Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Scottish Companies Expect £488 Million Additional Sales from Innovation

31/08/2016 - Companies working with Scottish Enterprise are expecting £488 million in additional sales as a result of their innovation activities over the next three years.

The figures, unveiled at the Venturefest Scotland 2016 event today, highlight the significant benefit that embracing innovation has on generating new products, services, processes, markets and revenue streams for businesses.

The expected sales come from innovation projects that 233 companies across Scotland undertook between April 2015 and March 2016 with Scottish Enterprise support.

Each company provided a sales forecast for the new products and services developed as a result of its innovation project, with a total forecast of £488 million in sales over the next three years.

Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Growth Companies, Innovation and Infrastructure, said: “These figures show that the companies we support are turning their ideas into successful products and services.”

“Over the past two years, the companies we work with forecasted £1 billion in additional sales, with the majority expected in international markets, highlighting the strong relationship between innovation and international success.

"While we’ve made excellent progress in the last two years, we’re committed to supporting many more companies and being among the most innovative nations by 2020.”

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Innovation is essential for increasing competitiveness and improving Scotland's economic performance as well as the quality of life of those who live here; improving productivity can help keep a business ahead of its competitors, improve market share and profitability and the ability of an employer to improve wages.

“Scotland is a country that has contributed enormously to the modern world, but in today's competitive world economy, increasing Scotland’s business innovation performance is a key priority for the Scottish Government and this is reflected in initiatives such as establishment of Scotland's CAN DO Innovation Forum.

“These figures from Scottish Enterprise indicate that excellent progress is being made towards our goal of helping more companies to innovate, which in turn is helping drive up our national level of business innovation and yielding gains for businesses.It is vital to support many more ambitious companies to grow their revenue through innovating to establish new products and services."

One company that’s worked with Scottish Enterprise to develop its innovation activity is Jas P Wilson, a forestry and firewood machinery suppliers and engineers based in Dalbeattie.

The company works intensively with Scottish Enterprise through its account management approach to ensure it receives tailored support at the right time to accelerate its international growth. The company now exports its products across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Most recently the company’s managing director participated in a series of innovation workshops designed to identify where innovation could be most beneficial to businesses and provide practical help to embed a culture of innovation.

Billy Wilson, Managing Director at Jas P Wilson, commented: “The biggest thing that Scottish Enterprise did for us last year was to invite me to the deeper innovation workshop.

“I came back from that looking at innovation in a totally different way. I used to think it was just about product development. Now I realise you can use innovation in all parts of your business.”

Job Opportunities with the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland

31/08/2016 - FSB Scotland is advertised for the following two positions. Please click on the links for more information and application details. Applications close 5 September 2016.

Operational Support Administrator, Glasgow (FT)
The FSB is seeking a highly driven, motivated and experienced Operational Support Manager.  This is the perfect opportunity to join and lead a high-profile and respected team whilst ensuring the successful management, development and efficient performance of the Glasgow Office.

Operational Support Manager, Glasgow (FT)
This is an excellent opportunity for a supportive and experienced Administrator to become part of a high-profile and respected team whose mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. Responsible for high levels of accuracy, whilst ensuring the smooth operation of the Glasgow Office with regard to social media support, administration and events.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Next Stage of Regeneration Strategy for Glasgow City Centre Launched

30/08/2016 - The next stage of a ten year regeneration strategy for Glasgow city centre was launched yesterday by Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council.

Focusing on four of the city centre’s nine districts: Broomielaw, Blythswood, Central and St. Enoch, the next stage of the Glasgow City Centre Districts Regeneration Framework will see stakeholders have the collective opportunity to put forward aspirations for regeneration and physical change for the first time.

Councillor McAveety was joined at the launch by Winy Mass, founding partner and director at architectural and design firm MVRDV;Graham Ross, a partner at architects Austin-Smith:Lord; and members of business, civic, community, economic, hotel, housing, retail, investment and development organisations.

MVRDV and Austin-Smith:Lord will work with Glasgow City Counciland city stakeholders and partners to deliver the Regeneration Frameworks collaborating as part of a multi-disciplinary team with an integrated approach to architecture; connectivity; delivery; economics; engineering; finance; landscape; planning; sustainability and urban design.

The first stage in the regeneration of the city centre was carried out in 2015 for the Sauchiehall and Garnethill District Regeneration Framework.  After the public consultation with local stakeholders, key recommendations for the regeneration of that district include a new cycle and pedestrian bridge as well as a new urban park over part of the M8 near Charing Cross.

Other recommendations focused on attracting and improving city living, encouraging better connectivity as well as harnessing local identity and vibrancy. Alongside these recommendations, the City Deal project will create a renewed  Sauchiehall Street from Charing Cross to Rose bringing with it a tree lined “Avenue”.

Councillor Frank McAveety said: “The future of Glasgow city centre is of huge important to so many of us as this area is without doubt the economic powerhouse of Scotland.  This next stage of the regeneration framework for the city centre will look at four districts that play a significant role in our economic and cultural life, to identify and support and then develop the assets they have in new and innovative ways to ensure Glasgow continues to grow.  There will be an investment of £115 million in the city centre from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, and our engagement with the stakeholders of these areas will help decide how this investment is delivered. At the end of this process, we can look forward to a city centre that has changed for the better to become an even more attractive place in which to live, work, study, invest and visit.”

Winy Mass, founding partner and director at MVRDV, said: “It is both an incredible pleasure and a great responsibility to work on the transformation of Glasgow’s heart because it touches people’s lives and the identity of their city.  For this reason we collaborate with the Glaswegians on their city. The project is titled (Y)OUR CITY CENTRE and it is an overall plan made of many elements ranging from larger scale interventions concerning liveability, the infrastructure, the meaning of the river; to the small scale in which bottom-up initiatives, street furniture and the development of small plots is considered. The outcome will be presented to the citizens for an open dialogue about the future of Glasgow.”

Graham Ross, office principal of Austin-Smith:Lord’s Glasgow studio, added: “We’re delighted to launch the next step in the preparation of the Regeneration Frameworks for Broomielaw, St. Enoch, Central and Blythswood.  We’re starting a conversation with Glaswegians about their city centre; looking to work collaboratively and creatively to imagine how these Districts can be in the future. 

We’re keen to discuss (Y)OUR CITY CENTRE ideas. These can be shared at forthcoming on-street events and interactive workshops in the Districts, on a dedicated website, online questionnaire and via social media.”

