facebook group https://www.facebook.com/reportasapproject/

Logo

 

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

New book co-authored by Prof Iraj Hashi – Spanish Sociedades Laborales—Activating the Unemployed

Spanish Sociedades Laborales—Activating the Unemployed- A Potential New EU Active Labour Market Policy Instrument by Jens Lowitzsch, Sophie Dunsch,  Iraj Hashi

 

This book investigates the potential of the Spanish Sociedades Laborales (SLs) as an instrument of active labour market policy for re-turning the unemployed to the labour market. SLs are  mostly small and micro enterprises and a qualified form of the conventional corporation, majority-owned by their permanent employees. Unemployed persons can capitalise their unemployment benefits as a lump sum to start a new SL or to recapitalise an existing SL by joining it. This makes SLs similar to start-up subsidies for the unemployed, an established instrument of active labour market policy across the EU. This book examines the function and success of existing SLs and explores the transferability of the scheme to other EU Member States.

It tackles two widely discussed policy issues at both the EU level as well as the national level: firstly, the reactivation of the unemployed into work, and secondly the encouragement of employee co-ownership in the context of the economic reform agenda, in particular with regard to corporate governance, regional economic stimuli and distributive justice.

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-54870-8

13 great events from January to June in 2018

Here’s a good mix of events – comedy, music, opera, baking, jazz and festivals all happening within our local region

January

25th to 27th – Moscow City Ballet presents the Nutcracker, Regent Theatre

26th Circus of Horrors at the Victoria Hall 

February

6th Banff Mountain Film Festival at Victoria Hall

7th and 8th Bill Bailey – Larks in Transit Victoria Hall 

28th England Legends Live! – Peter Shilton and Sir Geoff Hurst presented by Pat Murphy of BBC Five LiveVictoria Hall

March

1st to 4th Lichfield Literature Festival 

3rd French Bread and Croissants with Phillippe Toquin at the Dorothy Clive Gardens

7th Ellen Kent – La Traviata March Regent Theatre

26th Russell Brand Re-birth Victoria Hall

29th to April 2nd Nantwich Jazz Festival 

April

7th An introduction to bee keeping with Alison Wakeman at Dorothy Clive Garden

May

4th top 7th Lymelight Music Festival Newcastle under Lyme (follow @newcastleBID  for more details as they come)

June 

8th to 10th Dovedale Arts Festival 

 

Keep up to date with events and tourism by following our twitter account @tourismsu 

If you are interested in studying tourism or events with us then have a look at our courses

rock concert

Accessible Tourism and the Purple Pound

by Final Year Tourism student Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

With a value of around £249 bn to the UK economy (BBC, 2017) the power of the ‘purple pound’ cannot be underestimated. But what is the purple pound and why is it so important for organisations to consider its importance? Colours have long been attributed to the purchasing power of target market segments, with the grey pound referring to the disposable income of older people and the purchasing habits of the LGBT community known as the pink pound. The colour purple refers to the potential spending power of disabled people.

A 2014 report from the Department for Work and Pensions suggested that high street businesses could be turning away the custom of 1 in 5 people by not attracting disabled people. Whilst many tourism businesses are not found on the high street, it is imperative that the tourism industry should recognise the value and importance of the purple pound.

Trips and spend of the Purple Pound

Figure 1 – Trips and spend of the Purple Pound

According to VisitBritain (2017) disabled British and international visitors currently spend over £3 billion on overnight tourism trips in England each year (Figure 1). Add to the mix their travelling companions and the total tourism spend by this market in England annually is estimated to be around £12 billion per year. So, for tourism organisations, improving accessibility could improve business.

What is accessible tourism?

Accessible tourism is tourism that is available to every person regardless of disability, health or other issues UNWTO (2012). It is important to remember that only around 8% of disabled people use a wheelchair, meaning that over 90% have hearing, visual or other mobility impairments that do not require the use of more obvious support. Assumptions that all people with disabilities present obvious signs detract from the provision of appropriate services and support (see figure 2 for examples).

Figure 2 - Impairment help symbols

Figure 2 – Impairment help symbols

People with accessibility needs include those who are or who present:

  • Wheelchair users
  • Learning disabilities
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing loss
  • Mental impairment
  • Families with young children
  • Elderly
  • Autistic
  • Foreign language speakers

Needs they may require:

  • Lift
  • Disabled toilets
  • Blue badge holder parking space
  • Flat surface – (wheelchair friendly)
  • Automatic /extended/ double doors
  • Staff capable of speaking more than 1 language
  • Accessibility aids eg onsite wheelchair
  • Guide dog permit entry
  • Hearing impairment eg hearing loops

Research (Visit Britain, 2017) suggests that visitors who make up the accessible tourism market are:

  • More likely to take longer trips
  • Find seaside destinations particularly appealing
  • Anecdotally very loyal
Figure 3 World of Wedgwood

Figure 3 World of Wedgwood

As part of my final year Tourism project, l will be assessing accessible tourism provision in visitor attractions, with a focus on the World of Wedgwood. Consideration will be given to the extent to which the attraction meets the demands of the accessible tourism market. The aim of my study is to increase Wedgwood’s awareness of this rapidly growing market and to utilise Visit Britain’s accessible tourism toolkit to offer suggestions and recommendations for facilities and services on offer, in order to increase the chances of attracting more visitors with access needs.

Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

The author Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

Contact Details;

Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

Email: vlm.wisdom@hotmail.com

Facebook: Vionage Leyleen

LinkedIn: Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

References:

BBC News. (2017). The power of the ‘purple pound’. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-39040760/the-power-of-the-purple-pound-explained [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

Gov.uk. (2017). High street could be boosted by £212 billion ‘purple pound’ by  attracting disabled people and their families – GOV.UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/high-street-could-be-boosted-by-212-billion-purple-pound-by-attracting-disabled-people-and-their-families  [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

VisitBritain. (2017). Providing access for all. [online] Available at: https://www.visitbritain.org/providing-access-all [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

UNWTO.org.(2017). Manual on  Accessible Tourism for All:  Principles, Tools and Best Practices [online] Available at: http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/docpdf/moduleieng13022017.pdf [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

Find out about our Tourism and Events courses on this link

Sign up to our next Open Day on this link 

Follow us on twitter @tourismsu

A time to have fun (and some research) at the World of Wedgwood Christmas Market

Christmas is a time that brings so much love and joy to friends, family and loved ones, so why not visit the World of Wedgwood Magical Christmas Market for festive treats and Christmas gifts.

 The event runs from the 7-10th of December.

The Christmas Market Fayre will consist of over 50 stalls selling hand crafted products and locally sourced and produced fine foods for festive treats and Christmas gifts, located in the Courtyard and the Darwin Suite. There will also be music and entertainment, along with Christmas lunches in the contemporary restaurant and a festive afternoon tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room.

In addition to the Christmas market, visitors can also enjoy the Wedgwood Museum or take a tour of the Wedgwood factory, where they can put their skills to the test in the creative studio by having a spin on the potter’s wheel or designing a unique Wedgwood plate.

The World of Wedgwood is situated in Barlaston in Stoke-on-Trent. It is not far from junction 14 (north) and junction 15 (south) which makes life a lot easier for tourists travelling from the motorway . The Christmas Market Fayre has free entry and there is also free parking available on the venue.

About me

My name is Charmaine Oputeri and I am a final year student studying Tourism Management at Staffordshire University.

I am doing my final year project on the World of Wedgwood’s Christmas Market Fayre. The aim of my project is to establish the customer profile and to broadly evaluate the marketing aspects of World of Wedgwood. This is vital to my project as it will enable me to understand what attracts people to visit the World of Wedgwood and how it can be improved for future visitors.

Data collection will be conducted by asking the visitors  at the Christmas Market Fayre to fill out a survey. This survey consists of various questions about the customer experience e.g. what they enjoyed the most about the Christmas Market and what they would like to see improved in the future.

I hope to pursue a career within the Tourism industry as l enjoy working with people. This final year project will enable to reach this goal because it is going to teach me interpersonal skills, good communication skills and lastly, it will enable me to use my own initiative.

Social media

World of Wedgwood on facebook 

World of Wedgwood on Instagram

@WorldofWedgwood on twitter

Charmaine Oputeri on twitter

Charmaine Octuperi on Instagram

 

New project: Adoption of Sustainable Accounting Practices for Reporting

A new project to help small and medium business report on their sustainability has just started.  The overall aim of the project is to provide the necessary training and tools for SMEs to adopt sustainable accounting and reporting practices in a cost-effective way.

The project is led by Dr Souad Moufty of the Business School and is funded under the EU ERASMUS Plus Strategic Partnership Programme. Dr Aisha Abuelmaati and Prof Jon Fairburn will also be working on the project.

The project will first carry out a needs analysis in the six partner countries to establish a knowledge gap framework. This consultation will launch early in 2018.

The partnership will then produce a training course, and online training tool and a trainers guide. These will be supported both by the ECVET skills framework and by an achievements recognition framework.

Project Lead

Dr Souad Moufty e: souad.moufty@staffs.ac.uk

Tel + 44 1782 294257

Partners

Staffordshire University, Business School –

Business School PAR, Croatia 

CIVIC Computing, Scotland

Eurocrea Merchant , Italy 

FGUGREM, Spain  

Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bulgaria

AKNOW, Greece

Adoption of Sustainable Accounting Practices for Reporting -Report Asap

Funded under #ERASMUS PLUS and will run until Sept 2019.