From April 2017, all UK employers with annual salary bills of more than £3 million will pay an apprenticeship levy. The levy is aimed at funding apprenticeships across the UK and the rate will be 0.5% of the employer’s pay bill. Companies may be aware that Scottish Government has launched an Apprenticeship Levy Consultation. ADS Scotland is keen to share the details with companies in our sector to allow everyone the opportunity to respond. The consultation closes 26th August.
In July 2015 scientists from York University warned that an entire ecosystem of birds, bugs and blanket bogs was under threat from climate change. Now geologists at Exeter University, studying Kentra Moss in Lochaber, report that climate change is increasing the salt levels in peatlands, making it less able to absorb carbon. In Scotland, some 20 per cent of the land is covered in peat, storing some 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon.
Gaberlunzie sees with interest that the classic Route 66 which encompasses a scenic route through the Highlands, and currently dubbed Scotland’s answer to Route 66, is to feature in the BBCTwo’s Top Gear on Sunday 3rd July.
In February this year, Accenture, and the Scottish Police Authority agreed to rescope the i6 project aimed to replace more than 120 IT-and paper-based systems for Police Scotland. Four months later mutual agreement is reached between the stakeholders, including Accenture, to end the operational system agreement and reconsider the IT options.
Working to put hardware into schools and education has always found Apple, Google and Microsoft as prime candidates on the basis of “convince ‘em young and secure your ageing market.” They are still workiing hard to get their equipment into the education market and unlikely to slow up on this, since USA schools bought $10.8 million of Apple, Google and Microsoft devices in 2015 alone. Small wonder that Amazon has determined to join that booming market.
HEATHROW Airport has announced plans to build a supply chain hub in Scotland as part of its proposed £16 billion expansion plans. Hundreds of people will be directly employed at the site, which will also allow many more Scottish small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) to be involved in the expansion.
ScotlandIS, trade body for Scotland’s digital technologies sector, has become the first organisation in Scotland and one of a handful in the UK to be accredited by a European scheme that recognises Excellence in Cluster Management. Initiated by the European Commission Directorate for Enterprise and Industry, the European Cluster Excellence Initiative awards a benchmark to cluster management organisations, such as trade bodies, that are striving for excellence, adding value and fostering close industry relationships for their members.
Very large lithium-ion battery banks were largely unknown ten years ago, writes Dr Peter Harrop, chairman of UK Cambridge-based IDtechEx. Now, it is tough to keep up with the variety of uses for them. On ships, where there were no such batteries, we are starting to see 1-5 MWh banks. Autonomous underwater vehicles, mining trucks and buses can sport ones of up to 350 kWh. But it is in stationary applications that really big facilities have arrived. Here there is a multiplier effect with Li-ion gaining market share in growth markets.
Keir Bloomer is a Reform Scotland Advisory Board member and chair of the Commission on School Reform, which was set up by Reform Scotland and the Centre for Scottish Public Policy. He is a Former President of ADE (Association of Directors of Education) and member of the group that wrote Curriculum for Excellence.
Exam officials have admitted mistakes were made in a national computing science exam sat by thousands of pupils, as calls mount for a review. A spokesman for the SQA (Scottish Qualification Authority) said: “The National 5 computing science exam paper met our published course and assessment specifications." But admitted "The paper did contain a small number of typographical errors."
An interactive infographic on the top cities for startup success in the UK in 2016 has emerged from Kaizen Search. The infographic is based on data of growth in the start-up industries over the last 2 years. The map presents a heat map of the areas seeing the most growth. And as if to complement this comes Artegic's identification of the five elementary trends in the marketing field which companies will have to face in the coming years.
Gaberlunzie had a sneaky suspicion that your May Day Holiday actually might not be the hottest in Scotland. You might even, like Gaberlunzie be stuck working. Ah, but he has found a web-site that will allow your imagination to stroll in the sun, and see how deliciously lovely are 10 of these beaches of Scotland.
The UK Government plans to move the majority of job applications and benefit claims online by 2017. Fly in the ointment is CAS (Citizens Advice Scotland) discovering that difficulties using computers or the internet is already hampering people’s application attempts and leading to financial sanctions.
Eight Scottish councils (Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh Inverclyde, Moray, Orkney, Perth & Kinross, Scottish Borders and Shetland Islands) have still to sign up to a collaborative strategy that brings together Scotland's government digital services and other key stakeholders to reform IT services. Some 26 out of Scotland's 32 elected local councils have signed the joint strategy for supporting digital service transformation led by a single CDO (chief digital officer) currently being recruited.
Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland, which represents anglers and fishery owners, has lodged a formal complaint at the Scottish Government's failure to protect wild salmon and sea trout, arguing that this constitutes a breach of European environmental legislation.
The launch of the new IT system at NHS 24 - already three years late and £50 million over budget, again runs into disorganised systems, adding technical difficulties. Don't hold your breath for the launch date yet!
The Monadhliath Mountains are under threat still by the now 14-turbine development planned by energy firm Coriolis Energy (which only ever looks to the sky) on the Dell Estate in Whitebridge, near Fort Augustus.
In the referendum debate Scotland's finance may not seem of such significance to outweigh hearts, souls and history, but for a canny country, bawbees matter. The CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) believes the public deserve transparent and understandable data on Scotland's finances and the choices that an undefended Scotland would face.
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