Key priorities for the regeneration of the city centre include an improved environment, driven by the creation of Avenues to connect between and throughout districts, promoting cycling and walking; economic growth; development of vacant sites; and attracting investment to ensure Glasgow maintains its place as a top European investment location.

The framework will take an integrated approach to the following issues: architecture; connectivity; delivery; economics; engineering; finance; landscape; planning; sustainability and urban design.

dedicated website for this next stage of the city centre strategy has been established and more information on the regeneration of Glasgow City Centre is available here.

Scottish Decline Share Reported in Inward Investment

30/08/2016 - Scotland's share of inward investment projects has fallen, according to the latest figures from the new UK Department for International Trade.

There were 108 inward investment projects counted in the 2015-16 financial year.

In the previous two years, there were 122 and 119.

The number of jobs created was well below a proportionate share of the British jobs, at 4,200.
The British numbers had another strong showing in both projects and jobs supported.

Foreign investment in the UK reached more than 2,200 projects, up 11%.

This Whitehall report says nearly 83,000 jobs were created that way, down slightly, but the second highest since the data began.

The projects counted in these figures included new factories and branch offices, expansion of existing plants, and firms being taken over.

The sectors most affected were in finance, professional services, and manufacturing.

Although London dominates, with 889 projects attracted last year, Scotland is rated as being attractive to foreign investors.

Scottish Enterprise

In a separate annual survey by the business consultancy EY, it has recently come second, after London.

It has been helped by the experience built up in Scottish Enterprise and the government agency 

Scottish Development International. By contrast, in recent years, English regions' efforts have had to adapt to the dismantling of regional development agencies.

They may now be catching up. Northern England saw 228 new projects in 2015-16, a rise of 24%, linked to 10,700 jobs. Wales secured 97 projects, with 5,400 jobs attached.

Commenting on the most recent figures, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said they show "the UK continues to be the place to do business".

He added: "We've broadened our reach with emerging markets across the world to cement our position as the number one destination in Europe for investment.

"This continued vote of confidence in the UK will help attract foreign investment to create jobs, security and opportunities for people across the UK."

Monday, 29 August 2016

Highlands & Islands Enterprise - September 2016 Events

This September, we’re encouraging businesses to take a step back and assess how well they are innovating. Innovation is about seeing opportunities and grabbing them, or being faced with a problem and finding a way around it. It’s about adapting to remain competitive, and it’s sometimes about taking risks - that pay off.

There are a number of events focusing on innovation taking place this September, come and join us or get in touch to book a session with one of our innovation advisors.

Book a session >
Events this September
  • 01 September, Venturefest - SECC, Glasgow
    Scotland’s annual innovation summit for ambitious growth businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators.
    Register here >
  • 07 and 08 September, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service annual conference - Westerwood Hotel, Stirling
    The only event of its kind in Scotland, this brings together the ‘who’s who’ in manufacturing – mixing the practical and the inspirational to accelerate innovation in Scottish manufacturing.
    Register here >
  • 14 September, SME Innovation Forum, Venturefest Ventures North - An Lochran, Inverness Campus
    Limited places for a group of SMEs with high growth ambitions to take some of the learnings from Venturefest, Scotland’s national innovation summit. Will include group working and guest speakers. Advised to book early.
    Register here >
  • 15 September, Innovation in Packaging - An Lochran, Inverness Campus
    *For HIE account managed clients only*
    This will be of interest to food and drink companies and anyone delivering a packaged product. This event has a varied programme of expert support, from high profile speakers to 1-2-1 clinics.
    Register here >
  • 21 September, Innovative and Transformative Work and Scotland's Digital Future - An Lochran, Inverness Campus
    *For HIE account managed clients*
    Speakers from Scottish Centre for Employment Research, University of Strathclyde, will discuss how digitisation can transform workplace efficiency.
    Register here >
  • 29 September, Fair, Design Innovation – not just for designers! - An Lochran, Inverness Campus
    Run in conjunction with the  V & A Museum of Design, this workshop will explore how the principles of design are used to drive innovation and solve problems by businesses across all sectors.
    Register here >

Friday, 26 August 2016

Scottish Government Launches Labour Market Strategy

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn today launched Scotland’s new Labour Market Strategy.

Scotland’s Labour Market Strategy is a top priority for the Scottish Government and has been delivered within the first 100 days of the new Government. The Strategy sets out how the Government will put fairness at the heart of its drive to develop a skilled workforce capable of meeting future economic demands.

With substantial funding already in place, Mr Hepburn confirmed a further £820,000 of new investment will help further embed equality in the work place. This is part of the Government’s on-going efforts to support business and create good quality jobs paying at least the living wage.

Unveiling the strategy the during a visit to Scottish Gas’s Training Academy in Hamilton, Mr Hepburn said;

“The labour market is the beating heart of our economy and its future performance is fundamental to our prosperity and success. This is why we have published a new Labour market strategy within the first 100 days of this Government, to ensure our support is tailored to meet economic conditions.
“Creating a fairer society is not just a desirable goal in itself, but is essential to the sustained, long-term prosperity of the Scottish economy. As an integral part of our Economic Strategy, today’s Labour Market Strategy outlines in more detail how our inclusive approach to the labour market will drive economic growth.

“We have consistently demonstrated our commitment to a different and more inclusive approach to our economy. An approach that is supported by a growing body of evidence, which shows that countries with more equal societies typically enjoy stronger and more sustainable growth. That is why we are focused on working with employers and unions to create more, better paid, quality jobs that work for the individual in terms of skills, security and future prospects.

“Scotland’s labour market is fundamentally strong, but maintaining the rights and protections workers enjoy under the EU is of vital importance to delivering our vision for the labour market. Scotland delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain, and given that strong support, we have committed as a priority to exploring all options to protect Scotland’s relations with the EU – both to protect workers’ rights and boost jobs and growth.

Mr Hepburn continued:

“I would like to thank Centrica for their commitment as a progressive forward thinking company on becoming a Scottish Business Pledge signatory and welcome your leadership in this area. I’m pleased that the Pledge is becoming a badge of pride for Scottish businesses, sending a clear signal to employees, customers, and the wider community that companies acknowledge their contribution to creating a fairer society.”

Jane Wood, Managing Director of Business in the Community Scotland said:

“A strong and fair labour market is a critical pre-condition for the achievement of sustained and inclusive growth, which is a hallmark of a successful business. As the organisation which leads the responsible business agenda and with 1:5 of all employees being employed by our business membership we welcome Scottish Government's creation of a Labour Market Strategy. This is a huge step forward and one which shows Scotland as leading the way globally in its commitment to responsible business. We are particularly pleased that the Labour Market Strategy describes a commitment which is shared by our members and with Scottish Government to create a Scottish National Action Plan for Responsible Business. This is a unique collaboration in which businesses will work together and with government to set the agenda for more inclusive growth for business and society.”

Anne Douglas, co-chair of the Fair Work Convention said:

“I am pleased to welcome this Labour Market Strategy from the Scottish Government and in particular, I am pleased to see their continuing commitment to the work of the Fair Work Convention. The Fair Work Framework, which we published earlier this year, showed the important role Fair work has to play in delivering clear benefits, not only for individuals but also for businesses through higher productivity, performance and innovation. These concepts are central to this strategy and I look forward to building on these themes as the Convention enters the next phase of its work.”

Paul Haines, Director of Regional Public Affairs and Policy at Centrica, said:
“Our people are vital to the on-going success of our business – that’s why we are very pleased to sign up to the Scottish Government’s Business Pledge.
“Whether it’s our Scottish Gas engineers, our colleagues in contact centres or in our exploration and production teams, everyone at Centrica shares the aims of the pledge. We already pay our people the Living Wage, we’re investing in the skills of young people and playing a role in the communities we serve. After signing the pledge, we now look forward to working with the government to support business growth across Scotland.”

To read the Labour Market Strategy, please see here:

Commitments include;
• Fully endorse the Fair Work framework, produced by the Fair Work Convention
• Up to £500k to support the work of the Fair Work Convention
• Establish a Strategic Labour Market Group which will work alongside the independent Fair Work Convention, to advise Ministers on future developments in the labour market.
• Work through the Enterprise and Skills Review to ensure our delivery bodies are best positioned to support inclusive growth
• Use of new powers to better align employability support in Scotland
• £200k to support for the National Action Plan for Responsible business
• £110k for the Fit Work Project
• £10k to sponsor of the Fair Work Employer of the year award
• The development of a Workplace Equality Fund
• Continued investment in sustainable physical and digital infrastructure
• Supporting sectors and companies to exploit opportunities that boost growth and export. 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Largest Showcase of Innovative Scottish Companies to Date at Venturefest Scotland 2016

25/08/2016 - This year’s Venturefest Scotland innovation summit will host one of the largest collections of innovative companies of any Venturefest event across the UK.

Comprising 33 of Scotland’s most innovative companies, the showcase will help inspire other businesses to put innovation at the heart of their activities.

Event attendees can chat to these businesses for advice on how to implement innovative practices and network with them to create new connections and business opportunities.

Each company selected to participate in the innovation showcase, which this year is supported by Marks & Clerk, will demonstrate innovation in action through the development of new products and services for new markets, new processes and business models and new methods of incorporating workplace innovation.

Companies confirmed to participate in the innovation showcase come from all over Scotland, represent a variety of industry sectors and are at different stages of business growth. What they all have in common is a desire to grow their business using innovation. A sample of the 33 businesses participating includes:
  • CarGo Seat, inventor of the booster seat that converts to a roller travel suitcase that was seen on BBC3’s Be Your Own Boss programme
  • Edinburgh Molecular Imaging’s revolutionary medical diagnostic imaging products
  • Ecom’s workforce learning and development information using innovative technologies
  • Global Trail, creator of location-based trail apps for book lovers, film enthusiasts and visitors to attractions and tourism destinations
  • Scoop’s automatic monitoring of social media to give instant alerts to breaking news stories as they happen, and before they hit mainstream media
  • SwarmOnline, a four-year-old web and mobile app development company providing solutions to multiple industries including the Energy, Oil & Gas, Property, Health & Wellness, Finance and Public Sector

Jim Watson, Director of Innovation and Enterprise Services at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “As Scotland’s innovation agency, we believe raising Scotland’s levels of business innovation is vital to our long term economic growth. To achieve this, we’re encouraging more companies to act on new ideas and innovations for commercial success.

“Venturefest Scotland is the ideal place for businesses to make all the connections they need to scale up and develop their competitiveness. Whether it’s finding a collaborative partner, exploring a new export market or honing pitching skills, you can access it all under one roof.”

Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, said: “New ideas are a spark that helps stimulates growth in our economy, which is why we’re fully committed to supporting an increase in business innovation and entrepreneurs.

“This is a central part of our economic strategy, which we are driving forward to protect and create jobs and prosperity.

“I am sure Venturefest will be a really important way to bring together cutting edge companies and expertise in innovation to make sure that even more great Scottish ideas are turned into success stories.”

Susie Logan, Head of Business Marketing at Standard Life – sponsor of Venturefest Scotland 2016, said: “At Standard Life we’re committed to supporting our SME clients and we collaborate with many innovative smaller businesses too. Like Venturefest, we recognise the importance of SMEs to our business and to helping our wider community to thrive. I’m delighted we’re supporting Venturefest for a second year and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the innovative businesses who will showcase there.”

This year’s Venturefest Scotland has the theme of Innovation and Design as enablers of business growth to reflect 2016 being Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

Inspiring industry leaders will be talking on this theme as part of Venturefest Scotland, with keynote speakers already confirmed including Keith Brown MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work; Chris van der Kuyl, Founder, Owner and Chairman of 4J Studios; Kevin Baughan, Chief Development Officer at Innovate UK; and Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Growth Companies, Innovation and Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise.

Charlie Rohan, who is Senior Director of User Centred Design at NCR, joins the list of confirmed speakers and will be talking about his experience of designing, developing and implementing new technology solutions that benefit the widest possible range of users.

Trained as an industrial designer, Charlie was one of the small team of designers responsible for industrial design and human factors for the first range of NCR Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) which were sold globally. Charlie has held several positions within NCR and participated in the US ATM Task Force that developed recommendations for the disabled user access requirements for ATMs and has been involved in the formation of and participation on standards committees for accessible self-service in UK, Canada and Australia.

Venturefest Scotland is a free one day event takes place on 1 September 2016 at the Glasgow Science Centre and brings together small and medium sized ambitious Scottish companies, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to connect and explore ways of growing and innovating.

The event was held for the first time last year and was a major success, attracting around 700 business owners, influencers, investors, entrepreneurs and academics from Scotland, the rest of the UK and overseas.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Scots Gender Pay Gap 'Worst in UK'

23/08/2016 - Men in Scotland are paid almost £11,000 a year more than women, according to new research.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said the gender pay gap stood at 29.2% and was the worst gap in the UK.

It follows conclusions by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which found the wage gap in the UK became even wider when new mothers returned to work.
From April 2017 companies with more than 250 staff will be required to publish any gender pay gap data.

The CMI study also showed that male managers were 40% more likely than female managers to be promoted into higher roles.

Analysis of salary data of more than 60,000 UK employees found that in the past year, 14% of men in management roles were promoted into higher positions compared to 10% of women.
In Scotland, the gender pay gap was 29.2%, representing a £10,862 difference between genders and was the worst regional gap in the UK.

Petra Wilton, director of strategy at the organisation, said progress to address the gender pay gap had stalled.

'Reporting requirements'

She told BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme that Scotland's strong manufacturing tradition combined with a "motherhood penalty" for women had resulted in less opportunity for promotion for female staff.

"That probably accounts for, in part, why Scotland is particularly suffering that 29% pay gap, compared with 23% nationally", she said.

"In Scotland there's much bigger industries in construction, financial services and some of those professional services where we do see those pay gaps bigger and also less women represented at the senior levels."

She said transparency would help highlight pay gaps at individual firms.

She added: "We're very much welcoming gender pay guidelines in reporting requirements from April next year because that will help shine a spotlight on all other sectors.

"Hopefully it will trickle through the economy and a lot of smaller organisations are looking at what best-practice looks like, otherwise they'll be missing out on talent and the female contribution in the workplace."

Earlier this year the UK government announced plans which will see 8,000 employers with more than 250 staff have to reveal the number of men and women in each pay range, and show where the pay gaps are at their widest.

A government spokeswoman said: "The gender pay gap is the lowest on record but we know we need to make more progress and faster."

"That's why we are pushing ahead with plans to force businesses to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap - shining a light on the barriers preventing women from reaching the top."

Source: BBC News

Staff and Workplace Innovation Will Drive Productivity in Scotland, Says Minister

22/08/2016 - Scottish businesses with ambitions to grow are today being urged to empower their staff to innovate in order to drive productivity, as Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse launches a new workplace innovation service from Scottish Enterprise.

Hosted by conservation charity the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, today’s launch event will contain a masterclass on how employers can redesign jobs to deliver a range of business benefits including increased productivity, decreased staff turnover and reduced absence.

Research from the US shows productivity can rise by up to 30 per cent for those investing in workplace innovation. A Dutch study also indicated 75 per cent of successful business innovation is actually through changes to managerial, organisational and work practices at an operational level. Recent research in the UK found that poor leadership and management practices account for productivity losses equivalent to £19bn per annum.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said: “Evidence shows that a fairly treated workforce is a more productive workforce and that’s good for individuals, good for business and Scotland’s economy, and at the heart of the Government’s Economic Strategy.

“International evidence shows that tackling inequalities and boosting competitiveness go hand in hand. We want our economy to thrive, delivering more, better paid jobs and the relationship between employers and their employees is crucial. More and more successful Scottish businesses recognise that their employees must feel valued, rewarded and engaged in their work.

“Innovative and creative approaches are vital both to engage a workforce and increase productivity. That is why I am particularly pleased to help launch this new strategy, which I am sure will help companies and employees across Scotland.”

Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Growth Companies, Innovation and Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise said: “The way workplaces are organised and employees are engaged is more important than ever before. There is a growing body of evidence that shows that innovative workplaces are more productive and competitive, in short they are more successful. We want our new Workplace Innovation Service to support companies find new ways of engaging the creativity and skills of their people to drive success.”

Professor Patricia Findlay of Strathclyde Business School, who leads a team of workplace innovation researchers, will highlight case studies and international research on good practice in relation to workplace innovation and notes that: “There is increasing evidence that innovating works for businesses, for employees and for society. Yet many businesses don’t think of innovation as something that is especially relevant to them. By thinking about new ways to get the best out of your people, processes and relationships, businesses can create value and improve performance while also delivering fair work for their employees. Getting that message out and supporting businesses to innovate is crucially important.”

John Reid, General Manager at Michelin Dundee, who will talk about how redesigning jobs has empowered Michelin's employees to deliver for the business, said: “For any team to achieve success it must rely on every individual in the team, top to bottom, contributing all their talents and efforts. Unfortunately, many organisations only manage to scratch the surface and miss the opportunity to harness the massive potential of their people. To successfully unlock the potential of a workforce the organisation needs to firstly achieve the engagement and motivation of their people. Only then can you successfully empower them and develop their potential. Key ingredients are Respect, Transparency and Trust all aligned with a clear and simple focus.”

Lindsay Macpherson, HR Director at the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland, who will share RZSS Edinburgh Zoo’s experiences in developing people management approaches that have stimulated workplace innovation, said:

“At the heart of what we have been trying to do at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is let our employees have ownership of what they do, how it impacts on them, their colleagues, the organisation and how they can influence things. Whilst it is still early days for us, thanks to the support of Scottish Enterprise we have been able to develop the tools and resources needed to help our staff achieve their aims.”

The Scottish Enterprise workplace innovation service is aimed at supporting companies increase productivity and business performance by unlocking hidden talent and innovative new ideas or work processes from their existing staff and organisational structures. It consists of three elements which will be delivered over two years, including a series of master classes, a Workplace Innovation Engagement programme focusing on individual and shared learning and a High Performing Participating Teams approach to support improved performance.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Business Improvement District Employment Opportunities

17/08/2016 - BIDs Scotland is advertising the following employment opportunities in Edinburgh's West End BID. For more see:
Edinburgh's West End BID 
Operations Manager 
[full job description here]
The Operations Manager of Edinburgh’s West End Business Improvement District (BID) Company Ltd will manage the day to day running of the company and oversee events and activities to deliver the BID’s objectives. The role requires thorough engagement with private and public sectors, including establishing strong links with West End businesses, workers and residents and neighbouring BIDs.
The key objective for the BID Operations Manager will be to successfully deliver the BID Business Plan, along with its financial and strategic ambitions, eventually leading to a BID re-ballot at the end of the BID’s 5-year term. The BID Operations Manager will ensure that the BID Business Plan is delivered in a professional, transparent and cost effective manner, achieving economies of scale and added value through partner engagement and leveraging.
The role is self-employed and part-time (22.5 hours per week). Weekend and evening work is required from time to time. The BID office is based at 10 William Street and the role holder is expected to work from the office at least one day per week.
The BID Operations Manager reports into the Chair of the Board.
Salary is circa £18,000 p.a.
To apply, email CV and covering letter to by 31 August 2016.

Edinburgh's West End BID 
Marketing Executive 
[full job description here]
The Marketing Executive of Edinburgh’s West End Business Improvement District (BID) Company Ltd will design, develop and implement the BID’s marketing plan. The BID’s marketing plan includes a schedule of key events/activities, the on-going management of a website, on-going communications with levy payers, and significant social media presence. The objectives of the BID’s marketing plan are to drive footfall to the area, encourage people to linger for longer and increase spend in the area.
The role is self-employed and part-time (15 hours per week). Weekend and evening work is required from time to time. The BID office is based at 10 William Street and the role holder is expected to work from the office at least one day per week.
The BID Marketing Executive reports into the BID Operations Manager and will have resource available to support events from time to time.
Salary circa £8,000 per annum
To apply, email CV and covering letter to by 31 August 2016.
Employment Opportunities 
BIDs Scotland is happy to advertise employment opportunities or situations wanted for BIDs, town, city, place management and urban regeneration roles free of charge and these will be circulated to our members. Please email Alison Jones at
Each recruitment advertisement will be circulated via a BIDS eflyer to all members highlighting your vacancy. The eflyers will also be linked to the BIDS websites where additional job details and requirements can be made available for download.
All listings, amendments and eflyers are free of charge.

Record Quarterly Rise for Employment in Scotland

17/08/2016 - Employment in Scotland rose by 51,000 during the three months to June – the largest quarterly rise on record – according to official figures released today.

The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,629,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Labour market statistics also showed that the unemployment rate fell by 1 percentage point during the second quarter, with the number of jobless falling by 26,000 to stand at 143,000 – its lowest level since 2009.

However, the Scottish unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent remains above the rate of 4.9 per cent for the whole of the UK, while the employment rate of 74.1 per cent also lags behind the UK average of 74.5 per cent.

Jamie Hepburn, minister for employability and training, said: “There is much to be welcomed from these figures, including 65,000 more people being employed now than at the pre-recession high.

“However, we know that there is more that we can and must do. The Scottish economy has strong fundamentals, but as businesses face uncertainty during negotiations over our future relationship with the EU, we will ensure we work hard to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU, and strive to make the most of current and future opportunities in our economy.”

ONS figures for the UK as a whole revealed that unemployment fell by 52,000 to 1.64 million between April and June.

Secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell said: “While we cannot be complacent as we enter a period of adjustment, today’s figures show that we enter the EU negotiations from a position of strength. Our continued priority must still be to work closely with the Scottish Government as ‘team UK’ to promote economic growth and prosperity.”

Source: Scotsman

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

LifeScan Scotland Plans £8.7m Investment in Inverness

16/08/2016 - LifeScan Scotland is Scotland’s largest life sciences company and part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. It currently employs more than 1100 people in Inverness, developing and manufacturing products for the treatment of diabetes. This ranges from the development of meters and software for people to self-monitor blood glucose levels to the manufacture of test strips that the meters use.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is supporting the company with an investment of £1.85m in the plan, which will support more than 600 jobs associated with the new technologies. The project will boost the company’s revenue, strengthen its global position and international market share and enhance the status of the Inverness facility.

Confirming the HIE contribution to the plans, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay, said: “LifeScan is a global leader in diabetes research and a great example of an innovative company that is benefiting from what Scotland has to offer as an attractive location for global life sciences companies.

“The continued investment in Scotland by LifeScan and the contribution from HIE is testament to our thriving life sciences industry and its position as a key growth sector for the Scottish economy and proof of the skill and value of the Scottish workforce.”

Andreas Kreitz, Worldwide Director of Diabetes Care Manufacturing at Johnson & Johnson, added: “Our investment plan, and the grant support from HIE, will enable LifeScan Scotland to research and test alternative, more cost-effective materials and production methods that will increase productivity and enable us to serve our global customers better.”

Alex Paterson, HIE chief executive, said: “Inverness and its environs has become a centre of excellence for diabetes. LifeScan has been and continues to be at the heart of that. This investment by the company reinforces Inverness’s position as a global R&D centre, and will ensure LifeScan technology continues to be at the global forefront of the monitoring and treatment of diabetes.

“I very much welcome its continued commitment to the region and am delighted we are able to support these ambitious plans.”

There are more than 70 life sciences organisations operating in the Highlands and Islands. The sector is worth an estimated £131.1 million, supporting nearly 1,800 full time equivalent jobs. Across Scotland the sector turns over £3.1 billion, with around 640 organisations employing more than 32,000 people. It is a key growth sector in the Highlands and Islands and a priority for HIE.

Source: HIE

Monday, 15 August 2016

Scottish Shop Vacancy Rate 'Bucks UK Trend'

15/08/2016 - The number of empty shops in Scotland's town centres fell last month in contrast with the UK as a whole, according to a survey.

Scotland's shop vacancy rate dropped by 0.9% in July to 7.5% - the second lowest of any area.

The figures bucked the trend for the UK, which saw its rate rise by 0.5% to 10.1%.

Scotland's vacancy level was 10.6% just a year ago, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).

However, the picture was less positive last month in terms of footfall north of the border.

The latest SRC/Springboard monitor found fewer people visited Scottish shops for the second month in a row.

Footfall fell by 1.9%, following a 3.3% drop in June.

SRC director David Lonsdale said: "These results are something of a mixed bag for Scotland's retail industry, with a welcome reduction in the shop premises vacancy rate unfortunately coupled with shopper footfall flagging once again.

"Indeed shopper footfall in stores dipped for a second successive month and at a faster rate than the average over the past three months, pointing to a continuing fragility in demand and the ongoing popularity of online retailing.

"The second quarterly improvement in a row in the vacancy rate is encouraging, though it remains to be seen whether this reflects units being taken up on a temporary or more sustained basis."

Marketing director for retail analyst Springboard, Diane Wehrle, said: "The April to June quarter can prove irregular, as typically post-Christmas pop ups and temporary stores disappear from the high street.

"Across the UK it seems that the EU referendum and political and economic uncertainty of the last quarter will have deterred some retailers from taking on leases but Scotland appears to have been insulated from this."

Source: BBC News

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Scottish Enterprise Helps Companies to Raise the Bar

11/08/2016 - Scottish Enterprise (SE) has exceeded its targets by providing almost 700 companies with support for leadership development this past year, demonstrating a growing understanding from businesses of the key role which leaders play in driving enhanced performance.

Business leaders which Scottish Enterprise works with often acknowledge that their workforce is their biggest competitive advantage. SE’s support focuses on helping them to develop themselves and be able to better leverage the power of their people in order to drive enhanced productivity. Participants often attribute increased performance to improving leadership approaches.

SE set a target or providing 600-650 new entrants to SE’s leadership and organisational support programmes for the year ending April 2016. These attracted a cross-section of 686 total businesses from a diverse range of industries including energy, food & drink, and the construction sectors.*

This year has also seen an increased focus on supporting businesses in the north east, including a series of resilience events, master classes, leadership programmes and productivity workshops for oil and gas businesses through the Scottish Government’s Energy Jobs Taskforce.

Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director, Growth Companies, Innovation & Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise said: “We know from companies we’ve worked with that a strong focus on leadership development has a significant and positive impact on business performance. EPP and Sercon are two great examples of this. Great leadership brings out the best in people, enabling and empowering them to fulfil their potential and help their company succeed.”

EPP Ltd in Penicuik is a specialist analytical and development services firm for chemical, life and environmental science companies. It has grown from 23 to 32 employees in the past 12 months, with turnover up by approximately 40%. Managing director James Stuart attributes this to the organisational development and leadership training the company has undertaken.

EPP Ltd managing director James Stuart said: “We’ve worked quite intensively with Scottish Enterprise to develop our leadership across the company, with three of our key people having gone through the Leadership for Growth and Managing People for Growth programmes, and three more signed up for it. We’ve also benefitted from in-depth assistance on organisational development, supported by focused workshops, which has helped us to align the way we lead and structure the company with our business goals.

“This has changed the face of the business by restructuring our recruitment and team management processes which in turn has led to exciting fresh talent, an evolving and more energised new company culture, and a positive shift in client relationships as they have responded to our happier and more-engaged team.”

Lorraine Murray MBE, CEO of national multi-service facilities management provider Sercon Services in Irvine attributes a 6% increase in its turnover, as well as a renewed strategic focus, to the leadership support it has received. Sercon has also diversified its services and attracted additional talent to the business as a direct result of the leadership training and mentoring it has been exposed to.

Lorraine Murray MBE said: “We’ve seen huge and tangible benefits to our business from the leadership training we’ve undertaken with Scottish Enterprise. With more focus on where we are going and how to get there, turnover continues to increase and staff retention is excellent.

“Personally I’ve benefited from one-on-one leadership coaching offered to us by SE, which has given me refreshed vision and confidence on steering our business. I also attended a learning journey to the USA, which I would highly recommend to any company, no matter the size. Targeted support like this can really make a difference to your daily work as well as the company’s bottom line.”

SE’s experience has shown that leadership development is most effective when it extends traditional training methods to be more personalised. This is illustrated by the high percentage of individuals accessing mentoring (67%) and as a result SE places peer-to-peer learning at the heart of its support.

In 2016/17, SE aims to engage an additional 675-850 growing businesses in leadership development and a further 725-1,000 in 2017/18.

The leadership support numbers and targets (e.g. 686 in 2005/16) quoted each year represent new entrants to SE’s leadership and organisational support programmes and offers.
Source: Scottish Enterprise 

Scottish Enterprise Opportunity: Engagement Enabler for Collaborative Working

11/08/2016 - Scottish Enterprise has issued an invitation to quote for the role of "Engagement Enabler for ITREZ Collaborative Working".

Scottish Enterprise is looking for an ‘engagement enabler’ to help companies, researchers and support agencies in the inovo and University of Strathclyde TIC buildings to connect with each other and out to local, national and international technology & innovation communities.

The role will include a focus on fostering networking and collaboration through events and social media. Development and promotion of the inovo-TIC community’s intellectual assets and ‘proposition’ is also part of the role.

Anyone wishing to quote for this opportunity must register with the PCS here:

For more information and to receive the full briefing, please contact Ben Connolly at Scottish Enterprise.

The SME China Forum 2016: 21 September, Glasgow

11/08/2016 - Now in its 4th edition, the SME China Forum is coming to Scotland for the first time in 2016. The event is a platform for peer-to-peer exchange of experience between SMEs exploring the China market. No matter whether your business is in gaming, food & drinktourism, low-carbon, healthcare or engineering, there’ll be something of interest for you as its themes address issues that affect any business working with China. 

Previously held in Manchester (2013), Birmingham (2014) and Nottingham (2015) the 4th SME China Forum will be held at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland on 21 September 2016.  View photos from last year here.  

Read more and book:

Read a full agenda and information on the event here:

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Sturgeon Brings Forward £100m Post-Brexit Stimulus Funding

10/08/2016 - Scotland’s first minister has today unveiled what is billed as a post-Brexit economic stimulus package, bringing forward £100m of planned infrastructure spend into the current year and announcing a range of new business support measures.

Nicola Sturgeon pressed prime minister Theresa May urgently to follow suit, both by pulling together a body of UK-wide stimulus measures that could unleash further capital spending capacity for Scotland through Barnett consequential transfers and by providing early assurance about the future of EU structural funds.

It follows Scotland’s 62% vote at June’s referendum in favour of retaining EU membership, and came a day after Sturgeon held talks in Berlin with Germany’s Europe minister Michael Roth. In a conscious echo of May’s “Brexit means Brexit” soundbite, Sturgeon has said that for Scotland “remain means remain”.

Sturgeon’s statement described the extra £100m of funding for infrastructure as the start of a continuing acceleration programme, targeted particularly on health, and measuring projects against a set of priority criteria including potential to start quickly, number of new jobs to be created, and anticipated impact on both supply chain activity and geographic spread.

Scottish ministers will also set up a new dedicated Scottish government service to provide information and support for businesses affected by the referendum outcome. It will be backed up by a Post-Referendum Business Network to promote discussion with businesses and business representative bodies, the Scottish Trades Union Congress and the Scotland Office.

Sturgeon made the announcement at the showcase Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, which is to receive a £5m capital injection under the new measures. She said her government would continue to pursue every possible path to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU, but added: “It is also important to act now to support and stimulate the economy.”

She insisted that Scotland remained an attractive place to do business, but acknowledged that the referendum had created an economic uncertainty whose adverse effects were already being felt.

“The UK government has not yet taken any meaningful action to alleviate uncertainty or to boost confidence, and there are very real concerns that the damage to the economy and to jobs will be severe and long-lasting,” Sturgeon said.

“It is against this background that the Scottish government is announcing early action to boost confidence, stimulate economic activity and support business.”

Her initiative was strongly endorsed across the Scottish economic community. STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said his organisation would contribute positively to the new business network. “The Scottish economy, already weak due to the downturn in the oil and gas sector, risks falling into technical recession as a result of Brexit-induced uncertainty,” Smith warned. 

Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, called the package “a great example of the Scottish government using devolved powers to deliver a timely boost to the Scottish economy”, while Andy Willox from the Federation of Small Businesses said it was important to extract “every drop of value” from the new capital funds.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

One in 10 Businesses Unable to Employ Disabled People, Report Finds

09/08/2016 - One in 10 businesses in the UK say they are unable to employ disabled people, according to a new poll.

The survey, for Disability Rights UK and employment agency Reed, also found that a third of employers were concerned about possible discrimination claims while 12% thought disabled people were more likely to need time off work.

Other challenges identified in the report included managerial staff not having sufficient training to support disabled colleagues and businesses being unable to meet the additional costs of modifying equipment or improving accessibility.

More than four in five employers (84%) said disabled people made a “valuable contribution” in the workplace, but almost half (47%) claimed applicants were not always open about their condition.

With disabled people four times as likely to be unemployed as the non-disabled, the report warned closing the employment gap should be a “national priority”.

It makes a number of recommendations including expanding the UK Government’s Access to Work scheme, incentivising employers to provide disability training to their staff and offering help to employers and staff to tackle issues around disability.

The authors also called on employers to create workplace cultures in which people living with health conditions can feel more confident to be open about their needs.

Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “With one in six of the population living with a health condition or impairment, employers are missing out on a huge ‎number of talented people if they don't recruit and retain disabled people.

“Disability and health issues are part of being human: we all need to accommodate difference.
“Disabled people also often bring assets like problem-solving, empathy and resilience to the workplace because of the challenges they have faced.”

Martin Fallon, managing director of Reed in Partnership, added: “We see first-hand the huge boost in confidence and self-esteem in someone who has been unemployed for a long time getting a job.

“Everyone deserves to be able to participate equally. That is why it is concerning that one in 10 people in business told us their organisation wouldn’t be able to support someone with a disability.
“Increasing the number of disabled people in employment must be a national priority.”

More than 300 employers, recruiters and human resource managers were polled for the report, Disability and Employment.

Bill Scott, Inclusion Scotland’s policy director, said the organisation was “extremely disappointed” with the survey’s findings.

He added: "Employers and governments need to work together to offer a range of support to people who are disabled and want to work, especially as the amount of people with impairments will only increase in the coming years.

“Inclusion Scotland and other disabled people's organisations are working hard to raise awareness with employers about the amount of skills, experience and talent that disabled people can bring to a workplace.  

"We wholly support the recommendation that closing the employment gap for disabled people is made a national priority."

Monday, 8 August 2016

Summary of the Scottish Planning Review

08/08/2016 - The planning system affects us all – it shapes our local services, job opportunities, transport infrastructure and more. Through balancing competing demands for development, it aims to create places which improve the quality of life for communities.

While it does have the public interest at its heart, Scotland’s planning system is not perfect. Around ten years ago, the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act marked the most comprehensive reform of our planning system in sixty years. It aimed to modernise the planning system by making it more efficient and inclusive, with a focus on sustainable development.

A decade on, the effectiveness of this modernised system has been placed under scrutiny through a substantial independent review, published in May this year. This article takes an opportunity to compare the findings and recommendations of the Review with the Government’s response for action, issued in July. Read more.

Source: SURF

Natural Capital Signposting Page for Organisations

08/08/2016 - The Scottish Forum on Natural Capital has developed this signposting page to help you to access briefings, tools, resources & guidance to drive understanding of natural capital's importance for your organisation's board members and practitioners. Read more.

Scottish Firms Report Fall in New Orders

08/08/2016 - Demand for Scottish goods and services deteriorated at its sharpest pace for nearly four years last month, according to a survey of purchasing managers.

The latest Bank of Scotland PMI found a sharp fall in new orders for both manufacturers and service providers in July.

Output from the private sector also fell to a four-month low.

However, workforce numbers stabilised during the month, ending a seven-month sequence of job shedding.

The bank's PMI - which measures changes in combined manufacturing and services output - fell from 50.5 in June to 49.2 in July. Any figure below 50 suggests contraction.

Scottish service sector output was "in contraction territory" for the third month in a row, while manufacturers saw production shrink for the first time in three months.

The report said the decline was driven by weak underlying demand for Scottish goods, with respondents also blaming slower export demand.

The decline in new business for service providers was the second-sharpest reported since September 2012.

Moreover, goods producers also recorded a fall in new orders, with the latest decline the sharpest in nearly four years.

The bank said anecdotal evidence suggested that the fall in demand for Scottish goods was partly due to the recent EU referendum.

Graham Blair, from Bank of Scotland, said: "The start of the third quarter was challenging for Scottish private sector firms, as declining demand conditions knocked the economy back into contraction during July."However, it is encouraging to see employment levels stabilise."

Brexit impact

Meanwhile, a separate report by business advisers BDO found Scottish business confidence at its lowest level for more than three years, following the Brexit vote.

The latest Business Trends Report suggested output would fall over the next three months.

The picture for manufacturing was particularly gloomy, with optimism dropping to a four-year low.
However, the report also suggested that the initial impact of the Brexit vote had been "less severe than many anticipated".

It said survey responses indicated that the Scottish economy was "poised between a potential recession and recovery".

Martin Gill, Scottish head of BDO, said: "It was clear that the Scottish economy was cooling before the Brexit vote and that this trend has continued, although perhaps not at as great a rate as was predicted.

"However, the current figures highlight just how great a drop in output and optimism there has been year-on-year and this would indicate a distinct slowing down in economic growth which the Brexit vote appears to have done little to abate."

Source: BBC News

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

'Substantial Challenges' See Drop in Scottish Exports

03/08/2016 - Scottish manufactured exports fell by 0.5% in the first three months of 2016, according to the latest figures.

Over the year, export volumes fell 2.1% compared to the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile, separate figures showed the value of retail sales remained flat between April and June, with growth much lower than levels across the UK.

The number of retail sales rose 1% in Britain in the second quarter of 2016, but north of the border the rise was 0.2%

Business minister Paul Wheelhouse said the export figures showed Scotland's place within the European single market was "absolutely vital".

'Possible avenue'

He said: "These statistics remind us that Scotland's economy continues to face substantial challenges.
"Subdued global demand and the impact of a lower oil price environment have contributed to a drop in first quarter export volumes for companies working in several parts of the Scottish economy."

Mr Wheelhouse added: "While Scotland's economy is fundamentally strong, our continued EU status - and, thereby, our place in the world's biggest single market - is absolutely vital when it comes to promoting trade and protecting jobs, investment and long-term-prosperity, and this why we are committed to pursuing every possible avenue to maintain our place in the EU."

The figures showed a 3.3% increase in food and drink exports while the amount of textiles, clothing and leather goods sold abroad from Scotland went up by 2.1%.

The decline in exports was recorded ahead of the UK's vote for Brexit, which some economists have suggested could make British goods and services more attractive to overseas buyers as a result of falls in the value of the pound.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said the latest retail figures continued the recent "trend of effectively flat retail sales".

SRC head of policy and external affairs Ewan MacDonald-Russell said: "This comes against the backdrop of an industry going through an intense period of structural, economic and regulatory change.

"Retailers are responding to this environment by becoming more innovative and productive through investment in people, technology and more efficient logistics systems.

"However, that's difficult when facing weak retail sales, falling shop prices and rising government-imposed tax and regulatory costs.

"When the uncertainty resulting from the Brexit vote is also considered, it becomes clear just how hard it is on the high street right now."

Source: BBC News

Free Export Advice for Scotland as Export Hub Makes Return Trip

03/08/2016 - Scottish firms can access free export advice when the Exporting is GREAT tour makes its second visit to Scotland between 23 August and 8 September.

The Export Hub is a UK Government initiative backed by the UK Government, Scottish Enterprise, the Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. The truck will visit Dumfries & Galloway, Ayrshire, Argyll & Bute, the Isle of Skye, Inverness, Moray, Perthshire and Fife.

Businesses will be able to access advice from experts about how to sell overseas and which markets offer the greatest potential. They can also hear from experienced exporters and arrange one-on-one meetings with export advisers. Companies who would like to attend the tour can book their space, by visiting:

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis. The Export Hub will be in the following locations on the following dates:

23 August: Gretna Green
26 August: Prestwick Airport
29 August: Cairndow
31 August: Isle of Skye
2 September: Inverness
5 September: Forres
7 September: Perthshire
8 September: Fife

Scotland Office Minister Lord Dunlop said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Scottish firms to get the support they need to start exporting and grow their businesses. The Exporting is GREAT roadshow is taking the message to businesses right across Scotland that the demand for their products and services is there, as is the help they need to make exporting happen. It is a great example of the UK and Scottish governments working together for businesses in Scotland."
Neil Francis, Director of International Operations for Scottish Enterprise, said:

“Scotland exports roughly £27.5bn of goods to countries around the world every year, and there is every opportunity to increase this as companies learn how straightforward and beneficial to their businesses exporting can be. Exporting presents an opportunity for businesses of every size, and in almost every industry, to take their growth to the next level. With an excellent group of partners available to provide in-person advice, the Exporting is GREAT road show is an ideal opportunity to explore the options.”
Martin Johnson, Regional Head of International Trade and Investment at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said:

“Exporting is a theme that runs across the commercial sector in the Highlands and Islands and there is huge potential to build on that. Indeed it is essential that we do. The dramatic increase in digital connectivity in the region is enabling more and more businesses to connect with global markets more easily. The Export Hub offers businesses a chance to explore new opportunities to market their products and services overseas. I certainly hope and expect many will take up this opportunity and pay a visit to the hub while it’s in the region.”
Ross Martin, Chief Executive, SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry), said:

“SCDI is delighted to be a principal partner in the UK Government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. Our membership includes many of Scotland’s most successful and experienced exporters, and we have been committed to helping businesses achieve their global ambitions over more than five decades. SCDI recognises the vital contribution exporting brings to the economy, including increased productivity and higher levels of innovation.”

SDS Teams Up with the Daily Record for First Scottish Apprenticeship Shows

03/08/2016 - A whole host of sectors will be represented at the events – from engineering to retail and media – so there is bound to be something for everyone.

Skills Development Scotland Depute Director of National Training Programmes, Katie Hutton, said: "More and more young people are choosing apprenticeships and work-based learning to get their careers off to a great start.

"The Scottish Apprenticeship Show will offer hands-on insight into what an apprenticeship could offer.

"There will be all the information and advice about apprenticeships that young people and parents need, both from apprentice employers and Skills Development Scotland.”

The events will focus exclusively on ‘come and try’, with different interactive zones and exhibitions so visitors can experience hands-on activities. In the automotive area, sponsored by Arnold Clark, young Scots will be able to work on a car engine.

Along with the information available at the events, these activities will enable a deeper understanding of what knowledge and skills are needed for an apprenticeship.

Modern Apprenticeships are jobs where young people can work, learn and earn to gain industry-recognised qualifications. An apprenticeship can be for new recruits or existing employees.

Foundation Apprenticeships are for S4 and S5 pupils who want to get a head start in their career while they are still at school.

Young people can get their careers off to a great start across a wide range of jobs with an apprenticeship, whether they begin theirs at school or once they have left.

Find out all about the Scottish Apprenticeship Shows 
Learn more on apprenticeships

When: Sunday 9 – Tuesday 11 October & Thursday 13 – Friday 14 October (10:30am – 8pm)
Where: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow & EICC, Edinburgh

SDS is hoping to offer similar events to the young people of Inverness with The Press and Journal. Keep checking for more details!

Source: SDS

Monday, 1 August 2016

Nominations Open for the 2017 Scottish Export Awards

01/08/2016- The Scottish Export Awards celebrate the achievements of those companies that have demonstrated business growth through exports and innovative ways of reaching and engaging international customers.

Awareness of the opportunities and support available for Scottish business is increasing and these awards are about recognising excellence and the achievements and export contribution of Scottish businesses. The Awards also seek to provide inspiration and encouragement for others to take forward their export potential.
To be eligible for nomination, a business must have an established operational trading base(s) in Scotland from which it conducts business and must have shown a dynamic and innovative approach to the challenges of exporting from Scotland.

The Scottish Export Award Categories for 2017 are as follows:

Ecommerce Exporter of the Year
Most Entrepreneurial Exporter of the Year
Micro Exporter of the Year (new for 2017)
Small Exporter of the Year
Large Exporter of the Year
Scottish Export Team of the Year
High Growth Market Exporter of the Year
Professional Service Adviser of the Year
Logistics Partner of the Year

The judging panel will be looking for companies to include and demonstrate:

Degree of innovation used in the company's marketing plan.
Export growth achieved and how the company sustains that growth.
Value and contribution of exporting to business expansion.
The company's overall commitment to international business.
The company's strengths and how innovative and unique those strengths are.
The key decisions taken that have made the company a successful exporter.
What new markets and new technologies have been utilised to grow the business over the last 12 months.

The final deadline for nominations for the 2017 Awards is Saturday 31 December 2016.
More information: